Science

Study details 250k-year-old tools used to hunt rhinos, ducks and more

Study details 250k-year-old tools used to hunt rhinos, ducks and more

Researchers have discovered 250,000-year-old tools that were used to hunt and butcher rhinoceros and other types of animal, according to a new study, helping shed light on how the human ancestors living at the time kept themselves fed. The tools were found at a location near Azraq, Jordan which has served as an oasis in the harsh environment for hundreds of thousands of years. The human ancestors that stopped there — researchers aren’t entirely sure which ones — left behind many items that have ended up being a treasure trove for scientists.

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NASA NextSTEP partners show off ground prototypes for space habitats

NASA NextSTEP partners show off ground prototypes for space habitats

The ISS is the only place of the face of the Earth where humans routinely spend extended periods in space. NASA is working with partners in its NextSTEP program to developed deep space habitats that will be used in future space research and exploration. Those partners have all now unveiled their ground prototypes for these modules.

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Self-destructing battery could be a boon for military and medical electronics

Self-destructing battery could be a boon for military and medical electronics

One of the issues that the military has today with putting electronic devices into the field is if those devices are lost and fall into enemy hands, they have a major potential for giving away information that the enemy could take advantage of. This has led to military and researchers around the world to heavily invest in electronic devices that can self-destruct over time. Scientists from the Iowa State University say that they have now created the first practical transient battery to power these future self-destructing electronics.

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CERN says new particle hopes are dashed

CERN says new particle hopes are dashed

Scientists and researchers working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and physicists around the world have been aflutter over a possible new subatomic particle that researchers thought they might have discovered at the LHC facility during experiments in December 2015. During a test, that month two independent experiments at the LHC, ATLAS, and CMS each showed the same strange reports in their data.

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Your next tattoo could be inked by a robot

Your next tattoo could be inked by a robot

If the thought of getting a tattoo is already scary enough for you — the pain, the needles, etc. — then having one done by a robot probably isn't going to be any more appealing. On the other hand, if you already have experience getting inked, and are really good at remaining perfectly still, the steady, precise "hands" of a robot could result in an interesting, detailed design. On the other other hand, if you just want to watch someone else get tattooed by a robot, check out the video below.

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Siberian mine reveals rare mineral version of man-made material

Siberian mine reveals rare mineral version of man-made material

A Siberian mine has revealed a big surprise: a rare mineral that is the naturally occurring version of a man-made material called a metal-organic framework, or MOF. The man-made material was revealed in the 90s and has many potential uses, including things like sequestering carbon, and is now known to exist in nature. The discovery, which was recently detailed in the journal Science Advances, has been more than half a decade in the making, and raises hope that other varieties of MOF minerals may be discovered in the future.

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Study: mythological Chinese flood may have really happened

Study: mythological Chinese flood may have really happened

China’s ancient flood myth may be more fact than fiction, a new study suggests. According to the story, China was hit with a massive, cataclysmic flood about 4,000 years ago that lasted for more than two decades and ultimately helped shape the first part of Chinese civilization. Though the story is grand, it has thus far lacked evidence and as a result has encountered its fair share of critics. That may have changed, though, as researchers have found the first instances of evidence for such a massive flood.

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Tiny single-chip Lidar sensor has no moving parts

Tiny single-chip Lidar sensor has no moving parts

Researchers at MIT and DARPA have created a tiny Lidar sensor that is packed onto a single chip. As you can see in the image, the Lidar sensor is so small that you could pack many of them onto the surface of a dime. Lidar, or light detection and ranging, sensors are a technology that uses laser light and is similar to radar. The big benefit of Lidar over radar is that Lidar can have a higher resolution.

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Hidden portrait under Degas painting identified using X-ray fluorescence

Hidden portrait under Degas painting identified using X-ray fluorescence

When it comes to French impressionists, Edward Degas is one of the giants in the field. Degas lived from 1834 to 1917 and painted some of the most beautiful works of art during his lifetime. As many painters were wont to do, Degas had a penchant for reusing old canvases to paint new works that had old works on them that he for some reason chose not to complete. Researchers have been increasingly studying old paintings from masters like Degas using X-ray fluorescence or XRF.

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Bright blue fireball caught creeping in Siberia

Bright blue fireball caught creeping in Siberia

Siberia, the home of mysterious giant craters and frequent meteor strikes, has presented the world with yet another mystery: a bright blue fireball hovering over and slowly moving across the ground (or near to it). The individual recording the event believes it to be ball lightening, which is rarely seen and even more rarely caught on video. It doesn't appear any experts have weighed in on the matter yet, however, and the public has some other theories.

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Wireless sensors the size of dust could allow monitoring of organs and nerves

Wireless sensors the size of dust could allow monitoring of organs and nerves

Devices like the Fitbit are very popular today with their ability to monitor things about the wearer like their sleep habits, heart rate, and activity. In the future devices like the Fitbit might be able to do much more by using tiny wireless sensors that allow the monitoring of nerves and internal organs. These tiny wireless sensors are being developed by the University of California, Berkeley and are said to be the first dust-sized sensors that can be implanted into the body.

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New findings show constantly collapsing atmosphere on Jupiter’s moon Io

New findings show constantly collapsing atmosphere on Jupiter’s moon Io

We'd expect most new discoveries about Jupiter to be coming from the Juno spacecraft, which entered orbit around the planet early last month, but today we're hearing about a fascinating new find that Juno had nothing to do with. Scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have discovered that the atmosphere around Jupiter's moon Io is in a constant state of flux, collapsing and rebuilding once every day.

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