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The Register - Science

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Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Shock horror: US military sticks jump leads on human brains to teach them a lesson

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:28:05 GMT

DARPA's current thinking for potential future bright sparks

The boffinry nerve center of the US military is working with seven American universities to see if electrically stimulating the brain will increase the ability to learn new skills.…

NASA's Cassini snaps pic inside Saturn's ring – peace among the stars

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:33:03 GMT

Probe plunges deep into dark cosmic hole

Photo NASA's Cassini probe has made its first dive inside Saturn's rings, skimming about 1,900 miles (3,000KM) over the surface of the gas giant's stormy atmosphere.…

Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:02:13 GMT


Video Scientists in Philadelphia have created a plastic womb that has successfully incubated eight premature lambs – and the doctors behind the project say they will be ready for human trials within three years.…

Colliders, containers, dark matter: The CERN atom smasher's careful cloud revolution

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:36:31 GMT

No downtime till 2018

CERN made headlines with the discovery by physicists in 2012 of the Higgs boson, paving the way to a breakthrough in our understanding of how fundamental particles interact.…

New MH370 analysis again says we looked in the wrong places

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 04:20:07 GMT

Drift tests on actual 777 part show plane probably hit ocean north of search area

Australian scientists have released a new analysis of debris from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and again asserted that the search for the Boeing 777 was conducted in the wrong place.…

China successfully launches its first robot space truck

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 01:20:49 GMT

Tianzhou-1 will now refuel the Tiangong-2 orbital lab as China prepares a proper space station

China's ambition to launch a permanently-crewed space station is a little closer today after the nation successfully launched its first robot space truck.…

Opportunity rover gets bored of spot it's explored since 2014

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 05:29:06 GMT

NASA moving to 'Perseverance Valley' where we can see Martian erosion in action

The thirteen year-old Opportunity rover is moving on from the region of Mars it's been exploring since 2014.…

PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:01:12 GMT

Water, check. Low radiation, check. Possible to get to... oh wait, darn

Scientists have spotted a planet slightly larger than Earth orbiting a distant star that looks to be the best contender yet for hosting life as we know it.…

New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:05:07 GMT

Brit scientist warns of increased hazards from new constellations

Broadband satellites could lead to an explosion in the volume of space junk, a British scientist has said.…

Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:02:04 GMT

Vanish that flab using lasers to warp laws of physics

A team of physicists from around the world have created a fluid they claim has negative mass.…

NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 02:09:12 GMT

Retiree grilled after trying to flog heirlooms to foot medical bills

A NASA agent can be sued for allegedly subjecting a 74-year-old granny to a "degrading" two-hour interrogation over a sliver of moon rock.…

Astro-boffinry breakthrough: Loads of ingredients for life found on Saturn's Enceladus

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:08:16 GMT

And Jupiter's Europa is looking sweet, too

Pics Tantalizing new evidence of hydrothermal vents on Enceladus and liquid water on Europa have reignited hopes that alien life may exist in our Solar System, NASA announced today.…

Far out: Dark matter bridges millions of light-years long spotted between galaxies

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:01:07 GMT

Threads of elusive particles form cosmic cobwebs

Pic Astrophysicists have for the first time spotted filaments of dark matter forming bridges between galaxies tens of millions of light-years apart.…

Blighty's £1.2bn space industry could lend itself to tourism – report

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 07:04:08 GMT

That'll be Beardy Branson's mob, then

The British aerospace industry could carve itself a niche in “space tourism,” according to a new report.…

How's that for a remote login? NASA puts New Horizons probe to sleep 3.5 billion miles away

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 21:06:46 GMT

Nap time for spacecraft as it heads out to ice-rock belt

Pic NASA's New Horizons spacecraft – right now 3.5 billion miles (5.6 billion kilometres) from Earth – has been powered down by boffins as it heads out to the icy wastes of the Kuiper Belt.…

Dieting cannibals: At last, a scientist has calculated calories for human body parts

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:03:11 GMT

All in the name of archeology, he says

Imagine this: You’re trapped on a desert island. You’ve eaten nothing for 20 days and as you grow increasingly delirious, your friend who is also stuck in this godforsaken place begins to look appetizing... which part of the body should you eat first?…

Riddle of cannibal black hole pairs solved ... nearly: Astroboffins explain all to El Reg

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:29:07 GMT

Stargazers perform grav wave 'paleontology' in simulations

Astrophysicists are one step closer to understanding how pairs of merging black holes form in the far reaches of the cosmos.…

We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:01:04 GMT

Discovery could be key to cracking universe's baffling particle drought puzzle

The mystery behind why there is an imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe could be one step closer to being solved.…

Goodbye, cruel world! NASA's Cassini preps for kamikaze Saturn dive

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 06:00:05 GMT

Only 22 orbits to go before it burns up in glory

Video NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter the final stages of its mission by nosediving between Saturn’s rings on April 26, before it rams into the planet's atmosphere and vaporizes.…

Steppe thugs pacified by the love of stone age women

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 11:00:09 GMT

'Can you take the bins out, Ugg?'

