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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Physicists just discovered an entirely new type of superconductivity

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“No one thought this was possible in solid materials.”

One of the ultimate goals of modern physics is to unlock the power of superconductivity, where electricity flows with zero resistance at room temperature.

Progress has been slow, but physicists have just made an unexpected breakthrough. They’ve discovered a superconductor that works in a way no one’s ever seen before – and it opens the door to a whole world of possibilities not considered until now.

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‘A fantastic find’: Mars hides thick sheets of ice just below the surface

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The slope rises as high as London’s Big Ben tower. Beneath its ruddy layer of dirt is a sheet of ice 300 feet thick that gives the landscape a blue-black hue. If such a scene sounds otherworldly, it is. To visit it, you’ll have to travel to Mars.

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Scientists built an external womb to help premature infants survive

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For expecting parents, 24 weeks is an important milestone. It’s a little more than halfway through pregnancy, and it’s at this age that the fetus has at least a fighting chance of surviving outside its mother’s body. The odds of survival aren’t great—only about half of babies birthed at this age survive—but it’s possible.

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The factories of the future could float in space

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This past summer, a plane went into a stomach-churning ascent and plunge 30,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. The goal was not thrill-seeking, but something more genuinely daring: for about 25 seconds at a time, the parabolic flight lifted the occupants into a state of simulated weightlessness, allowing a high-tech printer to spit out cardiac stem cells into a two-chambered, simplified structure of an infant’s heart.

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The changing demographics of entrepreneurship

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Who are today’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs? That answer is very different than it was 20 years ago.

Most new entrepreneurs are still white and male, but the U.S. entrepreneurial population is becoming much more diverse in terms of age, race and region. Cities in the southern half of the U.S., such as Los Angeles, Miami and Austin, have become hotbeds for startups and small businesses.

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Photographing people in 3D through walls using Wi-Fi

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Wi-Fi can pass through walls.

This fact is easy to take for granted, yet it’s the reason we can surf the web using a wireless router located in another room. But not all of that microwave radiation makes it to (or from) our phones, tablets, and laptops. Routers scatter and bounce their signal off objects, illuminating our homes and offices like invisible light bulbs.

Now, German scientists have found a way to exploit this property to take holograms, or 3D photographs, of objects inside a room — from outside it.

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Scientists use Martian dust to 3D print tools

Food and transportation aren’t the only aspects of a mission to Mars scientists must consider. Limited cargo space means to obtain tools or similar items, astronauts may need to make use of resources available on the red planet – like dirt. Four Northwestern University researchers were recently able to utilize a Martian dust simulant to 3D print building blocks and tools.

NASA started looking into space 3D printers back in 2013 to manufacture repair parts or tools. Now Northwestern scientists have used lunar and Martian dust simulants approved by NASA to 3D print tools in a process the university described as simple, scalable, and sustainable.

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