NASA is offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that will work on the moon

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NASA is seeking new designs for a toilet that will work on the moon.

(CNN)NASA wants you to help put the loo in lunar, so it’s offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that can be used on the moon.

The space agency has set an ambitious goal of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2024 and the crew will obviously have to go to the bathroom during the mission.

NASA may adapt the toilet design for its Artemis lunar lander, so it will need to work both in the microgravity of space, or “zero-g,” and on the moon, where the gravity is about a sixth of what we feel on Earth, according to the design guidelines posted by NASA and HeroX, which allows anyone to create challenges to solve a problem facing the world.

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Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to New York prison inmates

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Prisoners participating in Bard College initiative to provide them a liberal arts education beat Ivy League students who won national title only months ago

Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York prison inmates.

The showdown took place at the Eastern correctional facility in New York, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College, and where inmates have formed a popular debate club. Last month they invited the Ivy League undergraduates and this year’s national debate champions over for a friendly competition.

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A massive, ‘semi-infinite’ trove of rare-earth metals has been found in Japan

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  • Researchers have found hundreds of years’ worth of rare-earth materials underneath Japanese waters — enough to supply to the world on a “semi-infinite basis,” according to a study published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports.
  • Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles and batteries, and most of the world has relied on China for almost all of its needs.

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Award-winning robot travels through water pipes to detect leaks

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It sounds unbelievable, but each day around 20 percent of clean water produced in the world is lost as the result of leaky pipes. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, this amounts to an estimated 6 billion gallons of clean water per day in the U.S. alone. The problem is exacerbated by current detection technology, which means that most of the leaks are either not found or discovered too late, after they’ve already caused sinkholes and burst pipes.

A new soft robot may be able to help, however — and it’s just netted the 2018 James Dyson Award, a design competition to celebrate up-and-coming inventors. The award-winning creation is the work of recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) doctoral graduate You Wu. Called Lighthouse, the low-cost bot is designed to travel through water pipes on the hunt for leaks before they turn into major problems.

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Tomorrow’s airplane cabins could be more luxurious than your apartment

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Let’s face it, flying is often a chore. Those tiny seats. That limited legroom. And airlines’ constant push to make the flying experience more miserable.

That reality seems really far from the potential future presented at last week’s 12th annual Crystal Cabin Awards, a ceremony honoring innovative aircraft cabin concepts in Hamburg, Germany. These designs make today’s first class look totally pedestrian.

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Gravity lights the world with this brand new technology

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Could you create light from a bag of rocks and a downward force? The answer may surprise you. Creating a future that’s bright and safe for all is at the heart of GravityLight – the lamp that’s lighting areas of the world with limited access to electricity using the power of (you guessed it) gravity.

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Researchers invent the ‘perfect’ soap molecule

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A team of researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has invented a new soap molecule made from renewable sources that could dramatically reduce the number of chemicals in cleaning products and their impact on the environment. The soap molecules also worked better than some conventional soaps in challenging conditions such as cold water and hard water.

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London doctors have printed the world’s first 3D heart model

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London doctors have made the headlines this week as they become the first medical staff ever to use a 3D printed heart model to improve surgical procedures and predict any dangers such as serious changes to a person’s heartbeat. It works by taking images from a CMR (cardiovascular magnetic resonance) scan and creating an exact replica of the subject’s heart, muscles, valves, and chambers.

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IBM uses tiny tubes to grow the chips of the future

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The reign of silicon may be coming to an end. For years, researchers and entrepreneurs hoped that carbon nanotubes would revolutionize microchip design. These tiny, molecular-level structures could, in theory, be used to make chips that are six to ten times faster than today’s silicon-based variety—and use far less electricity.

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We’re going to put a Carbon nanotube computer in your hand

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The silicon semiconductor industry has been going strong for more than 50 years. Like a steamroller, it has trundled over bumps and holes, while defying repeated warnings that it was running out of fuel or was about to be overtaken by flashier competitors.

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3-D print hair, brushes, and fur

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MIT researchers have invented a radical pixel-mapping printing technique by bypassing computer-aided design (CAD) software. They have quickly and efficiently modeled and printed thousands of hair-like structures.

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