Science

Micro-scallop robot can swim through blood, eyeballs

Micro-scallop robot can swim through blood, eyeballs

Some of us might imagine robots to be big hulking contraptions of mass destruction, but one of the applications of robotics and science goes in the opposite direction, scaling down these objects so that they could be used for medical purposes. But alas, the laws of physics, as often is the case, hinder instead of help, preventing microscopic robots from swimming inside our bodies for whatever purposes. Prof. Peer Fischer and his research team at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany, however, might have found a way around that limitation.

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Cyborg cockroach experiment locates disaster survivors through sound

Cyborg cockroach experiment locates disaster survivors through sound

They may be one of the most disgusting insects you've ever seen, and laying eyes on one in your kitchen probably makes you want to scream, but one day cyborg cockroaches could save your life if you're trapped in a disaster. A pair of researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a way to control the bugs through a circuit board connected to their brain, and having them find the sources of sounds, including human voices.

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Dinosaur skull’s 3D digital restoration brings wide access to researchers

Dinosaur skull’s 3D digital restoration brings wide access to researchers

Fossils are an important part of palaeontological research, but their fragile and precious nature makes access difficult for many. To solve this problem, researchers from the University of Bristol and more have restored a damaged dinosaur skull digitally, turning it into a complete 3D model with the damaged and missing portions corrected. With these 3D models, scientists are able to study fossils without physically accessing them, something that simultaneously helps preserve fossils and increase access to them. The work was recently detailed in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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Scientists find young star with small planets orbiting

Scientists find young star with small planets orbiting

How did we come to encircle the sun? Why do we orbit as we do, and why are other planets circling the big orange globe with us? Those are questions we may understand to some degree, but a new finding may shed light on how it all really began. A young star has been discovered with some very small planets beginning to form around it, with their orbit already being decided. It may not be the birth of our universe, but it’s very similar.

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Astronauts trap GoPro in floating water orb on ISS

Astronauts trap GoPro in floating water orb on ISS

This week NASA posted a video on its YouTube page of astronauts playing with a GoPro and an orb of water they had floating around. Like magic, they trapped the action camera in the sphere of water while it was recording, showing what the world looks like from inside of a water bubble, as well as what a GoPro looks like when encased and floating. As you'd expect, this took place on the International Space Station, and was part of a look at water surface tension as experienced in a microgravity environment.

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Orbital to rent rockets to keep ISS resupply going

Orbital to rent rockets to keep ISS resupply going

Astronauts on the International Space Station won't go hungry, despite the Antares resupply rocket exploding last week, with Orbital Sciences planning to outsource launches while it brings forward its next-gen rocket plans. The incident shortly after takeoff on Monday last week, which saw Orbital's third resupply mission to the ISS unexpectedly curtailed though thankfully with no loss of life, has forced the company to "accelerate" its upgrade of the medium-class launcher's main production system, it announced today. Still, there should be no extra cost or delay to NASA, Orbital insists.

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Virgin Galactic backers said wavering after spaceship crash

Virgin Galactic backers said wavering after spaceship crash

Virgin Galactic is pushing ahead with construction of its second SpaceShipTwo craft, following the first's disastrous crash last Friday, though some early ticket holders are already backing out and requesting refunds. The second space ship - which will carry serial number two - is around 65-percent built, Virgin Galactic said today. Meanwhile, outspoken company founder Richard Branson has accused "self-proclaimed experts" of drawing conclusions about the craft's safety when "a lot of whom know nothing about what they talk about," following early statements by the National Transportation Safety Board about initial findings.

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Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, has spoken publicly on the crash of SpaceShipTwo, promising to not only figure out what brought down the craft during a test flight last week, but hopefully continue working toward the dream of space tourism. The incident, on Friday, saw SpaceShipTwo explode over the Mojave desert in California during a test of the new engine, killing one pilot in the process and leaving the other with major injuries. Second explosion of a private space endeavor in the space of a week, it has renewed questions around commercial space flight.

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has crashed during today's test flight, with the high-speed rocket plane coming down east of Mojave. Virgin Galactic first confirmed an incident had taken place via Twitter, with a terse message saying the space plane "has experienced an in-flight anomaly," and promising additional information on the situation to follow. According to local reports, which also confirmed the crash, there has been one fatality and one injury, with SpaceShipTwo itself in pieces on the Californian desert.

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zero2infinity bloostar launch vehicle will launch nanosatellites

zero2infinity bloostar launch vehicle will launch nanosatellites

Launching a satellite is a very expensive proposition when done the traditional way by hitching a ride aboard a commercial rocket. There are several firms out there that are working to make putting satellites into orbit cheaper and one of them is the Barcelona based zero2infinity company. Zero2infiity is known for near-space ballooning and has announced that it has been working on a launch vehicle capable of putting nanosatellites into orbit.

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