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Submission + - Extreme Pressure Reveals New Phenomenon in Atomic Nuclei->

Zothecula writes: Scientists have long believed that while an atom's outer electrons are highly mobile and often behave somewhat chaotically, the inner electrons close to the nucleus are stable. They move steadily around the nucleus and stay out of each other's way. But new research reveals that if the pressure is really extreme, like double that found at the center of the Earth, the innermost electrons of an atom change their behavior.
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Submission + - Smooth-Moving Robots Cut Energy Consumption->

Zothecula writes: With their precise mechanical movements, robots seem like the most efficient of workers, but they can actually waste a good deal of energy. Chalmers University of Technology is developing a new optimization tool that acts like an efficiency expert for industrial robots by smoothing their movements to reduce their energy consumption by as much as 40 percent.
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Submission + - 3D-Printed Microscopic Fish Could be Forerunners to Smart "Microbots"->

Zothecula writes: Tiny 3D-printed robotic fish smaller than the width of a human hair may one day deliver drugs to specific places in our bodies and sense and remove toxins, thanks to research at the University of California, San Diego. The so-called microfish are self-propelled, magnetically steered, and powered by hydrogen peroxide nanoparticles. And they might be just the first chip off the block for a future filled with "smart" microbots inspired by other biological organisms such as birds, each with its own specialized functionality.
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Submission + - Could a Hydrogen-Powered iPhone be in the Works?->

Zothecula writes: For decades we've been promised that hydrogen fuel cells will revolutionize our lives, but it always seems to be around the next corner. But that hasn't stopped one UK company from pursuing a near future in which iPhones and other devices are completely disconnected from the electrical grid and instead use embedded fuel cells to power themselves for a full week between recharges.
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Submission + - DeepFlight Dragon Review: The Awesome Underwater Quadcopter Anyone Can Drive->

Zothecula writes: The 1.6 million dollar Deepflight Dragon electric personal submarine looks like a Formula One car, but operates like a quadcopter in reverse. And when you get the opportunity to fly it, damnit you take that opportunity. Even when the sub's stabilization software isn't finished yet and the team is still in preliminary testing.
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Submission + - New Record Energy Efficiency for Artificial Photosynthesis->

Zothecula writes: As the world moves towards developing new avenues of renewable energy, the efficiencies of producing fuels such as hydrogen must increase to the point that they rival or exceed those of conventional energy sources to make them a viable alternative. Now researchers at Monash University in Melbourne claim to have created a solar-powered device that produces hydrogen at a world-record 22 percent efficiency, which is a significant step towards making cheap, efficient hydrogen production a reality.
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Submission + - Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere to Create Carbon Nanofibers->

Zothecula writes: Carbon nanofibers hold tremendous potential. But could the greatest gift these little wonders offer humanity be not what they bring into the world but what they take out of it? Scientists have developed a technique that could pull the mounting carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and transform it into carbon nanofibers, resulting in raw materials for use in anything from sports gear to commercial airliners.
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Submission + - Mice Brainpower Boosted With Alteration of a Single Gene->

Zothecula writes: "Ignorance is bliss," so the old saying goes, but who wouldn't give their brainpower a boost if they had the chance? By altering a single gene to inhibit the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase (PDE4B), researchers have given mice the opportunity to see what an increase in intelligence is like. While many people would welcome such a treatment, the scientists say their research could lead to new treatments for those with cognitive disorders and age-related cognitive decline.
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Submission + - Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship to Cross Atlantic Without a Crew->

Zothecula writes: If you should encounter a crewless ship out on the Atlantic Ocean in a few years, don’t worry about it being the ghostly Flying Dutchman it may be the Mayflower, however. No, not the square-rigger that brought Pilgrims to America, but the Autonomous Research Ship (MARS). Plans call for the wind- and solar-powered trimaran to sail itself from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2020 – the 400th anniversary of the original ship’s journey – carrying out a variety of research projects along the way.
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Submission + - Immortus Solar Sports Car to Offer Unlimited Range on Sunny Days->

Zothecula writes: If you’ve ever scanned the comments section on an electric car or bike article, you’ll be familiar with this complaint: "that’s not green, it’s just a coal-powered vehicle." Well, not this one. The Immortus is an electric car built to generate its own power through some 7 sq m (75 sq ft) of solar photovoltaic paneling. You can charge its battery off the mains if you have to, but if conditions are sunny, the inbuilt solar panels alone will let you drive at more than 60 km/h (37 mph) for an unlimited distance.
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Submission + - The Evolution Machine: Mother Robot Makes Each Child Better Than the Last->

Zothecula writes: It was only last month that futurists Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warned about the dangers of intelligent machines, and a new research project led by the University of Cambridge won't do much to put their minds at ease. Scientists have created a mother robot that can not only build its own children robots, but mimic the process of natural selection to improve their capabilities with each generation.
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Submission + - 3D Printing in the Vacuum of Outer Space->

Zothecula writes: Last November, California-based Made in Space grabbed headlines when one of its specially-designed 3D printers became the first such device to print an object in outer space ... that was within the protective confines of the International Space Station, however. Now, the company is working on a printer that will work outside the station, in the cold vacuum of ACTUAL outer space.
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Submission + - Magnetism Generated in Non-Magnetic Metals->

Zothecula writes: By subtly altering certain quantum interactions in matter, scientists from the University of Leeds have shown for the very first time how to generate magnetism in metals that aren’t normally magnetic. Synthetic magnets made using this technique may one day reduce our reliance on rare or toxic metals in such things as wind turbines, computer hard drives and magnetic field medical imaging devices.
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Submission + - Breathalyzer Bike Lock Stops Drunken Cyclists in Their Tracks->

Zothecula writes: When you compare it to the wreckage a drunk driver can cause, an inebriated cyclist mightn't seem all that great a threat. But in reality any road user with impaired judgement can wreak havoc through an ignored stop sign or traffic light, whatever their choice of ride. The Alcoho-Lock is aimed at preventing cyclists from hopping in the saddle when they've had one too many, working in much the same way as breath-test locks for drunk drivers.
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"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA