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Ancient slug fossil reveals spiky ‘armor,’ hints about evolution

Ancient slug fossil reveals spiky ‘armor,’ hints about evolution

A newly published study details a unique-looking ancient slug that had a protective ‘armor’ composed of small spikes. This discovery helps shed light on the evolution of mollusks, revealing that they didn’t exactly have shells in the popular sense of the word, but weren’t entirely without protection, either. The fossils were found several years ago by an enthusiastic collector.

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5,000-year-old Chinese beer replicated using ancient recipe

5,000-year-old Chinese beer replicated using ancient recipe

Remember the ancient Chinese beer discovery publicized last year? It was a notable discovery for multiple reasons, including shedding light on agriculture in China at the time and giving modern humans an ancient recipe used to create beer. Now students at Stanford University have set out to recreate that beer, doing so following along with the ancient recipe. Some of the resulting beer was described as less than desirable, but others were successful.

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Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

The dwarf planet Ceres is home to a massive ice volcano said to be about half the height of Mt. Everest, and it sits alone on the otherwise mostly barren landscape. While solitary in its existence today, it may once have had other icy compatriots, at least according to a new bit of research fresh from the American Geophysical Union. These so-called ‘cryovolcanoes’ are thought to have flattened over time, becoming just another icy spot on the planet’s surface.

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Samsung’s US plant may be built in Alabama or South Carolina

Samsung’s US plant may be built in Alabama or South Carolina

Earlier this month, sources surfaced claiming Samsung is looking into building a home appliances manufacturing plant inside the United States, a move reportedly to be made in response to the possibility of import taxes under the Trump administration. Now a new report claims Samsung is considering building this home appliances plant in either Alabama or South Carolina, marking a first for the company.

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Electrolux acquires Anova as sous-vide leads smart home push

Electrolux acquires Anova as sous-vide leads smart home push

Sous-vide manufacturer Anova has been bought by Electrolux, with the home appliance behemoth hoping to get more involved in connected kitchen tech. The deal, announced today, will see Anova - and its 70-strong San Francisco, CA team - join Electrolux's ranks amid a push into smart home tech. It's costing the company $115m in cash, with the potential for a further $135m down the line depending on how Anova performs moving forward.

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Flu ‘breathalyzer’ detects virus, not alcohol

Flu ‘breathalyzer’ detects virus, not alcohol

A professor with the University of Texas at Arlington’s Materials Science and Engineering Department has developed a breathalyzer of sorts that works by detecting the flu virus rather than alcohol. Such a breath monitor, as it is properly called, requires a patient to exhale into the mouthpiece, at which point sensors look for biomarkers pertaining to the flu virus, revealing whether the patient is ill.

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Instagram multi-photo albums being tested on Android app

Instagram multi-photo albums being tested on Android app

Instagram is testing a new feature that will enable users to share multiple photographs in an album, doing away with the need to create collages to group photos together. The feature isn’t officially available in any capacity to the average user, but it has begun cropping up for some Android users in Instagram version 10.7.0. The albums created with this feature cannot be published live at this time.

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Zombie wasps found infected with different, smaller brain-eating wasps

Zombie wasps found infected with different, smaller brain-eating wasps

Researchers with Rice University have detailed a new disturbing discovery involving one particular type of wasp and a different, smaller wasp variety that turns them into zombies. The victim is known as the ‘crypt gall wasp,’ a name given to a type of wasp that tricks live oak trees into forming small ‘crypts’ in their stems. The wasps' young are raised in these crypts, where they eventually gnaw their way to freedom, but a different parasitic wasp, it turns out, hijacks this process for its own purposes.

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Apple has record quarter: $78.4bn in Q1 2017

Apple has record quarter: $78.4bn in Q1 2017

Apple has had a record-breaking financial quarter, confounding market expectations with its highest holiday quarter results ever. The Cupertino company announced revenue for the Q1 2017 fiscal quarter of $78.4 billion, for $3.36 earnings per diluted share. That's up $2.5bn compared to the same three month period a year ago.

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Ocado tests gentle robot hands for picking and packing fruit

Ocado tests gentle robot hands for picking and packing fruit

The UK online grocery store Ocado is testing a new technology that may trim the number of human warehouse workers it needs: a robotic arm/hand that both picks and packs vegetables and fruit. The robot has been developed in partnership with Disney Research and a number of other institutions, and the end result is the testing of two different types of robotic hands, both designed to accommodate the random sizes of fruits of vegetables, and to handle them without damage.

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Plex looks to boost content offerings with Watchup acquisition

Plex looks to boost content offerings with Watchup acquisition

Now that Plex has become the go-to software for a lot of cord cutters out there, we're seeing it delve deeper into the content business. Its latest play for content is its acquisition of Watchup, which was just announced today. Watchup is a streaming service that's centered around delivering news videos from a bunch of different sources, and it should help Plex users solve the problem of staying up-to-date on world news without a cable subscription.

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Feeding hamsters nothing but corn turns them into cannibals

Feeding hamsters nothing but corn turns them into cannibals

Forget surviving off a silo of corn if the apocalypse ever rolls around -- if a recent study is any indication, the eventual lack of proper nutrients may drive you into the arms of crazed cannibalism. Such is the fate of some unfortunate hamsters in France eating mass quantities of corn, that itself being due to monoculture on the industrial level. When there's nothing but corn for as far as the eye can see, what else do the hamsters have to feed on? Their young.

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