It happens to the best of us: one minute you're raiding and pillaging on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, the next you're settled down with a stone age woman, have a mortgage on the hut and 2.4 kids.…

Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:29:05 GMT

Aerospace outfit says just four launches could build a base in Lunar space by the early 2020s

Aerospace outfit Boeing has detailed the hardware it thinks humanity will need to stage a piloted mission to Mars.…

Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t'dead to prevent reanimation

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 11:19:01 GMT

Likely not cannibalism issue, as knifemarks not near the meat. Er, OK

Archaeologists investigating human bones excavated from the deserted mediaeval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire have suggested that the villagers burned and mutilated corpses to prevent the dead from rising from their graves to terrorise the living.…

Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 09:02:14 GMT

Feats of engineering, projections busted - the Caledonian Canal

GEEK'S GUIDE TO BRITAIN The Highlands are home to spectacular hills and mountains. You'll also find dotted around some fairly unusual engineering projects that have endeavoured to conquer them.…

Wet, wild Mars stripped off by hot young star, left barren and red faced

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 05:02:05 GMT

And they dare call El Reg The Sun of science and technology – the nerve!

Powerful solar wind and radiation have stripped away most of the Martian atmosphere, transforming the planet from one that could have been wet and with the potential to harbor life, to the barren dusty place it is today.…

How hard will it be to measure Planet Nine?

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 02:57:08 GMT

First, find it, which is hard. Second, see if it occludes stars, which is really, really hard

Planet 9 will be easier to find if we know what we're looking for, so a French astronomer has set himself the task of trying to wrap the enigma in some parameters.…

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 23:34:02 GMT

And put a sat in orbit without any explosions. Yawn

Pics Elon Musk's promised revolution in affordable orbital delivery has begun: today his upstart SpaceX successfully launched a refurbished rocket from Earth, carrying a commercial satellite into orbit, and then landed the rocket's first stage on a sea barge.…

How about a nice game of ... Tetris? Oxford eggheads slow PTSD onset with classic game

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 06:01:10 GMT

Russian puzzler soothes brain after traumatic events

Playing a game of Tetris in the aftermath of a traumatic event can help alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.…

ESA picks final two ExoMars landing site candidates

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 06:28:06 GMT

Welsh corner of Mars makes the final list, along with once-wet Oxia Planum

The European Space Agency has narrowed its candidate list of landing sites for the ExoMars rover to two choices.…

Astroboffins clock thriving stellar nursery nestled in violent supermassive black hole

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:20:49 GMT

First time star formation seen in such extreme conditions

Astronomers have for the first time found stars forming within the violent outflows of material ejected from a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy.…

Boffins name 12 new types of cloud in first Cloud Atlas since 1986

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:21:06 GMT

Actual fluffy things in the sky found by digicam-wielding masses, but hosted in AWS

The World Meteorological Organisation has published the first new edition of its Cloud Atlas since 1986 and in so doing named eleven new types of cloud, some identified by digital-camera-wielding citizen cloud wonks.…

Boffins crowdsource hunt for 'Planet 9'

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:02:09 GMT

AI isn't ready to find planet beyond Kuiper Belt. So you - yes you - have the chance to scour thousands of images

The Australian National University (ANU) is recruiting citizens to look at hundreds of thousands of images, in case they can find the mooted-but-not-yet-discovered “Planet 9”.…

Trump's America looks like a lousy launchpad, so can you dig Darwin?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:01:07 GMT

The space boom is lifting off and there's only so many places close to the equator with heavy industry and stable government

At some point over the last fortnight, watching the second launch countdown in as many weeks via YouTube livestream, it became clear the Second Space Age - as promised by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson - had become entirely real. The promised land of cheap(er) commercial payload launches has come to pass.…

DNA-bothering eggheads brew beer you were literally born to like

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:27:14 GMT

Red alert: Science mixed with marketing detected

London-based Meantime Brewing Company, acquired a year ago by Belgian beverage multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev, wants to sell you beer tuned to your taste.…

Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:29:06 GMT

Yeah, we're talking hundreds of light years

Pic Astronomers claim to have identified the largest and purest brown dwarf ever seen, measuring in at a record-breaking 90 times the mass of Jupiter. And it's hovering fairly nearby in the Milky Way.…

Boffins reveal how to pour a perfect glass of wine with no drips. First step, take a diamond...

