Science

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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Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry will be opening up an “in-depth and interactive” exhibit focused on DARPA, the government’s military research agency. DAPRA has existed for decades and has made many of its projects publicly known, but that doesn’t mean information about the agency itself is easy to come by. The exhibit will change that, featuring 5,000 square feet of displays and activities.

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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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Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

A simulation of a Martian day has revealed the possible cause of Mars’ extensive seasonal gullies: boiling water. The conclusion was made after researchers used Open University’s Large Mars Chamber, a steel decompression chamber equipped with simulated hills, to test the effects of water running down the surface. The gullies were first discovered in 2011, and how they formed had largely remained a mystery.

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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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UAE considers building faux mountain to increase rainfall

UAE considers building faux mountain to increase rainfall

The United Arab Emirates is considering building a fake mountain to, it hopes, increase rainfall in the region. Later this summer, the US’s National Center for Atmospheric Research will provide the UAE with a report on the first stage of its evaluation of the plan — NCAR is looking into what kind of weather effects a man-made mountain would have, the kind of slopes it would need, and how tall it would have to be.

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See SpaceX land a rocket at sea in 360-degree video

See SpaceX land a rocket at sea in 360-degree video

Back in early April, Elon Musk's SpaceX finally achieved its goal of landing its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea. Shortly after, the space agency shared some impressive photos of the landing, but now they've gone one step further and released an amazing 360-degree video of the event. The footage gives you a first-hand look at what it would be like to stand on the floating platform as the rocket touches down above you.

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Astronomers discover tailless comet almost as old as Earth

Astronomers discover tailless comet almost as old as Earth

Scientists have discovered a space rock that's like nothing seen before: a comet that has no tail. While being the first of its kind makes it a truly rare find in itself, the comet is also believed to have been formed around the same time as Earth. Asteroids and comets are believed to have been created during the violent formation of the Solar System, but this example has been described as being in pristine condition, and thus contains samples of the material present when the Earth formed billions of years ago.

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Science says dogs hate being hugged

Science says dogs hate being hugged

Sorry dog owners, your favorite furry companion probably doesn't like your hugs. Sure, humans enjoy hugs — more than a few studies have found them to be a developmental necessity — but dogs aren’t humans, and, frankly, hugs freak them out. Why? When a dog doesn't like something, it runs away; it can't run away when you're hugging it, though, so your affection is perceived as something akin to shackles around the paws.

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Large Hadron Collider’s shutdown caused by sneaky weasel

Large Hadron Collider’s shutdown caused by sneaky weasel

The Large Hadron Collider recently went offline, prompting engineers to start poking around for an explanation. The machine is 17-miles long, and hunting down a cause can be time consuming; it wasn’t long before the problem was found, though, and it was pretty unexpected. As it turns out, a weasel (or possibly a marten) made its way into the region and chewed through a power cable.

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Researchers map individual words to specific brain regions

Researchers map individual words to specific brain regions

Researchers with the University of California, Berkeley, have detailed how the so-called “semantic system” in the human brain works, and their work could one day help form treatments for injuries and diseases that affect one’s ability to speak. The study’s lead author Alex Huth was one of several volunteers who listened to more than two hours’ worth of radio shows while positioned inside an fMRI machine, shedding light on how the brain reacts to words and, eventually helping create a map of sorts.

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