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October 11th, 2017

UC San Diego engineers developing smart & soft 3D printed gripper that can figure out what its holding

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a partially 3D printed soft robotic gripper capable of 3D scanning the object it is gripping. 3D printing was used to make the gripper’s actuators. via 3ders.org, http://ift.tt/2hBGiJO

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Amazon farmers discovered the secret of domesticating wild rice 4,000 years ago

Amazonian farmers discovered how to manipulate wild rice so the plants could provide more food 4,000 years ago, long before Europeans colonised America, archaeologists have discovered. Monte Castelo excavation in progress – collecting samples [Credit: University of Exeter]Experts from the UK and Brazil have found the first evidence that ancient South Americans learned how to grow bigger rice crops with …Continue reading →

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Mass extinctions led to low species diversity, dinosaur rule

Two of Earth’s five mass extinction events — times when more than half of the world’s species died — resulted in the survival of a low number of so-called “weedy” species that spread their sameness across the world as Earth recovered from these dramatic upheavals. The findings could shed light on modern high extinction rates and how biological communities may …Continue reading →

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Dinosaur blood? New research urges caution regarding fossilized soft tissue

Their findings demonstrate that previous claims showing the preservation of keratin protein in dinosaur fossils are likely to be false. Electron microscopy of abiotically-formed structures as an explanation for ‘dinosaur blood’. A) Moderately  matured turkey skin. B) Proposed blood-like structures in a dinosaur bone (modified from Bertazzo et al.  (2015, online Supplementary Fig. 3c) and used under Creative Commons CC-BY… …Continue reading →

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‘Fake fin’ discovery reveals new ichthyosaur species

An ichthyosaur first discovered in the 1970s but then dismissed and consigned to museum storerooms across the UK has been re-examined and found to be a new species. One of the original skeletons of Protoichthyosaurus described by Dr Robert Appleby in 1979  [Credit: National Museum of Wales/Dean R. Lomax]In 1979, after inspecting several ichthyosaurs from the UK, palaeontologist Dr Robert …Continue reading →

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98HT works with Chinese students to design convertible 3D printed high-heeled shoes

Students from the China Academy of Fine Arts, the Zhejiang Univeristy, and the Zhejiang University of Technology have teamed up with footwear brand 98HT to rethink the architecture of the high-heeled shoe. By using 3D printing, the collaborative team is developing modular shoes with switchable heels of varying heights. via 3ders.org, http://ift.tt/2yF1XLY

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Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball

While burning coal today causes Earth to overheat, about 300 million years ago the formation of that same coal brought our planet close to global glaciation. For the first time, scientists show the massive effect in a study to be published in the renowned Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. About 300 million years ago, much of the world …Continue reading →

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DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forest

The Boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking — until now. Credit: University of Guelph Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology developed by the University of Guelph can help speed up and …Continue reading →

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Mars study yields clues to possible cradle of life

The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth. This view of a portion of the Eridania region of Mars shows blocks of deep-basin deposits that have been surrounded  and partially buried by younger volcanic deposits [Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS]A recent international report …Continue reading →

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Second campaign of excavations completed on Roman wreck carrying tin ingots off the coast of Brittany

“A rare and exceptional site”, is how Olivia Hulot, in charge of mission at DRASSM (Department of Underwater and Submarine Archaeological Research), described the Roman wreck of the 3rd century, found 20 m deep, east of Batz Island located off the coast of Brittany in north-western France, where a second campaign of excavations has just ended. Archaeologists record the tin …Continue reading →

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