Space, Technology

This App Turns Your Phone Into A Cosmic Ray Detector

This is an artist's conception showing cosmic rays hitting the Earth. When they reach the Earth's atmosphere, the rays trigger showers of particles called air showers. In this illustration, the air showers are the branching, broom-tail portion of the rays. Simon Swordy, U. Chicago, NASA.

With a simple phone app you can donate your idle phone time to science; and if researchers decide to use this data in a paper, you’ll also be credited as an author. The app is called Cosmic Rays Found in Smartphones, or CRAYFIS – and all you have to do is download it, it takes care of the rest. What it does…

Videos

Amazing Time-lapse Shows A Fly Emerging From Its Pupa

The fly: Musca domestica. Image via Wiki Commons.

It’s one of those videos that’s either mesmerizing, disgusting… or a bit of both. But no matter how you look at it, the video is quite interesting. It shows a fly emerging from its pupa: The pupa In the life of an insect the pupal stage follows the larval stage and precedes adulthood. It is the life stage of some…

Animals, Inventions, News

Mantis Shrimp Can See Cancer. Researchers have Invented a Camera that Does the Same

A mantis shrimp's compound eyes are 'superbly tuned' to detect polarised light. Image: Roy Caldwell

The Mantis Shrimp has some of the most amazing eyes in the animal kingdom. Researchers have shown that among others, it is able to detect a variety of cancers and visualize brain activity. Now, scientists from Queensland University have studied how the mantis shrimp’s eyes are superbly tuned to detect polarized light, and literally see cancers. Professor Justin Marshall, from the Queensland Brain…

News, Technology

Audi gets California’s first autonomous driving permit

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Audi announced that it will be the first auto manufacturer to receive an autonomous driving permit from the state of California. Driverless cars are big right now – so big that the University of Michigan is building a fake city just to test them out. But what’s even more interesting is California’s law about driverless cars – the state of…

Materials, News, Technology

Quantum materials may replace silicon in transistor construction

A common transistor.

In today’s world, silicon has few materials which actually contest its status as the king of electronics. However, that may change in the not so distant future. A group of Harvard researchers have used a quantum material called correlated oxide to make better, more efficient transistors. The strategy for building better and more advanced processors is pretty simple – even rudimentary:…

Biology, Offbeat, Videos

Watch: The Inside of a Huge Wasp Colony

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Some wasps decided to build their colony next to the window of Youtube user Vang Tsal. Naturally, he was spooked – wasps are mean, and can be quite difficult to deal with. But instead of panicking and attempting to destroy the hive, he filmed it – and the results are spectacular: The colony now offers a perfect perspective of wasp…

Genetics, News

Human face diversity may have evolved to make us look unique

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While you might find people sometimes resemble each other, if you look close enough you’ll soon find unique features and facial characteristics that sets them apart. It’s remarkable how diverse human faces are across the billions alive today and the countless billions that used to live in this world. Scientists at University of Berkeley now believe they understand why this…

News, Physics, Videos

Watch liquid metal morph into shapes. How long until the T-1000?

The T-1000; above: from the movies, below: a worthy try. Image: Carolco Pictures and Michael Dickey

In the cult blockbuster Terminator 2 we’re introduced to a new series of killing bots – the T-1000. More than just “cybernetic organism, living tissue over metal endoskeleton”, the T-1000 could turn into liquid metal then morph into any shape, be it another person or an oversized man-spike. It also made the T-1000 freaking hard to kill! For a long…

News, Technology

Software makes phone pics clearer and sharper without changing hardware

A software corrects blur and makes photos taken with the same smartphone a lot clearer and sharper. The technology allows for lens designs to be less complex, smaller, lighter and cheaper. Image: Algolux

There aren’t that many people who imagined that in only a couple of years we’d see smartphones with 40MGpx cameras. Amazingly as that may sound, manufacturers are nearing a stand-still as far as optics miniaturization is concerned and even so, high end camera phones don’t come near the quality of a dedicated optical hardware. A new software developed by a…