June 23, 2015

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Flying Over An Aurora NASA Image of the Day

Flying Over An Aurora

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) captured photographs and video of auroras from the International Space Station on June 22, 2015. Kelly wrote, “Yesterday’s aurora was an impressive show from 250 miles up. Good morning from the International Space Station! ‪#‎YearInSpace‬” Image: NASA

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June 23, 2015

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NASA’s Chandra Captures Largest and Brightest Rings Ever from X-ray Light Echoes

NASA's Chandra Captures Largest and Brightest Rings Ever from X-ray Light Echoes

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured x-ray echoes from a neutron star, allowing astronomers to pinpoint the distance to Circinus X-1 from Earth. Astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered the largest and brightest set of rings from X-ray light echoes ever observed. These extraordinary rings, produced by an intense flare from a neutron […]

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June 23, 2015

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Astronomers Solve Mystery of Unusually Hot Blue Stars

Artist's impression of a protostellar disc disrupted by a collision.

New research by an international team of astronomers solves the mystery of hot blue stars, which despite their smaller size are especially luminous. Astronomers have solved a mystery over small, unusually hot blue stars, 10 times hotter than our Sun, that are found in the middle of dense star clusters. The international team found the […]

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June 23, 2015

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Tiny Dracula Ants: New Species of Subterranean Hunters

Tiny Dracula Ants: New Species of Subterranean Hunters

Six new species of subterranean ants from the genus Prionopelta have been discovered in Madagascar and the islands of Seychelles. Dubbed Dracula ants by these researchers, this group of ants live underground and engage in strange behavior. Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences (Rick Overson and Brian Fisher) have described six new species of […]

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June 23, 2015

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Demise of Laurentide Ice Sheet Due to Sudden Shift in “Radiative Forcing”

A study of the demise of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that once covered Canada may help scientists better understand shrinking ice fields today - like this melting ice margin in Greenland.

Researchers at Oregon State University studied the cause of the demise of the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last ice age, looking for clues as to how a warming climate may impact ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. A new study has found that the massive Laurentide ice sheet that covered Canada during the […]

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June 23, 2015

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More Than 80% Efficiency Attained in New Ultralow-power Circuit

The MIT researchers' prototype for a chip measuring 3 millimeters by 3 millimeters. The magnified detail shows the chip's main control circuitry, including the startup electronics; the controller that determines whether to charge the battery, power a device, or both; and the array of switches that control current flow to an external inductor coil. This active area measures just 2.2 millimeters by 1.1 millimeters.

Researchers at MIT developed a new ultralow-power circuit that improves efficiency of energy harvesting to more than 80 percent. This can lead the way to tiny, solar-powered sensors. The latest buzz in the information technology industry regards “the Internet of things” — the idea that vehicles, appliances, civil-engineering structures, manufacturing equipment, and even livestock would […]

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June 23, 2015

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High-Fat, High-Sugar Diets Causes Bacterial Changes Related to Loss of Cognitive Function

High-Fat, High-Sugar Diets Causes Bacterial Changes Related to Loss of Cognitive Function

Changes in bacteria making up the gut microbiome caused by high-fat and high-sugar diets appear related to a loss of cognitive function according to a study at Oregon State University. A study at Oregon State University indicates that both a high-fat and a high-sugar diet, compared to a normal diet, cause changes in gut bacteria […]

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June 23, 2015

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Rapid Fabrication of Nanoscale Geometric Grids Using Lasers

Rapid Fabrication of Nanoscale Geometric Grids Using Lasers

Rapid creation of multi-layered, self-assembled nanoscale grids with fully customizable shapes and compositions is possible using new technique developed by scientists at Brookhaven Lab. Down at the nanoscale, where objects span just billionths of a meter, the size and shape of a material can often have surprising and powerful electronic and optical effects. Building larger […]

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June 23, 2015

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Triple Crescent Moon Image From Cassini

PIA18322: Triple Crescents

This image taken by the Cassini spacecraft shows three of Saturn’s moons: Titan, Mimas, and Rhea. A single crescent moon is a familiar sight in Earth’s sky, but with Saturn’s many moons, you can see three or even more. The three moons shown here — Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across), Mimas (246 miles […]