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:02:11 GMT

Groove breakthrough prevents shameful leakage

Video A biophysicist has found a way to save precious wine drops from leaking down the side of the bottle after it’s poured into a glass.…

Our Sun's been using facial scrub: No spots for two weeks

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:47:28 GMT

Move along, nothing to see here, says NASA. It's just Sol cycling as usual

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has spotted nothing for the last two weeks, which is unusual.…

Spotted: Bizarre SpaceX rocket-snatching machine that looks like it belongs on Robot Wars

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:55:18 GMT

Mawhrin-Skel to ride again?

Pic A robot has been spotted on the landing pad of SpaceX's floating barge Of course I still love you, and the rocket biz is refusing to say what it is for.…

NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:02:07 GMT

You may be struggling with crappy broadband – but future astronauts will be able to easily Netflix and chill in orbit

NASA hopes to use lasers to shoot data to and from the International Space Station and Earth at gigabit-per-second rates by 2021.…

TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 02:57:08 GMT

Sorry, ET fans: these aren't the exoplanets you're looking for

Boiled dry or extra-terrestrial snowballs, it turns out that the multi exoplanets orbiting the star dubbed TRAPPIST-1 are almost certainly inhospitable to life.…

Now THAT'S a landslide victory: Astroboffins snap avalanche on a comet in science first

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 06:01:07 GMT

Plus: Rubber-ducky rock may split in half one day

Pics Scientists have seen a landslide on a comet for the first time ever, it was announced on Tuesday.…

Large Hadron Collider turns up five new particles

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 07:04:05 GMT

This is the stuff that binds Quarks together

Boffins poring over data from the Large Hadron Collider's “Beauty” experiment are blinking in surprise, having turned up five new particles in one hit.…

Murder in space: NASA orders astronauts to KILL cripples – then fire bodies back to Earth

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:12:51 GMT

Podule returns home after grim experiment leaves 40 dead

After almost a month spent attached to the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon capsule has successfully returned to Earth. The podule, laden with science experiments including the bodies of 40 mice, is now on its way to NASA via ship.…

US military's latest toy set: Record-breaking laser death star, er, truck

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:43:22 GMT

An armored station with enough power to destroy an entire... drone

Vid Lockheed Martin says it is ready to deliver its most powerful laser weapon yet to the US military. This Death-Star-on-wheels can shoot down drones, missiles, and similar stuff, we're told.…

A big day for the ESA: Sentinel snaps and ExoMars brakes

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 05:58:04 GMT

That's snaps as in uses cameras and brakes as in slows down

If you're trying to sell something to the European Space Agency, today could be the day to move in and close the deal because there should be smiles all round after two missions achieved important milestones.…

60 slow-mo A-bomb test videos explode onto YouTube

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:06:23 GMT

Nuke boffins mine recently-declassified films of atmospheric tests for new insights

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has released a recently-declassified collection of films depicting atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted between 1945 and 1962.…

NASA swerves serious cash cuts – but Earth climate probes, asteroid snatcher face axe

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 23:21:11 GMT

And SpaceX will be happy

While some government departments are facing swinging cuts in President Trump's "America First" proposed budget, NASA appears to have escaped lightly – so far.…

Van Allen surprise: fewer nasty particles than NASA expected

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 05:27:05 GMT

Spacecraft might need lighter rad-shields, which means more payload!

Video After a three-year search, NASA's Van Allen Probes have worked out there's far fewer high-energy electrons in the Van Allen Belts than previously thought.…

SpaceX yoinks $96m GPS launch deal from under ULA's nose

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:36:43 GMT

Old monopoly crumbles as competition is introduced

The US Air Force has awarded a $96m contract to SpaceX to launch one of its next-generation GPS satellites, in a competitive contract that left the United Launch Alliance in the dust.…

Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 20:47:04 GMT

Study could explain how star systems go from amorphous blobs to beautiful spirals

The mystery surrounding dark matter deepens: scientists have discovered that the puzzling substance was less dominant in our universe's early galaxies.…

Oxford Uni boffins say internet filters probably won't protect teens

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:11:07 GMT

Probably better to, erm, talk to them and do some parenting

Researchers from the University of Oxford have suggested that, instead of rolling out internet filters, those who are concerned about what teenagers encounter online should spend some time helping their parents parent them.…