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This Freaky ‘Soft Robot’ Can Survive All Sorts Of Torture

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Huffpost Science

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 A snowstorm can’t stop it. A blazing fire can’t stop it. And even getting run over by a car is no problem for this squishy little bot.
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Researchers from Harvard University have developed a soft robot that not only can stand up and walk on its own, but also withstand tough elements all while carrying the equipment it needs on its back — from its microcompressors to control systems to batteries. Just check it out in the video above, which was recently posted to the university’s YouTube account.

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Even a New England winter storm can't stop this soft robot, which was recently developed by Harvard researchers.

Even a New England winter storm can’t stop this soft robot, which was recently developed by Harvard researchers.
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Scientists Create Giant Swarm Of Tiny Robots, And For Good Reason

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Huffpost Science

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Scientists have created a swarm of over a thousand coin-sized robots that can assemble themselves into two-dimensional shapes by communicating with their neighbours.

At 1,024 members, this man-made flock — described in the 15 August issue of Science — is the largest yet to demonstrate collective behaviour. The self-organization techniques used by the tiny machines could aid the development of ‘transformer’ robots that reconfigure themselves, researchers say, and they might shed light on how complex swarms form in nature.

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The Kilobots, a swarm of one thousand simple but collaborative robots.

Tiny Robots

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Why Revive ‘Cosmos?’ Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says Just About Everything We Know Has Changed

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Huffpost Science

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Things are looking up for Neil deGrasse Tyson–way up. As the director of the Hayden Planetarium and the author of several popular books on space, Tyson is already one of the nation’s best-known scientists. And now his already-high profile is set for a big boost with the March 9 launch of “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey,” a new documentary television series that he hosts.

Tyson calls the 13-part series a continuation of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” a 1980 PBS series narrated by Carl Sagan that is acclaimed as one of the most significant science-themed programs in television history.

In anticipation of the new series’ debut, Tyson, 55, sat down with HuffPost Science for a wide-ranging and surprisingly frank interview. What follows is a condensed and edited version of the discussion, which took place in the astrophysicist’s New York City office

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Neil deGrasse Tyson | Fox
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You Could Soon Read An Entire Harry Potter Book In Under 90 Minutes With This App

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Huffpost Technology

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Soon you could read all 309 pages of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in under 77 minutes. Yes, you.

To get through it that quickly (a pace of 1,000 words a minute) you’ll have to use an about-to-be released app and forgo the idea of reading page by page.

With Spritz, which is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Gear 2 watch, words appear one at a time in rapid succession. This allows you to read at speeds of between 250 and 1,000 words per minute. The typical college-level reader reads at a pace of between 200 and 400 a minute.

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What Percentage Of Our Brains Do We Actually Use? Popular Myth Debunked In TED-Ed Video

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It’s commonly said that we humans use only about 10 percent of our brains, with some people attributing Einstein’s brilliance to his ability to stretch that paltry figure to 15 percent.

 But in the video above, neurologist Dr. Richard Cytowic debunks these familiar notions, arguing that brain regions once believed to be “silent” are actually humming with activity.

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New Ligament In Human Knee Discovered By Surgeons In Belgium (PHOTO)

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Thought we knew every part of the human body? Think again.

Surgeons in Belgium recently discovered a new ligament in the human knee. Publishing their research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Anatomy, the knee specialists provided the first anatomical description of the fibrous tissue, called the anterolateral ligament, or ALL, for short.

Though French surgeon Paul Segond proposed the existence of an additional ligament in the human knee as early as 1879, the structure evaded classification for many years.

Working from the French surgeon’s notion, the team, led by the University of Leuven’s Dr. Steven Claes, dissected cadaver knees in search of the “pearly, fibrous band” Segond described. What they found was a “well-defined ligamentous structure” that connects the femur (thighbone) with the anterolateral tibia (shinbone) in 40 of the 41 human knees they dissected, the authors wrote in the study.

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Mars ‘Iguana’ Spotted In New NASA Curiosity Rover PHOTO

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science

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Another day, another “creature” on Mars.

Eagle-eyed UFO enthusiasts recently announced they’ve spotted yet another “animal” on the red planet. On Nov. 6, the UFO Sightings Daily blog declared that NASA’s Curiosity rover had taken what appears to be a photograph of a Martian iguana

“To say it’s just a rock would be very closed minded to the evidence at hand,” Scott C. Waring, the blog’s founder, noted of the curious image taken in January. “[N]ot only does it have a body, but look closely and you will see its lower neck skin, its mouth line, nostril hole and even an open eye with a large brow over it.”
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Biological Clock Hidden In Our DNA Can Identify Ages Of Specific Tissues, Scientist Says

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science

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The age on your driver’s license may not be exactly correct — well, for certain parts of your body anyway.

A new study, published Monday in peer-reviewed journal Genome Biology, suggests that we all have an internal biological clock that tracks the aging process — and may reveal the true age of our cells and tissues. It’s hidden right in our DNA.

“The epigenetic clock really allows someone to objectively measure the age of cells and tissues,” study author Dr. Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, told The Huffington Post. “Therefore, it can be used to study aging.”

This internal “timepiece” may also be used to compare the various ages of elements in the body. For instance, in his research, Horvath found that female breast tissue ages several years faster than the rest of the body, which may explain why breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Cancer also greatly accelerates the age of affected tissues.

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Oddball ‘Skull 5’ Fossil Suggests Early Humans Belonged To Same Species

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The earliest, now-extinct human lineages, once thought to be multiple species, may actually have been one species, researchers now controversially suggest.

Modern humans, Homo sapiens, are the only living member of the human lineage, Homo, which is thought to have arisen in Africa about 2 million years ago at the beginning of the ice age, also referred to as the Pleistocene Epoch. Many extinct human species were thought to once roam the Earth, such as Homo habilis, suspected to be among the first stone-tool makers; the relatively larger-brained Homo rudolfensis; the relatively slender Homo ergaster; and Homo erectus, the first to regularly keep tools it made.

To learn more about the roots of the human family tree, scientists investigated a completely intact, approximately 1.8-million-year-old skull excavated from the medieval hilltop town of Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia. Archaeological excavations there about 30 years ago unexpectedly revealed that Dmanisi is one of the oldest-known sites for ancient human species out of Africa and the most complete collection of Homo erectus skulls and jaws found so far. The world’s largest, extinct cheetah species once lived in the area, and scientists cannot rule out whether it fed on these early humans.

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skull 5
An artist’s conception revealing what “Skull 5” may have looked like some 1.8 million years ago when he (the scientists suspect the remains come from a male) lived.
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