Science

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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Peacocks’ special feather structure creates trippy, hypnotizing ‘dance’

Peacocks’ special feather structure creates trippy, hypnotizing ‘dance’

Peacocks, perhaps nature's most trippy bird, shake their tail feathers when it's time to attract a new mate. Why? Shaking those feathers -- called "train-rattling" -- causes an illusion where the eye-like circles on the feathers become more prominent, seemingly floating outward and hanging in the air. Those circles exist to lure in peahens, but have fascinated more than a few humans, too. Now a new study has taken a closer look at this 'train-rattling' dance and uncovered a few equally fascinating secrets about how it works.

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Microsoft just bought 10m synthetic DNA molecules for data storage

Microsoft just bought 10m synthetic DNA molecules for data storage

In the future, when you need to store more than what your 100 terabyte storage drive can handle, you wouldn't be looking to the cloud for answers, you'll be looking inside yourself. Sort of. This almost zen-like idea isn't just science fiction anymore. It is very well the future of computing. Or at least Microsoft believes so, to the point that it just purchases 10 million long oligonucleotides, a.k.a. DNA molecules, from San Francisco startup Twist Bioscience. These DNA molecules will be used in Microsoft's own research into making synthetic DNA a viable commercial data storage solution.

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SpaceX plans to be on Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to be on Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to land on Mars as early as the year 2018, the company announced in a tweet today. Mars has become the newest goal for space agencies around the world, and companies like SpaceX are helping develop the technology necessary to get humans there. According to the tweet, SpaceX plans to “send a Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come.”

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NASA is training astronauts with new simulators from Boeing

NASA is training astronauts with new simulators from Boeing

NASA has a new pair of training simulators courtesy of Boeing, and they’re designed to train astronauts on how to control the space agency’s next-generation spacecrafts. A pair of crew astronauts tried out the simulators yesterday, with NASA saying they offering realistic simulations of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Astronauts will also be training for the SpaceX Crew Dragon for future International Space Station runs.

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Astronaut Tim Peake completes London marathon on ISS

Astronaut Tim Peake completes London marathon on ISS

In December, the ESA announced that astronaut Tim Peake planned to run the London Marathon while aboard the International Space Station, doing so using a treadmill while a medical team monitored his health. As promised, Peake did just that and successfully completed the run from space, running all 42 kilometers aboard the ISS while everyone else pounded the ground on Earth.

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MOON globe maps our lunar sister in 3D

MOON globe maps our lunar sister in 3D

Ever wonder why your grade school classroom had a globe that accurately mapped our Earth, but never more than a flat sphere for our moon? Oscar Lhermitte and Kudu are aiming to change that sort of situation with a project they call "MOON - the most accurate lunar globe." They've put the project through its Kickstarter paces and have come away with several times their initial goal with half a month left to go - this is not just something a few people want, it's something LOTS of people want.

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Solar Impulse plane lands in California after successfully crossing Pacific

Solar Impulse plane lands in California after successfully crossing Pacific

Following a long 9-month delay in Hawaii, the Solar Impulse 2, a small solar-powered aircraft, finally departed on Thursday to continue its trip across the Pacific Ocean, just a single leg in its flight around the world. The project's team has revealed that the plane successfully completed its flight to California, landing south of San Francisco in Mountain View at around 11:45 PM on April 23rd.

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Your password could soon be a sound from your skull

Your password could soon be a sound from your skull

Fingerprint scanners are becoming the norm for unlocking our mobile devices these days, while iris and facial recognition are also being explored, but the next big solution in biometric authentication might be something that can only come from inside your head. Literally. A group of university researchers in Germany have come up with a system that uses a unique sound that comes from within a user's skull.

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China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants to have its own rover rolling around Mars by the year 2020, and it said in a recent statement that its efforts are proceeding as planned. The project would involve sending a spacecraft to orbit Mars, then have it land on the planet where it — or a rover it deploys — will travel around much like the Curiosity, Opportunity and former Spirit rovers. China has had previous success landing its own rover on the moon.

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