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Blue moon – in pictures

A blue moon rose in the skies for first time in three years on Friday. The event occurs when there are two full moons in one calendar month, roughly every two to three years. This summer it is especially interesting as it’s also a supermoon, when the moon is at its closest approach to Earth, making …

Comic artists draw sick kids as superheroes to benefit children's hospital

Polygon is excited to unveil, for the first time online, five completely new superheroes making their debut this weekend at Chicago's biggest comic book convention. Their creators are among the city's bravest citizens, and they all happen to be between the ages of 5 and 15.<p>Chicago Loot Drop is a …

Robot cleans hospital rooms with UV light - Futurity

A robot that looks a little like R2-D2 of Star Wars can kill up to 70 percent of bacteria in hospital rooms with UV light.

Physiology

Treatment for Cotton Makes Fabric Waterproof and Fire-Resistant

Researchers in China have devised a treatment for cotton that makes the fabric both flame-resistant and waterproof. The scientists, from Jilin University, were attempting to extend the life of fire-retarding treatments, and hit on the idea of following the flame-proofing with a water-proofing. They …

Nanotech

Scientists think your cellphone could help them warn of earthquakes

Your smartphone is a camera, a calculator, a flashlight and a pedometer. Scientists believe it could be part of an earthquake early-warning system too.<p>It turns out that the GPS sensors built into most smartphones are sensitive enough to detect the earliest signs of quakes that are magnitude 7 and …

Geology

UN urged to ban 'killer robots' before they can be developed

Fully autonomous weapons should be banned by international treaty, says a report by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School<p>Fully autonomous weapons, already denounced as “killer robots”, should be banned by international treaty before they can be developed, a new report urges the United Nations …

Rights & Freedoms

RoboCore Is A Core For Your Robo

Krakow-based RoboCore has just launched on Kickstarter and is looking for a mere $50,000 to help you build better robots.<p>The device is essentially a brain for your robotic projects. It is compatible with LEGO MindStorms and allows you to control multiple servos and sensors. You can also stream …

How sleeping 6 times a day helped the founder of WordPress build a billion-dollar company

Matt Mullenweg’s WordPress content management platform is one of the most influential pieces of software on the Internet, running more than 19 percent of websites (including VentureBeat).<p>But before Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, was on the path to being a billion-dollar company, …

WordPress

This man will live the life of someone else through a virtual reality headset for 28 days

"Seeing-I" is a social-artistic experiment that questions how much of the individual is an inherent personality and how large a portion of the individual is a cultural identity.<p>For 24 hours a day for 28 days, artist Mark Farid will wear a Virtual Reality Headset through which he will experience …

Virtual Reality

Prosthetic Arm Lets Veteran Scale Climbing Wall in Inspiring Video

Advances in technology may result in cool, flashy stuff like robotic dogs and self-zipping zippers, but it's also revolutionizing the field of prosthetics. This inspiring video shows a former Army volunteer with a prosthetic arm getting up the climbing wall at Walter Reed National Military Medical …

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Scientists kick a robot that's so much like a dog you want them to stop

When Boston Dynamics engineers kick a robot, you feel like they're kicking man's best friend.<p>It's all in the name of technology. But their new creation Spot moves so much like a dog that you may be anthropomorphizing before the video below is halfway over.<p>Leave. Spot. Alone.<p>"Spot is smaller than …

Robotics

Another startup steps up to build the hyperloop

Image copyright Hyperloop Technologies.Hyperloop Technologies, a startup formed by SpaceX alumni and well-known Silicon Valley executives, came out …

High-speed Rail

Get a buzz out of helping bees. All you need are some broad beans

A new citizen science project called Bees and Beans aims to map the activity of wild bees in our gardens<p>Britain’s bees need you. With habitat loss, agricultural practices and changes to land use taking their toll on many wild species of pollinator, the impact on plants, from fruit crops to garden …

Science Is Beautiful: The Human Body Under The Microscope

A new book showcases the magnificent micro-world<p><i>Science Is Beautiful</i>, a new book by Colin Salter, is a compilation of images that show what the human body looks like under a microscope. With an artistic eye, the book showcases cells, microbes, and more. Here are some of our favorite images from</i> …

You should play this weird iPhone game about love and electricity

Or at least watch the movie<p>In 2012, Michael Frei made a short black-and-white film about strange people who had electrical plugs instead of heads. It was a trippy six-minute-long animated experience that was hard to categorize — and now it's a video game, too.<p><i>Plug & Play</i> the game, which is …

Bill Gates

The Internet will vanish, says Google's Eric Schmidt

Technically Incorrect: Speaking at Davos, Google's executive chairman explains that we'll all be experiencing our digital connections as a seamless part of our everyday world.<p><i>Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.</i><p>Digitally speaking, we're not …

Eric Schmidt

Does diet change iron levels in the brain? - Futurity

A pilot study links iron levels in the brain with certain types of food, though the effects seem to differ for men and women.

The Brain

This reality show confronts online trolls in real life

<i>Trolljägarna (Troll Hunter)</i> is a Swedish reality TV show that hunts down and confronts online harassers in real life.<p>It's hosted by investigative journalist Robert Aschberg, who actively confronts online abusers as they leave work, or finds them outside their homes.<p>CBC radio's Q has just posted an …

Meteorite is 'hard drive' from space

<b>Researchers have decoded ancient recordings from fragments of an asteroid dating back billions of years to the start of the Solar System.</b><p>They found tiny "space magnets" in meteorites which retain a memory of the birth and death of the asteroid's core.<p>Like the data recorded on the surface of a …

Magnetism

Watch: Rare optical phenomenon creates three suns in the sky

An anthelion, a rare phenomenon in which three suns appear in the sky, is spotted in Mongolia<p>A rare celestial phenomenon has appeared in Mongolia which gives the illusion of three suns in the sky.<p>Footage shows the sun in the centre with a reflection either side.<p>The phenomenon, called an anthelion, …

Astronomy

Stick-On Tattoo Measures Blood Sugar Without Needles

Sweet news for diabetics<p>Diabetics often prick their fingers up to eight times a day to check their blood sugar. Researchers have long looked for a solution that provides constant monitoring without being so invasive, and researchers at the University of California San Diego have come up with a new …

Human-Like Robots Are Getting Jobs

At the Consumer Electronics Show, a crowd gathered around Chihira Aico, a life-sized robot in a pink party dress who was standing at the Toshiba booth. At first, the android stood perfectly still, like a mannequin in a window display. But there was something odd about her, even though she looked …

Robotics

Khan Academy Brings All Its Courses to iPad

Education on the go.<p>The non-profit educational group, Khan Academy, has made all of its online courses and over 150,000 training exercises available …

Apps

Mario develops awareness, plays his own game

A team of researchers has programmed an AI into Nintendo's Super Mario Advance, so that he can play his own game according to his feelings.<p>The whole point of a video game is that it's interactive -- that the little avatar on the screen is under your control. If that little avatar needs no input …

Artificial Intelligence

The New Electric Car That Can Upstage Tesla

Unlike with most previous electric cars, the price range will be around that of the average new gas-fueled vehicle.<p>With the introduction of an affordable electric car that can go 200 miles on a single charge, General Motors is setting up a showdown with Tesla to sell an electric vehicle to the …

Electric Vehicles