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Personal gadgets known as “hearables,” which communicate with the neural signals passing through our ears in order to monitor and interact with our brains, are on their way. Hearables could help us focus on specific conversations, like smart hearing aids, or monitor our brain activity to treat tinnitus. That’s according to Poppy Crum, the Stanford University neuroscientist and chief scientist
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The vocabulary we currently use to describe sexual orientation is hopelessly inadequate, with labels like ‘gay’, ‘straight’ and ‘bi’ falling far short of the complex reality, a large long-term study suggests. Far from being being a fixed preference, the findings suggest that sexual identity and attraction undergo extensive and often subtle changes throughout a person’s life,
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Armed with CRISPR gene-editing technology, scientists are trying to move away from performing experiments on common model organisms, like fruit flies and zebrafish, which have long defined biological research – by crafting new ones at the genetic level. But scientists who are gene hacking new animals for their research are running into logistical problems, according
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In the early 1970s, when satellites first began snapping photos of Earth, scientists noticed a mysterious hole in one of Antarctica’s seasonal ice packs, floating on the Lazarev Sea. Come summertime the gap had disappeared, and for decades the strange event went unexplained. Then, a year and a half ago, during the continent’s coldest winter months, when
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The widespread adoption of pasteurisation and refrigeration means we’re now used to a shelf life of two to three weeks for milk, but scientists working at Australian company Naturo just announced they’ve extended that to more than 60 days. Allegedly, Naturo’s technique doesn’t involve the heat treatment that comes with pasteurisation, and apparently “retains its
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After a lengthy investigation, NASA has finally pinned down the reason two science missions failed to launch. A supplier had been sending faulty aluminium for rocket parts – after fraudulently altering test results and falsifying certifications. The supplier was Sapa Profiles, Inc. (SPI), an Oregon-based aluminium extrusion manufacturer, and it had been perpetrating its fraud
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Remember when Orson Welles’ 1938 radio show called “The War of the Worlds” fooled people into thinking that Earth was actually being invaded? That was fun. Now, the ESA (European Space Agency) is tempting fate by live-tweeting the hypothetical approach of the hypothetical asteroid 2019PDC and hypothetically planning a hypothetical response to this hypothetically destructive
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One of the most recognisable star formations in our galaxy could be harbouring an intergalactic fugitive.  Hiding in the Ursa Major constellation, home of the Big Dipper, astronomers have recently ousted a strange star unlike any other in the Milky Way. Officially known as J1124+4535, this bizarre celestial body appears to have an unusual chemical signature and, incidentally, origin.
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Extraterrestrial life, that familiar science-fiction trope, that kitschy fantasy, that CGI nightmare, has become a matter of serious discussion, a “risk factor”, a “scenario”. How has ET gone from sci-fi fairytale to a serious scientific endeavour modelled by macroeconomists, funded by fiscal conservatives and discussed by theologians? Because, following a string of remarkable discoveries over
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In the bewildering quagmire that is the gas between the stars, the Hubble Space Telescope has identified evidence of ionised buckminsterfullerene, the carbon molecule known colloquially as “buckyballs”. Containing 60 carbon atoms arranged in a soccer ball shape, buckminsterfullerene (C60) occurs naturally here on Earth – in soot. But in 2010, it was also detected in