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NASA spacecraft finds dwarf planet Ceres is packed full of water

NASA spacecraft finds dwarf planet Ceres is packed full of water

The dwarf planet Ceres is full of surprises. There's the 2.5-mile high ice volcano, for example, and all those salty, shiny bright spots that stumped researchers for a few months. According to a new study, Ceres has another point of interest: lots and lots of water. The water's discovery was made by the NASA Dawn spacecraft, and researchers have found that much of it lies in the dwarf planet's darkest craters and norther regions.

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Massive diamonds clue scientists in to mysterious deep Earth

Massive diamonds clue scientists in to mysterious deep Earth

Diamonds have a lot of monetary value, to be sure, but thanks to the Gemological Institute of America, we're learning today that some of the larger ones can have a lot of scientific value too. A team of Institute scientists lead by diamond geologist Evan Smith set out to find where some of the largest, and therefore rarest, diamonds on Earth come from. The evidence they found ended up being quite surprising.

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This giant planet has ‘stunning’ storm clouds made of rubies and sapphire

This giant planet has ‘stunning’ storm clouds made of rubies and sapphire

Researchers with the University of Warwick have detailed the discovery of a new planet called HAT-P-7b, an exoplanet that experiences violent storms. The planet definitely isn't inhabitable because of those storms, but it is notable for the same reason: the clouds appear to be made from corundum, the mineral that produces sapphires and rubies. Researchers say these clouds are likely 'visually stunning.'

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Uber’s San Francisco driverless tests prompt DMV ultimatum

Uber’s San Francisco driverless tests prompt DMV ultimatum

Uber's decision to roll out self-driving cars in San Francisco this week has gone down like an autonomous lead balloon with regulators, angry the firm didn't apply for permits like others running trials. The ride-sharing company confirmed today that, not only will it set loose a fleet of Volvo XC90 SUVs outfitted with the latest fruits of its autonomous research, but that it didn't feel it needed special permission to do so. That comes down to a loophole in the rules which Uber feels it can exploit.

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Mercedes is making Google Home your car’s PA

Mercedes is making Google Home your car’s PA

Your connected car will soon chatter with your smart home, with Mercedes-Benz announcing it plans to be the first automaker to integrate its vehicles with Google Home. The functionality was revealed at the Mercedes innovation center in California's Silicon Valley, and will see your car personified in the form of a companion virtual assistant alongside Google's own. Although the full demo is being saved for the automaker's CES 2017 showcase, it gave SlashGear a preview of the technology.

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DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA's latest program, the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) effort, aims to find a solution for easily controlling large swarms of drones from the ground, with these 'swarms' being composed of at least 100 units. The defensive research agency envisions these swarms of drones — which could also feature ground robots when necessary — being used for all sorts of things: gathering intelligence, surveillance, offering protection, wielding firepower, and more. The Marine Corps and U.S. Army are the intended recipients of such technology.

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Scientists: help archive climate data before Trump presidency

Scientists: help archive climate data before Trump presidency

An effort is underway that highlights the sad state of climate change affairs: researchers are rushing to download and thus preserve climate change data ahead of Trump's presidency. Statements made by Trump -- followed by certain individuals he has nominated -- have raised serious concerns about the future of climate change research. There have been indications that NASA's Earth science division may be hard hit, among other things, and so researchers are scrambling to save the related government data now.

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Cornell University creates soft robotic hand that senses shape and texture

Cornell University creates soft robotic hand that senses shape and texture

Sometimes hands created for robots need to be very strong with the ability to grasp things very tightly and use them. Other times robot hands need to be very delicate to prevent any injury to humans they are working with or damage to fragile items they might be holding. Researchers at Cornell University have invented a hand for a robot that is able to grip things gently and can also sense the shape and texture of the item as well.

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Alzheimer’s treatment might someday just use flickering LEDs

Alzheimer’s treatment might someday just use flickering LEDs

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing cause for concern in the world today. In the US alone, about 5 million people are reported to be affected. And that number is predicted to grow even more in the very near future. And as there is no known cure for it, Alzheimer’s patients and their families are left to resort to treatments that are usually expensive and, in the long run, only temporary. Researchers at MIT, however, may have come across a possible new mode of treatment that shows promising results. And it involves nothing more than flashing LEDs lights at eyes.

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Bill Gates to fight climate change with $1b innovation fund

Bill Gates to fight climate change with $1b innovation fund

Trump has recently made statements and political moves that clearly show where he stands on the climate change debate. As if on cue, some of the financial heavyweights in the tech industry have are also preparing to make a stand opposite the newly-elected US President, and they are going to put their money where their mouths are. Led by Bill Gates, a new investment fund called the Breakthrough Energy Venture or BEV will use $1 billion over a span of 20 years to drive innovation in the clean energy sector.

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This AI wrote a Christmas song, and it’ll give you goosebumps

This AI wrote a Christmas song, and it’ll give you goosebumps

Artificial intelligence is growing by leaps and bounds, but it won’t be replacing humans any time soon, at least if a newly penned-by-AI Christmas jingle is anything to go by. The song starts out like any Christmas jingle, and you may even find yourself tapping your foot along...until the lyrics register and you wonder what kind of dystopian Christmas wonderland you've stumbled upon.

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MIT ChainFORM robot is made up of a bunch of small modules

MIT ChainFORM robot is made up of a bunch of small modules

As robotics matures many of the components that go into making a functional bot are shrinking in size and that allows the robots themselves to get smaller as well. The catch is that depending on what the robot needs to do, you may not want the bot to be particularly small. MIT is working on a mobile robotic platform that takes lots of little modules and those modules can be configured on the fly to create a robot of the size you need and the capability you need when you need it. The bot using this modular approach is called the ChainFORM

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