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This Week's Science Bits
A robot that cleans the ocean, the reality of time, and sex in space
A Jellyfish-Robot That Can Clean The Ocean Floor
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have created a jellyfish-like robot that can swim underwater and collect waste from the ocean floor. The robot is almost silent and can capture objects without touching them, making it suitable for sensitive environments like coral reefs. The robot uses electro hydraulic actuators as artificial muscles to propel itself and create currents under its body. The researchers hope that swarms of these robots could one day help clean up the world's oceans. Press release here. Paper here. Video here.
What Physics Tells Us About the The Reality of Time
Yes, I know this is a somewhat clunky heading, but I think it’s a little more descriptive than “Einstein’s Afterlife”. I swear that in this interview I didn’t actually talk about Einstein’s Afterlife, but rather about what Einstein’s theories of space and time tell us about the immortality of information. Big Think did an amazing job with the animations in this video!
Sex in Space
As spaceflight opens up for tourists, scientists begin to wonder exactly what space tourists will do when locked in close quarters for extended amounts of time. It does not take a huge amount of imagination that one or the other child will be conceived in orbit if things go as planned. The organisation SpaceBorn United, based in the Netherlands, has now published a green paper that summarises our slim knowledge about the working of the mammalian reproductive system in zero gravity. I admit I had hoped for a more, shall we say, positional statement.
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