Science

Soft robotic gripper has strength and dexterity for lifting delicate objects

Soft robotic gripper has strength and dexterity for lifting delicate objects

Robotics designers have a tough job in creating lifting "hands" for robotic machines and devices that have the strength to lift items that are heavy while having the ability to handle delicate objects without breaking them. Using electroadhesion, the principal that allows a balloon to stick to a wall after you rub it on your hair, gripping devices for robots may have been changed significantly.

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Researchers recommend approving 3-parent babies for boys only

Researchers recommend approving 3-parent babies for boys only

Three-parent babies is a topic under scrutiny and criticism, not unlike genetically modified human embryos. Under request by the U.S. FDA, the Institute of Medicine has evaluated the notion of three-parent babies and has now published its report. In it, the Institute of Medicine recommends that in cases where there’s risk of mitochondrial diseases, three-parent babies should be allowed. But only if the babies produced are boys.

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Earth will have a small asteroid zip close by in March

Earth will have a small asteroid zip close by in March

This upcoming March will bring with it a small (relatively speaking) asteroid that will zip by our planet at its closest distance so far. The asteroid previously flew by Earth a couple years ago at a distance of 1.3 million miles, nowhere close to hitting us. This upcoming time, though, it may come as close as 11,000 miles to our planet, one of many possible trajectories.

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Researchers develop carbon nanotube material stronger than kevlar

Researchers develop carbon nanotube material stronger than kevlar

While the material pictured above might not look like much, it is actually both stronger and more pliable than kevlar or carbon fiber. Developed by researchers from the East China University of Science & Technology, the film is made from carbon nanotubes, getting its strength from tubes that remain aligned parallel to each other, as opposed to other materials that use different layouts.

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Researchers: ‘lost’ lions aren’t lost, just hiding

Researchers: ‘lost’ lions aren’t lost, just hiding

African lions are, unfortunately, a ‘vulnerable’ species, with the number of members decreasing over the past few decades due in part to poaching. Since the 1980s, the population has been, at minimum, cut in half; furthermore, it was believed the lions were extinct in Sudan. Researchers have reported good news, though, having successfully found these 'lost' lions near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.

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New camo design is (almost) invisible to night vision

New camo design is (almost) invisible to night vision

In a statement today, the Bundeswehr Scientific Institute in Germany unveiled a new camouflage design it has been working on for a handful of years. With this new design, soldiers in the nation's armed forces (Bundeswehr) will be far less visible to night vision devices than when wearing the current "Flecktarnmuster" pattern introduced in the early 90s. This new design, Multitarnmuster, is said to have two big advantages.

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NASA: SLS rocket will carry 13 CubeSats to space in 2018

NASA: SLS rocket will carry 13 CubeSats to space in 2018

NASA has announced that the Space Launch System rocket’s first flight will involve carrying 13 CubeSats into space. The satellites will be a secondary payload, being delivered alongside an Orion spacecraft. Says the space agency, the rocket’s first flight will be called the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), and it will give “the rare opportunity for these small experiments to reach deep space destinations.”

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Listen to Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot speech in Grand Theft Auto

Listen to Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot speech in Grand Theft Auto

If you've never had the chance to watch the original Cosmos with Carl Sagan, then I highly recommend giving it a watch. In fact, I suggest watching any of Carl Sagan's work, as it is not only fascinating, but he has a voice that you can listen to for hours. His most famous speech is The Pale Blue Dot, in which he describes how small our seemingly vast world is, in comparison to the rest of the universe. One Sagan fan decided that the speech needed to be updated in the world of Grand Theft Auto.

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Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Scientists and engineers in Hawaii are working hard on a very interesting lander that could be sent to the Moon or Mars to help get the surface of the planet ready for humans. The lander seen here is called Pisces and in the tradition of spacecraft and other hardware, the name stands for Pacific International Space Center for Exploration.

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UK researchers get permission to genetically modify human embryos

UK researchers get permission to genetically modify human embryos

In September 2015, word surfaced that researchers in the UK had requested permission to genetically modify human embryos, a controversial subject that has stirred both legitimate and conspiratorial concerns alike. This request -- and subsequent permission -- follows news from last year claiming Chinese scientists had performed gene editing on human embryos. Critics fear this will lead to so-called "designer babies."

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Fireball over northeastern U.S. skies was a meteor

Fireball over northeastern U.S. skies was a meteor

A giant fireball that lit up skies across Northeastern U.S. states this weekend was a meteor, and it was captured by numerous cameras across multiple states. The fireball was much bigger than your average shooting star, lighting up the sky substantially in some places. The meteor was spotted in several states, including in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, parts of New England, and more.

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