Science

NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA makes 56 patents public domain, launches searchable database

NASA has released a bunch of patents for its technologies so that anyone can use them. A total of 56 “formerly-patented” technologies developed by the government are now available in the public domain, meaning they can be used for commercial purposes in an unrestricted manner. To make it easier to find these technologies and others like them, NASA has also created a new searchable database that links the public to thousands of the agency’s now-expired patents.

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Newly discovered stick insect is world’s longest at over half a meter

Newly discovered stick insect is world’s longest at over half a meter

The bug you're seeing here is no doubt creepy as hell, but it also happens to be a new species of stick insect, and one that is now believed to be the world's longest insect in general. Discovered in China in 2014 in the Guangxi Zhuang region, scientists say it belongs to the Phryganistria genus, and measures an incredible 62.4 centimeters long.

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Australian study sees no link between cell phones and brain cancer

Australian study sees no link between cell phones and brain cancer

Someone called Derva Davis made waves across Australia earlier this year with an alarmist campaign to convince people that cities where cell phone use was high had greater incidences of disease such as brain cancer. Now a researcher who was at the time working on a research paper specifically looking at the link between mobile phone use in Australia and brain cancer has published his paper and is able to talk about the results.

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SpaceX didn’t fail at landing a rocket at sea after all

SpaceX didn’t fail at landing a rocket at sea after all

Some recommend your expectations low so that you will be pleasantly surprised when you succeed but won't take it too hard when you fail. That might not be the reasoning behind SpaceX's less than enthusiastic outlook as it launched another Falcon 9 to put the JCSAT-14 commercial communications satellite into orbit. It already set a low probability for making a safe sea landing this time around because of the specifics of this mission. Well, guess what? SpaceX nailed it yet again. So yes, it successfully landed another rocket at sea.

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Breakthrough embryo research puts 14 day rule in spotlight

Breakthrough embryo research puts 14 day rule in spotlight

The legal and ethical implications of human embryo research are set to make waves once more, with breakthrough research drastically extending how long petri dish embryos can survive. Two experiments have shown that lab-grown embryos - in both cases using donated human cells - could be kept for significantly longer than with any previous technique.

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SkinTrack turns your body into a trackpad controller

SkinTrack turns your body into a trackpad controller

Today a group within Carnegie Mellon University have broadened our "smart touch" horizons. Touchpads and touchscreens - a thing of the past. Smartphones, smart watches, and smart devices of all sorts will be changed forever. This group has made a technology that uses your skin as a controller. Instead of swiping back and forth on the screen of your phone, you'll swipe back and forth on your wrist. Instead of scrolling on the screen of your watch, you'll scroll by brushing your hand. How simple. How perfect.

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UC Irvine researchers “accidentally” make near-immortal battery

UC Irvine researchers “accidentally” make near-immortal battery

Some discoveries, like Penicillin, happen accidentally. There's even a word for it: serendipity. While careful, scientific procedures did surround most of those, the accidental discoveries sometimes overshadow the original goals of the experiment. Take for example the case of researchers from the University of California Irvine, who embarked on a quest to design a battery that didn't use unstable, flammable liquid. In the process, however, they "accidentally" created a battery that could be charged hundreds of thousands of types without a degradation in its charge.

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Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry will be opening up an “in-depth and interactive” exhibit focused on DARPA, the government’s military research agency. DAPRA has existed for decades and has made many of its projects publicly known, but that doesn’t mean information about the agency itself is easy to come by. The exhibit will change that, featuring 5,000 square feet of displays and activities.

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Australia will use herpes to destroy pesky carp fish

Australia will use herpes to destroy pesky carp fish

Carp, a pest fish in Australia, will be facing an epidemic sometime around 2018, at least if the Australian government follows through with a newly announced plan. The nation’s deputy prime minister has announced “carpageddon,” a program that will use a herpes virus to eradicate the European carp and, hopefully, make it possible for native species to better thrive in local waterways.

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Teen develops low-cost bioreactor for growing mini-brains

Teen develops low-cost bioreactor for growing mini-brains

A teenager has developed a new type of miniature bioreactor called SpinΩ that can be used to grow miniature brains -- the bioreactor costs about $400 to make, which is substantially cheaper than the $2,000 or so conventional systems cost. The teenager is Christopher Hadiono, and he was 16-years-old when he first approached Hongjun Song about spending the summer of 2013 in Song’s John Hopkins University lab. By the end of that summer, Hadiono had created his machine.

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Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

A simulation of a Martian day has revealed the possible cause of Mars’ extensive seasonal gullies: boiling water. The conclusion was made after researchers used Open University’s Large Mars Chamber, a steel decompression chamber equipped with simulated hills, to test the effects of water running down the surface. The gullies were first discovered in 2011, and how they formed had largely remained a mystery.

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Sanitizing cow farts before they happen could slow climate change

Sanitizing cow farts before they happen could slow climate change

Steaks are good, yes. So are burgers on the grill and a roast in the oven. Cows, though, aren’t so great for the environment, an issue that must be addressed as the world becomes hotter and climate change becomes more rapid. It takes a lot of water to raise a cow, but that's arguably not humanity's biggest concern at the moment. It is farts...cow farts, to be specific. A cow's fart has a lot of methane, and methane is a big contributor toward a warmer planet.

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