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Krill "deposits" transport atmospheric carbon to the ocean depths

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) are the diet of many animals in the Southern Ocean

Krill may be small, but scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) say that these tiny crustaceans play an important role in the transportation of carbon within the oceans. Not only are they a key element of the ocean's food pyramid, but they also move through the depths in such a way that they could have a major impact on the world's climate. According to a recent study, the way in which krill move between different depths can accelerate how atmospheric carbon moves into the deep ocean.

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Category: Environment

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Autonomous drone lives in a shed, down on the farm

The Scout agriculture drone, about to take off from its Drone Station

Drones can be of great use to farmers, for doing aerial inspections of their crops. The fact is, though, flying the things back and forth over the fields can be both tricky and time-consuming. That's why Boston-based American Robotics created the Scout. It does everything autonomously, so users can reportedly just set it and forget it for an entire season.

.. Continue Reading Autonomous drone lives in a shed, down on the farm

Category: Drones

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It looks like `Oumuamua is just a big rock after all

`Oumuamua is the first observed interstellar object to enter the Solar System

The SETI initiative Breakthrough Listen has announced that preliminary observations of the first known interstellar asteroid show no sign that the 400 m (1,300 ft)-long object is anything other than natural. No directed or broadcast radio transmissions have been detected from `Oumuamua (A/2017 U1), but observations and analysis continue.

.. Continue Reading It looks like `Oumuamua is just a big rock after all

Category: Space

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Sitpack collapsible stool takes the load off wherever you wander

The all-new Sitpack Zen

Ever desperately need to sit, but couldn't find a proper seat anywhere? Maybe every seat in the room was occupied or you were outside and there wasn't a seat, stump or large rock – nothing. Whatever the situation, you were left standing there sore-legged and achy-backed. Never again, with the new Sitpack Zen. This ultra-portable, carbon-and-aluminum stool carries in a backpack or on your shoulder and ensures you always have a place to take the load right off.

.. Continue Reading Sitpack collapsible stool takes the load off wherever you wander

Category: Good Thinking

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Reflective glass goes clear – just add methyl salicylate

The glass in its retroreflective state (left), and its clear state (right)

Imagine if your car's windshield glass could turn from being clear to reflective, when the car was parked in the hot sun. Or perhaps if there were rooftop panels that reflected unwanted solar heat in the summer, but turned clear to let it in, in the winter. Well, such things may soon be possible, thanks to a new liquid-activated "smart glass" being developed at the University of Delaware.

.. Continue Reading Reflective glass goes clear – just add methyl salicylate

Category: Science

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Using smartphone photos as fingerprints could help fight identity theft

In tests, the system has proven to be 99.5 percent accurate

Sorry, but your smartphone's camera isn't perfect. Its image sensor contains microscopic manufacturing flaws, which show up in its photos as tiny imperfections known as photo-response non-uniformity (PRNU). Because each phone has its own unique PRNU pattern, scientists from the University at Buffalo have proposed that it could be used as a form of personal identification.

.. Continue Reading Using smartphone photos as fingerprints could help fight identity theft

Category: Good Thinking

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Here's what you're not getting for Christmas in 2017

New Atlas' list of things not to bother putting on your Christmas list

Looking for the ideal Christmas gift? Look further. Even if your digital pockets are bursting with Bitcoin, the following collection of outrageous items are likely beyond your reach. It's time for our annual recap of the most extravagant, over-the-top and, in some cases, downright nonsensical examples of luxurious excess that have crossed our desks throughout the year. Here's what you can't have for Christmas in 2018.

.. Continue Reading Here's what you're not getting for Christmas in 2017

Category: Good Thinking

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Camera attachment provides safe haven for spare memory cards

Memistore can be mounted to a camera or tripod and offers photographers somewhere to stow away ...

Even though SD media cards are getting more capacious and faster all the time, those increases are matched by the hungry demands of pixel-packed photos and videos. Many photographers carry spare cards to shoots, which can be misplaced or lost. The Memistore is a nifty two slot temporary shelter for spare cards that can be attached to a camera or tripod.

.. Continue Reading Camera attachment provides safe haven for spare memory cards

Category: Digital Cameras

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French tiny house offers rest and relaxation in the Alps

The Ondine measures 6 m (19 ft)-long and reaches a height of 4.1 m (13.45 ft)

French tiny house firm Baluchon has made a name for itself designing very small and lightweight homes, like the Escapade and Odyssée. Its latest model, the Ondine, is similar in style to those and serves as both a full-time home and workplace to a masseur in the Alps.

