research

Harvard’s new mini exosuit lets you run farther and faster

Harvard’s new mini exosuit lets you run farther and faster

Imagine pulling on a pair of shorts that, as long as you're wearing them, enable you to run farther distances at faster speeds than you'd run without them. Such has become reality, for the most part, thanks to work by Harvard researchers. The University recently detailed a new soft exosuit -- which is really just a fancy pair of shorts -- that enable runners to go longer distances at faster rates than they otherwise could.

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Curved smartphone camera sensors could out-snap your DSLR

Curved smartphone camera sensors could out-snap your DSLR

A new curved sensor camera developed by Microsoft Research may well help deliver the biggest step forward in smartphone photography in years. The system, dubbed Project Vermont, relies on a specially manufactured concave camera sensor that "can dramatically improve" resolution, light-gathering, and uniformity of illumination. Indeed, it could legitimately offer DSLR-style performance from a smartphone-scale sensor.

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Climate change may destroy US coral reefs in just 20-30 years

Climate change may destroy US coral reefs in just 20-30 years

Efforts to conserve coral reefs around the globe are underway, but they may be too little, too late. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, warming oceans may result in US coral reefs dying out in the next 20 to 30 years, making the current goal of 100-year conservation 'pure imagination.' Researchers have found that coral reefs located off of Hawaii, Florida and more are experiencing bleaching as waters warm, a process that will result in coral death if not reversed in time.

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MIT invented shape-shifting pasta that reduces packaging waste

MIT invented shape-shifting pasta that reduces packaging waste

Imagine purchasing a package of pasta that is slim, flat, and contains minimal bits of cardboard or plastic. Now imagine removing that flat, uninspiring pasta and, a few minutes after boiling it, discovering that the noodles had transformed into new shapes. Such is a possibility introduced by MIT's Tangible Media Group, with researchers developing a new type of past that changes shape after being submerged into water.

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US lost 33% of bee colonies last year, and that’s not a bad thing

US lost 33% of bee colonies last year, and that’s not a bad thing

The Bee Informed Partnership has released a new study conducted in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, and the results are largely favorable. According to the study, beekeepers lost a bit over one-third of their bee colonies over the past year, and while that sounds like a startling number, researchers say it is the second-best figure recorded over the past seven years.

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1900-year-old slingshot with lead ammo was as deadly as a handgun

1900-year-old slingshot with lead ammo was as deadly as a handgun

Ancient Roman soldiers wielded slingshots with lead ammo that, when used properly, could kill someone in a way that isn't dissimilar from a modern handgun. The information comes from researchers who recently experimented with the old technology to gauge its effectiveness. The lead 'bullets' used in the slingshots are shaped somewhat like small lemons, and those who launched them could be trained with accuracy that spanned a few hundred feet.

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Science says magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Science says magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug

Prepare to feel vindicated, mushroom-lovers. A new survey has found that mushrooms containing psilocybin are the safest of all recreational drugs, topping other popular favorites including tobacco and alcohol. The information comes from the latest Global Drug Survey, which found that the biggest risk related to mushrooms is picking the wrong kind and then becoming ill from consuming them. This is based on data from users who report very infrequent instances of emergency medical treatment following magic mushroom ingestion.

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Lithium battery prototype has thrice the capacity of li-ion batteries

Lithium battery prototype has thrice the capacity of li-ion batteries

Researchers with Rice University have announced a new type of lithium-based rechargeable battery that boasts three times the capacity of currently available lithium-ion cells. The new prototype technically qualifies as an advanced lithium metal battery, something that has thus far eluded the industry. At the heart of the difficulties is the so-called 'dendrite problem,' an issue in which storing too much energy could result in mossy deposits known as dendrites, which damage the batteries.

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Microsoft Research holographic display can fit in eyeglasses

Microsoft Research holographic display can fit in eyeglasses

Of the three major "synthetic" reality platforms, Microsoft's HoloLens comes closest to the dream of overlaying digital objects on top of real world ones and interact with both of them in the same way. However, it shares the same limitations as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift in terms of the bulk of the headset required for it to function. That is why Microsoft Research teams have been working on a prototype that brings a "true" holographic display to near-eye devices that almost look no different from your regular pair o eyeglasses.

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Smartphones could have hologram displays in the future, says research

Smartphones could have hologram displays in the future, says research

In the hopefully near future, you won't need hulking contraptions to create holograms nor special glasses to see them. All you are going to need is your phone. This promise of science fiction made real comes from a group of researchers at the RMIT University in Melboune, Australia who have developed what they claim is the world's thinnest hologram. If and when they manage to solve the engineering and manufacturing challenges of turning the prototype into an actual hardware component, then the age of consumer holograms could soon be just around the corner.

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Faux caterpillars glued on plants shed light on predator activities

Faux caterpillars glued on plants shed light on predator activities

Caterpillars don't have many defenses against predators, and that reality results in the small insects more often than not becoming dinner for some larger creature. In order to shed light on the likelihood of these small critters being consumed, researchers recently glued a bunch of fake ones to plants in various regions around the globe. The faux caterpillars were made of a soft clay that would reveal bit marks and similar things if disturbed; those marks were analyzed once the faux caterpillars were recovered, helping illuminate the final moments such creatures face.

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Antarctica experiencing rapid plant growth due to climate change

Antarctica experiencing rapid plant growth due to climate change

Climate change is fueling a relatively rapid increase in plant growth in Antarctica, where researchers have observed 'major biological changes' over the last handful of decades. According to University of Exeter researchers, increasing temperatures have resulted in more rapid moss growth in the icy region, something facilitated by a mixture of warming temperatures as well as increased moisture and wind.

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