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Animals

Researchers have been able to non-invasively control the walking paths of red-eared slider...

Last year, much to the delight of squeamish people everywhere, scientists were successfully able to remotely control the paths traveled by live cockroaches. They did so by wirelessly stimulating the insects’ antennae and cerci sensory organs. Now, a group of scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have reported success in controlling the paths of walking turtles. Fortunately for the reptiles, the KAIST researchers’ methods were considerably less invasive than those used on the cockroaches.  Read More

FlipperBot makes its way through a bed of poppy seeds (Video still: Institute of Physics)

US researches have developed a robot that gets about with a pair of flipper-like arms. By recording FlipperBot's adventures using a high-speed camera, the researchers are gaining understanding about the mechanics of traversing "complex surfaces" such as sand.  Read More

A look inside the robotic bull developed by the Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence

South Korea's Cheongdo county is home to a famous bullfighting festival, but like many pastoral traditions its popularity has been waning over the years. What better way to modernize its image and attract some tourists than with some crazy robots? A team from the Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence was tasked with developing them, and now a year and five months later – and a budget of US$400,000 – the robots have been unveiled to the public.  Read More

Cambridge scientists have unveiled new data on the mechanisms of a contagious tumor that t...

While many animals face extinction due to poaching or loss of habitat, Tasmanian devil numbers are sbeing dramatically reduced due to a contagious tumor with a mortality rate of 100 percent. Called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), it kills the animal in a matter of months. Now fresh research from the University of Cambridge has delivered new data on the mechanism of the disease which could increase the chances of developing a vaccine.  Read More

An artist’s impression of the gastric-brooding frog that was cloned by scientists working ...

Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The "Lazarus Project" team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog.  Read More

Porter, world's first driving dog

A cute canine is something that shouldn't need much marketing – it pretty much sells itself. Or so you'd think. According to the ASPCA, around two million dogs are euthanized each year after finding their way into shelters. People simply don't adopt these abandoned and lost dogs at the same rate they find their way into shelters. For this reason, the SPCA in Auckland, New Zealand, which estimates it alone has anywhere from 50 to 100 dogs eagerly awaiting new owners each week, decided it was time to advertise with the launch of an advertising campaign that put the dogs back on the streets ... behind the wheel of a specially modified car.  Read More

An artist's rendering of the completed Aurora airship

Fifteen years ago, Utah-based prospector William A. Barnes was on a solo gold-dredging expedition in the wilds of Northern California. One night, he heard something disturbing the rocks in the canyon above his campsite. He proceeded to watch as that indistinct “something” came trudging downhill, until it stood only about three feet (0.9 meters) from his tent. At that point, upon seeing its size, shape, and profile against the brightly-moonlit quartz hillside, he became a firm believer in the legendary creature commonly referred to as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. In the years since, he has become obsessed with researching the animals. Now, as the founder of The Falcon Project, he hopes to prove their existence once and for all – with the help of a state-of-the-art remote-control camera-equipped airship.  Read More

'Real' leather, like that pictured above, could soon face competition from a lab-grown sub...

According to many people, meat and leather are an ethical and environmental nightmare, causing misery to billions of animals and wreaking havoc on the planet’s ecosystems. While mankind may not turn entirely vegan in the next generation, a more humane and cleaner type of leather could become available in the near future (and meat a few years later) thanks to the development of an in-vitro version of the material being developed by Modern Meadow.  Read More

The Professor Meowington PhD Cat Headphones for the pampered pussy

Headphone manufacturer Sol Republic has teamed up with Canadian electronic music producer Deadmau5 to design the world’s first music headphones for cats. Yes, headphones for cats. Coming in at a whopping US$1,000, the scaled-down Professor Meowington pHd Cat Headphones have been geared towards a very exclusive novelty market of feline-owners with excess dollars, but possibly not much sense.  Read More

iBatsID is a free online tool that automatically identifies bats based on their calls (Pho...

Everyone knows that it’s possible to identify different species of birds by their vocalizations, but did you know that it’s also possible to differentiate between different types of bats based on their echolocation calls? Well, now you do. So far, however, there hasn’t been a standardized system of doing so – it’s been left up to individual human listeners to decide on the closest match. That may soon no longer be the case, though, as the new online iBatsID tool comes into use.  Read More

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