Science

Study: sharks have distinct, individual personalities

Study: sharks have distinct, individual personalities

A new study hailing from Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences has found that sharks have individual personalities, and these personalities are consistent across various environments. Many animal species have been found to have individual, distinct personalities (consider your cat, for example); this study marks the first time such distinct individualities have been observed in sharks.

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Pint-sized exoskeleton aims to help kids walk again

Pint-sized exoskeleton aims to help kids walk again

The exoskeleton the little boy in the image here is wearing was created by engineers from the Spanish National Research Council and rather than being designed for adults, this one is designed to help children. Specifically the 26-pound aluminum and titanium exoskeleton aims to help children with spinal muscular atrophy known as SMA. The simple act of walking could help stave off potentially deadly side effects of the disease.

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Science says tall people are more productive at work

Science says tall people are more productive at work

Science has had a lot to say about being tall — studies have shown everything from higher potential earnings throughout one’s life to increased happiness and more. A new study has found that being tall may also be a sign that you’re more productive than your less-tall peers, something based on the long-term monitoring of more than 5300 men in Indonesia. Across a seven-year time span, researchers found that taller men were more productive than shorter peers, something they based on hourly earnings.

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Bionic Leaf is more efficient than photosynthesis

Bionic Leaf is more efficient than photosynthesis

If you remember elementary school science, photosynthesis is the process used to create energy by plants. Scientists Daniel Nocera and Pamela Silver from Harvard have created what they call a bionic leaf that is able to use solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuel. The system is said to be more efficient than natural photosynthesis.

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Study: archerfish can learn to accurately recognize human faces

Study: archerfish can learn to accurately recognize human faces

Fish are generally regarded as dumb, but maybe that’s not a fair assumption. At least one type of fish, the archerfish, is able to recognize human faces, according to a new study. Researchers with the University of Queensland in Australia and the University of Oxford found that archerfish can learn to recognize different people with a pretty high level of accuracy, doing so despite its lack of a superior visual cortex, the kind found in primates.

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BEAM inflatable ISS module hatch opened for the first time this week

BEAM inflatable ISS module hatch opened for the first time this week

In late March, a resupply capsule lifted off and headed to the ISS and among the gear and supplies on board was the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module known as BEAM. After many weeks of work, the BEAM module was finally inflated and astronaut Jeff Williams entered the BEAM module for the first time this week. Upon entering the new module, Williams checked sensors, installed air ducts, and reported to controllers on Earth that the module was in working order.

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Zika virus breakthrough: researchers find protein that inhibits infection

Zika virus breakthrough: researchers find protein that inhibits infection

University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers have made a breakthrough in their evaluation of the zika virus, finding that a “very small protein” found in every human greatly inhibits the virus’ ability to infect cells, and may also keep the virus from killing brain cells. The protein is called “interferon-induced protein 3,” IFITM3 for short, and is the first reported weakness discovered in with the zika virus.

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Harvard researchers create ‘muscles’ for soft-bodied robots

Harvard researchers create ‘muscles’ for soft-bodied robots

Humans are soft, easily bruised creatures, and robots are, well, not so soft. If a hard-bodied robot swings its arm around, not realizing your face is nearby, you're going to get a black eye, and no one wants that to happen. Soft-bodied robots are ideal for this reason -- it's harder for them to accidentally injure you -- and Harvard researchers have taken steps toward bringing these gentler robots to life. In a recently published study, the team details a new type of actuator that functions like a muscle.

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Underwater ‘lost city’ is really just a cool natural phenomenon

Underwater ‘lost city’ is really just a cool natural phenomenon

Underwater near Zakynthos, a Greek island, are some interesting and seemingly human-made structures. When they were discovered by tourists diving in the region, assumptions were made and word spread quickly that some archeological artifacts, possibly the remains of a long-lost city, had been discovered. These claims spurred a group of researchers into investigating the matter, and what they discovered was different, but no less interesting: these structures are entirely natural.

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Synthetic human genome project may lead to lab-grown transplantable organs

Synthetic human genome project may lead to lab-grown transplantable organs

Some scientists want to create a synthetic human genome, and their proposal has critics worked up into a frenzy. In a perfect world, this proposed synthetic human genome would be used to grow human organs for transplant, aid humans in developing medications and vaccines for various illnesses, and more. In a less-than-ideal world, critics worry it could also lead to the creation of a human without parents, to “designer humans” with specific attributes.

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Elon Musk has banned hot tub talks about simulated existence

Elon Musk has banned hot tub talks about simulated existence

There's a chance we're all living in some super advanced simulation, but don't bring the topic up if you ever get the chance to join Elon Musk in a hot tub. Speaking at Recode’s Code Conference 2016, someone asked Musk a philosophical question about whether it’s possible we’re all living in a simulation — and Musk, as you might expect, has been asked this question many, many times. So many times that he had to ban it from the hot tub.

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Blue Origin scores NASA partnership for delivering new technologies to space

Blue Origin scores NASA partnership for delivering new technologies to space

SpaceX has already been working with NASA for some time, with the private space agency delivering supplies to the ISS with its reusable rockets, but now rival Blue Origin has landed a similar partnership. The Jeff Bezos-owned space tourism company is now approved for helping NASA deliver new technologies to the edge space for testing. This will be done with Blue Origin's similarly reusable New Shepard rocket, which is capable of reaching suborbital heights.

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