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U.S.-Russian crew reaches space station for year-long stay
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, sending a U.S.-Russia crew to the International Space Station for a year-long flight, a NASA Television broadcast showed. Four Soviet-era cosmonauts lived on the now-defunct Mir space station for a year or longer, but the missions, which concluded in 1999, did not have the sophisticated medical equipment that will be used during International Space Station investigations, NASA said.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:47:29 -0400
Solitair device aims to takes guesswork out of sun safety
By Matthew Stock Scientists in the UK have developed a new wearable device that monitors the correct amount of sun exposure for a person's skin type in order to stay healthy. The Solitair device consists of a tiny sensor to measure how much sunlight the user is exposed to, with the information synchronized to a smartphone app that offers real time recommendations on when it is time to seek out some shade. The developers hope Solitair will reduce the confusion that surrounds just how much sun we should be getting. UVA and UVB radiation from the sun damage skin-cell DNA and are partly responsible for skin ageing and for promoting skin cancer.
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 07:38:39 -0400
Dutch architects show off 3D house-building prowess
Dutch architects are using a giant 3D printer to construct a prototype house in a bid to pave the way to a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, future for construction. DUS Architects of Amsterdam began construction of the house in 2014 and the prototype walls can already be seen - and touched - on site by curious visitors. The house structure uses a plastic heavily based on plant oil that co-founder Hans Vermeulen, who initiated the project, says is waste-free and eco-friendly. Vermeulen says the building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient around, whereas with 3D-printing, there is no waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled.
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:39:16 -0400
Bionic ants could be tomorrow's factory workers
By Amy Pollock Robotic ants the size of a human hand that work together could be the future of factory production systems. The developers, German technology firm Festo, say it's not just the unusual anatomy of real-world ants that inspired the bionic version - the collective intelligence of an ant colony was also something they wanted to replicate. Festo says that in the future production systems will be based on intelligent individual components that adjust themselves to different production demands by communicating with each other.
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:23:49 -0400
Primordial sea creature with spiky claws unearthed in Canada
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A fossil site in the Canadian Rockies that provides a wondrous peek into life on Earth more than half a billion years ago has offered up the remains of an intriguing sea creature, a four-eyed arthropod predator that wielded a pair of spiky claws. Scientists said on Friday they unearthed nicely preserved fossils in British Columbia of the 508 million-year-old animal, named Yawunik kootenayi, that looked like a big shrimp with a bad attitude and was one of the largest predators of its time. The fossil beds in Kootenay National Park where it was found were in a previously unexplored area of the Burgess Shale rock formation that for more than a century has yielded exceptional remains from the Cambrian Period, when many of the major animal groups first appeared. Yawunik, whose name honors a mythical sea monster in the native Ktunaxa people's creation story, was a primitive arthropod, the highly successful group that includes shrimps, lobsters, crabs, insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:42:29 -0400
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