Science

US Special Forces laser can ID your heartbeat from over 600 feet away

US Special Forces laser can ID your heartbeat from over 600 feet away

In the mobile world, there are arguments over the accuracy and security of biometrics such as fingerprints, irises, and faces. In the security and military sectors, however, people are turning to heartbeats. Just like fingerprints, the cardiac signature of a person is believed to be unique and infallible. But unlike fingerprints, heartbeats can be measured secretly from a distance with a laser. And wouldn’t you know it, the US military has one exactly like that.

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Scientists track a lone blast of cosmic radio waves back to its source

Scientists track a lone blast of cosmic radio waves back to its source

Astronomers for the first time have been able to track a lone fast radio burst or FRB back to its source. Scientists have long wondered what triggers the brief, but strong bursts of radio waves from other galaxies. The new observations suggest that there may be two different sources for the phenomena.

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TESS finds a small planet that sizes between Earth and Mars

TESS finds a small planet that sizes between Earth and Mars

NASA's TESS spacecraft has been finding exoplanets frequently since it began operations. TESS, or Transitioning Exoplanet Survey Satellite, has now discovered the smallest planet it has ever found. The tiny world is called L 98-59b and orbits a distant star along with two other planets dubbed L 98-59c and L 98-59d.

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NASA announces 2026 mission to explore Saturn’s moon Titan

NASA announces 2026 mission to explore Saturn’s moon Titan

NASA has announced the next destination in its space exploration effort: Saturn's icy moon Titan. The mission will kick off in 2026 with the launch of the Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander. Due to a combination of low gravity and a dense atmosphere, NASA says Dragonfly will be able to investigate zones of different locations on the moon.

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Psychedelic DMT discovery hints at widespread presence in brain

Psychedelic DMT discovery hints at widespread presence in brain

Popular psychedelic DMT has been found naturally occurring in a mammalian brain, researchers have announced. The findings come from the University of Michigan's Michigan Medicine, where scientists discovered the presence of dimethyltryptamine in the brain of rats. The psychedelic compound is also found in some plants.

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Researchers create a soft robotic arm that tastes using bacteria

Researchers create a soft robotic arm that tastes using bacteria

Scientists at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have designed a soft robotic gripping arm that uses engineered bacteria to "taste" for a specific chemical. The robotic gripper arm is a proof-of-concept for biologically-based soft robots.

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Rare eruption of Raikoke Volcano snapped from ISS

Rare eruption of Raikoke Volcano snapped from ISS

The image here was snapped by astronauts on the ISS recently and shows a very rare eruption of the Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands on the Kamchatka Peninsula. This volcano rarely erupts, and it's very long dormant period ended on June 22. The last recorded eruptions of the volcano were in 1924 and in 1778.

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Europe to develop reusable rockets to fend off SpaceX dominance

Europe to develop reusable rockets to fend off SpaceX dominance

No one country can claim monopoly or sovereignty of the vastness of outer space. They can, however, claim superiority in the technologies that will take equipment and humans there. For the past years, space tech news has mostly revolved around SpaceX and, to a lesser extent, Blue Origin, both US companies. Other countries like China and even Russia aren’t sitting still and now the European Commission is making a move as well. It has just greenlit a three-year project to develop its own reusable rockets.

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Harvard’s insect-like RoboBee achieves major solo flight milestone

Harvard’s insect-like RoboBee achieves major solo flight milestone

The Harvard Microrobotics Lab has announced the latest version of its insect-like RoboBee 'X-Wing' is officially the lightest vehicle to achieve sustained untethered flight. The solo flight milestone was recorded as a slow-motion video in which viewers see the tiny robot's wings flap rapidly, just like an ordinary insect. The achievement was made possible via a number of improvements made to the RoboBee.

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NASA student contest will name the Mars 2020 rover

NASA student contest will name the Mars 2020 rover

NASA has announced that it is running a contest that will allow K-12 students the opportunity to name the rover that will be part of the Mars 2020 mission. NASA has selected two partner organizations to run the nationwide contest and is now asking for applications for judges to decide on the name.

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These tiny ‘electric soccer balls’ answer a huge space mystery

These tiny ‘electric soccer balls’ answer a huge space mystery

Scientists have confirmed that molecules resembling soccer balls are found in space, NASA has announced, something made possible using the Hubble Space Telescope. These molecules are electrically-charged and comprised of 60 carbon atoms (C60) arranged in a hollow sphere, this resulting in the characteristic 'soccer ball' appearance. The same molecules have rarely been found on Earth.

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A probiotic pill could trick your body into exercising like a pro

A probiotic pill could trick your body into exercising like a pro

Fitness pills that promise instant athleticism - and the beach-ready body to go with it - may be wishful thinking, but new research suggests athletes could be carrying the key to better exercise for the rest of us around in their stomachs. A new study explores just what's going on in the gut bacteria of competitive runners, and why key parts of the microbiome there had a huge impact on performance when transplanted into another runner.

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