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June 9 2014

Chatty Robot Makes Friends Fast


A chatty humanoid robot whose makers claim it can understand people's emotions made its first friends Friday as it struck up conversations with shoppers in Tokyo.

And the device -- named Pepper by its designers -- proved an effective marketing tool for mobile carrier SoftBank, delighting managers who put it to work collecting customer opinions.

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June 9 2014

Engineers control 'robotic sperm' with magnets


Engineers have built a sperm-like robot that they can control with magnets.

The simple design has a metal-coated head and a flexible body about six times longer than a human sperm.

Using a magnetic field no stronger than a fridge magnet, the team made the robot "swim" forward and steered it towards a fixed point.

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June 9 2014

Are squiggly lines the future of password security?


As more people use smart phones or tablets to pay bills, make purchases, store personal information and even control access to their houses, the need for robust password security has become more critical than ever.

A new Rutgers University study shows that free-form gestures – sweeping fingers in shapes across the screen of a smart phone or tablet – can be used to unlock phones and grant access to apps.

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June 9 2014

Volcano Coughs Up New Fuel Cell Catalyst


This one begins like a chapter from Jules Verne’s novel The Mysterious Island and ends up with a new fuel cell catalyst that could lead to cost-competitive fuel cell vehicles. The new catalyst is based on an enzyme called H2ase S–77, which was discovered on Kyushu Island in Japan at an active volcano called Mt. Aso, by a researcher from Kyushu University.

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June 9 2014

Another Glimpse of 'New Physics' at the LHC?


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is currently on the long road to re-start, but for physicists pouring over the huge wealth of data stored from countless trillions of particle collisions already carried out by the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the work never paused.

And this week, at the LHC Physics meeting in New York City, researchers who are currently analyzing data from one of the LHC’s seven detectors announced an intriguing finding. As reported by Symmetry Magazine, the finding — which isn’t quite a discovery (yet) — focuses on the production of electrons, muons and taus in the post-collision soup of particles that are produced inside the LHCb detector.

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June 9 2014

What's going on with the sun? Scientists puzzled by oddities in sunspot cycle


The sun has been acting strangely of late, prompting some solar physicists to suggest that once current sunspot activity peaked, which appeared to happen last fall, it could tank and remain that way for several decades.

A prolonged period with few or no spots would have a slight, temporary cooling effect on Earth's climate and a general calming effect on space weather, which would be good news for astronauts and satellites.

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June 9 2014

Salads in space? Astronauts try growing own veggies


As salad ingredients go, romaine lettuce ranks somewhere between limp carrots and dried radishes on the excitement scale.

But add a dash of outer space, and suddenly that frilly leaf is looking downright exotic, especially to astronauts used to food wrapped in plastic.

Gardening in space could become a reality soon if NASA is able to grow its first crop of romaine lettuce on the International Space Station.

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June 9 2014

Alien Planet Identities May Be Unmasked by Examining Parent Stars


The kinds of alien planets that orbit distant stars may be revealed by taking a close look at the elements that make up those parent stars, researchers say.

Astronomers have so far confirmed the existence of more than 1,000 planets beyond our solar system with the aid of NASA's Kepler spacecraft and other telescopes. They are investigating thousands more candidate worlds to see if they, too, are exoplanets, or extrasolar planets.

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June 9 2014

Milky Way may bear 100 million life-giving planets


There are some 100 million other places in the Milky Way galaxy that could support complex life, report a group of university astronomers in the journal Challenges. They have developed a new computation method to examine data from planets orbiting other stars in the universe.

Their study provides the first quantitative estimate of the number of worlds in our galaxy that could harbor life above the microbial level.

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June 9 2014

Venus Has Space Weather Explosions That Are Larger Than the Planet


A common space weather phenomenon on the outskirts of the magnetosphere, the magnetic bubble that surrounds the earth (and protects the surface of the planet from solar radiation) are "hot flow anomalies." These are, in effect, enormous explosions. NASA researchers recently discovered that the same phenomenon occurs on Venus, except that these giant explosions can be larger than the entire planet—and they can happen several times a day.

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June 9 2014

Asteroid HQ124 — dubbed ‘the Beast’ — expected to approach Earth this weekend


Last year, a massive asteroid that had gone undetected exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in a huge fireball and another, much bigger asteroid spotted in April is expected to buzz past Earth this weekend.

While the incoming HQ124 asteroid, aka “the Beast,” is not expected to make contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, professional skywatchers will be keeping close tabs on the massive space rock nonetheless.

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June 8 2014

Lake on Saturn’s Largest Moon May Have Waves


Saturn's moon Titan shares many of Earth's features, including clouds, rain and lakes. And now scientists know the two are similar in another way: they both have waves. Cameras on NASA's spacecraft Cassini recently saw what appear to be waves on one of Titan's largest methane lakes—a signal scientists have long searched for but never found.


Related: A Submarine for Saturn's Moon Titan? NASA Backs Way-Out Ideas

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June 8 2014

Wearable submarine to hunt for 2000-year-old computer


Like an underwater Iron Man, a diver will fly around the wreck of an ancient Greek ship later this year, looking to shed light on the Antikythera mechanism

THE world's most advanced robotic diving suit is getting ready to help search for one of the world's oldest computers.

Called Exosuit, the suit has a rigid metal humanoid form with Iron Man-like thrusters that enable divers to operate safely down to depths of 300 metres.

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June 8 2014

New articles on GrahamHancock.com


See three new articles recently posted on GrahamHancock.com:

  1. Odin and Gunnlod: the celestial shamanic message of the world's ancient sacred mythology by David Mathisen
  2. The Old Man and his Daughter by David Mathisen
  3. Trashmageddon: Living in a Dying World by Sergey Baranov

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June 8 2014

Vandals destroy prehistoric rock art in Libya's lawless Sahara


TADRART ACACUS, Libya— Vandals have destroyed prehistoric rock art in lawless southern Libya, endangering a sprawling tableau of paintings and carvings classified by UNESCO as of "outstanding universal value."

Located along Libya's southwestern tip bordering Algeria, the Tadrart Acacus mountain massif is famous for thousands of cave paintings and carvings going back up to 14,000 years.

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June 8 2014

Mitochondrial DNA of first Near Eastern farmers is sequenced for the first time


In the research, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, experts analysed samples from three sites located in the birthplace of Neolithic agricultural practices: the Middle Euphrates basin and the oasis of Damascus, located in today’s Syria and date at about 8,000 BC.

Agricultural and husbandry practices originated around 12,000 years ago in a region of the Near East known as the Fertile Crescent.

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June 8 2014

Students Build the First Eukaryotic Chromosome from Scratch


In March undergraduate students in Johns Hopkins University's Build a Genome course announced they had made a yeast chromosome from scratch—and history, too. It is the first time anyone has synthesized the chromosome of a complex organism, a landmark achievement in the field of synthetic biology. It is also a triumph for the movement known as DIY biology.

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