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Bear

Riddle solved: Do bears crap in the woods? No – they're stressing out over drones instead

Vid Bears, those savage and fearless predators of the wild, are driven to distraction by hovering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs aka drones). Researchers at the University of Minnesota have been studying local black bears using iridium satellite GPS collars fitted with heart-rate monitors, and a drone to keep track of them from …
Iain Thomson, 14 Aug 2015
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

Chill, Philae: Shadow may protect comet lander from Sun roasting

Video If the Philae lander hitch-hiking on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko isn't dead, its dark hiding-place might just protect it from being destroyed by the heat as comet, lander and the Rosetta spacecraft swing around the sun. As the comet nears today's perihelion (closest approach) today (European time), the European Space …

NASA primed for 9-minute live test of mighty rocket motor

NASA will tomorrow broadcast live a test firing of its RS-25 powerplant, "one of four engines that will power the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS), and carry the agency’s Orion crew capsule as part of the journey to Mars and other deep-space destinations". The motor is expected to roar into life at 17:00 EDT …
Lester Haines, 12 Aug 2015
Galaxy RGG 118

Put it away: Dwarf's 'supermassive' marvel is actually smallest thing boffins have ever seen

At the heart of every large galaxy resides a supermassive black hole, and astroboffins have found the smallest one yet – about 340 million light years away. "In a sense, it's a teeny supermassive black hole," said Elena Gallo, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2015
Astronauts on the International Space Station are ready to sample their harvest of a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space. Credit: NASA

Lettuce in SPAAACE: Captive ISS 'nauts insist orbital veg is 'awesome'

VID As promised, astronauts aboard the International Space Station have eaten the first ever "fresh food grown in the microgravity environment of space" - "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce. Astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui were the first to sample the produce from the Veggie orbiting vegetable patch, although …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015

What a shower: METEORS will BLAZE a FIERY TRAIL across our skies

The BBC is pulling its annual trick of promising skygazers a "dazzling display" of Perseid meteors this week, as the Earth passes through the trail of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Peak meteor activity will be tomorrow night (Wednesday August 12) from around 2300 UK time, and enthusiasts can expect "at least one every few …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015
New Lanark photo via Shutterstock

Get thee behind me, Satanic mills! Robert Owen's Scottish legacy

Geek's Guide to Britain The European Route of Industrial Heritage marks New Lanark as an anchor point in the global development of textiles and architecture, and so it is. Nestled in the Clyde Valley the village owes its existence to the falls that were harnessed to refine raw cotton sent in from the colonies: a picture-postcard image from a time …
Bill Ray, 11 Aug 2015
GAMA image of galaxies

Boffins: The universe is DOOMED and there's nothing to be done

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were are going out. Don't worry, though: the heat death of the universe is still hundreds of trillions of years away. That's the conclusion of work announced by the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, which has looked at 200,000 "nearby" galaxies across 21 wavelengths between the …
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Take THAT, Tesla: Another Oz energy utility will ship home batteries

The Tesla PowerWall announcement is having an effect in Australia, but perhaps not the one Elon Musk predicted: utilities are moving to head it off with their own solar/storage offerings. Shortly after the Tesla battery launch, NSW's AGL announced its solar customers could add electrical storage, and now Queensland's Ergon …
A woman on Mars?

'WOMAN FOUND ON MARS' – now obvious men are from Venus

Pics Yet again citizen observers have spotted something odd on Mars – this time what appears to be a woman in a long flowing gown standing on a cliff face. Martian woman The truth is out there; or maybe not "It looks like a woman partly cloaked. The woman seems to have breasts... indicated by the shadow on its chest," reports …
Iain Thomson, 10 Aug 2015

Aussie bloaters gorging on junk food 'each and every day'

Australians have been warned to get their dietary act together, after a survey revealed a growing and alarming trend for junk food excess. According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 40,000+ respondents to its Healthy Diet Score Survey – "a scientifically validated survey which …
Lester Haines, 10 Aug 2015

Microsoft co-founder recovers ship's bell of 'The Mighty Hood'