.. Continue Reading French tiny house offers rest and relaxation in the Alps

Category: Tiny Houses

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The flying, floating, roof-riding and otherwise cool and unusual tents of 2017

37.5 Cliffside Shop

As much as young, adventure lovers have helped push forward a new generation of camper vans, they've also been behind an ever-evolving tent camping scene. Suddenly high-flying tree tents and roofed hammocks are all the rage and tents are getting as social as the Web. The basic ground tent was nearly more the exception than the rule in 2017, as tents that dangle from trees and cliffs, float on water, and ride atop motor vehicles hoarded the spotlight.

.. Continue Reading The flying, floating, roof-riding and otherwise cool and unusual tents of 2017

Category: Outdoors

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Review: Roadie 2 motorized guitar tuner works alone

The Roadie 2 motorized tuner can bring a guitar to perfect pitch without needing help from ...

Chromatic, clip-on, pedal, polyphonic, pipe and fork ... if you want to tune up your guitar, you have plenty of helpful options to choose from. A little over 4 years ago something a little different muscled its way into the highly strung world of the pitch perfect. The Roadie was essentially a motorized peg turner made smart with the help of a paired smartphone or tablet. And it rocked. We loved it. Until we got to meet the second generation robotic tuning machine – smarter, faster and able to work without a smartphone. This really is tuning made easy.

.. Continue Reading Review: Roadie 2 motorized guitar tuner works alone

Category: Music

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Alibaba to sell cars "like cans of coke" through a giant cat-themed vending machine

Alibaba's kinda weird, kinda cute car-vending machine

China's Alibaba sure knows how to move product (it is one of the world's biggest e-commerce companies, after all), and for its move into the automotive space it is pulling out all the stops. Customers looking to buy a new ride through the company will soon be able to take it for a test drive first, right after it's spat out of a gigantic cat-themed vending machine.

.. Continue Reading Alibaba to sell cars "like cans of coke" through a giant cat-themed vending machine

Category: Automotive

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Powering up: The biggest battery breakthroughs of 2017

A researcher in Australia holds up a rechargeable zinc-air battery

Batteries are the engine room for so much of the modern world, from smartphones to laptops and weird new scooters to the emerging fleets of autonomous trucks. So there are plenty of folks with an interest in pushing battery technology forward, and 2017 brought a raft of exciting breakthroughs aimed at making them safer, longer-lasting, faster-charging and more cost effective. Here's the best of the bunch.

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Category: Electronics

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System that brings autonomous capabilities to existing helicopters demoed for Marines

A UH-1 Huey equipped with an AACUS autonomy kit makes an approach for landing during final ...

In 2012, the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) began a five-year, US$98-million program to develop an autonomous flight system that could be retrofitted to existing helicopters. Now, Aurora Flight Sciences has successfully demonstrated such a system at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. A US Marine Corps UH-1H helicopter fitted with the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) demonstrated its autonomous flight and operational capabilities on multiple flights as it executed a series of re-supply missions under various conditions.

.. Continue Reading System that brings autonomous capabilities to existing helicopters demoed for Marines

Category: Aircraft

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FCC shoots down net neutrality: Welcome to the age of "internet freedom"

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has long had net neutrality regulations in his sights and the FCC ...

After a brief couple of years of Obama-era net neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now officially overturned the regulations that blocked internet service providers (ISPs) from throttling or prioritizing certain packets of information as they see fit.

.. Continue Reading FCC shoots down net neutrality: Welcome to the age of "internet freedom"

Category: Telecommunications

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Ancient giant penguin could have looked us in the eye

The ancient giant Kumimanu biceae would have been the size of a human diver

Scientists have discovered that the waters off New Zealand were once the home of a penguin so large it could look a full-grown human in the eye. The 60 million year old remains of the giant flightless bird were examined by a team led by Gerald Mayr at Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, who concludes that the species was one of the largest penguins ever found, standing 1.77 m (70 in) and weighing over 100 kg (220 lb).

.. Continue Reading Ancient giant penguin could have looked us in the eye

Category: Biology

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Unique genetic mutation found in family that doesn't feel pain

Scientists have isolated a genetic mutation that appears to render an Italian family unable to feel ...

