Lithium Ion Battery Stanford Researchers

Breakthrough research could solve a major problem with lithium-ion batteries

By on January 12, 2016 at 11:20 PM.

Breakthrough research could solve a major problem with lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are fantastic but they’re also unstable and can be explosive when they overheat. Researchers at Stanford University have been working on how to fix this problem and have developed a new kind of lithium-ion battery that automatically shuts down once it reaches a certain temperature and won’t switch back on until it has sufficiently cooled. More →

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SpaceX Rocket Launch Video

SpaceX releases never-before-seen footage of last month’s rocket landing

By on January 12, 2016 at 6:55 PM.

SpaceX releases never-before-seen footage of last month’s rocket landing

Late last month as 2015 was drawing to a close, SpaceX finally pulled off a successful rocket landing. It was the second such feat, and the news was huge — reusable rockets have long been a holy grail of sorts for the space industry as they stand to dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.

We’ve already seen an earlier video of the takeoff and historic landing, but now SpaceX has released new video footage that has never been seen before. More →

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Freeze-Dried Fecal Pills Obesity

Doctors want to cure obesity with freeze-dried fecal pills

By on January 11, 2016 at 6:50 PM.

Doctors want to cure obesity with freeze-dried fecal pills

As gross as it may sound, popping freeze-dried fecal pills might one day cure obesity and you might be instructed to take them to lose weight. In fact, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital will test these freeze-dried fecial pills on 20 obese patients, Quartz reports. Each day, for six weeks, these people will ingest a few grams of someone else’s freeze-dried fecal matter while researchers track their weight. More →

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Rocket Launches 2015 Video

Nearly every rocket launch of 2015 collected in one explosive video

By on January 8, 2016 at 2:35 PM.

Nearly every rocket launch of 2015 collected in one explosive video

There were 87 rocket launches in 2015.

You probably remember several of them, from the spectacular failures to the stunning triumphs, but did you realize how many rockets we launched last year? We averaged a new launch nearly every four days in 2015.

And now we have a video compilation of all but one of them.

More →

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MIT Self-Charging Battery Research

New technology offers the promise of never-ending smartphone batteries

By on January 6, 2016 at 11:30 PM.

New technology offers the promise of never-ending smartphone batteries

Remember in the Matrix movies how humanity in the future was reduced to serving as the batteries for powerful and intelligent machines? Well, some researchers at MIT are working on technology that’s seemingly similar, although it doesn’t mean we’re doomed to a dystopian future of being trapped in pods that feed off our life forces. Instead, these researchers have figured out a way to convert the mechanical energy that we create when walking into electrical energy that can be used to charge electronic devices. In other words, as long as you’re physically on the move somewhere, your battery could recharge itself in perpetuity. More →

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Black Hole Internal Information

Researchers say retrieving information from a black hole might be possible

By on January 2, 2016 at 11:25 AM.

Researchers say retrieving information from a black hole might be possible

Interstellar is one of the best sci-fi movies of the last decade, imagining a post-apocalyptic human population that needs to be saved from a dying Earth. A nearby black hole has the answers to humanity’s problems, and the brilliant script tells us we can enter a black hole and then use it to transcend space and time. In the film, the black hole also leaks out information that can save us, and it is captured by a complex computer as it’s being entered. That might seem implausible, but since we don’t know a lot about how black holes work, we can certainly accept such an outlandish proposition in the context of the movie.

In real life, however, physicists are trying to figure out how to access the secrets of a black hole. And it looks like some researchers have a theory to retrieve information from it, though it’s not quite as exciting as the complex bookcase that Interstellar proposes. More →

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Couple Buys Puppies Cloned From Dead Dog DNA

Couple pays $100,000 for puppies cloned from their dead dog’s DNA

By on December 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM.

Couple pays $100,000 for puppies cloned from their dead dog’s DNA

We all love our pets but how many of us love them enough to pay $100,000 to get cloned versions of them after they pass away? One couple in the United Kingdom recently did exactly that, as The Guardian informs us. Britons Richard Remde and Laura Jacques were heartbroken earlier this year when their Boxer Dylan passed away from a brain tumor. They then decided to pay a South Korean firm called the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation £67,000 (~USD$100,000) to use Dylan’s DNA as the basis for a new puppy who would serve as both a replacement and a tribute to their beloved deceased pooch. More →

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Magnesium Aluminum Alloy Tech

Key tech breakthrough may pave the way for magnesium-based smartphones

By on December 29, 2015 at 6:25 PM.

Key tech breakthrough may pave the way for magnesium-based smartphones

Both aluminum and magnesium are found in abundance on Earth, but only aluminum is really used to produce consumer electronics and other important products. That’s because aluminum-based alloys are cheap to produce and the metal offers high structural integrity and even improves fuel efficiency when used in planes.

Magnesium is even lighter than aluminum, which means it could become the metal of choice for certain products. But the problem with magnesium is that, by itself, the metal is pretty soft, though that might change in the future thanks to the work of scientists from UCLA who have developed a method to increase the strength of magnesium. More →

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MIT Solar Cells Made From Used Car Batteries

MIT researchers have figured out how to make solar cells with old car batteries

By on December 24, 2015 at 7:30 AM.

MIT researchers have figured out how to make solar cells with old car batteries

Here’s a clever technological breakthrough that could help the environment in two ways. MIT announced this week that some of its researchers have figured out a way to make solar cells using parts from discarded car batteries that would otherwise have simply gone to waste. Essentially, the researchers have figured out how to extract lead from old car batteries and use it as a component in solar cells that they say are just as efficient as solar cells produced with “high-purity, commercially available starting materials.” More →

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Zero Gravity Water Experiments

Incredible zero gravity experiments with water caught on camera

By on December 23, 2015 at 10:27 AM.

Incredible zero gravity experiments with water caught on camera

Every day from December 1st to December 25th, The Royal Institution of Great Britain is opening a new box on its virtual advent calendar and sharing an original piece of content. One of the best so far came last week, when Christmas Lecturer Kevin Fong boarded a parabolic flight to see the effects that weightlessness would have on water.

More →

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NASA Potatoes Mars Martian

Forget ‘The Martian’, NASA wants to grow potatoes on Mars for real

By on December 23, 2015 at 7:15 AM.

Forget ‘The Martian’, NASA wants to grow potatoes on Mars for real

Whether you’ve seen The Martian or not, you probably know of the sci-fi blockbuster starring Matt Damon is about a NASA astronaut who’s stranded on Mars and has to find ways to stay alive even after his food supply is depleted. A botanist, Damon’s character actually knows a thing or two about plants, and he ends up growing potatoes inside the habitat that’s also his home. We won’t tell you more details about the film at this point, but it looks like that strategy isn’t just made for the movies. NASA is actually planning to grow potatoes on Mars, a new report reveals.

More →

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