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Cash Register of Mars

From skulls to beer bottles, conspiracy theorists claim to have spotted a range of weird and wonderful items on the surface of Mars.

And the latest alleged ‘sighting’ suggests that there may be a cash register or typewriter on the red planet.

Images taken by the NASA rover show a dark patch on the surface that vaguely resembles a cash register – although it is likely to just be a rock.

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Images snapped by the Nasa rover show a dark patch on the surface that vaguely resembles a cash register ¿ although it is likely to just be a rock.

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All the Blood We’ll Ever Need

Blood-producing stem cells have been generated in a lab for the first time
Blood-producing stem cells have been generated in a lab for the first time (Credit: ktsdesign/Depositphotos)

For the first time ever, blood-producing stem cells have been generated in a lab. Two separate teams of researchers have come up with differing ground-breaking methods to generate these important blood-forming cells, paving the way for the development of treatments for a variety of blood diseases and also offering a clear path towards an unlimited supply of lab-made blood for transfusions. read more

Stretchable Hologram

For Star Wars fans, Princess Leia’s holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi asking for help is a pivotal moment in the 1977 Star Wars film Episode IV: A New Hope.

But it is only now that the technology enabling her desperate plea stands a chance of becoming a reality.

Engineers have created stretchable holograms that can change from one image to another, offering the tantalizing possibility that holographic videos may one day be possible.

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Scientists have created holograms that can change from one image to another as the materials used to generate them are stretched (pictured) which could lend themselves to animation 
Scientists have created holograms that can change from one image to another as the materials used to generate them are stretched (pictured) which could lend themselves to animation

CHANGING IMAGES 

The researchers calculated how much a holographic image expands as the material generating it stretches, and how far the image plane moves away from its original position.

Based on these findings, the team created multi-layered holograms made up of two or three different images.

This means that as the surface stretches, one image appears in the place of another.

Using this method, they created a hologram that showed a pentagon in its relaxed state, which transformed into a square, and then a triangle when pulled.

Scientists from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (SEAS) at the University of Pennsylvania used metasurfaces – flat, ultra-thin surfaces – to make their holograms.

They built on their previous work in creating 3D and multi-color holograms by embedding tiny gold rods in a stretchable film.

This helped them understand how holographic images change with stretching and to see if they could use this information to create a hologram that can switch between images.

Mars Mini-City on Horizon

The UAE turned the heads of space exploration fans everywhere earlier this year when it announced its plans to build a mini-city on Mars in the next century.

Officials have since released few details on the project, which is part of its 100-year national programme to better understand the red planet.

But yesterday a key figurehead of the ambitious plans said that the UAE is prepared to join the ‘new space race’ and that young Arab people will lead the mission.

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In February the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its plans to set up Mars' first mini city by 2117. This computer generated concept image shows released by the Dubai Media Office shows what the colony could look like
In February the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its plans to set up Mars’ first mini city by 2117. This computer generated concept image shows released by the Dubai Media Office shows what the colony could look like.

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New Roof-Top Tent

We had a total of eight roof-top tents split between the trucks, SUVs and trailers
We had a total of eight roof-top tents split between the trucks, SUVs and trailers

Long popular in other countries, roof-top tents (RTTs) are having their moment in the US. The Santa Cruz-based innovators at Tepui are doing their best to turn that moment into a movement. The company is heavily invested in expanding the RTT market out from hardcore overlanders to the masses of general outdoor lovers and festival campers. read more

21st Century Tattoos

An example of the Chaotic Moon TechTat system with embedded LED lights
An example of the Chaotic Moon TechTat system with embedded LED lights (Credit: Chaotic Moon)

Almost every culture from the past 5,000 years has shown some evidence of decorative skin tinkering. As we move into the 21st century, tattoo culture, much like everything else, is being fused with technology. read more

Best Preserved Dinosaur Ever Found

A fossil so well preserved that it looks like a statue is being unveiled today at a museum in Canada.

The 110 million-year-old nodosaur fossil, dubbed the ‘four legged tank’ was discovered by a miner in a find so rare, it’s being described as like winning the lottery’.

The armoured plant-eater is the best preserved fossil of its kind ever found, according to reports in National Geographic.

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In life this imposing herbivore – called a nodosaur – stretched 18 feet long and weighted nearly 3,000 pounds. Researchers suspect it initially fossilized whole, but when it was found in 2011, only the front half, from the snout to the hips, was intact enough to recover

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Diabetes Cure Right Around the Corner?

The new technique cures diabetes in mice by bypassing the immune system that attacks beta cells
The new technique cures diabetes in mice by bypassing the immune system that attacks beta cells (Credit: JacobSt/Depositphotos)

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.25 million people suffer from type 1 diabetes in the US alone. So far, it can only be managed with diet and regular doses of insulin, but scientists at UT Health San Antonio have invented a way of curing the disease in mice that may one day do the same for humans even with type 2 diabetes. read more

Strangest Planets

There's an entire universe of weird and wonderful exoplanets out there, and New Atlas is rounding ...
There’s an entire universe of weird and wonderful exoplanets out there, and New Atlas is rounding up some of the most bizarre (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

For a long time, Earth was the weirdest planet we knew about. In our little corner of the universe, where Mercury is the hot one, Jupiter is the protective bigger brother, and Pluto is the one we kicked out of the club for breaking the rules, Earth is the crazy cat lady, hoarding billions of life forms. read more