Checking Mammoth DNA Against Elephants Hints At How They Got Hairy

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 6:43pm
An anonymous reader writes: A new study on mammoth DNA comparing the hairy animals to their cousins, the Asian and African elephants, has isolated what genes separate it from its warm-weather cousins. The study found that genes controlling skin and hair development, fat metabolism, insulin signaling, and skull shape, differed from today's contemporary elephant species. "They have this weird hump on their back, which is thought to be something like a camel hump — sort of a fat deposit that stored water and energy for the cold, dark winters," says Vincent Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago.

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Categories: Science

Finding Bigfoot: Bumped for Fourth of July

Cryptomundo - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 5:48pm
Cliff Barackman updates us to the upcoming schedule.
Categories: Fortean

Seahorse Tails Could Inspire New Generation of Robots

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 5:26pm
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Clemson University have studied the makeup of seahorse tails and rendered its mechanics using 3D-printing in an effort to provide flexibility to stiff robots. Unlike most creatures, seahorse's tail is made of square prisms. Michael Porter, assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Clemson University said, "Almost all animal tails have circular or oval cross-sections—but not the seahorse's. We wondered why. We found that the squared-shaped tails are better when both grasping and armor functions are needed."

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Categories: Science

Army Exoskeleton Prototype Helps Soldiers Learn To Shoot

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 4:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: Infantrymen live by their shooting skills, but becoming an expert marksman can take a long time. U.S. Army researchers are working on a way to improve these skills with the help of the MAXFAS, an arm exoskeleton that uses arm braces to correct involuntary arm shakes. Designed At the U.S. Army Research Laboratory by Dan Baechle, the MAXFAS has been shown to improve aim even after users have taken it off. "Soldiers need to be able to aim and shoot accurately and quickly in the chaos of the battlefield," Baechle said. "Training with MAXFAS could improve Soldiers' accuracy, and reduce current time and ammunition requirements in basic training."

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Categories: Science

Glitch Halts New Horizons Operations As It Nears Pluto

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 2:55pm
An anonymous reader writes: NASA says their New Horizons probe suffered a temporary communication breakdown on Saturday, 10 days before it's supposed to fly past Pluto. The mission team is working to restore normal communications. "Full recovery is expected to take from one to several days," NASA wrote in a status report on Saturday. "New Horizons will be temporarily unable to collect science data during that time."

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Categories: Science

Dog With A Human Face

Cryptomundo - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 2:18pm
If, like me, you’re a fan of the writings of Linda Godfrey – and particularly her werewolf-themed book, The Michigan Dogman – then what I’m about to share with you now is likely to be of deep interest. It’s an old newspaper story – dating back more than a century – that is eerily reminiscent of some of Linda’s findings. And, it demonstrates that when we dig into the past, we can sometimes find fascinating tales that have a direct bearing on the present.
Categories: Fortean

Russian Progress Cargo Ship Docks With Space Station

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 1:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: An unmanned Russian cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The successful launch, rendezvous and docking came after two resupply failures. A Progress launched in April spun out of control and a week ago, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated, destroying a supply ship loaded with supplies and equipment. "Crew reports, 'feels like Christmas in July,'" the International Space Station tweeted.

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Categories: Science

How Apple Music Can Disrupt Users' iTunes Libraries

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 12:27pm
An anonymous reader writes: Early adopters of Apple Music are warning others they could get more than they bargained for if they intend to download tracks for offline listening. Since Apple Music is primarily a streaming service, this functionality necessitates turning on iCloud Music for syncing purposes. The way Apple syncs files is to scan your library for known music files, and if it finds one, the service gives your account access to Apple's canonical copy. Unfortunately, this wipes out any custom edits you made to the file's metadata. For those who have put a lot of time into customizing their library, this can do a lot of damage to their organizational system. Apple's efforts to simplify and streamline the process have once again left advanced users with a difficult decision to make.

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Categories: Science

Review: Asus Zenfone 2

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 11:00am

The newest massive Android phablet from Chinese manufacturer Asus takes the idea of a "computer in your pocket" quite seriously.

