Science

SolidEnergy may double battery life of smartphones and drones

SolidEnergy may double battery life of smartphones and drones

If you find that your phone's battery capacity leaves something to be desired, you're definitely not alone. MIT spinout SolidEnergy might have a solution to our battery life problems, though, introducing a new "anode-free" lithium-ion battery that could potentially offer double the life of current batteries on the market. Even better news is that the battery could be available for devices like smartphones as early as next year.

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Facebook AI Research makes fastText open-source

Facebook AI Research makes fastText open-source

Automatic text processing is something that is widely used across the web, whether it's used to understand what you type in a search bar or detect spam in email. Developing fast and efficient text classification, however, is something that has challenged AI researchers throughout the years, and that's why the Facebook AI Research team (FAIR) set out the develop fastText. FAIR has taken things one step further with the fastText, today announcing that it will become open-source.

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July 2016 was the warmest month on record

July 2016 was the warmest month on record

It's a little depressing to keep hearing this, but both the NOAA and NASA have published reports that say July 2016 was the hottest month on record. Not just the hottest July on record or the hottest month of 2016, but the warmest since modern record keeping of global temperatures began way back in 1880.

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Great Lakes’ second-oldest shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario

Great Lakes’ second-oldest shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario

When it comes to shipwrecks discovered in the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan usually gets all the attention. That’s not the case with the latest discovery, though, which has turned up the Great Lakes region's second-oldest shipwreck in Lake Ontario. The ship, which was built in America but owned by Canadians, sank in 1803. The team behind the discovery announced their find in a statement today, saying the shipwreck concerns the vessel “Washington," which has long been known to have sank during a storm.

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This Hidden Figures trailer is a preview of a true story from NASA

This Hidden Figures trailer is a preview of a true story from NASA

This week the first trailer for Hidden Figures was released, showing a preview of a movie based on a book based on a true story. This movie is about three African American women who broke stereotypical barriers to not only work at NASA in the late 1960s, but play key roles in the United States' efforts to catch Russia in the original Space Race. The original book "Hidden Figures" was written by Margot Lee Shetterly and the screenplay for this film was written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi.

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Bananas may go extinct soon, but DNA sequencing will (likely) prevent it

Bananas may go extinct soon, but DNA sequencing will (likely) prevent it

A fungus that has been threatening banana crops for many years could bring the fruit to the point of extinction within the next ten years. That is, if researchers don't find a way to combat the fungus in a way that it can't adapt to overcome, which is the subject of a newly published study in PLOS. Most commonly referred to by the disease it causes -- black leaf streak disease -- the fungus Pseudocercospora fijiensis is the most harrowing pathogen in the banana industry, but thanks to recent work decoding its genome, there may be a way to stop it.

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SpaceX lands sixth Falcon 9 rocket, fourth time at sea

SpaceX lands sixth Falcon 9 rocket, fourth time at sea

SpaceX's successful launches and landings of its Falcon 9 rockets are starting to become a common occurrence. The private space agency once again landed its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea, following the 1:30 AM Sunday launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral. This marks SpaceX's sixth successful landing total, and the fourth recovery at sea.

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ESA is planning a Mars vehicle landing for this October

ESA is planning a Mars vehicle landing for this October

This upcoming October, the Schiaparelli module launched back in March of this year on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), will land on Mars. The European Space Agency is leading this mission, and will use it to demonstrate its own controlled (and hopefully successful) landing of a vehicle on the Mars’ surface. This mission will help refine future ESA missions to the Red Planet, and will also return a limited but still significant set of scientific data.

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Deep Space Industries ‘Prospector-1’ will evaluate an asteroid for mining

Deep Space Industries ‘Prospector-1’ will evaluate an asteroid for mining

Deep Space Industries has announced plans to send its Prospector-1 spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid in the next handful of years, doing so to evaluate the asteroid for potential mining missions. The company hopes to one day mine materials from such celestial objects, something that will one day be a major part of the so-called space economy. The Prospector-1 will be building upon the company’s upcoming Prospector-X mission, a low-Earth orbit project for testing technologies that may be used in future space missions.

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We still can’t pin down dark matter

We still can’t pin down dark matter

As fruitless hunts go, the search for dark matter takes some beating, forcing researchers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to branch out as they hunt for evidence of currently-theoretical particles. Though it's believed to make up the majority of the matter in the universe - around 80-percent, experts claim - dark matter is proving frustratingly elusive to actually identify, and now NASA's team is getting creative to try to pin it down.

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Walk Again Project uses machines to help people regain mobility

Walk Again Project uses machines to help people regain mobility

One of the most devastating types of injuries that a person can suffer is a spinal injury that makes them unable to walk again. An international collaboration of scientists is working with robotic equipment under the umbrella of a project dubbed "Walk Again Project" to use non-invasive brain-machine interfaces to allow people to walk again. The process involved having people with injuries perform brain training while interacting with robot-like machines.

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Researchers create stretchable touchpad that could be implanted

Researchers create stretchable touchpad that could be implanted

I readily admit going into this that the thought of implanting a touchpad inside the body is very disturbing to me. That is exactly what scientists at Seoul National University have come up with. This touchpad can be used to write words and play electronic games according to the inventors. It's made from the same sort of soft and stretch hydrogel that is used to make soft contact lenses.

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