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September 26 2014

Deutsche Post launches drone deliveries


Medicine deliveries to a pharmacy on a North Sea island will be made by a drone, Deutsche Post announced on Wednesday, in the first project of its kind.

It is the first time that an unmanned drone will be used for a practical business purpose in Europe, the company claims.

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September 26 2014

Facebook to start testing internet beaming drones in 2015


There was an understandable amount of skepticism when Amazon announced its grand plans for delivery drones last year. But if the last twelve months are any indication, Jeff Bezos and his fellow tech heavyweights are actually kinda serious about the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles.


Related: Facebook says its internet drones will be the size of 747s and fly for years

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September 26 2014

Engineer Sees Big Possibilities in Micro-robots, Including Programmable Bees


Traditionally robots have been big, powerful, metallic objects that might weld doors onto cars in a factory," Wood says. "The robots we explore are dramatically different, some on a new, micro-sized scale, others made of soft rather than rigid materials.


Related: Robot Octopus Swims Faster Than Ever

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September 26 2014

Stone Age groups made similar toolmaking breakthroughs


Different palaeolithic populations around the world might have developed a crucial toolmaking skill independently. This conclusion, based on the analysis of hundreds of artefacts from a recently excavated archaeological site in Armenia, weakens a long-held theory that Stone Age people in Eurasia learnt sophisticated techniques from migrating African tribes.


Related: Prehistoric Stone Tools Evolved Independently Within Local Populations, Say Researchers

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September 26 2014

Modern humans may have migrated into Austria 43,500 years ago


Neanderthals' capabilities are still hotly debated. Some argue that before modern humans replaced them, Neanderthals showed cultural capabilities similar to those of modern humans, while others make a case that these similarities only appear once Neanderthals came in contact with modern humans. "The new data from Willendorf clearly shows that modern humans were present in what is now Austria while Neanderthals still occupied other regions of Europe suggesting that the two species met, and may have exchanged mates and ideas", explains Philip Nigst. "This means the changes in the material culture of some of the last Neanderthal groups are most probably related to direct or indirect contact with modern humans".

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September 26 2014

Hidden world of canyons and mountains beneath the ice caps revealed


Canyons, lakes and mountains have been revealed in the most detailed maps ever made of the hidden world beneath the polar regions.

Surveys of the Antarctic and Arctic have revealed features buried under the ice including a ‘mega canyon’ in Greenland - bigger even than the Grand Canyon in the US.

While previous maps of the polar regions showed them as mostly near-blank whiteness, the latest data has allowed the appearance of the land under the ice to be revealed.

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September 26 2014

No Single Missing Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs, Study Finds


Birds didn't evolve in one fell swoop from their dinosaur ancestors, suggests a newly constructed dinosaur family tree showing our feathery friends evolved very gradually, at first.

The new pedigree of carnivorous dinosaur evolution is the most comprehensive one ever assembled, the researchers say. The findings show that birdlike features such as wings and feathers developed slowly over tens of millions of years.

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September 26 2014

Rethinking the origins of the universe


Black holes have long captured the public imagination and been the subject of popular culture, from Star Trek to Hollywood. They are the ultimate unknown – the blackest and most dense objects in the universe that do not even let light escape.

And as if they weren’t bizarre enough to begin with, now add this to the mix: they don’t exist.


Related: Did the universe originate from a hyper-dimensional black hole?

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September 26 2014

20-Year-Old Supernova Mystery Finally Solved


A star-explosion mystery that puzzled astronomers for more than two decades has finally been solved.

Researchers using data gathered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have determined that the supernova SN 1993J — which was first observed in 1993, as its name suggests — occurred because one star nabbed hydrogen from another.

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September 26 2014

Physicists teleport quantum state of photon to crystal over 25 kilometers


Physicists have succeeded in teleporting the quantum state of a photon to a crystal over 25 kilometers of optical fiber. The experiment constitutes a first, and simply pulverizes the previous record of 6 kilometers achieved ten years ago by the same team. Passing from light into matter, using teleportation of a photon to a crystal, shows that, in quantum physics, it is not the composition of a particle which is important, but rather its state, since this can exist and persist outside such extreme differences as those which distinguish light from matter.

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September 26 2014

Quantum Entanglement Creates New State of Matter


Physicists have used a quantum connection Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” to link 500,000 atoms together so that their fates were entwined. The atoms were connected via “entanglement,” which means an action performed on one atom will reverberate on any atom entangled with it, even if the particles are far apart. The huge cloud of entangled atoms is the first “macroscopic spin singlet,” a new state of matter that was predicted but never before realized.

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September 26 2014

Curiosity Finds A Weird "Ball" On Mars


If there's one thing to be said for Curiosity's mission on Mars so far, it certainly hasn't been boring. From supposed Martian squirrels to strange flashes of light on the surface, the rover has kept us entertained. And now there's this rather odd... ball.


Related: 'Traffic Light' On Mars Spotted In NASA Curiosity Rover Photo

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September 25 2014

Water discovered in a small, warm exoplanet’s atmosphere for first time


Astronomers have detected water vapour in the atmosphere of a planet that orbits a star far beyond our solar system.

Observations of the Neptune-sized planet, which lies 120 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, revealed that its atmosphere was mostly hydrogen with around 25% made up from water vapour.

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September 25 2014

UNESCO to host meeting on controversial 'memory of water' research


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is potentially wading into hot water next month when it hosts a meeting set up by Nobelist Luc Montagnier to discuss his controversial research on what has become known as "the memory of water."


Related: Think You Know Everything About Water? Well, You Don’t

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September 25 2014

On a Shoestring, India Sends Orbiter to Mars on Its First Try


The Mars Orbiter Mission, or MOM, was intended mostly to prove that India could succeed in such a highly technical endeavor — and to beat China. As Mr. Modi and others have noted, India’s trip to Mars, at a price of $74 million, cost less than “Gravity,” the Hollywood movie. NASA’s almost simultaneous — and far more complex — mission to Mars cost $671 milliony.


Related: How India Mounted the World’s Cheapest Mission to Mars

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September 25 2014

Air-sniffing space probe arrives in Mars orbit. What will it smell?


Mars has welcomed a new robotic visitor from Earth.

After a 10-month journey through deep space, NASA's MAVEN probe arrived in Mars orbit late Sunday (Sept. 21), on a mission to help scientists figure out why the Red Planet changed from a relatively warm and wet place in the ancient past to the cold, arid world it is today.

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September 25 2014

Coronal mass ejections at Mars


Looking across the Mars landscape presents a bleak image: a barren, dry rocky view as far as the eye can see. But scientists think the vista might once have been quite different. It may have teemed with water and even been hospitable to microbial life. What changed?

One theory is that the continuous blast of solar particles from the sun – the constant stream of solar wind, coupled with more extreme explosions such as coronal mass ejections – might have been the culprit.

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