Science

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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We were so wrong about Jupiter

We were so wrong about Jupiter

NASA has received the first results from its Juno mission to Jupiter, and the findings are surprising. Researchers long held certain assumptions about Jupiter, things that Juno's early findings have challenged. One of the surprising discoveries were the massive storms on the planet, ones with cyclones as large as our own planet. As well, current measurements indicate that Jupiter's magnetic field is much stronger than expected.

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NASA Psyche mission launch moved to 2022 in big cost-saving measure

NASA Psyche mission launch moved to 2022 in big cost-saving measure

NASA has moved the Psyche launch up and, as a result, the spacecraft's arrival in the asteroid belt will be four years earlier than originally planned, according to the space agency. The Psyche mission is one of many 'highly focused robotic space missions' chosen by the space agency's Discovery Program to explore elements of space, in this case the asteroid Psyche located between Jupiter and Mars. The evaluation of this asteroid will help researchers better understand our own planet and others.

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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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NASA will have an emergency ISS space walk tomorrow

NASA will have an emergency ISS space walk tomorrow

A failed computer will result in two astronauts conducting an emergency spacewalk at the International Space Station tomorrow, NASA has announced, enabling the ISS to resume operations with its primary (rather than backup) system. The computer is one of two units that control systems on the space station, though NASA reassures everyone that none of the astronauts have been or will be in danger from the computer failure.

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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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‘Doomsday’ seed vault flooded and a warmer planet is to blame

‘Doomsday’ seed vault flooded and a warmer planet is to blame

Far up in the frigid Arctic region is a rectangular structure embedded in snow and ice -- the Global Seed Vault, a place where seeds from all over the world are stored in case disaster ever strikes our planet. The idea behind the seed vault is simple -- if something takes out a particular plant, or many plants, humans can acquire seeds from the seed vault to ensure our food supply isn't affected. The plan seemed foolproof, but that's not the case: the Global Seed Vault recently suffered a failure that directly resulted from rising temperatures.

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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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3D-printed ovaries just enabled this mouse to give birth

3D-printed ovaries just enabled this mouse to give birth

A lab mouse has given birth to a new litter of pups, which in and of itself wouldn't be notable. The big deal here is how the mouse gave birth, or more specifically put, the physical alteration that made the seemingly impossible, well, possible: 3D-printed ovaries. This isn't the first time we've seen 3D-printing technology used for biological applications -- there are those 3D-printed eye cells, for example. This is, however, a milestone as far as reproduction-centric printing goes.

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Lowe’s, Virginia Tech make lightweight exosuit for heavy lifting

Lowe’s, Virginia Tech make lightweight exosuit for heavy lifting

Forget images of sci-fi battles between enhanced soldiers, aliens, and machines. Though it definitely looks like a prototype prop for the Edge of Tomorrow, this exosuit has a less violent and more benign mission. Born from a collaboration between Virginia Tech and home improvement company Lowe's Innovation Lab, the exosuit simply uses the principles of preservation of energy and a few flexible but sturdy materials to make lifting something like a bag of concrete less painful.

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Elysium Space’s memorial spacecraft will launch on SpaceX rocket

Elysium Space’s memorial spacecraft will launch on SpaceX rocket

A loved one's ashes are typically sprinkled in a meaningful place, perhaps a field or a river. Elysium Space is aiming to change that, at least for those who spent their lives focused on the stars. The company has announced that its Elysium Star II memorial spacecraft will be launched into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, where it will then spend a couple years circling the Earth before reappearing as a shooting star.

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