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Space

Tidally locked exoplanets more habitable than previously thought

You'd think that a planet with permanent day and night sides would be totally inhospitable. Without a sun to warm it up, the dark side would be freezing cold all the time. And with no respite from the solar onslaught, the light side would be scorching hot. But a new study suggests that exoplanets with this very predicament might in fact be habitable.Read More

Medical

Tadpole-like endoscope swims through gastrointestinal tract in search of cancer

Endoscopes are essential tools for the medical examination of many organs of the human body, and are best known for their use in examining the gastrointestinal tract. Generally consisting of a flexible tube with a light source and an arrangement of lenses – or small cameras in more modern devices – the endoscope is a vital, but unwieldy tool that takes a great deal of skill to operate and maneuver around in tight areas. Now engineers have created a new device dubbed the Tadpole Endoscope, that literally swims around inside the organ of a patient and wirelessly transmits video of what it sees.Read More

Science

Anti-counterfeiting 3D barcodes could be molded into products

Although barcodes are currently utilized mainly to keep track of merchandise, they may soon also be used to detect counterfeit goods. We're not talking about ordinary barcode labels, however. Instead, British scientists at Sofmat Ltd and the University of Bradford have devised a new 3D barcode that's actually molded into plastic or composite items.Read More

Biology

Bioelectronic nose sniffs out bacteria in water

Currently, when scientists want to know if bacteria are present in water, they have two main choices. They can take a sample to the lab, where they'll try growing the suspected bacteria in it, and then count the number of resulting colonies to determine the concentration. Or, they can analyze it using expensive lab-based gas chromatography or mass spectrometry equipment. Now, however, researchers from Seoul National University have developed a "bioelectronic nose" that could be used on location, and that is reportedly more sensitive than existing techniques.Read More

Space

SpaceX shows off Crew Dragon interior

Last year, SpaceX unveiled its Crew Dragon, which is scheduled to begin ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017. Now the company is giving the public a look at the interior. Sporting a minimalist design, it's intended to not only provide safety, but a considerable degree of comfort.Read More

Materials

High-efficiency, semi-transparent perovskite/graphene solar cells created at low cost

With the continued rise in the uptake of solar cells, consumers are now looking at less obtrusive ways to incorporate these in buildings and vehicles. Transparent or semi-transparent cells provide greater flexibility and visual appeal than standard, opaque silicon solar cells, however their relatively high-cost and poor efficiencies have meant that their adoption has been slow. To help remedy this, researchers working at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have created semi-transparent, efficient, low-cost perovskite solar cells with graphene electrodes.Read More

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