Science

Newly developed sponge material sucks up oil spills

Newly developed sponge material sucks up oil spills

Oil spill catastrophes like the Gulf Coast BP disaster in 2010 are difficult to clean up, with current methods being expensive and inefficient, not to mention time consuming. Researchers from Deakin University and several other institutions may have the solution, however, and it comes in the form of a new material. Called boron nitride nanosheet, this material is described as functioning like a sponge, absorbing oil directly out of the water.

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Global bicycle ownership rates see big downturn

Global bicycle ownership rates see big downturn

According to new research, the number of households that own a bicycle is decreasing drastically across the globe, with 148 countries showing an average decline of 50% over a few decades. This comes at a time when climate change concerns and sustainability efforts are at an all time high; cycling is one of the most sustainable forms of transportation, but one that many people far and wide are turning away from. A total of 1.25 billion households were looked at over the course of the study, and ownership was split into four groups.

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Fast Radio Burst from space found rich with data

Fast Radio Burst from space found rich with data

While astronomers have known about Fast Radio Bursts for a while now, never before have they been able to be utilized as they are here in the year 2015. A study has been published which not only shows where one unique fast radio burst likely originates from, but what sorts of elements in encountered on its way to our sensors, billions of light-years away from its source. Behold, FRB 110523, the object of this galactic study. The data it brings tells tales of its travels.

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Your brain is a ‘unique mosaic’ of male and female structures

Your brain is a ‘unique mosaic’ of male and female structures

Society says — nay, insists! — that male and female brains are wired differently. Whether you like this or dislike that is because of your brain’s gender wiring, according to popular opinion. Your passions and preferences and tendencies and personality? The result of your gender-specific brain, many insist. That's not true, though, at least according to a new research project that found brains are highly variable with “a unique mosaic of features” common to both genders.

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Researchers: printing eyes on items reduces littering

Researchers: printing eyes on items reduces littering

Researchers at Newcastle University have found that leaflets with eyes printed on them were discarded as litter far less frequently than a leaflet printed without eyes. The reason is likely due to human nature — we’re more conscious of our actions and more likely to behave according to social rules and norms if we know others -- and, apparently, pieces of paper -- are watching us.

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Newly discovered dinosaur footprints reveal they once roamed Scottish lagoon

Newly discovered dinosaur footprints reveal they once roamed Scottish lagoon

Researchers recently uncovered Scotland's largest dinosaur site when they came across hundreds of dinosaur footprints dating as far back as 170 million years. The site was found near the Isle of Skye, along the nation's shore, with data indicating the footprints were left in the Middle Jurassic period, when the area was a sandy, saltwater lagoon. Not only do scientists know what kind of dinosaur left the footprints, but that they were likely walking in shallow water when the prints were made.

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Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft gets second chance at Venus

Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft gets second chance at Venus

The Japanese space organization JAXA launched a probe aimed at Venus half a decade ago called Akatsuki. The spacecraft traveled through space for a bit over five months and when it went to insert itself into orbit around Venus, a thruster failed and it sailed past its target. At the time, scientists at JAXA thought that the next chance for Akatsuki to reach Venus would be seven years away.

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NASA Space Cups let astronauts drink liquids without a straw

NASA Space Cups let astronauts drink liquids without a straw

The days of astronauts having to drink to liquids from a vacuum-sealed pouch with a straw may soon be over. NASA and engineering firm IRPI have teamed up for a new study involving experimental "Space Cups" that allow astronauts in microgravity to drink from a glass as they would on Earth. The Space Cups are currently aboard the International Space Station for the Capillary Beverage Experiment, and while they may not be as fancy as the concept space glass from whiskey distillery Ballantine, they do function similarly.

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Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

A recent post on Reddit drew attention to the happy conclusion of what has ended up being a long and somewhat exciting story. It started back in 2008 when a clay ball containing seeds was discovered in the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. Upon review, it turned out the seeds were about 850 years old, and efforts were taken to see if they'd grow. As it turns out, they did, and the world now has a formally extinct giant squash as the result.

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Researchers create diamond at room temperature

Researchers create diamond at room temperature

Scientists have discovered a new solid carbon phase dubbed Q-carbon, which can be used to create diamond structures at both regular atmospheric pressure and room temperatures. Q-carbon itself is harder than diamond, but also too new for use in common applications. As such, researchers have developed a specific method to create diamond structures within the Q-carbon, the uses for which are both extensive and varied.

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Humai wants people to live forever, but experts are doubtful

Humai wants people to live forever, but experts are doubtful

Over the weekend, you may have caught wind about a new startup and its not-so-new idea to bring people back to life using a mixture of cryonics and other science. Some immediately called it a hoax, but others have been kind enough to entertain it as a maybe-they’re-serious proposal. For those in the latter camp, take note: experts have already surfaced who, to put it mildly, are doubtful about the company's claims.

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