Science

Science Fiction: Roswell Alien Slides Debunked

Science Fiction: Roswell Alien Slides Debunked

Several sixty-year-old slides, recently claimed by their owner, Adam Dew, to be photos of aliens from Roswell, New Mexico, have been debunked. Just this past week, several people - citizens, UFO "believers" and even some so-called experts in the field - were invited to a New Mexico event to screen a documentary on the slides. As it turns out, the images show no more than the remains of a mummified child. The child currently resides in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, after having visited San Francisco on temporary loan in the 1940s.

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This stunning blue Mars sunset makes Monday feel easier

This stunning blue Mars sunset makes Monday feel easier

Monday can be tough, but spare a thought for NASA's Curiosity rover, up on Mars witnessing spectacular blue sunsets but with no-one to watch them with. The first such sunset to be captured in color by the plucky robot rover, the four shots - you can see the animation after the cut - were snapped on April 15, 2015 from Mars' Gale Crater, as Curiosity marked its 956th Martian day on the red planet.

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tDCS study shows brain zapping (probably) isn’t making you smarter

tDCS study shows brain zapping (probably) isn’t making you smarter

We've seen numerous tDCS headsets over the years, such as the Foc.us headset targeted at gamers and the Halo headset that tries to make you smarter. A new study shows that you might want to think twice before going all-in with tDCS units, however, at least if getting smarter is your goal. A new paper from researchers at the University of North Carolina detailed a double-blind study involving 41 participants that aimed to see how effective tDCS headsets are. The results were less than stunning.

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Hubble spots giant gas halo around Andromeda Galaxy

Hubble spots giant gas halo around Andromeda Galaxy

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a giant gas halo around the Andromeda Galaxy, something that is said to be so large it stretched approximately a million lightyears from the Andromeda Galaxy and halfway to the Milky Way. The discovery was made by a team of researchers being led by Notre Dame’s Nicolas Lehner, an astrophysicist. With this discovery, researchers will be able to discern more about these massive spiral galaxies, including both the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way.

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Spiders spiked with graphene weave ultra-strong webs

Spiders spiked with graphene weave ultra-strong webs

University of Trento researchers have discovered a way to give spiders ultra-strong silk, and it involves spiking the spiders with graphene. The graphene (or carbon nanotubes) is said to only be as thick as an atom, and is mixed with water and then sprayed onto spiders. When those spiders weave silk, the resulting silk is so strong it eclipses the strongest natural spider silk (from a giant riverine orb spider) 3.5 times. The researchers describe most of the silk produced as "super silk".

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Mercury’s magnetic mystery deepens with suicide probe data

Mercury’s magnetic mystery deepens with suicide probe data

NASA's Messenger probe may have ended its four year mission by crashing into Mercury last week, but its rich data is still turning up new discoveries for scientists. Readings taken while Messenger buzzed the surface of Mercury - at times less than 10 miles up - have revealed an unexpectedly long legacy of magnetic fields, matched only by Earth's in the inner solar system, which raises new questions about how the planet formed.

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Solar space sail imagined by Carl Sagan readies for test flight

Solar space sail imagined by Carl Sagan readies for test flight

Carl Sagan, creator of the original Cosmos series, proposed that a spaceship could use solar sails, powered by only the sun's rays, to glide through space. Now, the Planetary Society, co-founded by Sagan, and currently run by none other than Bill Nye, is planning a test flight for LightSail, a spacecraft based on his vision. LightSail is an incredibly small spacecraft, measuring in at only 10 x 30 cm, which is about the size of a loaf of bread. The small little box holds 32 square meters of mylar, which will unfold to create solar sails, designed to glide on energy from solar radiation in the same manner that a sailboat is powered by wind.

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Researchers create artificial muscle using onion cells

Researchers create artificial muscle using onion cells

We've seen different varieties of artificial muscles -- which will be used in things like robotics -- in the past, though none of them have thus far offered something equal to real muscle. That could be changing soon thanks to onions, particularly the thin skin-like substance that lies beneath the husk and over the meat of the onion. Using that layer, a little bit of gold, and an electrical current, researchers were able to create an artificial muscle that both contracts and bends, solving a problem that has long-plagued researchers.

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Loki may prove evolution of all complex-celled life

Loki may prove evolution of all complex-celled life

A life form called Lokiarchaeota, or "Loki" for short, may prove to be the missing link between simple and complex-cell organisms here on Earth. The discovery of Loki could have major implications for everyone from scientists to text-book writers - not to mention those interested in disproving humanity's evolution from single-celled organisms. Loki was discovered near the hostile underwater environment called Loki's Castle, located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Norway and Greenland, over 2,000 meters below the surface of the water. Loki looks like the Norse god-like character Loki too, in an abstract sort of way.

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