A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has recovered the ship's bell of battlecruiser HMS Hood – the pride of the Royal Navy, which, on 24 May 1941, was sent to the bottom of the North Atlantic by the German battleship Bismark, with the loss of 1,415 lives. Video still showing the recovery of the bell of HMS Hood An …
Lester Haines, 10 Aug 2015
Spartan satellite launcher

Queensland boffins ponder Scramjet satellite launch plan

The University of Queensland has launched a new plan to use scramjets as satellite launch vehicles. Scramjets – aka supersonic combusting ramjets – require air to pass through an engine at supersonic speeds. Fuel is added to that supersonic air, then ignited, with the result being a supersonic plume of hot gas capable of …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2015

'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

A bunch of boffins has completed the first-ever revision of the world's most important sunspot data repository, along the way challenging the theory that climate change is substantially attributable to the prevalence of sunspots. It turns out, in fact, that the pro-sunspots argument relies on a statistical artefact introduced …
Astronauts on the International Space Station are ready to sample their harvest of a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space. Credit: NASA

First SPACE SALAD on Monday's menu for ISS astronauts

Fresh food grown in space will, for the first time, be consumed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA has announced the meal will take place on Monday, when red romaine lettuce grown aboard the ISS will be added to the menu. The lettuce was produced under Operation Veggie, an effort that's seen a …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2015

Facebook unleashes mighty data trove to learn how you laugh

Facebook data scientists Udi Weinsberg, Lada Adamic, and Mike Develin say most social media addicts will write 'haha' once a week, that New Yorkers are emoji addicts, and none uses 'lol' anymore. The awesome demonstration of big data rigs at The Social NetworkTM uses a regular expressions set to crawl over an unspecified …
Darren Pauli, 10 Aug 2015
MINOS Experiment image taken by Peter Ginter for Fermilab - The MINOS experiment sends a beam of neutrinos 450 miles straight through the earth from Fermilab to northern Minnesota - no tunnel necessary

Beaming boffins feel the rhythm as neutrinos oscillate over 500 miles

Scientists working on the NOvA experiment have spotted what they say is evidence of oscillating neutrinos for the first time in the lab's particle accelerator. Since February 2014, boffins have been stashing data and recording interaction of the abundant, yet elusive, subatomic particles as they interacted in the specially- …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Aug 2015
Angry-looking cat. Pic by  Guyon Morée from Beverwijk, Netherlands. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Surprise! Evil-eyed cats MORE LIKELY to be SNEAKY PREDATORS – boffins

Vid Vision boffins have seen the light – they believe that the shape of pupils in animal eyes can often reveal whether the beast is a hunter or the hunter's prey. Researchers at UC Berkeley eyeballed 214 species of land creatures during the study. They found that animals with pupils shaped in vertical slits were far more likely to …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Aug 2015
Kids harassing a robot

Boffinry breakthrough: Bullied bumble bot bolts brutal brat beatdowns

Vid Researchers in Japan have programmed a robot to flee children after groups of tearaways were recorded abusing the 'droid. A study by Japan's ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories found that kids, particularly when left unsupervised, will bully, harass, and sometimes even attack robots. As noted by IEEE …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Aug 2015

Boffins have made optical transistors that can reach 4 TERAHERTZ

Aluminum-doped zinc oxide is the key to building faster, optical chips, according to researchers at Purdue University, Indiana. They've modelled an all-optical, CMOS-compatible transistor capable of 4THz speeds, potentially more than 1,000 times faster than silicon transistors. The all-optical bit means that the data stream …
Simon Rockman, 7 Aug 2015

Tobacco field bacteria offers hope for buzz-kill smoking therapy

Help may soon be at hand for those who have tried and failed to quit smoking, thanks to a bacterium that guzzles down nicotine. Chemistry boffins reckon the organism may hold the key to a future anti-smoking therapy. An enzyme from the Pseudomonas putida bacterium – originally isolated from soil in a tobacco field – consumes …
John Leyden, 7 Aug 2015
ESA Rosetta history

