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Cornell University

Space

Alien contact not likely for another 1,500 years say scientists

There is perhaps no more compelling question for mankind than, are we alone in the universe? Given the odds, with billions of stars in our galaxy similar to our sun and billions of planets orbiting them, it seems unlikely. But, as Fermi's paradox asks, if aliens do exist, why haven't we found any evidence of them yet? Astronomers at Cornell University have done the sums to provide an estimate of when we might expect a call from ET, but don't worry about marking the date on your calendar – they believe contact isn't likely for another 1,500 years.Read More

Space

Could life exist around ancient red giant stars?

According to a study carried out by researchers from Cornell University, aged red giant stars could harbor exoplanets suited to the evolution of extraterrestrial life. The team used advanced stellar evolution models to estimate the boundaries of the habitable zones (HZ) of post main sequence (MS) ancient red giant stars, taking into account a wide range of stellar ages and properties.Read More

Materials

Stretchy squid-inspired skin glows in different colors

Besides having tentacles, squid and octopi are also both known for their color-changing skin. Well, soft-bodied robots may soon also share that attribute, thanks to research being carried out at Cornell University. Led by assistant professor Rob Shepherd, a team of grad students there has developed an electroluminescent rubber "skin" that not only emits light in different colors, but that can also do so while being stretched to more than six times its original length.Read More

Biology

Cornell software identifies bird species from users' photos

While there are already plenty of apps that help birdwatchers identify birds, most of them work by searching a database based on descriptions. Cornell University and the Visipedia research project's Merlin Bird Photo ID program, however, goes further – it utilizes computer vision tech to identify birds pictured in user-supplied photos.Read More

Robotics

Cornell's robot barista learns as it brews

If robots are going to become part of our everyday lives, they'll need to learn to work with everyday things. That means being able to read instruction manuals and figuring out how to use new machines. That's the plan of researchers at Cornell University, who have programmed a robot barista that can not only make a latte, but figure out how to use an unfamiliar espresso maker.Read More

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