Zothecula writes: The old myth about goldfish having a three-second memory has already been thoroughly busted, but now researchers have provided more evidence of fish's recall abilities. They have discovered a species of tropical fish can distinguish one human face from another, which is something believed to require a more sophisticated brain than many animals, including fish, are thought to possess.
Zothecula writes: Guns are often thought of in terms of their destructive nature, but a new kind of gun is set to help heal rather than harm. Called the SkinGun, the device applies stem cells to the site of a burn in a novel way, helping increase both treatment and recovery time over standard methods. New tests show that it delivered a healing spray with 200 times more coverage than traditional methods.
Zothecula writes: The standard image of Jupiter is of a mysterious planet shrouded in colorful strips, spots and swirls. But what exactly is going on beneath the atmosphere's chaotic exterior is a question that has mystified astronomers for some time. Researchers have now peeled back the curtain by producing the most detailed radio map of Jupiter's atmosphere yet, revealing swathes of ammonia gas that drive its stormy weather and possibly, other giant planets just like it.
Zothecula writes: A French company known for designing drones for specific uses, like shooting 360-degree video for virtual reality, is now taking on a specific invasive species. Drone Volt has introduced the Drone Spray Hornet to locate and destroy the nests of Asian hornets that are becoming a nuisance in parts of Europe.
Zothecula writes: Engineering immune cells to attack cancer is a form of treatment that is showing great promise, but it is complex because it involves extracting and modifying T cells before injecting them back into the body. Scientists have now demonstrated a way to not just arm immune cells while still inside the body, but equip them with the ability to fight any kind of cancer, providing an early proof-of-concept for a cheap, universal vaccine for the deadly disease.
Zothecula writes: We might be yet to see a fully-formed Hyperloop in action, but that doesn't mean some international officials aren't already inspired by Elon Musk's futuristic transport system. According to local news reports, Russia is contemplating a Hyperloop-like project to connect the country from north to south, and east to west.
Zothecula writes: For such a reviled creature, the cockroach has some pretty impressive abilities. It can slide through incredibly narrow gaps, has great acceleration and can cling to overhanging surfaces like a gecko. But something you won't see them doing is launching more than a meter into the air – at least not in the natural world. But researchers have developed a new springing mechanism for small robots that enables them to jump many times their own height at just the right time, a technology they have demonstrated in their so-called JumpRoACH leaping milli-scale robot.
Zothecula writes: It's probably not something you'd say to a person writhing in agony on the floor, but physical pain can have its benefits. It is after all how kids learn to be wary of hot surfaces and carpenters to hit nails on the head. Researchers are now adapting this exercise in self-learning to an artificial nervous system for robots, a tool they believe will better equip these machines to avoid damage and preserve their – and our – well-being.
Zothecula writes: It sounds like an approach you might take in Grand Theft Auto, but China may soon be dealing with its notorious traffic problems simply by driving right over the top of them. A Beijing company is planning to move ahead with a track-based public transport system that allows vehicles to pass underneath, an idea aimed at easing air pollution and congestion.
Zothecula writes: Cigarette butts are a bigger environmental problem than you might realize, with some 6 trillion cigarettes produced every year, creating 1.2 million tonnes of garbage. And due to the chemicals and heavy metals in the filters, that garbage is technically toxic waste. So what if we could get rid of butt litter by using them to make bricks? A team at RMIT University in Australia tried the idea out.
Zothecula writes: India has entered the ranks of spacefaring nations with reusable spacecraft, as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conducted the first flight of its locally-built spaceplane demonstrator. The unmanned, scale hypersonic Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) spaceplane took off yesterday at 7:00 am IST on a suborbital flight of 770 seconds from First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota and was safely recovered after a successful reentry and splashdown.
Zothecula writes: Researchers at MIT's Media Lab have developed a method for 3D printing hair structures with a diameter as small as 50 micrometers each. With the ability to create finely detailed surfaces, touch sensors and even actuating motors, the technology could be used to make customized paint brushes, Velcro-like mechanical adhesives, and touch-sensitive plush toys.
Zothecula writes: All eyes in the tech world are turned toward San Francisco this week as Google unveils its latest and greatest at its annual I/O conference. The first major announcement came after CEO Sundar Pichai kicked things off and handed the mic to Mario Queiroz, Google's Vice President of product management. Queiroz unveiled Google Home, one of the expected announcements at today's event, which basically brings Google's voice assistant feature to a standalone unit similar to Amazon's Echo.
Zothecula writes: An Australian team has set a new record for squeezing as much electricity as possible out of direct, unfocused sunlight via a new solar cell configuration. Engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) achieved 34.5 percent sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency, a new mark that also comes closer than ever to the theoretical limits of such a system.
Zothecula writes: From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Babel fish to Star Trek's universal translator, science fiction has found ways to break down the intergalactic language barriers, but it's something those of us in the real world are still struggling with. New York startup Waverly Labs is now claiming it's ready to make fiction a reality with the Pilot earpiece, which sits in your ear to provide near real-time translations of multilingual conversations.