Climate Change Paris Agreement Study

It’s almost definitely too late to save our planet from catastrophic climate change

By on June 30, 2016 at 3:46 PM.

It’s almost definitely too late to save our planet from catastrophic climate change

Despite the renewed zeal of the world’s leaders to limit the impact of climate change, it might already be too late. According to a new report from Nature, “the window for limiting warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius with high probability and without temporarily exceeding that level already seems to have closed.”

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Malaria Diagnosis

Breakthrough device can diagnose malaria in 5 seconds flat

By on June 30, 2016 at 9:04 AM.

Breakthrough device can diagnose malaria in 5 seconds flat

Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 438,000 people died from malaria in 2015 alone, and the disease continues to spread at an alarming pace. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most widely impacted region by a huge margin, where mosquitoes carrying the disease swarm in densely populated areas. But the worst part about the disease is how curable it is — as long as it is diagnosed early enough. More →

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CRISPR Gene-Editing Cancer

We’re editing human genes to kill cancer

By on June 22, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

We’re editing human genes to kill cancer

Killing cancer is the ultimate goal for many researchers, and they’re studying various ways of doing it. Some scientists are working on a vaccine that would kill tumor cells in a patient and stop cancer from spreading. Others are looking to edit genes to enhance the immune response of the organism and eliminate cancerous growth. A federal panel approved the latter type of proposed treatment, marking the first use of CRISPR in humans.

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AR-15 Rifle Bullet Wounds

What happens when AR-15 rifle bullets tear through the human body

By on June 21, 2016 at 10:00 PM.

What happens when AR-15 rifle bullets tear through the human body

Someone just tried to assassinate presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, and they didn’t even bring their own gun to the fight, choosing to try to steal an officer’s gun at a rally. The incident took place days after a person decided to bring a gun to a nightclub, killing 49 people in Orlando, with the help of a rifle that was originally developed for special ops. These sort of unfortunate events spark new debates around gun control. One idea is to ban rifles designated as weapons of war, and a new report shows us what happens when 5.56mm AR-15 rifle bullets tear through flesh and bone. More →

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NASA reveals the X-57, its electric plane project

By on June 20, 2016 at 6:10 PM.

NASA reveals the X-57, its electric plane project

An electric plane project is in the works at NASA, and the new aircraft is called the X-57. It’s an initiative the space agency hopes will demonstrate that electric-powered aviation can be environmentally friendly, quiet, and quick.

Made out of a modified Italian-designed plane, the X-57 will have a skinny wing with a total of 14 battery-powered motors, and because it won’t run on gas, it won’t produce exhaust from burnt fossil fuels. NASA said that having multiple small engines means the X-57 will need less energy to cruise at a speed of 175 mph.

And while traditional fuel-burning airplanes need to cruise slower than their maximum speed to be the most fuel-efficient, the space agency says that that isn’t the case with an electric-powered plane. More →

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Glow In The Dark Cement

Researchers create glow-in-the-dark cement to light up cities without using electricity

Researchers create glow-in-the-dark cement to light up cities without using electricity

By on June 20, 2016 at 8:49 AM.

We live in an exciting time for so many reasons, but the progress being made toward decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels is certainly high on the list. The shift toward electric cars has been projected by several studies to have a dramatic impact on the amount of gasoline the world consumes over the next few decades. Meanwhile, great strides are being made in other areas as well — wind farms are growing more efficient and recent breakthroughs could double the amount of power generated by solar panels.

Elsewhere, developments surrounding technologies that utilize phosphorescent materials could further decrease our dependency on fossil fuels. One intriguing example utilizes glow-in-the-dark materials mixed in with cement that could illuminate walkways at night. More →

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Greece migrants cellphones

Solar power is providing a lifeline of hope to migrants in Greece

By on June 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM.

Solar power is providing a lifeline of hope to migrants in Greece

No blog post is going to do justice to the difficulties of being a migrant, crossing the Mediterranean, and finding yourself in an impossible position in Greece.

One thing that makes the journey a little easier is cellphones, and by extension access to resources abroad, and family and friends at home. But staying charged up when you’re in refugee camps is presumably difficult, which is something that one team of students is trying to remedy. More →

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Watch Now: SpaceX Rocket Crash

Watch: SpaceX came so close to making it four in a row

By on June 17, 2016 at 12:47 PM.

Watch: SpaceX came so close to making it four in a row

SpaceX’s attempt earlier this week to once again land a rocket on a drone ship didn’t go well. But the difference between success and a broken rocket falling into the sea really isn’t big, as the video of the landing shows.

We’re still waiting on the close-up video from the camera on board the drone ship, which should give a better view of what happened, but the long-range camera gives some idea of what went wrong.

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Alien contact could be 1,500 years away, say Cornell astronomers

By on June 16, 2016 at 9:00 PM.

Alien contact could be 1,500 years away, say Cornell astronomers

If you are hoping to meet an alien then you may be in for a very long wait, according to astronomers at Cornell University.

The experts say that it could be 1,500 years before alien contact with Earth and will present their research at the American Astronomical Society’s meeting in San Diego Thursday.

“We haven’t heard from aliens yet, as space is a big place – but that doesn’t mean no one is out there,” said Cornell student Evan Solomonides, who will present the research paper, in a statement. More →

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Scientists find rare ‘Tatooine’ double-star planet

By on June 15, 2016 at 1:49 PM.

Scientists find rare ‘Tatooine’ double-star planet

A team of astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and San Diego State University has announced the exciting discovery of a planet with two suns within the Cygnus Constellation, using the Kepler Space Telescope.

Named Kepler-1647 b, the planet is located 3,700 light years from Earth, and thought to be similar in age to our planet, around 4.4 billion years old.

The planet’s double-star system contains one star that is slightly larger than the Earth’s sun, and one that is slightly smaller, according to the team. More →

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SpaceX Launch Today

Watch live as SpaceX tries to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge

By on June 15, 2016 at 10:04 AM.

Watch live as SpaceX tries to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge

Elon Musk’s SpaceX landed the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket three times in a row, and on Wednesday it’s trying to perform a fourth consecutive successful landing. As was the case before, you can watch the entire event live as it happens, and follow along as the rocket deploys its payload into space. It will then make the trip back home with the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone barge waiting somewhere in the Atlantic for its return. More →

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