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1. Send DNA To Distant Planet. 2. Reconstruct Humans On Site.

Some scientists believe that humanity's best shot at colonizing other planets lies in working within existing physics using organisms -- in this case, bacteria encoded with human DNA -- that can survive the trip.

Miss Your Old Pet? This App Can Help You Find A Lookalike

PetMatch uses machine vision algorithms to match uploaded photos to those of pets who are available for adoption from shelters and rescue groups.

Could The Moon Become Humanity's Storage Locker?

Several organizations are hoping to put valuable artifacts -- such as a handwritten Jewish scroll -- on privately-launched missions to the moon, where they will be preserved in case something bad happens on Earth.

Don't Touch That Seat-Back Pocket In Front Of You

Despite previous research and anecdotes about the germiness of airplane bathrooms, scientists found that some dangerous pathogens lived for days on seat-back pockets and armrests.

After The Test-Tube Hamburger...Artificial Meat Farms?

In a new paper, two Dutch researchers suggest that locally-sourced meat could come from "village-scale" culturing of livestock stem cells in a biotech reactor.

Your DNA May Have Helped You Choose Your Spouse

To all the external things that bring people together, add genetics: A new study discovered that husbands and wives were more genetically similar to each other than they were to other randomly selected individuals.

In Some Parts Of The US, You Can Text 911

This week the four major wireless carriers began allowing customers to take advantage of text-to-911 services available in two states and a handful of counties. It could prove most useful for those who are hard-of-hearing or have difficulty speaking.

A Workaround For Tiny Smartwatch Screens And Fat Fingers

Carnegie Mellon scientists have developed an interface that works through twists and tilts as well as clicks.

What If Your City Paid You To Be Late To Work?

A new startup offers a solution to the problem of urban congestion: Collect data from transit programs, calculate estimated peak travel times, and offer rewards to commuters who avoid those periods.

Even In Offices With Flex-Time, "Morning Bias" Is Real

A University of Washington study shows that despite the increase in the number of companies offering flexible schedules, managers still tend to give early birds higher conscientiousness and performance ratings.

It Really Is Possible To Nag Someone To Death

Numerous studies have demonstrated the ways in which healthy social relationships can extend life. A new one suggests that domestic strife can shorten life...even when the only weapons are words.

In The Longevity Game, Shorter Men Win

Using data from one of the world's oldest continuing studies of aging men, researchers have discovered a possible connection -- in the form of a certain type of gene -- between body height and lifespan.

Help Wanted: Product Testers. Adults Need Not Apply.

The surge in devices marketed towards children is creating a corresponding demand for testers in target age ranges. One enterprising 11-year-old even heads a startup that charges companies for access to his groups of young consultants.

Software That Uses A Novel's Words To Create A Soundtrack

TransProse measures the number and density of words associated with basic emotions -- anger, joy, fear, and so on -- and generates music designed to reflect the moods on the page.

One Possible Key To Lucid Dreams: 40 Hertz

According to a new study, that's the frequency of electric current that, when sent to the frontal cortex via electrodes, best induced sleeping test subjects to become aware of their dream state. (Lower and higher frequencies had little effect.)

To Accommodate Teens' Sleep, One School Cancels Morning Classes

Partially in response to recent research into adolescent sleep patterns, one English school has announced that sixth-form classes -- attended by students aged 16-18 -- will start at 1:30 PM and end at 7:00 PM.

CA City Seeks To Become "Bully-Free" Through New Law

By a unanimous vote, Carson's city council agreed to send for final approval a measure that would make bullying of children and young adults -- up to age 25 -- a misdemeanor.

For 20 Days, This App Connects Two Strangers Who Will Never Meet

20 Day Stranger allows them to track each other's lives...but in an intentionally vague and anonymous way. Its developers say the goal is to increase empathy and understanding.

Study: 89 Percent Of Men Say Paternity Leave Is "Hugely Important"

A forthcoming Boston College report suggests that smart businesses should evaluate their parental leave practices if they want to attract quality employees...regardless of gender.

In Gaming, Passing As Female Doesn't Always Work

A new study involving World of Warcraft players using female avatars revealed clear gender distinctions when it came to in-game movement.