Happy birthday! Rosetta starts second year around comet

More than a decade after its launch, the spacecraft Rosetta reached Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and as it approaches perihelion with the Sun, the ESA is celebrating a year since Rosetta reached its target. As we well know, rendezvous wasn't without incident: instead of dropping neatly on the surface of 67P, the mission's …

ROBO-TENTACLE with mind of its own wields deadly electrical power – turns on Tesla car

Vid Tesla may be more bluster than business, but you can't help but admire the fact that it is constantly pushing car engineering. And today that admirable trait comes in the form of what appears to be an automated charger for its Model S car. The 37-second clip posted to its Twitter account shows a metallic prototype finding and …
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HAM IN SPAAAAAACE! ISS astronaut contacted by Gloucestershire bloke in garden shed

Radio ham Adrian Lane was able to send his "73" (ham lingo for "best regards") to an American astronaut as the International Space Station passed over Gloucestershire. The amateur operator told The Telegraph of his communication with the International Space Station from his garden shed in the small market town of Coleford. …

PALE BACKSIDE of lovely Luna flits past in imagery from 1 MILLION miles out

A million miles out in deep space far beyond the Moon's orbit, closer in to the Sun, lies the L-1 Lagrange point. Here sits the DSCOVR spacecraft with its EPIC instrument pointed back at Earth. NASA has just released some EPIC images, showing the moon zipping past in front of Earth. Here they are: Moon transit of Earth. …
Lewis Page, 6 Aug 2015
Tin

Playing with graphene? All the cool kids are using TIN – atom-thick sheets of stanene

Researchers at Stanford have laid down the first atom-thick sheet of tin, and it has the potential to revolutionize electronics thanks to its unique power propagation properties. The material has been dubbed stanene, a contraction of the Latin word for tin "stannum" and the "ene" suffix used for 2D materials. It does for the …
Iain Thomson, 4 Aug 2015

Want to avoid a hangover? DRINK MORE, say boffins

The juice of Korean pear Pyrus pyrifolia might just be the greatest discovery in all human history, as boffins think the fruit can reduce the severity of hangovers. Korean pears are often sold as “nashi pears” from Japan. The fruit is lighter than a European pear, boast slightly tart flesh, and a density somewhere between that …
Some like it hot

OFFICIAL SCIENCE: Men are freezing women out of the workplace

As the Northern hemisphere languishes in summer temperatures, a new study has shown that office climate control systems are giving women the cold shoulder. Many office air-conditioning systems are locked down to avoid arguments about how hot or cold to have the building. In the 1960s and 1970s, studies were made to decide on …
Iain Thomson, 4 Aug 2015
Tilted nanomagnets image from UC Berkeley

Boffins turned off by silicon switch to TILTING MAGNETS

Solid state memory is already a viable technology at a decent scale, but it's hard to make it small enough to replace hard drives. However, researchers at the University of California Berkeley are taking a different angle: they would like to shrink high density storage to a size that puts it onto ICs. Their aim is twofold: to …
Just near Cassiopeia: HD 219134

Nearby exoplanets circle naked-eye-visible star

Just a couple of weeks after NASA announced the “Earth twin” (that might not be), astronomers working at the Italian-operated HARPS-N spectrograph have turned up four exoplanets just 21 light-years distant. Even better, for those who like picking out stars but lack access to the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo at the Roque de los …

Obsolescence of food is complete: Soylent now comes in bottles

Soylent, the startup dedicated to conquering the universally hated ritual of eating food, now offers a version of its protein-rich nutrient gloop in ready-to-drink bottles. Previous versions of Soylent arrived as powders that you mix with water. That takes time, much like it does to sear a cut of filet mignon lightly on both …
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It's Suntory time: Japanese whisky to be distilled in SPAAAAACE

Japanese whisky maker Suntory is to distill its firewater on the International Space Station, as part of an experiment to discover how liquor develops a mellow taste. Most alcoholic beverages tend to develop a mellow flavour when aged for a long time. But while the majority of folk are content with simply enjoying that taste, …
Kat Hall, 3 Aug 2015
Radar images of asteroid 1999 JD6 obtained on 25 July 2015. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR

