Science

Another contagious Tasmanian devil cancer found

Another contagious Tasmanian devil cancer found

Researchers have discovered a new form of contagious cancer that is transmitted among Tasmanian devils, shaking long-held beliefs that transmittable cancers are a rarity. This is the second type of contagious cancer discovered that affects Tasmanian devils, and it represents itself with physical symptoms and lesions indistinguishable from the other cancer type's lesions. Contagious cancers have also been found among soft-shelled clams and dogs.

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Microsoft AI Xiaoice gets job as Chinese TV weather host

Microsoft AI Xiaoice gets job as Chinese TV weather host

Microsoft has revealed that its Xiaoice machine learning software, which has gained prominence in China as a chat-bot on local messaging services like WeChat, Line, and the Weibo social network, has made the leap to becoming the first artificial intelligence to appear as a host on live TV. Chinese network Dragon TV have given Xiaoice (which is said to translate to "Little Bing") a job as a trainee weather host on its "Morning News" program.

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Researchers create breakthrough light-based microprocessor

Researchers create breakthrough light-based microprocessor

Researchers working together from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California, Berkeley, and MIT have developed a new and groundbreaking microprocessor that uses light rather than electricity to move data at very high speed. While moving that data around very quickly, the light-based processor consumes very little energy making it much more power efficient than current processors.

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Astronaut posts picture of wilted flowers on ISS

Astronaut posts picture of wilted flowers on ISS

If you follow astronaut Scott Kelly on Instagram, you probably saw the image he posted recently of some wilted flowers with the caption, “Our plants aren’t looking too good.” Those are, of course, the flowers NASA’s crew turned their attention to after successfully growing lettuce in space. Despite the impression given by Kelly's photo, though, the flower-growing experiment wasn't at all a failure.

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Humans are polluting outer space and this video shows how much

Humans are polluting outer space and this video shows how much

Some call outer space the last frontier, and apparently that is true not just for exploration but also for bad garbage management. If you thought that the garbage problem here on earth or in the water are bad, just wait until you see how bad things are way, way up there. A video as well as an interactive website tries to visualize the amount of space junk we've left orbiting the earth, junk that will come to bite us in the posterior in the near future of space travel and tourism.

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UCLA researchers create very strong and lightweight metal

UCLA researchers create very strong and lightweight metal

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have created a new type of metal that is very strong and light. The metal has an extremely high specific strength and modulus also known as stiffness-to-weight ratio. The researchers created the new metal using magnesium infused with dense and even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles.

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Last night’s fireball over California was Russian space junk

Last night’s fireball over California was Russian space junk

More often than not, unusual streaks of fire in the sky are filmed in Russia. This time around, though, the fireball was courtesy of Russia itself -- or, more specifically, Russian space junk that had recently reentered the atmosphere. Reports started flooding in on Twitter last night of streaking lights spotted in the nighttime sky over parts of Nevada and California. Many initially thought it was a shooting star or something similar, but U.S. defense officials have clarified the matter.

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Venomous sea snake washes up on California beach

Venomous sea snake washes up on California beach

Thanks to a particularly strong El Nino, sea snakes are washing up on California beaches at an increased rate. Most recently, researchers were surprised to discover a type of venomous reptile called the yellow-bellied sea snake washed ashore earlier this month on a California beach…far beyond its normal habitat. Even more surprising, this is the second of its kind discovered this year.

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NASA’s closest-yet Ceres image zeroes in on Gerber Catena

NASA’s closest-yet Ceres image zeroes in on Gerber Catena

Ceres, the dwarf planet home to no-longer-mysterious bright spots, has been revealed up close and personal in Dawn spacecraft’s newest photographs. The spacecraft is now in its final and lowest orbit around the planet, snapping close-up images of Ceres’ rocky, pocked surface. NASA published the images today, and included among them is a red-blue image for those with old school 3D glasses.

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