Science

Five planets will align starting tomorrow morning

Five planets will align starting tomorrow morning

Starting tomorrow morning and lasting into February, five planets will align in what is a rare but favorite celestial event. It has been more than 10 years since Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter aligned in the night sky in such a way that anyone could see them with the naked eye. Some of the planets will be a little more dim than others, though, so you should probably bring binoculars as a backup.

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This donkey has a prosthetic leg and her name is Bella Burro

This donkey has a prosthetic leg and her name is Bella Burro

A donkey in Minnesota is living the good life thanks to a prosthetic leg made specifically for her. Her name is Bella Burro, and if it weren't for a couple in Minneapolis, she'd be dead. Totally dead. But she's alive, and she's got her own Facebook page, and it's all thank to both that couple of folks and the fine people at Arise Orthotics. As of this article's posting, Bella is 2 years and 5 months old, and fabulous as ever.

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Astronaut shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS

Astronaut shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS

Doing the simple and mundane things we do every morning here on Earth takes on a completely new challenge in space. The challenge in microgravity is that things just don’t work the same way they do here on Earth in normal gravity. For instance making a simple cup of coffee becomes a complex process that requires specially engineered systems.

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Dissolving sensor can be used to measure intracranial pressure

Dissolving sensor can be used to measure intracranial pressure

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois led by professor John Rogers has designed an implantable sensor that can be injected into the brain to monitor intracranial pressure and temperature for about five days. That is the length of time where the pressure and temperature inside the head need to be monitored after some sort of traumatic brain injury.

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Watch SpaceX’s three sea landings side by side

Watch SpaceX’s three sea landings side by side

While nothing will take away SpaceX's victory with the world's first orbital landing, it still has a long way to go before it gets the landing that it really, really wants: landing at sea, on a drone-driven platform. Sadly, thrice it attempted that and thrice it failed to win the laurel. Now you can watch all three attempts, not one after another but all together, in all their exploding glory, thanks to this side by side by side compilation, thanks to APTX 4869.

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Myo armband used to control prosthetic arm

Myo armband used to control prosthetic arm

Researchers around the world are working to make prosthetic limbs more lifelike to give people who have lost arms or legs the ability to have a more normal life. Researchers have recently used Myo armbands to allow a prosthetic wearer to control a robotic prosthetic arm wirelessly.

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NEOShield program considers nuking asteroids destined for Earth

NEOShield program considers nuking asteroids destined for Earth

A program called NEOShield tasked Russian space researchers with developing a plan to handle any big asteroid that may one day position itself towards Earth, and that plan involves a nuke. The program was funded by the European Commission, and is only one of many initiatives underway to create plans for dealing with near-Earth objects (NEOs). NASA has been working on its own projects, and many ideas have been proposed.

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Dissolvable brain sensors are tiny and wireless

Dissolvable brain sensors are tiny and wireless

Washington University School of Medicine researchers have developed a new type of brain sensor that is tiny, wireless, and dissolves after a certain amount of time, eliminating the need for removal surgery. These sensors are able to monitor brain temperature and pressure within the skull, and at the end of their lives the implants are simply absorbed into the body. While these sensors are designed for the brain, it is possible similar sensors could be developed that monitor other organs.

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First Zika virus brain damage case in U.S. identified

First Zika virus brain damage case in U.S. identified

In a first for the U.S., a case brain damage caused by the Zika virus has been identified, according to the Hawaii State Department of Health. A baby in Oahu was born with microcephaly, confirmed to be caused by the Zika virus, which has unfortunately afflicted thousands of babies in Brazil with the same condition. In this latest case, the baby’s mother had been in Brazil in May 2015.

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David Bowie constellation now lights your night sky

David Bowie constellation now lights your night sky

The Bowie constellation "Stardust" has been registered with the MIRA Public Observatory, part of the IAU, the organization in charge of "official" record keeping for the names of stars. MIRA Public Observatory is part of the Public Astronomical Observatories group under the IAU (International Astronomical Union), the lot of which appear to have worked with Studio Brussel (a Belgian music station) to bring Stardust into being. First, they needed to choose the stars that'd make up the bolt.

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ISS astronaut shows off first flower grown in space

ISS astronaut shows off first flower grown in space

NASA is doing a lot of research to see how plants from Earth will grow in the zero gravity of space. Being able to grow food is one of the only ways that future space missions will be able to keep astronauts fed on long duration missions. Typically, the astronauts grow edible vegetable plants, but during a recent mission, the astronauts grew a flower.

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