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The Register - Science

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Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

Reg reader turns Geek's Guides to Britain into Geek's Map of Britain

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:27:10 GMT

Too lazy to plug GPS co-ords into satnav? Fear not, gypsythief has saved you

A forward-thinking Reg reader has put the entirety of our Geeks’ Guide series onto a Google Map, for your navigational and geographically organised reading pleasure.…

China's 'future-proof' crypto: We talk to firm behind crazy quantum key distribution network

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:30:04 GMT

Should we believe the hype? And why drop so much $$?

Two hundred local government employees across the capital of China's eastern Shandong province will soon be encrypting messages with keys that are "impossible" to crack.…

NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 04:57:05 GMT

Sure, Goddard boffins could just analyse the signals, but why not listen to them too?

NASA boffins in charge of the agency's Van Allen Belt mission have recorded audio-frequency noise made by energetic electrons emitting what's known as “whistler waves”.…

Russia launches non-TERRIFYING satellite that focuses Sun's solar rays onto Earth

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 23:03:31 GMT

Mayak bird so bright it may outshine Venus, Jupiter

Skywatchers are going to see a new light in the heavens this week after the successful launch of the Russian satellite Mayak this past weekend.…

Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 05:23:06 GMT

Infected sterile males will help kill off the population

Google’s healthcare arm Verily announced just before the weekend it will release twenty million sterile male mosquitoes into the wild, in Fresno County, California.…

DARPA's robot sat-fixing program survives sueball strike

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 01:39:03 GMT

Aerospace firm says there's no market for this stuff, wants to build it anyway

Aerospace company Orbital ATK has failed in a legal bid to halt a DARPA contract for robotic satellite maintenance devices and will instead see if the White House can help it to bring the work to the private sector.…

Physicists send supersonic shock waves rippling through a lab

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 07:02:13 GMT

High-Mach number, magnetized collisionless shocks reproduced

Scientists have managed to create powerful supersonic shock waves – comparable to those generated in space – under laboratory conditions.…

Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:16:55 GMT

Amazingly, it's not Keith Richards

Humans are newcomers on Earth and it's almost certain that we won't be around, on this planet at least, when the solar system's star finally goes nova. But boffins have identified at least one animal that will be.…

Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:12:13 GMT

Paves way for thousands of sci-fi novel prologues to come true

Luxembourg's parliament has passed a law that makes it the first European Union country to offer legal certainty that asteroid mining companies get to keep what they find in space.…

ESA trying to 'bake, rattle and roll' gravity wave space probe

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 05:32:11 GMT

LISA Pathfinder's watch is over, but busting it can teach us to handle future, nastier, missions

The European Space Agency is giving the LISA Pathfinder probe what it calls the “Bake, rattle and roll” treatment in the hope it teaches us how to make its successors even better.…

Juno beams back first closeups of Jupiter's unsightly red acne

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 05:01:10 GMT

Shrinking spot looks like the Eye of Sauron

NASA has released the first closeup images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the massive storm system that has been swirling on its surface for over 180 years.…

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 07:28:05 GMT

2014 MU69 is New Horizons' next stop and this is a way to get an early look

NASA has flown a plane through shadow of Kuiper Belt object 6.6bn kilometres from Earth.…

Astroboffins spot tiniest star yet – we guess you could call it... small fry

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:01:11 GMT

Little blighter is about the size of our system's Saturn

The tiniest star, similar in size to Saturn, has been discovered as part of an eclipsing binary system by a group of astronomers.…

Japan joins quantum space race with microsatellite demo

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 05:02:11 GMT

SOCRATES shows off space-to-ground entanglement

Japan has become the latest country to demonstrate quantum communication with a satellite, in this case a micro-satellite named SOCRATES.…

Just in time for summer boozing: Boffins smash world record for the most perfect ice cubes

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 21:11:44 GMT

It's Pimms O' Clock somewhere in the world right now

An international team of chemists has set the new record for crafting near-perfect cubic ice crystals. Sadly, the ice cubes are so small, they are invisible to the naked eye.…

LHC finds a new and very charming particle: the Xicc++ baryon

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 04:13:01 GMT

Four times as massive as a proton, a way to check out the strong nuclear force

What happens if you get two charm quarks together in one baryon? Something four times as heavy as a proton that can help the world understand the strong nuclear force, according to boffins at the Large Hadron Collider.…

Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 10:02:06 GMT

Quantum dots show promise for fighting bacterial keratitis

In early lab experiments on rabbits, eyedrops laced with nanoparticles appear to combat bacterial keratitis, a serious infection of the cornea which can, in severe cases, cause blindness.…

Astronomers fire up AI algorithms to hunt Milky Way's hot Jupiters

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 06:02:05 GMT

Sixty rare possible candidates eyed from NASA's Kepler probe

Astronomers have uncovered a potential treasure trove of hot Jupiters, a rare class of exoplanet, in our galaxy.…

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 21:53:22 GMT

Tweet a GIF about that, Donald

Chinese boffins say they have smashed yet another world fusion record using their EAST contraption – aka the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak.…

'Vicious' neutron star caught collecting dustbunnies

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 10:54:08 GMT

Geminga! Yet another of astronomy's classic pranks...