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June 22, 2015

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Everyday Chemicals in Our Environment Cause Cancer When Combined

Everyday Chemicals in Our Environment Cause Cancer When Combined

According to new research from a global taskforce, fifty chemicals the public are exposed to on a daily basis have been shown to trigger cancer when combined. A global taskforce of 174 scientists from leading research centres across 28 countries studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer. The […]

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June 22, 2015

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Half Price Lithium-ion Batteries With Improved Performance and Recyclability

A pilot manufacturing plant at 24M's headquarters in Cambridge has produced thousands of test batteries to demonstrate the efficiency of the new design.

MIT spinoff company 24M has reinvented the manufacturing process for lithium-ion batteries to reduce cost, improve performance, and make them easier to recycle. An advanced manufacturing approach for lithium-ion batteries, developed by researchers at MIT and at a spinoff company called 24M, promises to significantly slash the cost of the most widely used type of […]

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June 22, 2015

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Engineers Develop Micro-tentacles So Tiny Robots Can Handle Delicate Objects

Engineers Develop Micro-tentacles So Tiny Robots Can Handle Delicate Objects

Engineers at Iowa State University developed spiraling microrobotic tentacles that can gently grip delicate objects. The tiny tube circled an ant’s thorax, gently trapping the insect and demonstrating the utility of a microrobotic tentacle developed by Iowa State University engineers. “Most robots use two fingers and to pick things up they have to squeeze,” said […]

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June 22, 2015

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Ceres Spots Remain a Mystery in Latest Dawn Images

Ceres Spots Remain a Mystery in Latest Dawn Images

Although new images from the Dawn spacecraft provide more clues, the unusual bright spots on Ceres continue to mystify. The closer we get to Ceres, the more intriguing the distant dwarf planet becomes. New images of Ceres from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft provide more clues about its mysterious bright spots, and also reveal a pyramid-shaped peak […]

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June 22, 2015

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Smartphones Can Disrupt Pacemakers and Cause Painful Shocks

Smartphones Can Disrupt Pacemakers

Electromagnetic interference from smartphones can disrupt pacemaker function and cause implantable cardioverter defibrillators to deliver painful shocks. Cardiac device wearers are advised to keep a safety distance of 15 to 20 cm between their device and their mobile phone. Cardiac device wearers should keep a safe distance from smartphones to avoid unwanted painful shocks or […]

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June 22, 2015

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Smoking Around Toddlers Could Be As Bad As Smoking While Pregnant

Smoking Around Toddlers Could Be As Bad As Smoking While Pregnant

Researchers publish first ever study looking into the effects of household smoking on children’s later weight gain. The increased BMI associated with second hand smoke in children is almost as large as that from smoking while pregnant. Children whose parents smoked when they were toddlers are likely to have a wider waist and a higher […]

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June 22, 2015

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Safe Drinking Water Via Solar Power Desalination

Natasha Wright, MIT

Natasha Wright, an MIT PhD student in mechanical engineering, has designed a solar powered system that makes water safe to drink for rural, off-grid Indian villages. When graduate student Natasha Wright began her PhD program in mechanical engineering, she had no idea how to remove salt from groundwater to make it more palatable, nor had […]

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June 21, 2015

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15 Breathtaking Hubble Images of Supernova Remnant Nebulae

Hubble Images of Supernova Remnant Nebulae

When a star explodes in a supernova, it leaves behind massive clouds of interstellar dust, gas, and plasma. Pictures of these supernova remnant nebulae can be absolutely stunning, as seen in this gallery of 15 Breathtaking Hubble Images of Supernova Remnant Nebulae.

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June 19, 2015

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Neuroscientists Show Multiple Cortical Regions Are Needed to Process Information

Scientists Show Multiple Cortical Regions Needed to Process Information

Neuroscientists from MIT show that multiple cortical regions work together simultaneously to process sensorimotor information despite their predetermined specialized roles. Researchers at MIT have proven that the brain’s cortex doesn’t process specific tasks in highly specialized modules — showing that the cortex is, in fact, quite dynamic when sharing information. Previous studies of the brain […]

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