Unpleasant as it is, pain serves an important function by telling us that something is wrong. But for people suffering from chronic pain conditions, the message is blaring constantly, and conventional painkillers aren't all that effective. Now, a new hope for relief might have been found in the strange case of an Italian family, who all have a genetic mutation that makes them feel almost no pain at all.

.. Continue Reading Unique genetic mutation found in family that doesn't feel pain

Category: Biology

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Peugeot and Benetau collaborate on Sea Drive concept

Peugeot/Benetau Sea Drive concept: a sideless, bottomless boat concept? Wait a minute

What the heck is Peugeot doing building a sideless, bottomless speedboat/yacht hybrid thing with Benetau? How does that thing even float? Won't your feet get awfully wet? These are a number of questions that entered my head before I realized the Sea Drive concept isn't actually a boat at all.

.. Continue Reading Peugeot and Benetau collaborate on Sea Drive concept

Category: Marine

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Declassified nuclear detonation films released to the public for the first time

The newly released videos have never before been seen by the general public

Sixty-two newly declassified videos have just been released by the US government showing footage of atmospheric nuclear tests from the first half of the 20th century. The videos, never before seen by the general public, have been uploaded to YouTube, offering scientists and historians a fascinating new look at a time of extreme nuclear experimentation.

.. Continue Reading Declassified nuclear detonation films released to the public for the first time

Category: Physics

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NASA employs AI to discover planetary system as large as our own

With the discovery of an eighth planet, the Kepler-90 system is the first to tie with ...

Data from the Kepler Space Telescope has revealed the Kepler-90 system ties with our own for the most number of planets known to orbit a single star. The discovery of an eighth exoplanet, Kepler-90i, revolving around its Sun-like star located 2,545 light years away in the constellation of Draco, was achieved using artificial intelligence software programmed to detect the distinct light signature of planets passing in front of their parent star.

.. Continue Reading NASA employs AI to discover planetary system as large as our own

Category: Space

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"Mind-blowing results" from gene therapy trial point to a cure for haemophilia

A new trial has produced extraordinarily positive results for treating the devastating genetic condition haemophilia A

The results from the first human trials for a gene therapy to treat patients with haemophilia A have just been published, and they are truly remarkable. The treatment has essentially cured almost all the participants, suggesting a transformative change is on the horizon in how this previously incurable genetic disease is treated.

.. Continue Reading "Mind-blowing results" from gene therapy trial point to a cure for haemophilia

Category: Medical

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Thor Trucks launches Tesla Semi rival

Pricing for the ET-One should start at US$150,000

The Tesla Semi electric truck is officially in for some competition. This week, Los Angeles-based Thor Trucks announced its ET-One. Capable of hauling 80,000 lb (36,287 kg) with instant torque at zero RPM, it has a claimed range of 300 miles (482 km) per charge of its lithium-ion battery pack.

.. Continue Reading Thor Trucks launches Tesla Semi rival

Category: Automotive

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Climate change models project extreme temperature woes for continental US

A composite image of the continental United States, as seen by the polar-orbiting Suomi NPP satellite ...

New high-resolution climate models are projecting that, in the not-too-distant future, America could face frequent and extreme temperatures that would take a significant toll on the nation's water resources and agricultural efforts. On the brighter side, the advanced climate models are so detailed that they could one day be used by policy makers to plan mitigation strategies on a local level.

.. Continue Reading Climate change models project extreme temperature woes for continental US

Category: Environment

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Bioinspired robot easily adapts to lost appendages

The robot was inspired by the brittle star, one of which is pictured here

We've been hearing a lot lately about robots that are designed to operate in hazardous environments such as disaster sites. In these types of places, it's entirely possible that their locomotion system could be damaged. Would that just stop them in their tracks? Perhaps not, if they're anything like the brittle star-inspired robot created at Japan's Tohoku and Hokkaido universities.

.. Continue Reading Bioinspired robot easily adapts to lost appendages

Category: Robotics

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Experimental e-bike is made for older riders

The Sofie prototype hits the road

It's an unfortunate fact of life that as people get older, their sense of balance diminishes. This means that seniors have a higher than average risk of falling when cycling. They may be less likely to do so, however, if the senior-specific Sofie e-bike reaches production.

.. Continue Reading Experimental e-bike is made for older riders

Category: Bicycles

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