Science

Researchers create robotic octopus skin that’s soft, stretchy, and changes colors

Researchers create robotic octopus skin that’s soft, stretchy, and changes colors

A team of scientists at Cornell University have developed a skin-like material that is not only soft, flexible, and capable of stretching to six times its original size, but features robotics such as color-changing displays and pressure sensitivity. If you've had a fear of robot octopuses before now, your nightmares are coming true. With cephalopods as their inspiration, the engineers imagine the technology could not only lead to soft, adaptable robots, but to stretching and folding display screens.

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Hubble spies most distant galaxy ever discovered

Hubble spies most distant galaxy ever discovered

Scientists from NASA and the ESA have pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to a new distance record. The record comes as the team of researchers has broken the cosmic distance record by measuring the distance to the most distant galaxy ever seen in the Universe. According to scientists, the galaxy they measured existed only 400 million years after the Big Bang.

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Artificial trees generate electricity from small vibrations

Artificial trees generate electricity from small vibrations

Windmills are great, but they do have their downsides: ice is a problem in wintery places, they’re loud if you’re too close, and they’re, you know, enormous. In the future, wind energy generation may look less like giant spinning windmills and more like trees…artificial trees, that is. Researchers with Ohio State University have found that trees experience a type of vibration when shaken that can be used to generate electricity, and this energy generation could be conducted with small-scale artificial trees.

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Astronaut Scott Kelly grew 2 inches while on ISS

Astronaut Scott Kelly grew 2 inches while on ISS

He’s back on Earth, as we all know, and the medical evaluations have begun. Astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days on the International Space Station while his twin brother remained home, it has given NASA the unique opportunity to contrast the effects space has on an astronaut’s body in comparison to the changes that would take place during the same time period spent on Earth. The biggest difference so far? Scott Kelly grew 2-inches taller while on the ISS, and is now designated the taller brother.

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JJ Abrams documentary with Google heads to the moon

JJ Abrams documentary with Google heads to the moon

The folks behind XPRIZE and Google have just revealed that they'll be doing a documentary with Director Orlando von Einsiedel and Executive Producer J.J. Abrams. This piece of work will be a 9-part digital documentary that'll premiere on the 15th of March on Google Play and on the 17th of March on YouTube. It'll cover the set of teams competing in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. Their "quirks." Their sacrifices. Their challenges. All the good stuff.

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Mystery surrounds repeating short bursts of cosmic radio waves

Mystery surrounds repeating short bursts of cosmic radio waves

Astronomers have been searching the skies for a long time seeking out radio signals that they believe intelligent life would be producing. So far, none has been discovered that have proven to be from intelligent life. A new source of very short bursts of radio waves has been discovered from a source that is well beyond the edge of the Milky Way galaxy.

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Ancient sea bear had same bite as saber-toothed tiger

Ancient sea bear had same bite as saber-toothed tiger

An ancient sea bear called Kolponomos ate in the same manner as a saber-toothed tiger, according to researchers. The creature, which is now extinct, has been known to researchers since a handful of skulls were discovered in the Pacific Northwest region of the US, though researchers originally believed them to be some sort of raccoon-like critter. Most recently, scientists have found the sea bear had the same bite pattern as the saber-toothed tiger, which existed millions of years after the bear.

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Scott Kelly is back on earth, let the science continue! [UPDATE]

Scott Kelly is back on earth, let the science continue! [UPDATE]

2015 and 2016 will probably be remembered as some of the best years for space science, exploration, and travel in a long time. We've witnessed the historic encounter between the New Horizons spacecraft and Pluto. We've witnessed the historic successful landings of orbital and sub-orbital rockets. And today we're witnessing the return to Earth of astronauts Scott Kelly and Mikhail Korniyenko from the International Space Station, marking not just the longest mission for the ISS but also the acquisition of a potential treasure trove of scientific and medical data in the person of the astronauts.

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NASA’s next X-plane supersonic passenger jet to be quieter

NASA’s next X-plane supersonic passenger jet to be quieter

Short of finally inventing teleportation systems, plane travel is still the fastest way to travel extremely long distances. However, it still has yet to reach its full potential. Supersonic planes were still in their infancy when the government pulled the plug because of their uncomfortable effects on people on land, the phenomenon more popularly known as Sonic Boom. That was more than half a century ago. NASA thinks that science and technology may have caught up enough to get the ball rolling again to build the world's next supersonic passenger jet, for now nicknamed the X-plane.

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SpaceX’s rescheduled rocket launch will be held this afternoon

SpaceX’s rescheduled rocket launch will be held this afternoon

SpaceX continues to make progress on launching its rockets and attempting to land them on a floating platform at sea. The Elon Musk-founded company was supposed to conduct its second launch of the year this last week in order to send a SES telecommunications satellite into orbit, however it was delayed two times. The second attempt, was to take place on Thursday, but was called off just minutes before the launch time. Now SpaceX and SES have confirmed a new attempt, taking place later this afternoon.

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Salem, Oregon gives up on using goats to ‘mow’ park

Salem, Oregon gives up on using goats to ‘mow’ park

The city of Salem, Oregon had a plan that must have seemed brilliant in someone's mind: renting goats to mow down a city park's brambles, berry bushes, and other troublesome plants one bite at a time. The spirit of the experiment was a noble one -- goats are more environmentally friendly than lawn tractors, and presumably aren't as loud as a gas-powered motor. Unfortunately, they do have one very big downside: a hoard of them together in a park produce a pretty terrible smell.

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NASA’s latest Pluto photo reveals frozen canyons

NASA’s latest Pluto photo reveals frozen canyons

It's been some time now since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft completed its flyby of dwarf planet Pluto, but the project is still producing amazing insights and images. Following recent photos of mountainous regions and a potential ice volcano, NASA has now published an image of the North Pole region, revealing a pockmarked topography full of frozen canyons and valleys. To get a better understanding of just how large and deep all these pits are, the widest area of the planet seen in this photo measures 21,000 miles across.

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