Science

Accidental discovery turns carbon dioxide into ethanol fuel

Accidental discovery turns carbon dioxide into ethanol fuel

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have accidentally discovered a process by which they are able to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into ethanol that can be used for fuel. The electrochemical process uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper in the conversion process. In addition to the carbon and copper, the process also requires nitrogen and an applied voltage.

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European bison origins mystery solved: a hybrid species identified

European bison origins mystery solved: a hybrid species identified

Researchers have solved the mystery surrounding the origins of European bison, finding that a now-extinct hybrid species was the source. This hybrid species formed when the ancestor of European wisent bison — called steppe bison — mated with the ancestors of what are now modern-day cattle: Aurochs. This hybrid species paved the way for Europe's wisent bison, though the hybrids themselves eventually died out, leaving a gap and, for the longest while, a big mystery.

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September 2016 marked 11 straight months of record-breaking warmth

September 2016 marked 11 straight months of record-breaking warmth

September 2016 set a new warmest-month record, bringing us to 11 consecutive months of increasing warmth since October 2015. NASA announced the news on Monday, saying last month was the warmest September observed in the last 136 years of record keeping. The month won its designation by what NASA calls a ‘razor-thin’ edge of only 0.004 degrees Celsius over the then-warmest September back in 2014.

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Chinese astronauts launch into space for 30d stay on experimental space station

Chinese astronauts launch into space for 30d stay on experimental space station

A Chinese Long March-2F rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center recently and aboard were a pair of Chinese astronauts. The pair of astronauts is headed to a rendezvous with an experimental space station where they will spend a month living and working, the Shenzhou 11 mission lifted off at 2330 GMT.

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JOLED: a floating “dot matrix” display made of tiny balls

JOLED: a floating “dot matrix” display made of tiny balls

Display makers might be obsessed with flexible and bendable screens, but such LCDs and OLEDs aren’t the only ways to make an interesting display. What about one that floats in mid air? That’s precisely what engineers from the University of Sussex have tried to accomplish and have succeeded at. Somewhat. While the display does seem magical, if not strange, for floating, it is one that is so low res that you can identify each single pixel, which can display at most only two colors each.

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Scientists believe a comet impact may have helped mammals take over Earth

Scientists believe a comet impact may have helped mammals take over Earth

Scientists have been conducting research into what may have helped mammals dominate the Earth. New evidence suggests that a comet impact 55 million years ago may have helped mammals become the dominant form of life on our planet. The team of American researchers on the project say that the comet impact could have triggered rapid global warming linked to the expansion of mammals in the Eocene time period.

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There are ten times more galaxies in the universe than scientists thought

There are ten times more galaxies in the universe than scientists thought

Scientists have made some errors in their past census of exactly how many galaxies lurked in the universe and it was a big one. According to a new census that has been made that is more accurate than past counts, the universe has ten times more galaxies than scientists previously estimated. That adds up to over a trillion galaxies in the universe.

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With brain implants, this paralyzed man rediscovered his sense of touch

With brain implants, this paralyzed man rediscovered his sense of touch

Breakthrough research delivering the sense of touch from a robotic arm directly to the human brain could dramatically change how prosthetics wearers interact with the world in the coming years. The trial, run by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), demonstrated that brain implants could restore the absent sense to a quadriplegic man paralyzed from the upper chest down. Although still in early stages, it could have huge implications for future robotics.

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Study aims to determine if ancient dinosaurs really could roar

Study aims to determine if ancient dinosaurs really could roar

Thanks to movies like Jurassic Park we all think of dinosaurs as having incredibly loud roars. Scientists aren't sure if the actual dinosaurs that these movies aim to represent could roar. The reason for this is that it is incredibly hard to find ancient dinosaur voice boxes because they didn't fossilize well. What dinosaurs would have used to make vocalizations would have been one of two different structures called a larynx or a syrinx. Most living land-dwelling vertebrates today use a larynx to vocalize, this is a structure mostly made of cartilage that makes sounds at the back of the mouth.

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Moon is pummeled with impacts much more often than predicted

Moon is pummeled with impacts much more often than predicted

All you have to do is look out your window at night and you can see the evidence in the night sky that the moon has been pummeled by asteroids and other impacts throughout its life. Since there is no wind on the surface of the moon, there is no erosion and the craters simply stay for eternity. While we can clearly see that the Moon has been struck with objects that form craters, scientists believed that this was not a very common occurrence. It now seems that the scientists were wrong.

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Fossilized vocal organ discovery sheds light on dinosaur sounds

Fossilized vocal organ discovery sheds light on dinosaur sounds

The vocalizations dinosaurs made are largely a mystery, though some have speculated they have made noises similar to that of birds. A recently discovered fossilized vocal organ, though, has largely dashed that idea, as it hasn’t been found with the fossils of dinosaurs dated from the same time period. The vocal organ originates from the ancestor of modern geese and ducks, and is dated at more than 66 million years old. The fossil in which the vocal organ was located was recovered in the Antarctic.

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Scientists discover new dwarf planet beyond Pluto’s orbit

Scientists discover new dwarf planet beyond Pluto’s orbit

Our solar system family is getting larger with the discovery of a new dwarf planet found orbiting beyond Pluto. This new dwarf planet doesn't have a fancy name like the major planets of the solar system, it's called 2014 UZ224 and is about 330-miles across. This little dwarf planet is about 8.5 billion miles away from the sun. Interestingly the dwarf planet is smaller than Pluto's moon Charon, which is about 750 miles in diameter.

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