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A Carbon-Neutral Fuel Alternative

October 1, 2015 | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

As early as the 1950s, researchers were looking at algae for methane gas production. The algae was grown on rooftops of Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT). Drawings and illustrations of open pond raceways on the roof of Harvard Univ. were also recovered from the 1950s. The reason for this research was algae naturally make oil, and this intrigued researchers as a feedstock for biodiesel.

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Archaeologists Find Evidence of Ancient Scandinavian Fish Fermentation

February 9, 2016 3:41 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Located in southeastern Sweden, the archaeological site Norje Sunnansund was located near three different bodies of water when in use. It’s the earliest identified year-round settlement from southern Scandinavia, and the earliest known east coast settlement in the region. The former runs counter to the previous assumption that northern people lived a more mobile and foraging lifestyle during the time period.

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SweepSense Pauses Your Music When Earphones are Removed

February 8, 2016 9:50 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Inspired by the field of soundscape ecology, researchers are working on a new project called SweepSense, which in experiments has effectively been able to pause music when a user removes both earbuds.

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The R&D Index Market Pulse, Feb. 8, 2016: China Volatility Based on Economic Inexperience

February 8, 2016 9:28 am | by Tim Studt, Contributing Editor | Comments

The R&D Index: Market Watch for the week ending February 5, 2016, closed at 1,361.21 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was down 4.03% (or more than 57 basis points) over the week ending January 29, 2016.  This is the lowest Index level since we started documenting it in July 2015. 

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A Cold Journey into Antartica's Prehistoric Past

February 2, 2016 11:12 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Buried beneath the perpetual ice of Antarctica are the remnants of a once lush and temperate environment. Millions of years ago, the continent’s life resembled that of fellow southern continents, such as Australia. And traversing about this now-barren frozen landscape were dinosaurs.

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NASA’s Attempts at Understanding the Sun’s Magnetism

February 1, 2016 9:44 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Underlying the sun’s activity is a magnetic field, which is responsible for such phenomena as auroras on Earth, and the interplanetary magnetic field and radiation spacefaring missions must traverse. The laws of electromagnetism hold dominion over the sun’s actions, but pinpointing where the invisible magnetic field originates has proven difficult.

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The R&D Index Market Pulse, Feb. 1, 2016: Mixed Domestic Factors Still Support Strong 2016

February 1, 2016 8:59 am | by Tim Studt, Contributing Editor | Comments

The R&D Index: Market Watch for the week ending January 29, 2016, closed at 1,418.37 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was up 0.13% (or less than 2 basis points) over the week ending January 15, 2016.

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The Man Behind Medrobotics' Flex Robotic System

January 29, 2016 2:57 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

In 2010, Prof. Howie Choset, of Carnegie Mellon Univ.’s Robotics Institute, traveled to Prague. He wasn’t there necessarily for vacation, rather it was business. From an operating room, he watched as surgeons used the snake-arm robot he conceived and developed on the first human patient.

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Ringing in the Age of Plastic

January 27, 2016 11:29 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Each year, between 4.8 million and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the Earth’s oceans. The midpoint estimate is enough to cover 34 Manhattans, and is on par with how much plastic was produced in 1961.

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2016 Doomsday Clock Remains at 3 Minutes to Midnight

January 26, 2016 2:35 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Doomsday Clock remains at three minutes to midnight, the closest it’s been in the last 20 years, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, which made the announcement Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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In Southwest, Native American Depopulation Led to Changes in Ecology

January 26, 2016 11:24 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

European missionaries brought more than their religion with them when they populated the U.S. Southwest. They also brought diseases that decimated the local Native American populations.

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Scientists Create Genetically-Modified Monkeys to Study Autism

January 25, 2016 2:14 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

The scientists engineered the macaques by mutating their MECP2 gene. Such a mutation can result in MECP2 duplication syndrome, which shares a variety of symptoms with autism spectrum disorders.

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WHO Commission Calls for High-Level Action for Childhood Obesity

January 25, 2016 11:13 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Between 1990 and 2014, the number of overweight children under the age of five rose from 4.8% to 6.1%. That percentage increase represents nearly 10 million children, from 31 million to 41 million.

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China's Growing Interest in Auto Industry Startups

January 22, 2016 2:18 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

SAIC Motor Corporation, China’s largest auto manufacturer, led a $70 million investment round in used car startup Beepi earlier this week.

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DARPA Wants to Bridge Human-Computer Divide

January 22, 2016 11:59 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Essentially, the device will be capable of translating the ones and zeros from the information technology language to the electrochemical language of neurons.

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Trophy Hunting Rams Led to Artificial Evolution

January 22, 2016 11:05 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Two bighorn rams meet atop a snow-peppered rocky mound. They stare down one another, their eyes unblinking. They rear up on their hind legs and charge forward, butting their furled horns against one another.

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