research

USGS releases first ever global topographical map of Mercury

USGS releases first ever global topographical map of Mercury

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the first-ever global topographical map of Mercury, something that was made in conjunction with Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, NASA, and the Applied Physics Laboratory. The topographical map, as one would expect, includes details on things like tectonic landforms, craters, and volcanoes, and is high-res enough for those future road trips across the galaxy.

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Ancient ‘hammerhead’ reptile found in southern China

Ancient ‘hammerhead’ reptile found in southern China

In Southern China, researchers discovered fossils of a reptile that features a ‘hammerhead’ snout — a very wide, somewhat comical jaw that extends beyond the diameter of its own head. The fossils are 242 million years old, and they belong to a creature dubbed Atopodentatus unicus, a reptile that would feed on algae and lived in the sea. The fossils were first discovered in 2014, but the discovery was only made public today.

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Newly discovered stick insect is world’s longest at over half a meter

Newly discovered stick insect is world’s longest at over half a meter

The bug you're seeing here is no doubt creepy as hell, but it also happens to be a new species of stick insect, and one that is now believed to be the world's longest insect in general. Discovered in China in 2014 in the Guangxi Zhuang region, scientists say it belongs to the Phryganistria genus, and measures an incredible 62.4 centimeters long.

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Australian study sees no link between cell phones and brain cancer

Australian study sees no link between cell phones and brain cancer

Someone called Derva Davis made waves across Australia earlier this year with an alarmist campaign to convince people that cities where cell phone use was high had greater incidences of disease such as brain cancer. Now a researcher who was at the time working on a research paper specifically looking at the link between mobile phone use in Australia and brain cancer has published his paper and is able to talk about the results.

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HoloFlex makes dreams of bendable, holographic phones come true

HoloFlex makes dreams of bendable, holographic phones come true

A few years ago, Samsung and LG were almost at east other's throats, trying to beat the other to the flexible smartphone race. Both, however, have stopped short of that goal, settling for curved smartphones like the G Flex, or curved edge screens like the Galaxy S7 edge. Some, however, have never given up that dream. Researchers from Australia's Queen's University Human Media Lab have cooked up a smartphone that does flex just a bit. That, however, is only in service to the HoloFlex's real raison d'être: projecting holograms.

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Breakthrough embryo research puts 14 day rule in spotlight

Breakthrough embryo research puts 14 day rule in spotlight

The legal and ethical implications of human embryo research are set to make waves once more, with breakthrough research drastically extending how long petri dish embryos can survive. Two experiments have shown that lab-grown embryos - in both cases using donated human cells - could be kept for significantly longer than with any previous technique.

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SkinTrack turns your body into a trackpad controller

SkinTrack turns your body into a trackpad controller

Today a group within Carnegie Mellon University have broadened our "smart touch" horizons. Touchpads and touchscreens - a thing of the past. Smartphones, smart watches, and smart devices of all sorts will be changed forever. This group has made a technology that uses your skin as a controller. Instead of swiping back and forth on the screen of your phone, you'll swipe back and forth on your wrist. Instead of scrolling on the screen of your watch, you'll scroll by brushing your hand. How simple. How perfect.

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Smartphones next big thing: “Pre-Touch”

Smartphones next big thing: “Pre-Touch”

Androids and Windows Phones and iPhones rejoice, the next big thing you didn't know you wanted but now need is almost here. Pre-Touch. A system with which you'll find your fingers affecting your touchscreen device before they actually physically tap the surface. Sound familiar? It should. If you've ever used a Samsung Galaxy Note device before, you've seen their S Pen (stylus) and its ability to "hover" - appearing as a circle on-screen before it touches said screen. Now a project led by Ken Hinckley, principal Microsoft researcher, makes this feature far larger for your fingers and hands.

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UC Irvine researchers “accidentally” make near-immortal battery

UC Irvine researchers “accidentally” make near-immortal battery

Some discoveries, like Penicillin, happen accidentally. There's even a word for it: serendipity. While careful, scientific procedures did surround most of those, the accidental discoveries sometimes overshadow the original goals of the experiment. Take for example the case of researchers from the University of California Irvine, who embarked on a quest to design a battery that didn't use unstable, flammable liquid. In the process, however, they "accidentally" created a battery that could be charged hundreds of thousands of types without a degradation in its charge.

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Australia will use herpes to destroy pesky carp fish

Australia will use herpes to destroy pesky carp fish

Carp, a pest fish in Australia, will be facing an epidemic sometime around 2018, at least if the Australian government follows through with a newly announced plan. The nation’s deputy prime minister has announced “carpageddon,” a program that will use a herpes virus to eradicate the European carp and, hopefully, make it possible for native species to better thrive in local waterways.

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Teen develops low-cost bioreactor for growing mini-brains

Teen develops low-cost bioreactor for growing mini-brains

A teenager has developed a new type of miniature bioreactor called SpinΩ that can be used to grow miniature brains -- the bioreactor costs about $400 to make, which is substantially cheaper than the $2,000 or so conventional systems cost. The teenager is Christopher Hadiono, and he was 16-years-old when he first approached Hongjun Song about spending the summer of 2013 in Song’s John Hopkins University lab. By the end of that summer, Hadiono had created his machine.

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Sanitizing cow farts before they happen could slow climate change

Sanitizing cow farts before they happen could slow climate change

Steaks are good, yes. So are burgers on the grill and a roast in the oven. Cows, though, aren’t so great for the environment, an issue that must be addressed as the world becomes hotter and climate change becomes more rapid. It takes a lot of water to raise a cow, but that's arguably not humanity's biggest concern at the moment. It is farts...cow farts, to be specific. A cow's fart has a lot of methane, and methane is a big contributor toward a warmer planet.

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