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Water Bubbles Could Fight Plastic Pollution

Global plastic consumption reached more than 110 million tons in 2009. Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to degrade. When it does degrade, it can end up as tiny bits of poisonous microplastics in the bodies of animals we eat. But an English company has created a new product …

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For First Time, Drones Used in Major Search at Grand Canyon

The desperate effort this week to find two hikers who disappeared at the bottom of the Grand Canyon represented the National Park Service’s most extensive use yet of drones in a search-and-rescue mission.   The Grand Canyon is the only national park with its own fleet of unmanned aircraft for …

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US Undergrads Build Prosthetic Arm for 10-year-old Violinist

The pressure was on for Abdul Gouda and his classmates at George Mason University: not only did their graduation depend on the success of their project, but so did the hopes of impossibly cute 10-year-old girl.   Fifth-grader Isabella Nicola wanted to play the violin, but she was born with …

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Germany's Lilium Calls Test of Its 'Flying Taxi' Prototype Successful

A Bavarian startup is developing a five-seat “flying taxi” after successful test flights over Germany of a smaller version of the electric jet, the company said Thursday. Munich-based Lilium, backed by investors who include Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, said the planned five-seater jet, which will be capable of vertical takeoff …

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China Launches its 1st Unmanned Cargo Spacecraft

China on Thursday launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country’s space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program.   The Tianzhou 1 blasted off at 7:41 p.m. (1141 GMT) atop a latest-generation Long March 7 rocket from China’s newest spacecraft …

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U.S.-Russian Crew Blasts Off for Space Station With One Empty Seat

A scaled-down, two-man U.S.-Russian crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday for a six-hour ride to the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed. A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, 43, and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, 58, lifted off at 1:13 p.m. …

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Robotic Pet Could Provide Comfort for the Disabled, Elderly

A pet can provide comfort and companionship for an elderly person or someone who is disabled. But in the future that pet may be a robotic animal that uses artificial intelligence to interact with humans. The British company that developed the cute android says it would provide emotional support and …

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Facebook Gives Peek Inside Unit Studying Brain-to-text Technology

Facebook on Wednesday pulled aside the curtain on a secretive unit headed by a former chief of the Pentagon’s research arm, disclosing that the social media company is studying ways for people to communicate by thought and touch. Facebook launched the research shop, called Building 8, last year to conduct …

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