research

Baby skull unearthed in Africa belonged to ancient human ancestor

Baby skull unearthed in Africa belonged to ancient human ancestor

A researcher has discovered a well-preserved skull that had once belonged to an infant from a non-extinct ape species. This species is said to have been a common ancestor shared by humans and apes, while the skull itself is the most complete of any extinct ape skull ever uncovered. The infant would have been under two years old at the time of death, and it spent about 13 million years buried before being discovered.

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Forget antivax, pesticides are the big danger to kids health

Forget antivax, pesticides are the big danger to kids health

A new research report commissioned by the European Parliament highlights the trouble with using pesticides on food crops, namely that these pesticides remain on the food to various degrees even after washing. It's for this reason that many countries, including Europe and the US, have upper limits on how much pesticide can be used on food crops, though such limits are based on what we know about the chemicals' effects on animals, not humans. Looking at long-term studies monitoring the effects of pesticides on human development, the results are highly concerning.

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Confusing autonomous cars might be worryingly easy

Confusing autonomous cars might be worryingly easy

Confusing a self-driving car could be as easy as applying some stickers to a road sign, researchers have warned. With driverless projects hunting for ways to cut costs and reduce reliance on expensive sensors such as LIDAR, many have looked to camera-based alternatives to better understand the world around a vehicle. Now, researchers at the University of Washington have found that throwing an autonomous car off course might be as easy as making minor changes to roadway signage.

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Facebook neural network translates with an AI brain

Facebook neural network translates with an AI brain

Reading your Facebook friends' statuses might typically make your blood boil these days, but at least the translations of foreign language posts are getting better. The social network says that it has retired its old translation system and replaced it with a shiny new neural machine system, which is much better at accounting for things like local slang and context. The result, Facebook claims, is smarter translation for all.

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Researchers reprogram immune cells to treat psoriasis and more

Researchers reprogram immune cells to treat psoriasis and more

A new study details the successful reprogramming of certain immune cells that could lead to treatments for autoimmune diseases like psoriasis. The work was performed by researchers with the Gladstone Institutes, and it is made possible by a 'small-molecule drug' that essentially converts immune cells from the type that attack the body to the type that keep things in check. It could also prove effect for treating cancers.

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This dinosaur is the new largest largest-ever animal with countershading camo

This dinosaur is the new largest largest-ever animal with countershading camo

A nodosaurid ankylosaur revealed to the public this week showed exceptionally preserved parts and signs of strong predation pressure. This dinosaur was first discovered back on March 21, 2011 by mining machine operator Shawn Funk and crew in Alberta, Canada. After 7,000 hours over nearly 6 years of solitary cleaning at the The Royal Tyrrell Museum, museum technician Mark Mitchell's is part of the creature's history as much as he is a part of its name: Borealopelta markmitchelli.

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This camera tech could make Android the photographer’s choice

This camera tech could make Android the photographer’s choice

Never mind swiping through endless filters trying to find the perfect Instagram effect on your latest photo: Google and MIT want to build that right into the viewfinder. Teams from the search giant and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been collaborating on a system that promises automatic retouching of images in real-time, giving pro-photographer style results before you've even hit the capture button. It's the latest example of how machine learning can not only improve everyday tasks but cut our current reliance on the cloud.

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Hyperloop puts the pod in the tube, and you have to watch what happened

Hyperloop puts the pod in the tube, and you have to watch what happened

A year ago, Hyperloop One successfully completed its first phase of testing. Now, 15 months later, the company has announced the completion of Phase 2, with plenty of new Hyperloop records being set in this second round of testing. In fact, the results from Phase 2 vastly exceed the results from Phase 1 in many cases.

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Science says most near death experiences have this feature in common

Science says most near death experiences have this feature in common

A large number of people have reported experiencing a phenomenon that has been dubbed a 'near death experience,' and a new study recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience detail which features they have in common. These experiencers, as they're called, typically report 'extremely rich and detailed narratives,' the study explains, ones that feature 'a set of distinguishable features.' Some of those features, it turns out, are surprising consistent across experience reports.

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The number of American homes without a TV is growing

The number of American homes without a TV is growing

The number of homes in the U.S. that don't have at least one television is growing, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to a study it published earlier this year, which looked at television trends in the US from 1997 to 2015, US households experienced a sudden decrease in TV ownership between 2009 and 2015, the reasons for which likely have a lot to do with mobile phones and tablets.

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The US Navy 3D-printed a full-size ‘disposable’ submersible

The US Navy 3D-printed a full-size ‘disposable’ submersible

The US Departments of Energy and Defense teamed up to create the first of what may prove to be many submersible craft described as 'disposable' with on-demand availability. Unlike traditional submersible vessels, this model was created using a 3D printer, and the entire process -- including design -- took only four weeks. This makes it the US Navy's first-ever 3D-printed submersible hull.

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Saturn’s moon Titan has two vital ingredients that could produce life

Saturn’s moon Titan has two vital ingredients that could produce life

Researchers have made an exciting announcement about Saturn's moon Titan -- it may hold the key ingredients for life. The discovery was made by the Cassini spacecraft, which found two potential compounds that could lead to life. One of the compounds, vinyl cyanide, originates from Titan's upper atmosphere, while the second compound, carbon chain anions, were found in the moon's ionosphere.

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