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Associated Press News

Siri’s founders are building a new AI assistant

Viv could become everything that you've always wanted from Siri<p>Siri blew a lot of people away when it was first introduced by Apple in 2011, but just about everyone who used it quickly realized just how limited the AI really was. Not much has changed for Siri in the years since, but now, according …

Bigfoot, Yeti: Meet Science

Graphene: The Next Big (But Thin) Thing

Understanding Trypophobia: The Fear of Holes

How Tall Can Skyscrapers Get?

Life beyond Earth seems 'inevitable', US planetary scientist says

Astronomers are standing on a "great threshold" of space exploration that could see evidence of extra-terrestrial life being discovered in the next 20 years, an expert has claimed. Life beyond the Earth seems inevitable given the immensity of the universe, says US planetary scientist Dr Sara Seager.<p>…

NASA’s Next Mars Rover Will Make Oxygen

Changing Planet<p>Illustration shows the suite of instruments that will be on NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. Courtesy: NASA<p><b>Living off the land looks like the key to survival on Mars, so NASA’s next red planet rover will help show the way by brewing up its own oxygen, the space agency announced Thursday. The</b> …

Scientists reconstruct speech through soundproof glass by watching a bag of potato chips

Subtle vibrations can be translated back into audio<p>Your bag of potato chips can hear what you're saying. Now, researchers from MIT are trying to figure out a way to make that bag of chips tell them everything that you said — and apparently they have a method that works. By pointing a video camera …

This Solar-Powered Plane Could Stay In The Air Indefinitely

Switzerland has unveiled a solar-powered plane that could potentially stay in the air indefinitely. The newly finished aircraft will undergo its first tests in May and June, and plans to fly around the world in 20 days, spread out over three months.<p>The Solar Impulse 2 is an improvement over a small …

Google Patents Contact Lens Camera, Will Help the Blind and Create Superhumans

Forget having a camera in your pocket. Heck, forget having a camera strapped to your face ala Google Glass. As a recently published patent shows, …

Scientists are getting closer to a quantum computer — here's why it matters

Over the past few decades, scientists around the world have been working to develop an ambitious new type of device called a quantum computer. And, this week, they took a step closer to that goal.<p>Compared to normal computers, these quantum computers — first theorized in the 1980s, and still in …

Finally, A Way To Harvest Hydroelectric Energy From Toilet Flushes

It's about time toilets start providing a useful function<p>The average American flushes 24 gallons of water down the toilet daily, while—don't get me wrong, toilets; we appreciate all of your hard work—maybe some of the energy used in a flush could be put to an additional use.<p>Here's one way: harvest …

Snowboarder Glides With Handheld Airplane Thrusters

Yes, it looks fun. Yes, you will look like a dork.<p>Dreamscience Propulsion's snowboard thrusters are difficult to describe. It's like: if you stuffed airplane engines in _American Gladiator _batons? It's like: if you took a boom mic and used it to swat a drone out of the air? Words fail me.<p>But, here …

How It Works: The Highest-Efficiency Solar Cell

I'm going to soak up the sun.<p>Solar cells typically convert no more than 20 percent of incoming energy into electricity, in part because they capture only certain wavelengths of light. Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems have developed a solar cell that converts …

Whose Hands Are Warmer, Women’s or Men’s?

Climate Change

Pee a Rainbow: Scientist Snaps Shot of Colorful Urine

From red to blue to violet, all the colors of the rainbow appear regularly in urine tests conducted at hospital labs.<p>The prismatic pee collection …

Urinary Tract Infection

Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.<p>Your goal: to observe a meteor shower. You read an article about an upcoming meteor shower, and you …

How Carl Sagan Described Death To His Young Daughter

A new essay from Sasha Sagan shows how a great popularizer of science answered his own kid's big questions.<p>When your dad is Carl Sagan, your first lessons on death aren't sugar-coated. But they are nevertheless sweet and compassionate. That's how Sasha Sagan, Carl's daughter, describes them in a …

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste

The popular conception of nuclear power is straight out of <i>The Simpsons</i>: Springfield abounds with signs of radioactivity, from the strange glow …

Researchers uncover link between Down syndrome and leukemia

Although doctors have long known that people with Down syndrome have a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) during …

First Success Witnessed In World's Longest-Running Experiment

None of these pitch drops have ever been seen dropping. Until now.<p><i>Here comes the pitch</i>...<p>...<p>...<p>In baseball, that phrase would quickly be followed by an outcome, like <i>strike three!</i> But in the world's longest-running scientific experiment, waiting is the game. And so far, humans have struck out.<p>In …

'Earth's Cousin': Scientists Find Alien Planet That's Most Like Home

Scientists say a world that's 490 light-years away qualifies as the first confirmed Earth-sized exoplanet that could sustain life as we know it — but in an environment like nothing we've ever seen.<p>The planet, known as Kepler-186f, is "more of an Earth cousin than an Earth twin," Elisa Quintana, an …

Astronomy

3D-printed cast concept uses ultrasound to heal broken bones

Last year, Victoria University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill created the Cortex cast, a concept that sought to potentially replace traditional plaster casts while also offering the added benefit of being lightweight and odor-free. Now, the Osteoid cast, a new concept designed by Deniz …

Artificial blood 'will be manufactured in factories'

Wellcome Trust-funded stem cell research has produced red blood cells fit for transfusion into humans, paving the way for the mass production of blood<p>It is the stuff of gothic science fiction: men in white coats in factories of blood and bones.<p>But the production of blood on an industrial scale …

Why won't the UN talk about climate engineering?

As the IPCC struggles with climate change, geoengineering is still off the table<p>Over the weekend, climate scientists from around the world convened to tackle one of Earth's most pressing problems: what can humanity do to fight climate change? It’s been a massive process, with the UN’s International …

Japan Company To Give Maglev Tech To U.S. For Free

Might we get levitating train tech any time soon?<p>The Japanese rail operator JR Tokai said it would not charge the US to license its proprietary "maglev" technology, which allows trains to hover about 4 inches (10 centimeters) above tracks and travel at speeds of 310 mph (500 kph), according to …

Cherry Trees That Flew To Space Bloom Six Years Early

And the flowers are not like Earth flowers<p>Japanese astronauts took hundreds of cherry tree seeds with them to the International Space Station in 2008-2009, after which they were planted in several locations throughout Japan. About 265 seeds were taken from a celebrated old tree outside a Buddhist …