• Warming Climate Could Change How Food Tastes

    Warming Climate Could Change How Food Tastes

    There might be some very tangible, selfish reasons for foodies to care about climate change. It turns out that warming temperatures could not only impact our food supply, but they might also ... More >
  • NASA Is Testing This 18-Engine Aeroplane Wing

    NASA Is Testing This 18-Engine Aeroplane Wing

    What happens if you put 18 engines on an airplane? Well, if you or I did it, the answer is likely “a disaster." But when NASA does it, we get the Leading Edge Asynchronous Propellers ... More >
  • Did The Future Begin In 1610?

    Did The Future Begin In 1610?

    Time is a valuable commodity for humans. We like our news up to the minute and our technology up-to-date. But when it comes to some temporal boundaries scientists are still trying to figure out ... More >
  • Why A Real CHAPPiE Robot Would Be More Of A Mystery Than A Friend

    A Real CHAPPiE Would Be... Weird

    Neil Blomkamp's new film CHAPPiE, which hits US theaters this weekend, follows the unlikely transformation of a defective robot into a one-of-a-kind conscious machine. The movie inserts ... More >
  • Welcome To The Inflatable Space Age

    Welcome To The Inflatable Space Age

    This morning Robert Bigelow—budget hotel billionaire; paranormal investigator; space entrepreneur—unveiled the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which will soon ship to ... More >
Alexandra Ossola
at 08:43 AM Mar 27 2015

No matter the colour or texture of their surroundings, squid are masters of camouflage, blending in to the scenery to avoid detection. Now, researchers from the University of California Irvine have isolated the source of the creature's disappearing act: a protein appropriately named reflection. Additionally, when the researchers layered this protein on a piece of tape, it rendered the tape invisible in particular wavelengths of light. The researchers presented their work this week at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Kickstarter
Drones // 

Applied Aeronautics sees its new Albatross drone as one perched between two extremes in unmanned aircraft: the low cost and high breakability of traditional hobbyist drones on one end, and the high cost of durable, professional drones on the other. With a crowdfunding project well under way, Applied Aeronautics hopes that its drone can swoop into the sweet spot in the middle, creating a useful tool that people can actually buy and use.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Science // 

Thanks to novelty ice cube trays you can have ice in a whole lot of different shapes, from fish whose tails break off as soon as you try to get them into your glass, to those perfectly round spheres at fancy cocktail bars.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Cars // 

Antifreeze comes in a variety of sports drink-evoking hues, and has a sweet taste and smell that belie the fact that it is deadly to both people and animals. It poisons nearly 90,000 animals and 6,000 people every year.

Alexandra Ossola
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015

This morning, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana declared a state of emergency in Scott County, in the southeast of the state, due to what is being called the worst HIV outbreak in the state's history. The cases were all caused by intravenous drug use, but some health officials fear that a rapid, short-term response will not be enough in the face of a large drug abuse problem.

Sarah Fecht
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Li Weidong
Nature // 

In remote northwest China, the cliffs of the Tian Shan mountains provide the last holdout for the Ili pika, a tiny rabbit relative with a shrinking habitat.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Drones // 

French drone hobbyist Olivier C is building a drone navy. It started with a Millenium Falcon drone, then followed by a TIE Interceptor drone. Now, Olivier C has moved beyond smugglers and starfighters to deliver a capital ship: an Imperial Star Destroyer. Like his previous Star Wars drones, the Star Destroyer is a foam body built on top of a custom quadcopter chassis, and there are giant circular holes in the Star Destroyer's shape to accommodate the quadcopter's spinning rotors.

Alexandra Ossola
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Hacks // 

Spending long summer evenings outside comes with a big nuisance: bug bites. Mosquitos and other insects are drawn to the lights illuminating your dinner party, which helps them hone in on their human prey. While that might mean a few days of itchy welts for some of us, the implications are much more dire in other countries where bug bites can mean infection of some nasty diseases such as leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and malaria. Now, a team of researchers is experimenting with LED lights that can ward off insects but still appear as functional white light for humans. They published their findings in the May issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions B.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Energy // 

Pollution in waterways can cause terrible algae blooms that choke out marine life and contaminate water supplies. In some places, the blooms are so big that they are visible from space.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 08:42 AM Mar 27 2015
Screenshot by author, from Vimeo

With a click of the trigger, the gbg-8 shoots! Except it's not expelling bullets; it's taking a picture. In essence, the gbg-8 is a camera masquerading as a gun. After taking a photo, with a camera mounted inside the "barrel," the image become visible on the cannibalized screen of a gameboy mounted on the side of this weird piece of cyberpunk gadgetry. In seconds, a thermal printer then spits out the image on paper. Made by the artist vtol in Moscow, it seems less about the functionality--there are better cameras and portable printers out there--and more about the materials used. Built from a game boy, an arduino board, a camera of unknown origin, and a thermal printer, gbg-8 is an alternate vision of the 1990s where polaroids were outlawed and only outlaws made polaroids.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:45 AM Mar 26 2015
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Nature // 

It might not be able to grow a thicker skin, but the newly discovered frog Pristimantis mutabilis and its relatives can change their skin's texture.

Dan Moren
at 09:45 AM Mar 26 2015
Gadgets // 

A little over two weeks from now, the Apple Watch will be on display at Apple Stores around the world, and much of the mystery over the product will have evaporated. But for now, if you're looking to see what Apple's smartwatch looks like on your own wrist, your only recourse is to turn to technology.

Alexandra Ossola
at 09:45 AM Mar 26 2015
Fitness // 

Rice, the base for cuisines all over the world, contains a lot of starch. That makes it delicious but also high in calories. While that may a boon for people who struggle to ingest enough calories each day, it's becoming a problem for people with sedentary lifestyles who are eating too many calories. The result is a worldwide obesity crisis, and, surprisingly, the percent of obese adults is increasing faster in developing countries. Now a team of Sri Lankan researchers has devised a new way to cook rice that reduces the amount of starch--and calories--the body absorbs from rice by up to 60 percent. The researchers presented their findings this week at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver.

Andrew Zaleski
at 09:45 AM Mar 26 2015
Stanford-Brown-Spelman iGEM
Drones // 

NASA is working on a prototype drone that will be able to survey Mars from a modest altitude. But what if instead of shipping a drone to Mars, we could just ship small vials of cells, and use them to grow a biodegradable drone on the Red Planet? A team of students from Stanford University, Spelman College, and Brown University created such a drone last summer, which they then entered into the 2014 International Genetically Engineered Machine competition.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:45 AM Mar 26 2015
P199, via Wikimedia Commons

Aliens traveling at near the speed of light won't go undetected, according to two researchers at Raytheon. Posted on the arXiv, their paper argues that fast-traveling vehicles will still be visible, thanks to the way they interact with photons.

 
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