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  • How You'll Die On Mars

    How You'll Die On Mars

    We're on our way to Mars. NASA has a plan to land astronauts on its surface by the 2030s. Private spaceflight companies like SpaceX have also expressed interest in starting their own colonies ... More >
  • Could This Hydrogen-Powered Drone Work?

    Could This Hydrogen-Powered Drone Work?

    The biggest physical constraint on small drones is their power supply. Batteries can only hold so much energy, and as adding more batteries to a drone also increase the weight of that drone, there ... More >
  • Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs Are Finally Here

    Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs Are Finally Here

    For a full decade, Gudmundar Olaffson was unable to move his right ankle. That's because it wasn't there. Olafsson's amputated lower leg was the delayed casualty of an accident from his childhood ... More >
  • US Air Force Wants Planes With Laser Cannons

    US Air Force Wants Planes With Laser Cannons

    According to the Air Force, the future of war in the sky is lasers. Lasers on new jet fighters are a future goal, but there's lower-hanging fruit in the world of science fiction weapons that the ... More >
  • Will This Be The Year 4K Catches Fire?

    Will This Be The Year 4K Catches Fire?

    People have a tendency to simplify things down to numerical comparisons. If you cast your mind back to the 1990s, you might remember the "Megahertz Wars," where PC manufacturers seemed to debut a ... More >
Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
weibo.com, tiexue.net, cdjby.net
Drones // 

While this might look like two UAVs, it's actually one. The Divine Eagle uses a twin fuselage configuration, in order to optimize both fuel efficiency and maximize surface area for the installation of conformal radar arrays.

Alexandra Ossola
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015

A stubbed toe, a sore throat, a splitting headache: sometimes life might seem better if we didn't experience pain. In fact, pain can sometimes be useful—it's a way for your body to warn you when it's at risk of being damaged. Some people are born without the ability to feel pain, and their lives are often cut short as a result. In a study published this week in Nature Genetics, a team of researchers has analyzed the DNA of people who can't feel pain to identify a new gene that is essential to the process.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Nature // 

To us, the bright red breast of a robin signals the start of spring. To a cowbird it screams 'easy mark.'

Erik Sofge
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Robots // 

When they appear on the horizon, the robots to coming kill you won't necessarily look like warplanes. That's limited, human-centric thinking, says Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, and it only applies to today's unmanned weapons. Predator and Reaper drones were built with remote pilots and traditional flight mechanics in mind, and armed with the typical weapons of air war--powerful missiles, as useful for destroying buildings and vehicles as personnel. Tomorrow's nimbler, self-piloted armed bots won't simply be updated tools for old-fashioned air strikes. They'll be vectors for slaughter.

Rachel Fobar
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Hacks // 

When you think of disaster preparedness, you may think about how you would respond to an earthquake, a flood, or a storm. Now, security researchers want you to think about how to respond to cyber attacks, as well.

Loren Grush
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Planetary Society

Things are on hold for the moment for the LightSail, the new solar sail spacecraft launched last week by Bill Nye and his Planetary Society organization. The prototype satellite, which uses energy from the Sun to propel through space has suffered a computer malfunction while in lower Earth orbit, ceasing communication between the tiny spacecraft and Earth.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Science // 

With no threat/promise of re-election hanging over his head, President Obama is using the remainder of his time in office as a chance to talk about a political minefield, climate change. He mentioned it last week at the Coast Guard commencement exercises, and today he took to his newly formed twitter account to answer questions about climate change.

Sarah Fecht
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Boeing

For the first time ever, NASA has drawn up a contract with a private company to bring humans into space. In late 2017, the space agency plans to send Boeing's spacecraft on a crew rotation mission, which means bringing fresh astronauts to the International Space Station and bringing home the old ones. SpaceX can expect a similar contract later this year.

Michael Nuñez
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Google
Gadgets // 

Google unveiled its new mobile payments platform—Android Pay—at the company's annual developer conference Google I/O on Thursday. The new payments software allows anyone with an Android smartphone to upload their credit card information from Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express into their smartphones. Users will be able to pay for items at select stores by tapping their phone against a special pad at during checkout.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
CDC

Of all the things a person could receive in the mail without warning, Anthrax is about the worst thing it could be. The spores, which can cause injury when inhaled, fit easily into letters, as the nation discovered tragically in the fall of 2001. Now, it looks like the Department of Defense accidentally mailed out live samples of anthrax spores to nine states and South Korea. Oops.

Alexandra Ossola
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
Robots // 

From whipping up your breakfast to leading the tango, robots are getting so sophisticated that they can do pretty much anything these days. But soft, slippery objects are still difficult for their mechanical arms to handle, especially if they're irregularly shaped.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:55 AM May 29 2015
NOAA
Drones // 

Ahab would give up his peg leg for views like this. A team with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a drone to catch a better glimpse of migrating gray whales, capturing pictures of a mother and calf. The drone flyover was part of a long-standing research project in Baja California, Mexico, where scientists track the migrations of gray whales up north to the Arctic.

Alexandra Ossola
at 09:54 AM May 29 2015
Dreamstime
Science // 

In late March, a team of German-based researchers published a study that found that eating a bar of chocolate every day, when combined with a low-carb diet, helped participants lose weight. As is typical for a study like this, the story got picked up by a number of service-based publications in Europe and the U.S., doing write-ups with splashy headlines and suggestive images of women eating chocolate.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:54 AM May 29 2015
Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anne K. Henry

Clocking in at just $134 million per plane, the F-35B fighter jet is the most expensive sibling in its long-troubled family. The F-35s have been plagued for years with frustrations, cost overruns, and developmental difficulties. Designed to share parts with its Air Force and Navy brethren (the F-35A and F-35C, respectively), the F-35B also has the difficult task of replacing the U.S. Marine Corps' venerable Harrier Jump Jets. In order to fill those jumping shoes, it has to successfully take off in a short distance and land vertically. At operation trials over the past week on the USS Wasp, the F-35B demonstrated just that: for more than one hundred million dollars a plane, it can at least do what it promised.

Xiaoqing Hu
at 09:54 AM May 29 2015
Science // 

Your brain does a lot when you are asleep. It's when you consolidate memories and integrate the things you've learned during the day into your existing knowledge structure. We now have lots of evidence that while you are sleeping, specific memories can be reactivated and thus strengthened.

 
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