Boffins: Spooky, spinning SPACE PEANUT butters up Earth with close flyby

Vid NASA scientists have captured grainy radar pics of a peculiar-shaped, dark asteroid, dubbed "Space Peanut", which buzzed past Earth last weekend. Youtube Video 1999 JD6 – the boffinry name for the asteroid – made its closest approach to our world late Pacific Daylight Time on 24 July, the US space agency said. It flew past …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Aug 2015
Robots emulate natural locomotion of water strider insects. Pic credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Watch leggy ROBOT INSECT WALK on WATER before JUMPING OFF

Vid Scientists have created a leggy microrobot that mimics the actions of a water strider. They wanted to replicate the movement of the semi-aquatic insects to try to have a better understanding of how they are able to jump from watery surfaces with the same amount of force and height as a leap from rigid ground. Boffins from …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Aug 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bacon and egg sushi

OK, sliced pork fans. In response to criticisms that our recent culinary trip to Hawaii – in search of the quite remarkable Spam musubi - simply did not feature enough bacon, we today present for your wobbly dining pleasure the very cutting edge of Anglo-Japanese fusion cuisine. Yes indeed, consider if you will bacon and egg …
Lester Haines, 1 Aug 2015

How much of ONE YEAR's Californian energy use would WIPE OUT the DROUGHT?

Analysis That California drought - it's terrible, isn't it? But there's nothing to be done. If it doesn't rain for a few years, and doesn't snow up in the mountains, Californians must just yield to Mother Nature and stop watering their lawns, stop washing their cars, maybe even stop growing those delicious but thirsty almonds. Or ... …
Lewis Page, 31 Jul 2015
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ATTACK of the ZOMBIE SATELLITE: Run radio hams, run!

A satellite launched by the US military has gone rogue and is causing interference to radio hams across Europe. The US Navy’s PCSat NO-44, which is only supposed to transmit over the US, is now drowning out European amateurs and the USN doesn’t know what to do about it. Former head of information security at BT and keen radio …
Adam Banks, 31 Jul 2015

El Reg touches down at the ESA's Spanish outpost, sniffs around

Pics "Are you really going to wear that into the canteen?" That was the perfectly reasonable question posed by Emmet Fletcher, communication officer at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) as my nephew Matt Haines braced himself for lunch sporting a Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) lab coat and pipe. Back in April …
Lester Haines, 31 Jul 2015
How Philae lands on the comet

Comet 67/P CAKED in LIFE-GIVING RUBBLE, say astroboffins

When the Philae lander failed to touch down cleanly on Comet 67P/Churyumov­-Gerasimenko, the mission looked like a mess. But the probe's four bounces across the comet's surface turn out to have been a blessing in disguise because they've given us more close-ups of 67P than expected. The results have now appeared in a special …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2015
Brown dwarf

Alien dwarf 'star' flashes her dazzling brown rear at stunned space boffins

Video Astronomers have spotted a brown dwarf almost-star glowing with a dazzling display of aurora similar to the Northern Lights and Southern Lights here on Earth – but hundreds of thousands of times brighter. A team led by Caltech has been focusing telescopes on LSRJ 1835+3259, a brown dwarf sorta-planet 20 light years from Earth …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2015
Long exposure shot showing patterns made my moving lightsabers

This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

A team of Harvard scientists has paved the way for a deadly laser pig weapon by demonstrating that, with a little encouragement, pig fat cells can be made to lase. According to MIT Technology Review, Seok Hyun Yun and Matjaž Humar stimulated spheres of fat inside porcine cells with an optical fibre, causing them to emit laser …
Team Register, 30 Jul 2015
Arizona State U's white laser schematic

Boffins get the inside dope, craft white laser

Arizona State University researchers have crafted a white laser – a neat trick since “white” isn't a colour, but a mix of colours. To create a white LED lamp, for example, today's technologies need multiple colour LEDs blended together. Trying to fabricate a single light source that looks white is difficult, however, since …