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The Register - Science

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Copyright: Copyright 2017, Situation Publishing

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.…

Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:30:05 GMT

'Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species' plan details how to get 1m humans to Mars

Elon Musk has published his blueprint for “Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species” by establishing a self-sufficient city on Mars.…

You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 07:09:12 GMT

So where is our Sol's sibling?

Nearly all stars, including our Sun, are born from hot, dense molecular clouds and come in pairs, according to a paper to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.…

As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:57:34 GMT

What could go wrong?

In 1991, Sony launched the world’s first commercial lithium-ion battery... and since then the design hasn’t changed all that much.…

Just like knotted-up headphones: Entangled photons stay entwined over record distance

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 06:39:07 GMT

Literally spooky action at a distance

Pairs of entangled photons created on a satellite orbiting Earth have survived the long, perilous trip from space to ground stations. Crucially, they are still linked despite being picked up by receivers over 1,200km (745mi) apart – the longest link ever seen before.…

Fear the dentist? Strap on some nerd goggles

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:29:31 GMT

Patients frolicking by virtual beach felt less pain in the chair

Wearing a virtual-reality headset in the dentist's chair could make you more relaxed, a new study suggests.…

Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:57:14 GMT

Tape drive due to shut down in 2018 as 1.4 kbps link becomes too skinny

Voyager 1 has just ticked off another milestone: on Tuesday it reached 138 astronomical units from Earth, or about 20,600,000,000km from the planet on which you're (presumably!) reading this story.…

It came from space! Two-headed flatworm stuns scientists

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:10:55 GMT

The regeneration process continues to baffle boffins

A flatworm sent to the International Space Station has sprouted two heads, an anomaly that never happens in the wild, according to a paper published in the journal Regeneration.…

Curiosity drills into the watery origins of Mars

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 22:46:40 GMT

Minerals found in Mars rocks strengthen case for past life-friendly conditions

The Martian rock samples dug up by NASA's Curiosity robotic rover show that there is a wide diversity of minerals, allowing scientists to piece together the planet's past.…

We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 10:29:11 GMT

Scientists fork reality, sorta

A team of researchers has created the largest virtual model of our universe, complete with billions of galaxies, to probe the effects of dark energy and dark matter.…

Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 07:19:06 GMT

...or maybe not. Opinion is divided

Updated The mystery of the "Wow!" signal, a radio burst recorded from outer space in the 1970s, may been solved. Or not. Not everyone is convinced.…

Whisky snobs scotched by artificial tongue

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:27:10 GMT

Boffins claim fluorescent dyes could help detect fake booze

Think you know your Bell's from your Balvenie? Your Jim Beam from your Jameson? Well, if a team of German researchers have their way, an artificial tongue might have you licked.…

Shoebox-sized satellites made by civs win trip on NASA's newest rocket

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 12:14:06 GMT

Three US teams clash in one far-out Robot Wars episode

Three citizen teams in the United States will get to fire deep-space satellites from NASA's newest rocket, Space Launch System, as part of the agency's Cube Quest Challenge.…

Science megablast: Comets may have brought xenon to Earth

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 05:33:04 GMT

Noble gas found on 67P by Euro probe Rosetta

Scientists working on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe mission have found xenon on Comet 67P – a discovery that introduces a link between the cosmic rock and Earth for the first time.…

Feeling old? Well, we're older than that: Newly found Homo sapiens jaw dates back 350k years

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 05:37:08 GMT

That's 100,000 years older than the last fossil find

Pics It's a double-whammy discovery for fossil enthusiasts this week. Two groups of scientists have reportedly found the world's oldest known remains of Homo sapiens – and a really old mushroom.…

Busted Russian casino hackers had an appetite for drugs and chocolate

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 02:56:08 GMT

Boris and the Chocolate Factory, with murder, extortion, bootlegging, bribery on the side

US law enforcement agencies on Wednesday unsealed charges against a large-scale Russian criminal syndicate, laying charges against 33 individuals with some pretty startling sidelines.…

Meteor swarm spawns new and dangerous branch

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:29:13 GMT

Czech boffins say source of Tunguska event has new asteroid-sized bits to watch

The regular and often-unspectacular Taurid meteor shower has a dangerous side, with Czech boffins warning it's a likely source of dangerous debris.…

Two hot Jupiters around two similar stars orbiting at similar distances look similar, right? WRONG

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 13:04:35 GMT

Cruel mistress science throws astroboffins a curveball

WASP-67 b and HAT-P-38 b are two far-flung exoplanets orbiting near-identical stars at similar distances. Their size and temperatures are also pretty close. So, naturally, astronomers thought that their atmospheres wouldn't be too far apart. They were wrong.…

Horror in space: Hot alien giant boiled alive by nasty radiation-belching star

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:03:14 GMT

Colossus suffers cosmic tanning session from hell

Astronomers have discovered KELT‑9b – the hottest giant exoplanet yet seen. It is twice the size of Jupiter, has a dayside temperature of 4,600 Kelvin, and is being stripped by ultraviolet radiation from its star, KELT‑9.…

Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 05:28:11 GMT

Quick, let the Daily Mail know – add the Red Planet to cereal, cheese, tea, joy and other crazy carcinogens you must avoid

Aspiring astronauts might want to think twice before going to Mars, as scientists estimate that the risk of cancer doubles for long-term missions outside Earth’s magnetic field.…

'Fat boy' flies: ISRO's heavy rocket fails to blow up

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 02:27:13 GMT

GSLV Mk III pits new entrant into the orbital workhorse biz

India has successfully launched its GSLV Mark III heavy-lift rocket on schedule, leaving explosion-watchers disappointed.…

NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:08:55 GMT

Where's my self-driving plane? Nowhere, it's a feasibility study*

It's the fear of anyone who watches Snakes on a Plane and books a flight – what if your plane crashes? Now take a deep breath and imagine that you're travelling on a plane or rocketship with no pilot. A new NASA research project hopes to find ways to certify unmanned autonomous aircraft systems for safety.…

Earth resists NASA's attempts to make red and green clouds

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 05:04:14 GMT

Strontium release dogged by normal boring clouds that blocked boffins' view

NASA's attempts to make red and green clouds have been thwarted by Mother Nature.…

ESA astronaut decelerates from 28,800kph to zero in first bumpy landing

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 23:43:43 GMT

ISS crew Thomas Pesquet and Oleg Novitski come home

The crew of the International Space Station is down to three after European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitski landed rather uncomfortably in the wilds of Kazakhstan.…

Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 20:05:34 GMT

It's easier to mine than uraninite ore, too

Scientists have discovered bizarre evidence in the US state of Wyoming – that bacteria hidden deep within the Earth's crust secrete uranium.…

Gay Dutch vultures become dads

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 12:26:52 GMT

Carrion parenting

A pair of gay Dutch vultures in a long-term relationship have become parents.…

Curiosity rover's crater 'offered multiple microbe-friendly environments'

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 05:58:13 GMT

Chemical analysis of Gale Crater finds Martian lakes were a lot like ours

Mars' Gale Crater was once home to a body of water “that offered favorable conditions for microbial life” thanks to stratification that meant different parts of the lake offered different conditions.…

Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:02:13 GMT

Twin-fuselage, six-engined satellite-slinger has wider wings than the Spruce Goose

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has shown off the “Stratolaunch”, a colossal aircraft he hopes can soon help to hoist satellites into low earth orbit.…

Spacecraft spots possible signs of frozen water on the Moon

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 06:03:06 GMT

Evidence could uncover how oceans formed on Earth

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured evidence that shows that parts of the Moon may be coated in thin bits of frost, and it could help scientists unlock the mystery of how water ended up on Earth.…

Boffins play with the world's most powerful X‑ray gun to shoot molecules

Wed, 31 May 2017 22:20:13 GMT

It's all in the name of medicine, they say

A group of scientists has focused the world’s most powerful X‑ray beam on a molecule to test out the Linac Coherent Light Source at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.…

Strong and stable? Theresa May's election poll lead succumbs to outlier syndrome

Wed, 31 May 2017 15:10:39 GMT

Contextualising Jeremy Corbyn's improving numbers

I hate to say I told you so but, tell a lie, I told you so. As the election campaign heads into the home straight, could the unthinkable be on the cards? Could Theresa May, who started some four weeks ago with what was widely regarded as an unassailable lead, be on the verge of losing?…

NASA Sun probe named for solar wind boffin Eugene Parker

Wed, 31 May 2017 13:02:08 GMT

Space weather announcement, forecast: SCORCHIO

Breaking with the recent focus on flinging probes and bots at our planetary neighbours, around July next year NASA will set the controls for the heart of the Sun.…

Boffins spot 'faceless fish' in strange alien environment

Wed, 31 May 2017 07:25:13 GMT

Chinese and Australian crews peer into the abyss and find weird things looking back

Scientific expeditions into the deep, deep ocean are like buses: none for ages, then suddenly along come two at once!…

India sets June 5 as the day it will join the heavy-lift rocket club

Wed, 31 May 2017 02:58:12 GMT

GSLV Mk III to test itself on a 3,136kg sat, plans for 8,000kg payloads real soon now

The Indian Space Research Organisation has set June 5 as the next milestone in the country's ambitions to build a heavy-lift rocket.…

Pentagon trumpets successful mock-ICBM interception test

Wed, 31 May 2017 01:44:17 GMT

If they know where it comes from and how fast it's going: America defends against itself

In a show of strength aimed at ever-belligerent North Korea, America has shot down what it calls a “simulated ICBM” with an intercept missile.…

NASA boffins find an explanation for Saturn's wonky moon

Wed, 31 May 2017 00:23:53 GMT

Enceladus might have been knocked over by an asteroid

Enceladus, Saturn’s watery moon, may have been tipped on its axis after being battered with an asteroid, new evidence reveals.…