research

IBM supercomputer Watson can treat cancer

IBM supercomputer Watson can treat cancer

IBM's powerful supercomputer, Watson, can make calculations at superhuman speeds, making connections between analyzed data that humans might miss. This is exactly why a team of oncologists plans to use Watson to guide cancer therapies at fourteen different cancer institutes in America and Canada. The hospitals are paying IBM a subscription fee to access the supercomputer. Watson will be especially useful to oncology institutes as cancer doesn't have a one-size-fits-all protocol. Sure, we imagine it's as simple as radiation or chemotherapy, but sometimes tumor cells induce odd mutations in surrounding cells, making them impervious to standard treatments.

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Volcanic eruptions on the Super-Earth Diamond Planet

Volcanic eruptions on the Super-Earth Diamond Planet

It would appear that a planet-sized eruption of volcanic heat has occurred over the course of several years on the planet super-Earth 55 Cancri e. There a very hot, very life-unfriendly environment is boiling, and a series of researchers at Cornell University are bringing back information on how extreme this volcanism truly is. These researcher astronomers have used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, finding a 3x change in temperature over the course of 2 years on the planet. It's getting very hot there, very fast.

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Extinction of your favorite animal more real than you realize

Extinction of your favorite animal more real than you realize

This week a study published in Science Advances has suggested that the extinction of some of the world's most beloved animals is a clear and present danger. Fourty-four of the 74 largest terrestrial herbivores are now threatened with extinction, 12 of them "critically endangered" or extinct in the wild. Many of the species in decline, suggests the study, "are poorly known scientifically, and [are] badly in need of basic ecological research." Not only will they die unless we do something, we'll never know what they are all about in the first place.

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Harmony Rehab Exoskeleton helps people recover from spinal injuries

Harmony Rehab Exoskeleton helps people recover from spinal injuries

It can be very difficult for people who suffer from spinal and neurological injuries to get better and regain all functionality. Getting better often involves lots of rehabilitation with therapists and doctors along with months or years of work. Researchers from the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering have created a new robotic exoskeleton that is designed to help people recover faster from injuries.

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Why use words? Emojis dominate Instagram

Why use words? Emojis dominate Instagram

If you were to comment on Instagram with actual words and phrases, you'd look out-of-place in a sea of emojis and hashtags. It makes sense that on a platform ruled by images, emoji would be the language of choice. If a picture is worth a thousand words, do emoji carry the same weight in prose? Some would consider the pictorial designs worth a few phrases at best, but a team of Instagram researchers took a look at the way users are writing on Instagram comments and found that the online language is evolving towards emoji.

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Smartphone attachment lets smartphones image DNA

Smartphone attachment lets smartphones image DNA

Researchers from the University of California, LA also known as UCLA have developed a new device that is able to turn any ,a href="http://www.slashgear.com/tags/smartphone/">smartphone into a DNA scanning fluorescent microscope. This microscope allows a smartphone to image DNA, which is about 50,000 times thinner than a single human hair.

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NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

After ten years in space, NASA's Messenger probe purposefully crashed on Mercury. The probe spent four years in a strictly elliptical orbit, using boosts of power from its engine every couple of months, before it finally ran out of fuel. After orbiting Mercury 4,104 times, NASA decided to purposefully crash the probe into the planet's surface using a string of precisely modeled manuevers. When Messenger finally crashed, it hit Mercury at 8,750 mph (14,000 kph) which is about 12 times the speed of sound on earth.

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Pluto no longer just “a point of light”

Pluto no longer just “a point of light”

We're approaching Pluto as we speak. NASA's New Horizons probe is headed towards the most controversial of our planetary siblings, and this week they've shown some of the closest images we've ever bore witness to in the history of humanity. According to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, "[these images] are just a little bit better than anything that's ever been obtained in history." Details are inbound. Details like a possible polar ice cap at one or both ends of this perpetually cold planetary body.

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