A new study suggests a dangerous, young neutron star could be attracting planet-forming matter around it as it swims through space.…

Boffins with frickin' laser beams chase universe's mysterious trihydrogen

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 06:03:13 GMT

Can science crack the cosmos's inexplicable yet bountiful ion? We think it can

Scientists are getting closer to piecing together the chemical reactions that form trihydrogen, one of the most abundant yet mysterious ions floating around in space.…

RED ALERT! High-speed alien fugitives are invading our Milky Way

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 05:02:05 GMT

Turbo-charged solar runaways escape home galaxies, scream through our cosmic backwater

Rare hypervelocity stars tearing through the Milky Way galaxy are runaway suns that have escaped neighbouring galaxies, according to research presented at this year’s National Astronomy Meeting in Hull, England.…

Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 06:05:05 GMT

Three eyes look at the sky

Camera designers will get to add a technique borrowed from nature to improve how they handle colour, courtesy of the humble honey bee.…

MH370 researchers refine their prediction of the place nobody looked

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 05:05:12 GMT

April drift test analysis updated

Australian researchers who haven't given up on finding Malaysian Airlines MH 370 have told a conference in Darwin they believe they know where it is likely to be.…

Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:01:08 GMT

Tibet? Pah! A £20m ride puts the Highlands at your feet

Geek's Guide to Britain The world's highest railway is the Xining-Golmud-Lhasa railway at 5,068m (16,627ft) above sea level and running 815km (506 miles). As much a political piece as a transport corridor, the line was designed to fuse China with Tibet – the country the People's Republic invaded and annexed in 1950.…

SpaceX halts Intelsat 35e launch twice in a row

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 07:04:11 GMT

Rocket and payload just fine, try again tomorrow

SpaceX's current launch, carrying the geosynchronous satellite Intelsat 35e, hasn't got off the ground yet: two launches in a row have been pulled at the last minute.…

Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 06:04:10 GMT

Massive news

While business around the world closed out a financial quarter or a financial year ahead of June 30, US boffins were working to a different deadline: linking the kilogram to electromagnetism.…

NASA: Bring on the asteroid, so we can chuck a fridge at it

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 06:03:10 GMT

Putting Bruce Willis out of work

NASA has okayed one of its save-the-world-from-asteroids proposals to move to the preliminary design phase, on the way to a hoped-for launch early in the 2020s.…

China pollutes ocean with bloody big rocket

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 02:05:05 GMT

Long March, short flight

China's latest Long March-5 Y2 the launch has gone awry for reasons not yet made public.…

Sailor Moon? More like sail to the Moon: Japan vows to set foot on lunar soil by 2030

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:45:25 GMT

All part of the wider plan to visit the dusty wasteland of Mars

Japan's national space agency JAXA has announced plans to send a lone astronaut to the moon by 2030.…

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 18:34:37 GMT

No humans on Red Planet, straight-faced officials have the audacity to claim

NASA has not enslaved a colony of children on Mars nor is it using them for vile orgies on the Red Planet nor feasting on them to harvest their precious bone marrow, officials have told The Register.…

Did you know? Today is International Asteroid Day! Wouldn't it be amazing if one were to...

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 05:01:07 GMT

Tune into space boffins' 24-hour telethon celebration

Space scientists and enthusiasts are today celebrating International Asteroid Day – with events in 190 countries and a 24-hour telethon with boffins from NASA, ESA, and JAXA plus assorted celebrities.…

NASA tells Curiosity: Quit showing off, no 'wheelies' please

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 01:56:13 GMT

Software update adds traction control to protect rover's wheels

After 18 months of testing, NASA's pushed a patch to the Mars Curiosity Rover – to extend its wheels' life, and eliminate over-exuberant climbs causing “wheelies”.…

