R R PATIL

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Spit-Take

Saliva serves a whole mess of purposes. It aids digestion, lubricates your mouth, and even acts as an ion buffer, which keeps minerals in your teeth from dissolving and salts from precipitating in there.<p>If you're a certain member of the swift family, you may use your spit to build nests. Weird …

What Do Animals See in the Mirror?

Asian elephants, magpies, and great apes are among the species that can self-recognize.<p>Reflect on this: What do animals see when they look into a mirror?<p>Our Weird Animal Question of the Week came to us from @iscavenger, who tweeted us after reading our January column "Why Do Dogs Watch—and React …

Russian Bluster Aside, What Will Become Of The ISS?

Russia's recent threat to leave the space station by 2020 was in fact the original plan.<p>Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin announced on May 13 that his country will end cooperation on the International Space Station after 2020. The comments spurred gloomy headlines: “Russia's retaliation …

Researchers Make a Circuit So Flexible, It Can Wrap Around a Vein

If we really want to get the dream of implantable electronics off the ground, we'll need to figure out how to make circuit boards flexible enough to …

Out Of Old Factory, Japanese Company Sells... High-Tech Lettuce

Not your typical product from an electronics firm<p>In an empty space in its former factory in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, electronics-maker Fujitsu is now developing an unusual product: lettuce. Grown in a clean room, the lettuce has been engineered to contain low amounts of potassium. The growing …

Scientists design a collider that turns light into matter

Ever since the 1960s, when the food synthesiser made its appearance in <i>Star Trek</i>, the idea of a machine that could seemingly make something from nothing has been the kind of tech we dream about. But the actual technology may not be as implausible as previously thought.<p>In 1934, Gregory Breit and John …

Physics