Science

A distant sea of proto-life molecules could mean we’re not alone

A distant sea of proto-life molecules could mean we’re not alone

The building blocks of life have been observed for the first time in a fledgling planetary system light-years away from Earth, a thriving sea of complex organic molecules equal to our own oceans. The discovery, which lends further weight to the idea that our solar system is not the only place where life could have arisen in the universe, was made by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Perhaps even more impressive than their very existence is the fact that the proportions of molecules are similar to those discovered in comets in our own region of space.

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Rice University creates vibrating vest, allowing deaf to feel sounds

Rice University creates vibrating vest, allowing deaf to feel sounds

Almost every perceives sound through hearing, but what if you could touch sound understand it simple by feeling vibrations? In a partnership with the Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University is developing VEST, Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer, a device that could teach the hearing impaired a new language of sound. Rice's electrical engineering students, headed by neuroscientist David Eagleman, developed the wearable vest to take auditory input from its surroundings and transcribe it into vibrations. The vest is essentially creating a new way for people with hearing difficulties to perceive sounds.

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NASA anticipates finding evidence of alien life in 10 to 20 years

NASA anticipates finding evidence of alien life in 10 to 20 years

If you're hoping humans will discover other living beings in the universe during your lifetime, you might be in luck. Speaking yesterday at a panel in DC, NASA researchers touched on the topic of alien life and finding evidence of such, and what they had to say was largely inspiring: it'll eventually happen, and the first stages of that likely within the span of the next 20 years. The prospect is exciting, not the least of which is due to the leaps in space travel humans are likely to make in that same time span.

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Brontosaurus is back! (in 60 years or so)

Brontosaurus is back! (in 60 years or so)

This week there's word going round that Brontosaurus is back. In fact, though, the name is only back according to one study. One study does not make the entire scientific community change its mind. The timeline you'll see below shows when the Brontosaurus was first discovered, when the name Brontosaurus was retired, and how long it took for the entire scientific community to accept the realities therein. It's not as simple as most news stories on this subject this week would have you believe.

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Bezo’s Blue Origin preps for its first unmanned spaceflight

Bezo’s Blue Origin preps for its first unmanned spaceflight

The competition for private spaceflight is gearing up as companies compete for the privilege to send a new breed of tourists into space. Competing with Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk's Space X is Blue Origin, the covert rocket company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin's latest spacecraft is the New Shephard, which is designed to be capable of carrying 3 or more astronauts and a full cargo load into sub-orbital space. New Shephard will soon begin unmanned test flights in sub-orbital space this year.

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Intelligent aliens are (probably) huge, says researcher

Intelligent aliens are (probably) huge, says researcher

It is doubtful humans are alone in the universe, at least when it comes to intelligent beings, and one researcher claims the intelligent aliens that might be out there are probably very, very big...at least in relation to the typical human. Huge, in this case, means somewhere in the realm of 650lbs, and could even be higher. This would place humans on the smaller end of the intelligent beings scale, and probably also means we'd lose in an intergalactic battle.

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Brontosaurus is back from the dead (in name at least)

Brontosaurus is back from the dead (in name at least)

Back when you were a kid and you were first learning about dinosaurs - almost no matter what age you are today - you probably learned about a dinosaur named Brontosaurus. As one of the first dinosaurs to be reconstructed with fossil fragments and shown to the public as a quintessential "thunder lizard," Brontosaurus remained a popular name for a certain kind of long dinosaur for many years after it was formally retired. In 1903, paleontologist Elmer Riggs suggested that traits that separated the Brontosaurus and the Apatosaurus suggested that the former was just a shorter or younger version of the latter. This week that changes.

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NASA says wispy green objects in space are tens of thousands of light years long

NASA says wispy green objects in space are tens of thousands of light years long

NASA seems to always be taking images of some spectacular sights in the universe around us. A series of objects were photographed in deep space that look like wisps of green smoke. NASA thinks that these green wisps are incredibly long gas tails that stretch tens of thousands of light-years long. The tails of gas are being stretched by gravitational forces that are remains of galaxies that merged a very long time ago.

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LHC is active again; proton beams online and firing

LHC is active again; proton beams online and firing

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is back in action today, firing proton beams around its 27-kilometer track. The LHC has been out of active commission for two years for upgrades, maintenance, and consolidation. The most recent delay was due to a short-circuit. Its repairs didn't take as long as originally anticipated, but were tedious because the parts in need of repair operate at temperatures near absolute zero. So, the device had to be slowly thawed and then painstakingly re-frozen before it could begin operation again.

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Blood Moon rising: watch it here LIVE

Blood Moon rising: watch it here LIVE

Be it from your basement on a computer screen or out on your roof at the crack of dawn, you WILL be able to see the blood moon in less than 24 hours from the time this article goes live. The Slooh observatory in Australia is just one of several locations where the event will be captured - and here you'll be able to watch the event unfold as it happens. We'll be watching starting at 3AM Pacific Time, 6AM Eastern. Get your butt out of bed and see some galactic magnificence unfold before your very eyes.

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