Science

Bat Bot is the drone you probably want to but can’t fly

Bat Bot is the drone you probably want to but can’t fly

If you think that flying robots are still science fiction, that’s probably because you may have not realized that the popular quadcopter drones are, technically speaking, flying robots. If that doesn’t meet your criteria of a robot and would prefer something less industrial looking, then you might be interested in B2 instead. Short for “Bat Bot”, B2 is a robot that tries to mimic, and learn from, the flying capabilities of bats, resulting in a contraption that is both fascinating and yet creepy at the same time.

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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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Frog saliva can be like water, then honey, then water again

Frog saliva can be like water, then honey, then water again

Frogs, among their other amphibious relatives, are popular, or notorious, for their rapid tongues that can seem to catch and hold on to any unwitting victim. But if you think its secret weapon is its tongue, you’d only be half right. Working secretly and almost invisibly is the frog’s reversible saliva. “Reversible” because it can switch from watery fluid to viscous honey-like liquid and back to watery form in a blink of an eye. And that is actually the secret of what makes frogs’ tongues so sticky.

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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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Newly discovered Time Crystals may wiggle forever

Newly discovered Time Crystals may wiggle forever

Scientists have detailed a new sort of crystal which creates what they define as "a new phase of matter." This Time Crystal is "also really cool because it is one of the first examples of non-equilibrium matter," said lead researcher Norman Yao from the University of California, Berkeley. In other words, these crystals are perpetually in motion as they cannot settle into equilibrium. While the atoms in these crystals are able to settle into a pattern, they cannot stop moving altogether.

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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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Our oldest ancestor looked like a tiny bag of teeth

Our oldest ancestor looked like a tiny bag of teeth

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a creature that looked like a miniature bag of teeth roamed the sea. This creature was around one millimeter in size and likely live at the bottom of the sea, scrounging for food between grains of sand on the seabed. "We think that as an early deuterostome this may represent the primitive beginnings of a very diverse range of species, including ourselves," said Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology and a Fellow of St John's College, University of Cambridge.

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Researchers find observational evidence that the universe is a hologram

Researchers find observational evidence that the universe is a hologram

The holographic universe notion is nothing new — it was first suggested back in the 90s — but it just gained a lot of traction thanks to a new research project helmed by researchers from Italy, the UK, and Canada. The group’s study is said to present the first ever observational evidence supporting the idea that our seemingly 3D universe is in fact a really complex (and big) 2D hologram.

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NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA is in the midst of a “Twins Study” that looks at the biological effects of long-term space habitation by comparing the physiology of one twin — who spent a year in space — with that of the other twin, who remained on Earth. Though the data is still rolling in, there are preliminary indicators that space does have a big impact on one's biology, and the changes may range from things as 'small' as gut microbiomes to gene expression.

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Metallic hydrogen finally created, could change life as we know it

Metallic hydrogen finally created, could change life as we know it

You might soon have to change what you think you know about hydrogen. The simplest and lightest element and commonly regarded as a gas, hydrogen can actually take on liquid form when cooled. And now it can also take on a metal form as well. Yes, atomic metallic hydrogen has just been made real, delivering one of the holy grails of physics. And before you brush it off as just some geeky achievement, metallic hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize technology and life forever.

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Ancient bug found in amber is (probably) one of a kind

Ancient bug found in amber is (probably) one of a kind

Researchers have discovered a unique ancient insect trapped in amber, one that has never been seen before. The rarity of this bug necessitated the creation of a new insect order classification. At first glance, the insect appears something like an ant, but a second look shows that there are definitely some oddities, including what look like a pair of pinchers off its back end. The insect has been named Aethiocarenus burmanicus.

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Stanford researchers cure diabetes in mice using rat-grown organ

Stanford researchers cure diabetes in mice using rat-grown organ

Researchers with Stanford University and the University of Tokyo have announced a new breakthrough treatment that successfully cured mice of diabetes using a rat-grown mouse pancreas. The achievement could help lead to future treatments — or possibly even a cure — for diabetes in humans. Even better, these lab grown organs are genetically matched to the recipient, meaning anti-rejection drugs only need to be taken for a few days rather than one’s entire life.

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