Science

Google has a new enemy: sharks

Google has a new enemy: sharks

Look, I don’t know what it takes to lay thousands of miles of undersea cable, but I know there are some vicious animals under the surface. Google is finding that one out the hard way; it seems sharks are biting their various data cables laid under the sea.

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Supermassive black holes’ diets revealed: Crushed stars and X-rays

Supermassive black holes’ diets revealed: Crushed stars and X-rays

The feasting habits of supermassive black holes are under investigation by two teams of astronomers, with X-rays giving up the secrets of three consumed stars, and even how light itself can be bent by the voracious forces. While stars being destroyed by black holes are a rare, once-in-every-10,000-years occurrence, researchers in Russia have identified what they say are three cases. Meanwhile, NASA has been using its own space telescopes to see how X-rays themselves are bent by black holes.

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Gecko feet breakthrough could shape sticky robots

Gecko feet breakthrough could shape sticky robots

The method geckos use to switch their sticky feet on and off could open the door to clever new adhesives or even robots that could by turns cling to walls or rocky surfaces but then spring away with minimal exertion. A forest of tiny hairs known as setae cover the lizards' feet, and researchers at Oregon State University have figured out how they can toggle the stickiness of those hairs.

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NASA’s Robo-Glove up for license by Iron Man and you

NASA’s Robo-Glove up for license by Iron Man and you

The teams at NASA and GM behind the Robonaut 2's Robo-Glove have made the decision to allow licensing of their technology for public use. The glove is made to amplify the abilities of the wearer, not entirely unlike that of the glove of Iron Man in the Marvel Comics universe. This glove allows its user to blast through tasks that require high hand strength - grasping and repetitive tasks especially.

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Lasers and carbon-nanotubes pave way to live brain scanning

Lasers and carbon-nanotubes pave way to live brain scanning

Lasers and carbon nanotubes peering into the brain might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but tests that could one day mean precise non-invasive diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other diseases are already underway. The technology, developed by chemists at Stanford University, has so far been tested on mice, but opens the door to an alternative to physically removing sections of the skull to track cellular-level changes.

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