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Science News: Gecko Tech: Sticky Invention Lets People Scale Walls

Gecko Tech: Sticky Invention Lets People Scale WallsBut one problem that both real geckos and synthetic materials face is that they cannot support as much weight as one would predict from the total area of adhesive surface they possess. For instance, a machine known as Stickybot, created by researchers at Stanford University, had enough geckolike adhesive to support an 11-pound (5 kilograms) load, but in practice, the machine could support only a tenth of that weight. "We noticed our device wasn't performing to its highest potential, and engineers hate inefficient things," said lead study author Elliot Hawkes, a mechanical engineer at Stanford.


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Science News: Scientists seek more tombs at ancient Greek site

AMPHIPOLIS, Greece (AP) — Officials say the vast ancient burial mound at Amphipolis in Greece could contain more than one dead.

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Science News: People Move Less in Extreme Weather, Jawbone Tracker Finds

People Move Less in Extreme Weather, Jawbone Tracker FindsThe company looked at data posted online over the course of a year by people in the U.S. wearing the Jawbone UP fitness tracker, and found that on weekdays, users walked 5 percent more steps when the temperature was 70degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) than they did when it was 40 F (4 C). "There is an ideal temperature range for physical activity," Eugene Mandel, a member of Jawbone's data team, wrote in a Nov. 19 blog post. "People move more when the temperature is comfortable. Hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. now wear the Jawbone UP, a wristband that tracks its users' movements, sleep patterns and healthy living goals, the company says.


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Science News: Binary Earth-Size Planets Possible Around Distant Stars

Binary Earth-Size Planets Possible Around Distant StarsTwo Earth-size planets that orbit each other might exist around distant stars, researchers say. Ryan and his colleagues Miki Nakajima and David Stevenson detailed their findings Nov. 11 at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson, Arizona.


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Science News: Planet Hunting to Sky Surveys, Astronomy and Statistics Realign (Op-Ed)

Planet Hunting to Sky Surveys, Astronomy and Statistics Realign (Op-Ed)G. Jogesh Babu is director of the Center for Astrostatistics at Penn State, and Eric Feigelson is the center's associate director and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State. After a century hiatus, astronomy and statistics recently reconnected, giving rise to the new field of astrostatistics. NASA's Kepler mission  has detected several thousand planets orbiting other stars, but it was through statistics that astronomers inferred that most stars have planetary systems and hundreds of millions of Earth-like planets probably exist in the galaxy. Such insights followed a long gap in the relationship between astrostatistics — a term coined by us in our book of the same title published in 1996 — and the broader field of astronomy.


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