research

NASA’s first green fuel spacecraft figures out eco-power

NASA’s first green fuel spacecraft figures out eco-power

NASA is another step closer to blasting off its experimental "green" spacecraft, which switches traditional (and toxic) propellants with a safer, more efficient alternative that looks like peach tea. The Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) is expected to launch in 2016 as part of a SpaceX Falcon flight, beginning a year-long experiment into whether greener fuels could revolutionize exploration of the solar system.

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Transparent solar panels could revolutionize cities & tablets

Transparent solar panels could revolutionize cities & tablets

Transparent solar cells that could one day mean your home, office, or even car windows are generating electricity have been developed, as well as opening the door to phones and tablets that create their own power. The research, led by a team at Michigan State University, has come up with a transparent luminescent solar concentrator which looks clear to the eye but can still harvest energy from wavelengths of light invisible to humans.

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Is AT&T Amazon’s big Fire Phone problem?

Is AT&T Amazon’s big Fire Phone problem?

Amazon's Fire Phone is being stunted by AT&T, new research argues, with the carrier's exclusivity - not the phone's confusing features - blamed for underwhelming sales. Use of the smartphone, which runs a heavily-modified version of Android and includes face-tracking, has proved to grow steadily but slowly, analysts Chitika claim, in the face of more broadly available handsets like LG's G3.

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1,024 robot flash-mob is cleverer when swarming

1,024 robot flash-mob is cleverer when swarming

If you've ever wanted to see more than a thousand robots working together to create letters of the alphabet, Sesame Street style, today you're in luck. A robot swarm - the Harvard University team responsible also refers to it as a flash mob, which perhaps sounds a little less ominous - has been created to show how individually dumb 'bots can work intelligently when given the right tools, borrowing methods from biological systems like cells or even termites.

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3D-printed skin grafts are poised to transform reconstructive surgery

3D-printed skin grafts are poised to transform reconstructive surgery

When it comes to 3D printing, most people think of common objects, both large and small: houses, toys, tools, and such. But researchers have been busy at work using the technology for medical purposes, figuring out how to do things like print eye cells and create futuristic casts. TeVido BioDevices is counted amongst this latter category, working on 3D-printing skin grafts for patients.

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NASA probe may have captured ancient interstellar space dust

NASA probe may have captured ancient interstellar space dust

Microscopic dust particles that could date back to the very start of our solar system have been extracted from NASA's Stardust spacecraft payload, promising to be the first contemporary samples of interstellar dust. Stardust returned its collection of stellar detritus back in 2006, and thus began a painstaking sift through the particles to see what goodies had been gathered during the three billion mile journey.

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The real Ender’s Game: DARPA kids testing tomorrow’s MIL-TEC

The real Ender’s Game: DARPA kids testing tomorrow’s MIL-TEC

A new report into DARPA-funded research draws deep connections between computer games for children and advanced military software, a modern day Ender's Game using STEM to improve US soldier training. These aren't pre-teens inadvertently directing fleets of starships to destroy alien planets, though, with the kids instead said to be unknowingly helping develop software which will train military personnel on things like avoiding counter-insurgency and pacifying occupied territories.

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World’s fastest camera shoots 4.4 trillion fps

World’s fastest camera shoots 4.4 trillion fps

The world's fastest camera, capable of shooting at 4.4 trillion frames per second, has been developed in Japan, able to capture movement at one-sixth the speed of light. Using a new technique called Sequentially Times All-optical Mapping Photography (STAMP), the camera is around 1,000 times faster than any of its existing rivals, and opens the door to new understanding of chemical reactions and more.

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