Science

Ontario bill will make parents take a class to get vaccine exemptions

Ontario bill will make parents take a class to get vaccine exemptions

Before getting a vaccination exemption, parents in Ontario may first have to attend an educational class teaching them about vaccines, what they are, and why they are important. Such is the foundation of new legislation recently introduced in the region, and it aims to reduce the number of parents who choose to skip vaccines over fears about autism, random conspiracy theories, and other concerns.

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Origami robot is able to unfold and treat stomach injuries when swallowed

Origami robot is able to unfold and treat stomach injuries when swallowed

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and MIT have teamed up to demonstrate a new foldable origami robot that can be ingested and then controlled inside the stomach to treat internal wounds or remove things like button batteries from the stomach. Button batteries are at times swallowed by children and can cause great injury if left alone. The ingestible robot starts in a digestible capsule that is swallowed.

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Ax fragment found in Australia is world’s oldest

Ax fragment found in Australia is world’s oldest

The world’s oldest ax fragment has been discovered in Western Australia, researchers have announced. The fragment is very small, being only about the size of a dime or a fingernail, but it shows a distinct shape and polish that hints at its past life — as a tool used during the Stone Age by humans to make life a bit easier. According to researchers, the tool hints that these newly-arrived humans were technically inclined and able to craft items for use in the rather inhospitable Australian wild.

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The ISS is full of microbes, and NASA may get a shipment of them today

The ISS is full of microbes, and NASA may get a shipment of them today

The International Space Station is home to all manner of experiments, being used to test everything from how plants grow in space to how whiskey is affected. The ISS is also home to to various Earth microbes that are being exposed to a microgravity environment, presenting researchers with a chance to study how such an environment affects them. The space agency is performing a three-part study on these microbes, and it might get its final batch in a shipment from space today.

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Teen finds lost Mayan city using his own star map discovery

Teen finds lost Mayan city using his own star map discovery

A 15-year-old Canadian teenager has seemingly discovered a long-lost Mayan city after noticing previously-undiscovered correlations between maps of star constellations and the locations of the largest (known) Mayan cities. At some point William Gadoury realized that the two matched up — something, apparently, no one had ever noticed before. After using his discovery to match 117 Mayan cities with 22 star constellations, he discovered that one was missing…and, soon after, satellites revealed that he had probably pinpointed it correctly on a map.

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Sea swallows five Solomon Islands as water levels rise

Sea swallows five Solomon Islands as water levels rise

Climate change has claimed five small Pacific islands, according to a new report in the journal Environmental Researcher Letters. None of the islands were home to humans, and they ranged in size from 2.5 to 12.4 acres — not huge, certainly, but still quite large and equally beautiful. The five are among the Solomon Islands, and they aren’t the only casualties of rising water levels — half a dozen other islands in the region have lost large portions of their land to the sea, and in some cases, villages were destroyed and their residents had to flee.

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NASA: Kepler has discovered (at least) 1,284 new planets

NASA: Kepler has discovered (at least) 1,284 new planets

NASA has unleashed some big news today: out of thousands of potential new planets spotted by the Kepler space telescope, 1,284 of them have been verified as new planets, and that could just be the start of things. It all started with Kepler’s July 2015 catalog of potential planets — there were 4,302 of them in total. Following an analysis, NASA determined that 1,284 of them are probably planets (greater than 99-percent odds), and that another 1,327 potential planets may be added to the ‘verified planets’ list after additional analyses are wrapped up.

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MARLO bipedal robot walks over snow and rough terrain with ease

MARLO bipedal robot walks over snow and rough terrain with ease

Researchers from the University of Michigan have been working on a freestanding bipedal robot called MARLO. Electrical engineering professor Jessy Grizzle and his students have been working on MARLO in an attempt to get the unsupported robot to be able to walk across varied terrain without issue. The team believes that the feedback control used in the robot could be used in other devices like powered prosthetic legs in the future.

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Drug-sniffing car can find your drugs…even if you’re hundreds of feet away

Drug-sniffing car can find your drugs…even if you’re hundreds of feet away

Drug-sniffing dogs are notoriously unreliable, but what about drug-sniffing cars? University of North Texas chemistry professor Dr. Guido Verbeck has created what is said to be the first-ever ‘drug-sniffing’ car, and it’s able to locate illicit drugs with surprising accuracy…even if they’re located hundreds of feet away, depending on the quantity and substance. In one case, the car sniffed out a fake meth lab down to a 15-foot accuracy from a quarter of a mile away.

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An Ephemeral Tattoo isn’t forever, unless you want it to be

An Ephemeral Tattoo isn’t forever, unless you want it to be

Tattoos are forever. Well, you can get rid of them with costly laser treatment, but otherwise, that ink isn't going anywhere. Most people are pretty happy with the knowledge that the artwork they paid for will be with them forever. However, for those that don't want something that will last for the rest of their life, there may be a new option.

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Mercury Transit sets planet against our sun

Mercury Transit sets planet against our sun

This morning the planet Mercury passed between our planet and our Sun, allowing us to see its silhouette with clarity. This is one of about 13 times the planet passes between ours and the sun per century - the last time this happened, you probably didn't have a smartphone - back in 2006. The image you see above comes from NASA and was captured by Bill Ingalls. NASA has also provided a time-lapse video showing the passing of the planet across the face of our sun.

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Invisible ‘second skin’ blocks UV rays, may help treat skin diseases

Invisible ‘second skin’ blocks UV rays, may help treat skin diseases

Researchers have developed a polymer they call a ‘second skin,’ and it could one day be used to apply medication directly to a person's skin or to protect against UV exposure, among other things. The polymer comes from Olivo Labs, a company that focuses on creating proprietary biomaterials for use in the dermatological field. Researchers call their new polymer ‘XPL,’ and say it offers the same mechanical properties as “youthful [real] skin."

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