Science

Milestone brown dwarf star is 250 times purer than the Sun

Milestone brown dwarf star is 250 times purer than the Sun

Researchers have announced the discovery of SDSS J0104+1535, a new milestone brown dwarf star said to have the purest composition of any known similar dwarf, as well as the highest discovered mass. The star is found in the far reaches of our galaxy in a constellation called Pisces, and it is one of many ancient stars that compose that region. The star is thought to be around 10 billion years old.

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Facial recognition successfully used to diagnose rare genetic diseases

Facial recognition successfully used to diagnose rare genetic diseases

Researchers have successfully used facial recognition technology to detect a rare genetic disease called DiGeorge syndrome in patients. This breakthrough could prove to be a new diagnostic tool for doctors who often have trouble diagnosing the disease due to its many symptoms. The condition is estimated to affect one in 3000 to 6000 kids, and causes defects like heart problems and cleft palate.

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This new discovery could change the way we study dinosaurs

This new discovery could change the way we study dinosaurs

Despite everything fossils can tell us about dinosaurs, a new study is changing some of the oldest research we have at our disposal. The study in question, published in the journal Nature today, not only changes how some dinosaurs are classified, but also suggests traits of a common ancestor and shakes up what we thought we knew about where dinosaurs came from.

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Scientists reconstruct face of man who died 700 years ago in Cambridge

Scientists reconstruct face of man who died 700 years ago in Cambridge

Researchers have reconstructed the face of a man who died in Cambridge during medieval times, giving moderns viewers an opportunity to see what someone looked like 700 years ago. Not surprisingly, the man shown in the reconstructed image looks no different than a modern man. According to the researchers, this man’s skeleton shows a lot of ‘wear and tear’ indicative of having lived a hard working-class life. He died at an age somewhere north of 40.

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NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

There is only so much you can launch into space, much less land on planets like Mars. Space, weight, and budget all conspire against having more rolling laboratories roving the planet. Not that you'd want to depend solely on a rover either. Big and expensive, they are hardly qualified for cramped spaces and more treacherous terrain. Which is why NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories or JPL has been developing a companion robot for rovers that would serve as research scouts. But to make them compact and lightweight, the engineers and scientists took inspiration from the foldable properties of paper.

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This dartboard moves on its own to always give a bullseye

This dartboard moves on its own to always give a bullseye

Ever fancied yourself becoming a sharpshooter? If not with a gun then maybe with a bow? For most people, that will forever be a fantasy and the closest thing they'll be able to get is playing darts. And even then, majority of the population suck at it. Not unless you have this one of a kind "smart" dartboard that will automatically move itself so that you will always hit the bullseye. No matter how bad or how drunk you are.

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Mars may one day have a ring made from its own destroyed moon

Mars may one day have a ring made from its own destroyed moon

One day in the very distant future, Mars may develop a ring composed of its own destroyed moon. Such a notion was recently put forth by a new study looking at its moon Phobos in particular, stating that in about 70 million years the moon could be close enough to the planet to break apart. When that happens, the debris will be pulled into a sort of field around the Red Planet, giving it its own ring.

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Nature made this frog fluorescent, and it’s one of a kind

Nature made this frog fluorescent, and it’s one of a kind

Researchers have discovered the first amphibian ever with natural fluorescence: a small frog that glows bright green under ultraviolet light. It’s not common to find any critter with such a feature, but this is a first as far as frogs are concerned, making the polka dot tree frog (for now, at least) one-of-a-kind. Why the frog possesses this ability is unknown.

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Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

A new report out of PLOS reveals that humpback whales are congregating in very large (relatively speaking) super-groups near South Africa, in some cases comprising pods as large as 200 whales. These large whale collectives are said to be engaging in feeding behavior, something that itself is unusual for the species, as it typically feeds on Antarctic krill in the southern polar region.

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Spiders eat twice as much as humans annually

Spiders eat twice as much as humans annually

If the title didn’t give it away, this piece is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Sure, we won’t be talking gory details, but spiders have the unfortunate reputation of being one of the most feared or hated critters on the planet. And now scientists have just given haters even more ammo. According to research, which admittedly involves a lot of estimating, spiders eat somewhere between 400 to 800 million tons of prey a year. Which is pretty big considering there are believed to be only 25 million tons’ worth of spiders on the planet.

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Portuguese cave yields 400,000-year-old human ancestor skull fossil

Portuguese cave yields 400,000-year-old human ancestor skull fossil

Researchers in Portugal are celebrating a new discovery: a 400,000-year-old cranium fossil belonging to an ancient ancestor of modern day humans. The fossil was discovered in a cave by an international team of researchers, and it is a new milestone for the small nation, being the oldest such fossil unearthed in Portugal to date. The skull fragment could help shed light on the evolution of Neanderthals, and may even reveal a new hominin species altogether.

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‘Death Star’ moon Mimas shown in stunning detail in latest NASA pic

‘Death Star’ moon Mimas shown in stunning detail in latest NASA pic

Back in January, NASA showed off an image of Saturn’s moon Mimas taken by the Cassini spacecraft. In that image, we got a look at the moon from an interesting angle - one that makes it look oddly similar to the Death Star from Star Wars. The latest image of the moon delivered by Cassini only builds upon that visage, giving us an even closer look at the oddly shaped space rock.

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