Let's just play this safe and assume that, until more samples have been collected and detailed DNA analysis has been done, the real answer to the question, "Is bacteria found in Antarctica's Lake Vostok actually new to science or just contamination from the drilling?" is "We don't really know." This is a great example of why making scientific pronouncements from the field, before you've had time to do the really in-depth analysis that goes into writing a peer-reviewed research paper, can be problematic. Right now, you've got different camps of researchers making totally contradictory claims. Who is right is, so far, anybody's guess.
On Sunday, Ingenuity—the small helicopter delivered to the surface of Mars by the Perseverance rover—will, hopefully, take its first flight. The distance between Earth and Mars means that lagtime precludes real-time remote control. The helicopter flies autonomously, but the helicopter's digital twin had a lot of practice in simulations back on Earth. At IEEE Spectrum,… READ THE REST
Turns out, you can — if you can get the slapping machine to stay alive long enough for the 135,000 slaps required to get it to a minimum safe temperature to eat. Science! Image: Screengrab READ THE REST
Perhaps someday we will once again achieve Roman levels of concrete artistry. Graphene Exponent: In July 2020, Thomas Swan, a global chemical manufacturing company signed an agreement with Concrene for a graphene-enhanced concrete product. That concrete product is now planned to be available in the US market in April 2021. The products in the lineup… READ THE REST
There are area rugs that tie together a space. There are area rugs that offer a unique aesthetic to give a room a different look or feel. Then there are area rugs that do both of those things while also filling in the Venn diagram of supremely messing with your mind. And you better be ready.… READ THE REST
There's a silent killer that might be even more insidious than diseases, viruses, and other health conditions. It contributes to all of those more headline-grabbing ravagers, not to mention hundreds more. In fact, the American Psychological Association says it's directly linked to all six of the leading causes of death. It plays its part, yet… READ THE REST
It's among the most popular digital file formats in the world. In fact, its creator Adobe figures there are now over 2.5 trillion PDF documents floating around out there. And at times, it's probably felt like you've had to deal with every single one of them. Make no mistake. PDFs are so common because they're… READ THE REST