Science

Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Concern about so-called super bugs -- mutated viruses and bacteria resistant to treatment -- is exceptionally high. The Centers for Disease Control issued a report last year, for example, warning about the threat superbugs pose and potential ramifications if certain actions aren't taken. It is for these reasons the deliberate creation of mutated viruses for research purposes (gain of function research) has been highly controversial, a controversy the US government has stoked by announcing a temporary halt to its funding of such studies.

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New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

Though they're rare, we've all heard the horror stories: people innocently using their smartphones and tablets, only to have them catch fire and/or explode, sometimes causing severe injuries to the users. The reasons this happens are numerous, but in the case of lithium-ion batteries, they can usually be narrowed down to a specific cause: internal short-circuiting. Thanks to a team of researchers from Stanford, that issue could be partially solved via a new technology that alerts when something has gone awry.

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Mars One mission could fail terribly, says MIT students

Mars One mission could fail terribly, says MIT students

The world's interest in sending people to Mars has never been higher, and for good reason: it is cited as both a necessity for the human race, and the technology to pull it off is advancing quickly. Multiple entities are looking into sending people to the Red Planet, perhaps the most notable being Mars One, which is looking to send a group of astronauts on a one-way trip. Unfortunately, as exciting as the prospects are, a group of MIT students says the mission is doomed, and that with the current plan the astronauts would starve.

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Lumia 1020 provides the eyes for 3D-printed observatory

Lumia 1020 provides the eyes for 3D-printed observatory

If you've grown tired of the things you can do with your smartphone's camera, on land or even underwater (depending on your device), perhaps it's time to look to the stars, quite literally. Especially if you have a Lumia 1020, one of pre-Microsoft Nokia's most notable creations, sporting a massive 41 megapixel PureView camera. Although the rest of its specs are pretty dated by today's standards, the is still being put to good use in Ultrascope, the world's first 3D-printed robotic telescope.

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NASA to live chat during Wednesday’s lunar eclipse

NASA to live chat during Wednesday’s lunar eclipse

Every year brings interesting celestial phenomenon, things that have been happening for eons and that continue on regardless. One total lunar eclipse has already taken place this year, and it was grand; if you missed it, however, there's still hope -- this coming Wednesday morning will have the year's second total lunar eclipse take place, lasting for a few or so hours, depending on where you're located. To prepare for this, NASA has collected some relevant data that will, among other things, let you know if you can see it from your spot on the planet.

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Only from space could we spot thousands of underwater mountains

Only from space could we spot thousands of underwater mountains

Not for nothing is it said that we know more about the surface of the moon and nearby planets than we do about the ocean floor, and things have got a whole lot more interesting down there with the discovery of thousands of new deep sea mountains. The freshly-discovered ranges - which could add more than 25,000 known peaks on top of the roughly 5,000 we'd already identified - come as researchers increase the resolution of marine modeling using not submarines and robots but satellites instead.

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MIT develops pill coated with tiny needles to replace shots

MIT develops pill coated with tiny needles to replace shots

Shots are strange things -- though small in the grand scheme of life and injuries, some of the most hardened folks among us turn jelly-knee'd at the sight of them. Perhaps there is some instinctual association between needles and poisonous stingers. Regardless, MIT has developed a potential solution, and it doesn't sound much more comforting: a pill with micro needles.

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