Category فوتوریسم

Research: Most Geosynchronous Space Junk Has Never Been Catalogued

Space Shrapnel

Space debris poses a serious threat to any satellites — or astronauts — orbiting the Earth. And new research suggests that it’s an even bigger problem than we thought.

The U.S. Strategic Command manages a database of space objects, including orbital debris, but it can only monitor objects that are at least one meter across. Unfortunately, the majority of objects orbiting the planet could be smaller than that, according to research published in the journal Advances in Space Research. It suggests that future space missions need to take extra considerations, lest they get smacked by an unexpected piece of junk.

Through The Cracks

Scientists from the University of Warwick took a survey of objects in geosynchronous orbit and found that more than 75 percent of the junk ha...

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Life May Have Hopped From Earth to Venus on Asteroid, Scientists Say

Hitching a Ride

The discovery of phosphine gas, a potential biomarker, in the atmosphere of Venus made a big splash earlier this month, suggesting that life could survive in the Earth-like conditions inside Venus’s clouds.

In a recently uploaded preprint, head of Harvard astronomy department Avi Loeb and undergraduate student Amir Siraj argue that the discovery may be chalked up to massive asteroids first grazing the Earth’s atmosphere, picking up some microscopic life, and later depositing it in Venus’s skies [right?].

Long Lost Cousins

In other words, microbial life may have hitchhiked from Earth to Venus via atmosphere-grazing asteroids. In fact, the duo show that plenty of asteroids have already made such a trip in their paper.

“Although the abundance of terrestrial life in th...

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Scientists Gene-Hacked a Pest Caterpillar’s Eggs to Self-Destruct

Planned Obsolescence

To protect crops from the pesky fall armyworm, a caterpillar that plagues farmers around the world, a team of scientists altered its DNA so that any eggs it lays will self-destruct.

Unfortunately, the end result isn’t the dazzling explosion we’d hoped for. Rather, Wired reports, the caterpillar eggs are so overloaded with certain proteins that they’re blocked from ever developing or hatching, nipping the invasive species’ growth in the bud. Oxitec, the biotech company that developed the new worms — along with similar mosquitoes in the past — is already running small tests on its pesticide-free approach to crop protection.

“Armageddon-like”

The fall armyworm can pose a major problem for farmers around the world but especially in North America, where i...

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Airports Are Rolling Out 30 Minute COVID Tests

COVID Air

A number of airports in Europe are working to bring 30 minute COVID-19 tests to airports, Bloomberg reports. The aviation industry is hoping it could persuade more travelers to resume air travel.

Rome’s international airport was first to introduce rapid pre-flight screening earlier this month. Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe, is also testing similar solutions.

“We need the system to work and work quickly. Otherwise this industry will not survive,” International Air Transport Association director general Alexandre de Juniac said during a Thursday event, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Dying Industry

International travel has taken a nosedive during the pandemic, with governments around the world putting heavy restrictions on the movement of people to curb infection rates.

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Report: Gene-Hacking Plants and Animals Could Fight Climate Change

Feed Me, Seymour

When we think of geoengineering the environment to counteract global climate change, we typically conjure the image of massive projects like blocking out sunlight.

But a new report suggests that a biological approach to geoengineering — gene hacking the DNA of plants and animals to curb carbon emissions — could be a far more useful approach, according to Axios. In other words, the idea is that we need to alter the entire biosphere to make up for the damage humanity has done to the planet.

Carbon Sinks

The report, which was published this month by a science policy think tank called The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, lays out three ways that we might gene-hack our way out of climate change.

One is gene-hacking cattle and other farm animals to cut down...

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Researchers Invent $1 Hearing Aid

Custom hearing aids can be prohibitively expensive to the millions of people around the world who are experiencing hearing loss.

But thanks to a new invention, custom hearing aids could be closing in on a massive price drop. An open-source hearing aid built using off-the-shelf parts could slash the price to under a single dollar.

“The challenge we set for ourselves was to build a minimalist hearing aid, determine how good it would be and ask how useful it would be to the millions of people who could use it,” Saad Bhamla, an assistant professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, co-author of a paper about the project published in the journal PLOS ONE this week, said in a statement.

Hearing aids tend to be expensive, as they ...

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Hundreds of Elephants Suddenly Dropped Dead Because of Neurotoxin, Experts Say

Earlier this year, conservationists in Botswana came across something gruesome: hundreds of elephants were dropping dead — and details are slowly emerging about the horrific scene.

Two flights over the Okavango Panhandle, a lush river delta, confirmed that about 356 elephants had mysteriously died, as The New York Times reported at the time. They could rule out poachers, as all their tusks were still intact.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic hampered the investigation.

“Elephants began dying in huge numbers in early May and the government would normally respond within days to an event of this scale,” director of conservation group National Park Rescue, Mark Hiley, told the Associated Press in July...

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Birds Learned a New Song During the Pandemic

Lockdown Project

As San Francisco went into pandemic lockdown and locals found new projects to pass the time, so too did birds in the area.

New research shows that the white-crowned sparrow, a bird that lives in both urban and rural areas, responded to the sudden peace and quiet by learning a new song, Wired reports. Now that it doesn’t have to scream over the noises of the city, it can focus on the complexity of its call — a fascinating illustration of how our pandemic response has changed the world around us.

Up To 11

To adapt to the San Francisco area, city-slicker sparrows sacrificed the quality of their song so that they could get loud enough to be heard...

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Amazon Announces Security Drone That Flies Around Your Home

No Thanks

Ring, the Amazon-owned security company known for its smart doorbells, just unveiled a tiny drone called the “Always Home Cam” that flies around and records inside your home.

The $250 drone autonomously takes off, flies around on patrol, and lands in its charging dock, The Verge reports — like the nightmare panopticon version of a robot vacuum. While the new Ring drone is designed to record anyone breaking and entering, it might raise issues for anyone with a shred of desire for privacy.

Bump In The Night

Ring founder Jamie Siminoff boasted to The Verge about the Always Home Cam’s technical specs and advances in drone technology...

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This Revolutionary Supplement Was Designed to Reduce the Side Effects of Adderall

Most people take some sort of stimulant every day to boost cognitive functions (concentration, focus, wakefulness, etc.). The most popular choice, of course, is caffeine. It’s estimated that some 200 million Americans drink at least one cup of coffee every day. However, in recent years, more and more people are turning to prescription stimulants to get the job done. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the American Journal of Psychiatry, at least 16 million Americans over the age of 18 use stimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, or Modafinil. Unfortunately, while all these stimulants are good at boosting mental performance, they also come with unwanted side effects, such as jitters, irritability, anxiety, and energy crashes. However, a new company is out to change all that...

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