The post Review: Asus Zenfone 2 appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Star Fox May Finally Justify Wii U’s Weird Controller

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 11:00am

"Star Fox Zero" was designed to show how the Wii U's GamePad controller could be used to create a unique game experience.

The post Star Fox May Finally Justify Wii U’s Weird Controller appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

WIRED Staffers Pick Your Must-Reads of the Summer

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 11:00am

Let WIRED propose your next great paper (or e-ink) adventure.

The post WIRED Staffers Pick Your Must-Reads of the Summer appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Airbnb Needs to Be Better at Search Than Google

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 11:00am

Airbnb uses sophisticated tech to find the hosts that are most likely to let you crash in their homes for the weekend.

The post Airbnb Needs to Be Better at Search Than Google appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Awesome Retro-Futuristic NES Will Set You Back a Cool $500

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 11:00am

It's ludicrously expensive, but this aluminum unibody 8-bit NES packs in features that put it more in line with modern-day game machines.

The post Awesome Retro-Futuristic NES Will Set You Back a Cool $500 appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Here Are Your WIRED Star Wars Challenges for Week 10

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 11:00am

We're only 165 days away from J.J. Abrams' new space epic. Your challenges, should you choose to accept them, are here.

The post Here Are Your WIRED Star Wars Challenges for Week 10 appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Why the Big Bang’s Light May Have a Tilt

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 10:05am

Scientists haven’t rigorously tested the cosmic microwave background for a revealing shift in 25 years. A new experiment aims to change that.

The post Why the Big Bang’s Light May Have a Tilt appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Adorable Concept Sensors Track the True Onset of Summer

Wired News - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 9:35am

A pair of students have created sensors that monitor the tell-tale signs of warm weather.

The post Adorable Concept Sensors Track the True Onset of Summer appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Scientists Look For Patterns In North Carolina Shark Attacks

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 9:20am
HughPickens.com writes: The Washington Post reports that there have been seven recent shark attacks in North Carolina. Scientists are looking for what might be luring the usually shy sharks so close to shore and among the swimmers they usually avoid. It's an unusual number of attacks for a state that recorded 25 attacks between 2005 and 2014. Even with the recent incidents, researchers emphasize that sharks are a very low-level threat to humans, compared with other forms of wildlife. Bees, for example, are much more dangerous. And swimming itself is hazardous even without sharks around. George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History, speculates that several environmental factors could be pushing sharks to congregate in the Outer Banks. It is a warm year, and the water has a higher level of salinity because of a low-level drought in the area. Also, a common species of forage fish — menhaden — has been abundant this year and might have attracted more sharks to the area. Burgess also says some fishermen put bait in the water near piers, which could lure the predators closer to shore; two of the encounters took place within 100 yards of a pier. "That's a formula for shark attacks," Burgess says of these conditions, taken together. "Now, does that explain seven attacks in three weeks? No, it doesn't."

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Categories: Science

Pluto Probe Suffers Glitch 10 Days Before Epic Flyby

Space.com - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 8:42am
The probe's handlers lost contact with New Horizons at 1:54 p.m. EDT (1754 GMT) Saturday (July 4) but were able to restore communications at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT).
Categories: Science

Russian Cargo Spacecraft Arrives at Space Station

Space.com - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 7:31am
Russia's Progress 60 freighter docked with the orbiting lab at 3:11 a.m. EDT (0711 GMT) Sunday, successfully delivering more than 6,100 lbs. (2,770 kilograms) of food, water, fuel and other supplies.
Categories: Science

Theresa May Named UK's Internet Villain of the Year

Slashdot - Sun, 05/07/2015 - 6:24am
An anonymous reader writes with news that Theresa May, the UK's Secretary of State for the Home Department, has been named the UK internet industry's villain of the year. She won this dubious honor for pushing the UK's controversial "snooper's charter" legislation, which would require ISPs to retain massive amounts of data regarding their subscribers for no less than a year. May championed the legislation without consulting the internet industry. Conversely, "The MPs Tom Watson and David Davis were jointly named internet hero for their legal action against the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act. 'Surveillance has dominated both the hero and villain shortlists for number of years, and it was felt Davis and Watson were some of the best informed politicians on the subject,' the ISPA said."

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Categories: Science