Talk about cutting-edge technology! Boffins fire world's sharpest laser

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 21:47:43 GMT

Stable for up to 10x the distance from Earth to Moon

A team of physicists claims to have created the world's sharpest laser, with a line width frequency of only 10 millihertz – opening up the possibility of improving the accuracy of optical clocks and radioastronomy experiments.…

Astroboffins dig into the weird backwards orbit of the Bee-Zed asteroid

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 06:01:10 GMT

Tiny body moves similar to Jupiter – but travels in the opposite direction

Asteroid 2015 BZ509 – also known as Bee-Zed – is the only asteroid in our solar system with a confirmed retrograde orbit lasting 12 years; the same orbital period as Jupiter.…

Ever wondered why the universe only has black holes in S or XXXL? No? Boffins have an answer

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:52:57 GMT

Never a M or L when you want one, right?

Astronomers looking for black holes have been baffled by the same question for decades: we've found large and small holes, but where are all the medium-sized black holes?…

Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:26:12 GMT

Sonic boom reduced to 'soft thump' by well-designed shockwaves

NASA says the preliminary design review of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) project suggests it is possible to create a supersonic aircraft that doesn't produce a sonic boom.…

India's Martian MOM clocks up 1,000 days circling the red planet

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:33:13 GMT

But she's down to just 13kg of fuel after seven-minute eclipse-avoidance burn

India's Mars Orbiter Mission – aka MOM – has celebrated its 1,000th Earth day in orbit around the red planet.…

No way to sugarcoat this: I'm afraid Uranus opens and closes to accept particle streams

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:06:11 GMT

It's official. Uranus clenches after taking in hot beams

Scientists digging through old readings from NASA’s Voyager 2 mission in 1986 have found that Uranus’ magnetic field swings open and shut like the aperture of a revolving door.…

Researchers blind autonomous cars by tricking LIDAR

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 01:14:28 GMT

As I was on the motorway, I saw a man who wasn't there. Then things went pear-shaped

If you've ever been dazzled by some idiot's high-beam driving towards you at night, you'd probably welcome a self-driving car – except one of the key “eyes”, LIDAR, can also be blinded, or tricked into reacting to objects that aren't there.…

Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 09:32:06 GMT

£$% ambient... light! Can't see.. darn.. phone... screen

A new anti-glare film could help us see our phones a little bit better on a bright day.…

SpaceX nails two launches and barge landings in one weekend

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:02:08 GMT

Your bike ride/Glastonbury/hookup with a hottie looks a bit less epic now, eh?

No matter what you did over the weekend, you'll struggle to top Elon Musk's after his space trucking venture launched 11 satellites atop two rockets, both of which stuck perfect landings on barges.…

NASA? More like NASAI: Brainy robots 'crucial' to space exploration

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:01:12 GMT

Danger, Will Robinson!

Autonomous space robots are going to be key to making new discoveries and exploring the furthest reaches of our Solar System and beyond, according to NASA scientists.…

PLATO mission to find alien life is given the thumbs up

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:30:13 GMT

ESA to start the construction of space telescope network

The European Space Agency’s PLATO mission hunting for habitable exoplanets has been given the green light to move from blueprint into construction.…

Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 23:41:23 GMT

Grab your camping gear and prepare for August 21

America will witness, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse stretching from coast to coast on August 21.…

No, really. You can see through walls using drones and Wi-Fi

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:51:46 GMT

Researchers explore 3D imaging using drones

Video Drones can perform three-dimensional imaging of objects through walls using Wi-Fi, a team of researchers demonstrated for the first time.…

Melbourne Uni hoping to hoist tiny telescope to look at BIG explosions

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:02:41 GMT

Dr Katie Mack explains the SkyHopper cubesat project to El Reg

A couple of years after it was first conceived, a Melbourne University-led infrared astronomy cubesat proposal called SkyHopper is gathering momentum.…

Medicxi launches $300m European late-stage life sciences fund backed by Google company

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:58:11 GMT

Verily joins Novartis and the European Investment Fund

Venture capital group Medicxi has announced a $300m late-stage life sciences fund that is backed by Novartis, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Verily Life Sciences, the healthcare division of Google's holding company Alphabet.…

NASA's Kepler space telescope finishes its original mission catalog

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:22:42 GMT

Fifty possible planets later, we're a step closer to a possible vacation Earth

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has finished cataloging possible planets in the direction of the Cygnus constellation.…

Is your research hot or not? US boffins create ‘Tinder for preprints’

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:24:13 GMT

Papr app lets you rate academic papers - and maybe find your ideal postdoc

Boffins have created an app that lets users rate academic preprints and find people with similar academic tastes - and hope to use the results to spot trends in academic publishing.…