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Little African primate's talents inspire leaping robot
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Inspired by the remarkable jumping ability of an African primate called a galago, scientists have fashioned a small robot with unique leaping capabilities they hope can someday be used in tricky search-and-rescue situations. The scientists said on Tuesday they had built a robot, dubbed Salto, with vertical jumping agility like no other machine, able to leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps consecutively. To design Salto, short for "saltatorial locomotion on terrain obstacles," the University of California, Berkeley, researchers sought inspiration from one of the animal kingdom's best leapers.
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:45:30 -0500
European Mars mission funding approved even after test lander's crash
European space agency (ESA) member states have approved another 450 million euros ($479 million) in funding for the ExoMars mission to the Red Planet, even after a test lander that was part of the program crashed in October, ESA said on Friday. The European-Russian ExoMars program sent a gas-sniffing orbiter and the test lander to Mars this year to search for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet and to lay the groundwork for a rover that is due to follow in 2020. The Schiaparelli lander crashed after a sensor failure caused it to cast away its parachute and turn off braking thrusters more than two miles (3.7 km) above the surface of the planet, as though it had already landed.
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:46:45 -0500
U.S. patent agency to weigh rival claims on gene-editing technology
(Corrects company name to Editas Medicine from Editas Pharmaceuticals in paragraph 15) By Brendan Pierson (Reuters) - The U.S. patent agency on Tuesday will hear arguments in a heated dispute over who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake, as the technology promises commercial applications in treating genetic diseases, engineering crops, and other areas. CRISPR works as a type of molecular scissors that can trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace them with new stretches of DNA.
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:16:12 -0500
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin recovering well after Antarctic evacuation
Former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, posted photos on Saturday of his recovery in a New Zealand hospital after he was evacuated from the South Pole due to illness. Aldrin, 86, who was visiting the pole as part of a tourist group, was flown to Christchurch, New Zealand, early on Friday local time when his condition deteriorated. Aldrin appeared in good spirits on Saturday after receiving a visit from NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman at Christchurch Hospital.
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:40:21 -0500
Russian cargo ship destroyed after launch for Space Station
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - An unmanned Russian cargo ship loaded with more than 2-1/2 tons of food and supplies for the International Space Station broke apart about six minutes after liftoff on Thursday, Russia's space agency Roscosmos said in a statement. A Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress capsule blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as planned at 9:51 a.m. EST, a NASA TV broadcast showed. The six-member crew aboard the International Space Station is not in any danger and has enough supplies for several months, NASA said.
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:37:34 -0500
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