This Project Aims To Create Virtual Avatars Of Us All

It's for our health: The Virtual Physiological Human project seeks to create an accurate computer-simulated replica of a patient so that doctors can better predict how certain procedures and medications will work.

How To Turn A Building Into A Big Water Filter

By installing the Rainhouse system, which includes a roof made of "bioconcrete," every rainfall can produce drinking water for the building's inhabitants. Its designers say that the technology can fit any size of building, from a factory to a home.

Americans Can Now Make Political Donations Using Bitcoin

This week the Federal Election Commission gave permission for political action committees to accept the cryptocurrency. They can also purchase Bitcoin with existing funds, but they can't use it to buy goods or services.

How Do We Build Ethical Robots?

The US Navy is working with several universities on a new multi-year project designed to figure out how to engineer moral competence. One big challenge: Science still doesn't know exactly how it works in humans.

App Calculates The Distance Between You And The Parking Meter

Once Parking Maestro receives information about the parking restrictions, it uses your location to let you know how long it'll take for you to get back before the meter maid or tow truck shows up.

Looks Like A Strawberry, Tastes Like Bubble Gum

For a few weeks only, the UK-based supermarket chain Waitrose is offering what they're calling "bubbleberries" due to their distinctive taste. In botanical circles, they're known as musk strawberries; in Jane Austen's day, they were called hautboys.

It's Not Quite Freeganism, But It's Close

Scheduled to launch this summer, PareUp connects bargain-hungry consumers and stores with excess food that would have otherwise been thrown out.

Can't Remember Your Infant Years? Blame Your Growing Brain

Childhood amnesia is a fairly common phenomenon that had no clear scientific explanation. Now a new study offers one: The high numbers of new brain cells forming may disrupt existing memory storage.

Is There A Link Between Grains And Cultural Differences?

According to the "rice theory," Asian societies evolved to be more cooperative, and Western societies more individualistic, because of the type of work needed to farm rice and wheat respectively. A recent study seems to lend credence to this theory.

Next Up On Norwegian TV: Celebrities Planning Their Funerals

From the country whose hit shows have featured slow boat rides and bird box video streams comes "Kisten" ("The Coffin") in which famous people spend time thinking about and preparing for their future final send-off.

UK Airline To Use Drones In Its Aircraft Inspections

EasyJet will soon begin trials with the drones, which they hope will perform checks faster and with more accuracy. If successful, they could appear on the tarmac early next year.

How Shrimp Shells Could Help Save The Environment

Harvard scientists have created a bioplastic using silk protein and a commonly-found organic substance that gives the shells their strength. The substance, shrilk, biodegrades in a matter of weeks, and its residue encourages plant growth.

When ATMs (Chemically) Attack

ETH Zurich University scientists borrowed from the bombadier beetle to create a defense system that would release hot nanoparticle-filled foam when the ATM is tampered with.

Take This Pill And It Will Call Your Doctor In The Morning

Scientists are testing a combined smart pill and skin patch system that will track whether medication was taken, when it was taken, and how the body is responding to it.

For Faster Earthquake Alerts, Check Twitter

US Geological Survey researchers say that by simply tracking the word "earthquake," they're able to pinpoint seismic activity much more quickly than with their own specialized equipment. However, because it's Twitter, the method is far from perfect.

More Cable Channels Than Ever = More Content You're Not Watching

A forthcoming Nielsen report reveals that while Americans now have access to -- and are paying for -- an average of 189 channels, they only watch 17 of them consistently.

Report: Cigarette Butts Are Really, Really Bad For Us

Approximately three-quarters of cigarettes end up as butts on the ground, where they can eventually leach dangerous chemicals into soil and water. That's just one of the problems caused by tobacco waste litter.

Stanford Elects To Divest From Coal Companies

Students, faculty, staff and alumni helped convince the university's board that it would be better to divert those funds to companies offering environmentally friendly energy alternatives.

Coming Soon: (Mostly) Non-Human Emergency Response Teams

A consortium of universities and companies are working on ways to get a team consisting of robots, drones, autonomous vehicles and dogs to communicate with each other in a disaster scenario.

China Goes In Search Of The Formula For Breast Milk

Modern formula's formula, so to speak, includes certain components of breast milk. The government plans to spend US$1.6 million to create something that's much closer to the real thing, revitalizing its domestic industry in the process.

