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Science

Space

2,325 and counting: Kepler doubles its haul in largest exoplanet discovery ever

Since it launched six years years ago, NASA's Kepler space telescope has provided a guiding light in our search for extraterrestrial life, scanning the sky for potentially habitable Earth-size planets. Today the agency has announced the discovery of almost 1,300 new exoplanets, doubling the craft's previous tally and giving the chances of finding another world just like ours a healthy little boost.Read More

Space

How Earth's magnetic field is changing

The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its trio of Earth-facing satellites – the Swarm satellites – more than two years ago. Since then, the three probes have been tirelessly making measurements of the Earth's magnetic field, mapping it out in detail. Now, that data has been used in a new study of how the magnetic field has changed over recent years, with the results echoing what's happening at the planet's core. Read More

Science

Sniffing out the real-time chemical signature of ripening fruit

Using technology to sniff out food that's gone bad isn't a new idea – we've seen sensors that use carbon nanotubes to detect spoiled meat, and smart caps that can spot bad milk. Now, researchers in the United Kingdom have successfully identified the chemical signature of ripening mangoes. The findings could be extended to other fruit, and might one day revolutionize how everyone from farmers to supermarket workers tell if their fruit is ready.Read More

Medical

Pinpointed breast cancer genes explain why some cases are so hard to beat

Our understanding of breast cancer is almost constantly improving, and we're always researching new ways of detecting the disease. Now, a team of researchers led by scientists from the University of Cambridge has picked out a number of mutated genes linked to the cancer, only a small number of which were previously known. The improved understanding could lead to more efficient treatments down the line.Read More

Electronics

New lantern packs big light and features into sandwich-sized package

If you're a camper, chances are good you've heard of BioLite. It's the company that created a portable wood-burning stove that generates enough electricity to fuel your devices when you're off-grid. The firm has also made some pretty impressive camp lights – everything from small hanging pendants that can be daisy-chained together to a mini rectangular number that can clip on a shirt pocket. Now BioLite is seeking funding on Kickstarter for a new source of light called BaseLantern, which not only provides Bluetooth-controlled light, but also packs in some other handy features.Read More

Medical

New low-cost Zika test looks good on paper

Researchers have developed a low-cost, paper-based method of detecting viruses like Zika and Ebola in a biological sample, and which can even identify a specific strain. The team believes the test can be used in the field to quickly and easily detect the presence of a virus, and be used to help slow the spread of future outbreaks.Read More

Energy

Cactus-inspired membrane boosts fuel cell performance

Here's something that you might not know about the humble cactus: it has tiny cracks in its skin, which open up at night when conditions tend to be more humid. This allows it to take up moisture. During the day, those cracks close up, keeping the moisture inside. Now, scientists have applied that same principle to a membrane which could make fuel cells a more viable option for powering vehicles.Read More

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