Tech

  1. illustration of a spacecraft carrying NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock orbiting above Earth
    Physics

    An atomic clock that could revolutionize space travel just passed its first test

    The most precise clock ever sent to space successfully operated in Earth’s orbit for over a year.

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  2. Cryptochiton stelleri on the seafloor
    Animals

    The teeth of ‘wandering meatloaf’ contain a rare mineral found only in rocks

    The hard, magnetic teeth of the world’s largest chiton contain nanoparticles of santabarbaraite, a mineral never seen before in biology.

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  3. a purple/orange cloud with bright stars sprinkled throughout on a black background
    Astronomy

    Watch this beautiful, high-resolution simulation of how stars are born

    The STARFORGE simulation follows a giant gas cloud as it collapses into new stars, accounting for all the phenomena thought to influence the outcome.

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  4. an illustration depicting a person thinking about writing the word "hello" and "hello" appears on a computer screen
    Neuroscience

    Brain implants turn imagined handwriting into text on a screen

    A person who was paralyzed from the neck down was able to communicate, thanks to brain-to-text technology.

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  5. a long, thin electronic device with microchips in the middle and lights at either end
    Neuroscience

    Scientists remotely controlled the social behavior of mice with light

    New devices — worn as headsets and backpacks — rely on optogenetics, in which bursts of light toggle neurons, to control mouse brain activity.

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  6. collage of people on a videocall waving
    Science & Society

    Videocalling needed more than a pandemic to finally take off. Will it last?

    Zoom and social distancing ushered in the futuristic videophone fantasy AT&T wanted and consumers rejected for decades.

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  7. bald eagle soaring in front of a wind turbine
    Animals

    How researchers can keep birds safe as U.S. wind farms expand

    Tracking bald eagle abundance and migrating whooping cranes provides a clearer picture of where wind turbines could be safely built.

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  8. a toilet
    Tech

    ‘Pipe Dreams’ flushes out hope in an unexpected place: the toilet

    A new book shows how reimagined toilets will allow humans to use pee and poop as natural resources.

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  9. dice scattered in the air
    Tech

    A new laser-based random number generator is the fastest of its kind

    A new laser’s chaotic light beam lets the device generate multiple number sequences at once, similar to throwing multiple dice at a time.

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  10. piles of plastic at a landfill
    Chemistry

    Chemists are reimagining recycling to keep plastics out of landfills

    Recycling plastics is really hard, and usually creates low-quality materials that aren’t good for much. Chemists are trying to change that.

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  11. Venus flytrap grabbing a weight
    Tech

    A robot arm toting a Venus flytrap can grab delicate objects

    By attaching electrodes to the plant’s leaves, researchers found a way to snap its traps shut on command.

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  12. battery illustration
    Chemistry

    Zinc-air batteries are typically single-use. A new design could change that

    Swapping out the electrolyte in zinc-air batteries helps these next-gen power sources last longer.

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