One More Reason Why The Type Of College Doesn't Matter

When it comes to overall well-being, a new survey reports that regardless of whether it's public or private, elite or obscure, the type of institution isn't nearly as important as certain other factors, such as engaging professors.

New Russian Law Will Ban All Profanity In The Arts

The law, which goes into effect on July 1, lays down fines for individuals and organizations who use profanity in their works of art. It also requires existing works to carry special labeling.

Economy, Business, First Class...And Soon, Residence Class

Etihad Airways plans to offer a private multi-room cabin -- complete with living room, shower and butler service -- on its Airbus A380 passenger planes. Cost for a flight from Abu Dhabi to London: about US$20,000.

Soon, You Too Can Have A Touch-Free Toilet

Kohler is planning to offer an easy-to-install kit that converts a regular household toilet into one that flushes with a simple wave of the hand.

Yes, It's Getting Warmer, But Not Everywhere And Not All At Once

A study of global surface warming trends over the last 100 years has taken scientists by surprise by revealing that while some parts of the world were heating up, others were cooling down.

Could Young Blood Literally Rejuvenate An Aging Brain?

In mice, the answer seems to be yes: Recent studies reveal improvements in memory and brain cell growth in older mice who received blood or plasma from younger mice.

UK City Converts A Street Into A 300-Foot Water Slide

Unfortunately it was just for today (May 4) but the slide drew large crowds to Bristol's Park Street during its Make Sunday Special program. Of nearly 100,000 applicants, only 360 got to ride the slide.

Providing Clean Water Through The Pages Of A Book

The Drinkable Book's pages are made of filters treated with silver nanoparticles. When a filter is placed inside a special case and water poured through, it removes almost all the bacteria, making it safe to drink.

A Vibrating Capsule Could Do What Laxatives Can't

The ingestible device contains a small engine and may prove beneficial for those who suffer from chronic constipation but have difficulty with conventional medications.

Coffee's Newest Possible Benefit: Healthier Retinas

Researchers found that mice treated with an antioxidant commonly found in coffee developed none of the retinal degeneration that contributes to loss of sight.

Are Deflector Shields Possible? Theoretically, Yes

Just in time for Star Wars Day, three University of Leicester students have published a paper in Journal of Physics Special Topics that uses a real-world example as a basis for their theory.

Madrid's New Parking Meters Will Charge According To Car Type

The meters, which roll out later this year, represent the city's latest attempt to control air pollution. Drivers of electric cars will get to park for free, while those with diesel cars should probably consider taking public transportation.

New Mexico May Ban Hunting With Drones

Later this month, the state's Game Commission will vote on a proposal that, if passed, would make New Mexico the fourth state to outlaw a practice that sportsmen and animal activists say hurts "the concept of free chase."

This Three-Screen Smartphone Folds Into Different Shapes

The aptly-named PaperFold can change its display dynamically depending on the number of screens that are connected and the shape in which they're arranged.

Fixing Nerve Damage, "Terminator"-Style

Tsinghua University researchers are working on a liquid metal that, when used to connect the severed ends of nerves, conduct electrical impulses almost as effectively.

British Astronaut Asks Kids: Can You Make Me A Tasty Meal?

The UK Space Agency has launched a competition challenging schoolchildren to design a meal that's nutritious, tastes good, and properly represents British cuisine aboard the International Space Station.

In Portugal, Blood Donations Are Up, Thanks To Zombies

To promote The Walking Dead, Fox Portugal created a pop-up store that sold show merchandise in exchange for milliliters of blood. The results were so successful that the network plans to put pop-up stores in seven other countries.

UK Primary School Commissions A Customized Font For Its Students

Designers from London's Colophon Foundry observed students' handwriting exercises and created a font that would make reading and writing easier to learn and teach. Named after the school, Castledown is now on sale to the public.

Smarter, Faster Wi-Fi, Courtesy of the US Air Force

The military is working with University of Buffalo researchers to create better wireless radios using a concept that could improve civilian and commercial networks.

¿Cómo Se Dice "Netflix"?

Hoping to grab more of a growing market, the company has announced that it will release its first original Spanish-language comedy series next year.

Should Movie Prices Be Tied To The Size Of The Viewer's Screen?

