Science

Mars solar conjunction will cause spacecraft communications to degrade in June

Mars solar conjunction will cause spacecraft communications to degrade in June

Every 26 months Mars ends up behind the sun when seen from the perspective of Earth. That means that while the Red Planet is behind the Sun, communications between the spacecraft on and orbiting the planet will be diminished. The phenomenon is known as the Mars solar conjunction and leads to disrupted radio communications between the planets. To prevent any garbled communications between Earth and Mars from causing potential harm to spacecraft, communications are stopped temporarily.

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Amazon conservation group use drones to fight rain forest logging

Amazon conservation group use drones to fight rain forest logging

While drones are getting a lot of press these days as either high-tech toys or dangerous hazards, they are also being used as effective tools for great causes. Take the Amazon Basin Conservation Association for example, who use a custom drone to fly above the rain forest in Peru, scanning for illegal logging and mining taking place, both of which damage the local ecosystem. The group uses a custom made wing-style drone to get more range than a quadcopter, and are able to protect a reserve that measures 550-square-miles.

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After glitch, LightSail spacecraft finally unfurls its sails

After glitch, LightSail spacecraft finally unfurls its sails

The LightSail has finally deployed its solar sails after encountering glitches that if unsolved, could have scrapped the mission. LightSail was launched into space almost forty years after science fiction genius, Carl Sagan, first thought of the idea of a spacecraft that could sail by solar rays. The project is headed by the Planetary Society, which touts Bill Nye (the Science Guy) as its CEO. After encountering a software glitch that left the LightSail unresponsive and unable to send data back to earth, the ground team went into overdrive trying to solve the problem.

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Astonishing new test could expose your entire virus history

Astonishing new test could expose your entire virus history

Worried you won't be able to remember every virus you've been infected with in the event you have to fill out a detailed medical history? Don't be. Scientists have come up with a new type of blood test that can determine every virus to have entered your body. Traces of antibodies generated by your body to fight infections can remain in your bloodstream for decades, so that's what the new test, dubbed VirScan, analyzes in order to come up with a list of previous attackers.

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Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

Brainprints may replace passwords for securing systems

A group of researchers has published a research paper that outlines a new biometric security procedure that might one day be used to replace passwords, retinal scans, and fingerprint data for securing systems. The paper is called "Brainprint" and according to the study, the way your brain reacts to certain words could be used to replace passwords in the future. The study was conducted by researchers from Binghamton University.

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Seven new frog species discovered in Brazil

Seven new frog species discovered in Brazil

Researchers have discovered seven new frog species on seven different mountains in southeastern Brazil. This region is known for having what scientists call "cloud forests" that have unique climates. Each of the cloud forests are separated by warmer valleys that isolate the mountain peaks as if they were islands. The isolated cloud forests have so far led to the discovery of 21 species of Brachycephalus frogs.

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Climate change “hiatus” a false hope says NOAA

Climate change “hiatus” a false hope says NOAA

No global warming slow-down, no "hiatus": climate change is real and if anything it could be getting faster, US scientists have warned. Challenging claims that Earth temperature levels had plateaued in recent years, the researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information blamed poor quality historic records, along with failures in how different sources of data were balanced, for mistakenly suggesting that the situation had improved.

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Hellboy, the newly-named dinosaur “out of left field”

Hellboy, the newly-named dinosaur “out of left field”

Today the Regaliceratops dinosaur, nicknamed "Hellboy" by its discoverer, is revealed to the scientific community. Described today in the science journal Current Biology, Royal Tyrrell Museum paleontologists Caleb Brown and Donald Henderson tell of a discovery made - almost by accident - on the shores of the Oldman River in Alberta, Canada back in 2005. Regaliceratops is one of a wide array of dinosaurs that - at first glance - might remind you of the very famous dinosaur triceratops. In fact it's similar, but not the same.

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Nano-spirals may bring on unbreakable, unfakeable security scans

Nano-spirals may bring on unbreakable, unfakeable security scans

Students and faculty at Vanderbilt University have fabricated arrays of ultra-tiny spirals that may well be the key to card-based security. This team of researchers created spirals that are around six million times smaller than a dime, recording data about them then with ultrafast lasers at both Vanderbilt and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. What they discovered was a number of unique properties that would be perfect for digital security measures on physical objects. Identification cards, credit cards, and security cards of all sorts could be improved by these micro-spirals.

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Seven toxic mini-frog species discovered in mountain cloud forests

Seven toxic mini-frog species discovered in mountain cloud forests

Seven new species of extra-tiny frog have been discovered in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest and shown in research published this week. The extent of what we know about the miniaturized frog genus Brachycephalus has expanded greatly, suddenly, as this paper shows 5 years of exploration revealing seven new species of the creature. Each of these frogs is very brightly colored, and each has a highly potent neurotoxin in their skin. In other words, though they may look tasty, you should not eat them.

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