In Jeffrey Katzenberg's vision of the future, movies will appear exclusively on the big screen for exactly three weekends before they become widely available for all formats, from regular TVs to smartphones.

Seattle's Minimum Wage May Go Up To $15 An Hour

The proposed plan would gradually increase the wage over the next several years. If approved by city lawmakers, it would be one of the highest minimum rates in the world.

Researchers Want To Collect Rain Data Through Your Umbrella

A Dutch professor has unveiled a prototype of a "smart umbrella" that uses a sensor and Bluetooth to transmit data to a computer. Unlike expensive rain gauges, hundreds of these "mobile weather stations" could provide valuable measurements much more cheaply.

Could Smartphone Sensors Help With Accident Analysis?

Accelerometers, GPS receivers, gyroscopes, and other sensors found in many smartphones could offer valuable clues to digital forensics investigators looking into the causes of plane crashes and other disasters.

New York's MoMA To Offer Kickstarter-Funded Items For Sale

As part of this year's NYCxDESIGN festival, the iconic museum's store will feature 24 items that were successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter. Among them will be a pocket-sized Instagram photo slideshow projector and an all-natural wood-based watch.

This Circuit Board Is Closing The Computer-Human Brain Gap

The Neurogrid can simulate a million neurons and billions of synaptic connections, making it 9,000 times faster than a typical PC. Possible applications include prostheses that work nearly as fast as human thought.

Welcome To MIT. Here, Have Some Bitcoins.

Next year's undergraduates will each receive US$100 in bitcoins as part of a large-scale experiment to see what kind of financial ecosystem will develop.

Want To Be Seen As Smart? Use A Middle Initial (Or Make One Up)

Researchers conducted several studies that they say suggest people ascribe greater intelligence and status to those whose signatures include one or more middle initials.

As CO2 Levels Go, April 2014 Is Officially In The History Books

Readings show that, on average, they've exceeded 400 parts per million every day this month. The last time they were that high, Homo sapiens didn't even exist. (There's still today, but it's not looking too good.)

NBC Needs Help Finding The Next Great American Sitcom

Following in Amazon's footsteps, the network is launching a Web site where the public can submit pitches for future comedy shows. The best will be filmed as pilot episodes for possible future series.

Is GMO Labeling Coming To New England?

If signed, a bill passed by Vermont's legislature would make it the first US state to require disclosure for certain foods containing genetically modified ingredients. It would also clear the way for laws in neighboring states.

NASA Seeks Ideas For Affordable Missions To Europa

This week the agency put out a Request for Information in hopes of attracting creative thinkers who can help them "achieve the most science at minimum cost."

Better Learning Through (Pen-and-Paper) Technology

A new study suggests that taking notes by hand, rather than with a laptop, helps lecture attendees remember more.

The Next Big Wearable Tech Trend Could Go In One Ear

One expert predicts that "hearables" -- wireless earpieces capable of delivering all sorts of information -- could become a multibillion-dollar market by 2018.

For One Canary Island, All Its Energy Will Be Green And Homegrown

Experts say El Hierro is expected to become the first island in the world to get all its electricity from wind and water power without assistance from any outside power grid.

See Denmark -- All Of It -- In Minecraft

Thanks to the efforts of the Danish government, it's the most detailed virtual representation of a real country ever developed using the popular world-building platform.

This Affordable Robotic Arm Increases Strength By 40 Percent

Designed by a team of University of Pennsylvania students, the Titan Arm just received a $45,000 award from the James Dyson Foundation.

Bringing Sunlight To Windowless Rooms

University of Cincinnati researchers have designed technology that channels sunlight to dark interior rooms through grids of tiny adjustable cells. The energy can also be stored to power electrical systems.

We All Might Scream For Glow-In-The-Dark Ice Cream

Charlie Harry Francis, owner of UK-based Lick Me I'm Delicious, has created many unusual frozen treats, but this is the first that uses synthesized jellyfish proteins to produce a unique glow. Unfortunately, the stuff's not cheap.

Bye-Bye, Buses; Hello, Driverless Pods

The English town of Milton Keynes plans to replace its current public transportation system with 100 electric pods that customers can call and pay for using a smartphone. 

Coming Soon: A Thermometer Attached To A Smartphone

In more creative mobile tech news: Kinsa consists of the thermometer -- which attaches to the headphone jack -- and an app that tells a user the local "health weather" as well as their temperature.

Coming Soon: A Microscope Attached To A Smartphone

UCLA scientists have created an imaging system that can display particles as tiny as 100 nanometers via a smartphone's camera. Such a system could be useful for detecting certain viruses, such as HIV.

These Solar Cells Literally Rock Out

Researchers used zinc oxide nanorods to create a solar cell, then played music to determine the sound waves' effect on performance. Pop and rock music bumped up efficiency levels by 40 percent.

How Many Potentially Habitable Planets Are Out There? A Lot

With help from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers have calculated that of all the stars in our galaxy that resemble our sun, one in five hosts an Earth-sized planet at a distance that allows for liquid water at the surface.

Solar Panels + Cellular Network = Electricity In Remote Places

Engineer Alex Hornstein is the creator of Tiny Pipes, a system that's turned out to be a bargain for residents of one off-the-grid Philippine island.

Polar Bear Researchers Seek A Few Extra Eyes This Winter

As the bears begin their northward migration, researchers have added a snapshot option to their live feeds and developed a smartphone app. The hope is that visitors -- both online and in person -- will capture and share images.

This Car Does The Texting For You

By entering instructions on its touchscreen, the 2014 Nissan Altima will send texts and Facebook updates while you're driving, so you don't have to.

Adobe Breach Proves People Really Need To Create Better Passwords

As Adobe recovers from a security breach involving information from 38 million active users, a security researcher has identified the most common passwords employed. At the top of the list: "123456."

Anonymous "Comes Out" In Worldwide Protests

Members and supporters of the hacktivist group are participating in Million Mask March protests around the world today (Nov. 5) to "defend humanity" from unjust corporations and governments. 

UK Retailer To Scan Customers' Faces At The Counter

Tesco plans to install the technology at its 450 gas stations so that it can deliver customized ads -- based on age and gender -- on a nearby screen. Not surprisingly, privacy advocates are concerned.

Pediatricians' New Recommendation: Two Hours' Screen Time Maximum

It's one of several new guidelines provided last week by the American Academy of Pediatrics that are designed to address the problems associated with excessive media use, including obesity and sleep deprivation.

China's "Boarding Kindergartens" Keep Kids For Five Days Straight

First instituted over 60 years ago to help care for war orphans, the schools eventually began to attract a more moneyed clientele. Today, supporters say they promote independence, while critics say they leave some kids feeling abandoned.

The Newest Victims Of China's TV Regulations: Infomercials

Following on other restrictions designed to "clean up" airwaves, officials have announced that, among other rules, infomercials can only air for a maximum of three minutes per hour, and breast firming products can't be advertised at all.

Russian Service Industries Work To Promote Friendliness

From Aeroflot to McDonald's and many other businesses in between, a new wave of service training aims to change the country's famously infamous treatment of customers.

The UN Proposes A Global Asteroid Defense Plan

The plan would allow the world's space agencies to share information about potentially dangerous asteroids, create a special task group to detect smaller asteroids, and collaborate on ideas for diverting them from Earth.

Dutch Group Catches Online Child Predators With Virtual Bait

By creating a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl, Terre des Hommes Netherlands drew attention to the growing problem of webcam child sex tourism. To date they've given the identities of over 1,000 predators to authorities.

With Struggling Relationships, Talking Still Trumps Texting

Brigham Young researchers discovered that the type and frequency of texts sent between people in committed relationships reflected the quality of that relationship. 

Study: Everyone Objectifies Women's Bodies

Anecdotal evidence has now been backed up by research: Using eyetracking technology, scientists found that both men and women looked at sexualized body parts when asked to evaluate appearance.

New Technique Distinguishes Between Mom's And Dad's DNA

Until now, it was hard for geneticists to tell which parent or family line was the source of a particular genetic variant. The technique will enable improved risk assessment for diseases and refine organ matches for donors and recipients.

Why Some People Really Can See (Their Hands) In The Dark

Experiments with people wearing blindfolds demonstrated that "what we normally perceive of as sight is really as much a function of our brains as our eyes," says one researcher.