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Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics have been working to program a group of 40 robots that 'swarm' together to carry out jobs. So far, they have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface.  

The robots can also group themselves together into a single cluster after being scattered across a room, and organize themselves by order of priority.  The programming for that part is simple. If the robots are being asked to group together, each robot only needs to be able to work out if there is another robot in front of it. If there is, it turns on the spot; if there isn't, it moves in a wider circle until it finds one. 

Most stars do not form in isolation, but are in clusters ranging from dozens to thousands of stars.  

Even in our galaxy, the Milky Way, with stars more than 13 billion years old, has a lot of young, hot action: new objects form and others are destroyed.  NGC 2547 is an example.

How young is young, cosmically? Considering that our Sun is 4.6 billion years old and has not yet reached middle age, NGC 2547's stars ranging from 20 to 35 million years old is really young. If you imagine that our Sun as a 40 year-old person, the bright stars in the picture below are three-month-old babies.

Modern DNA sequencing techniques have been turned toward creating a
highly sensitive, quantifiable analysis of animal, plant, and microbial substances present in foodstuffs.

In pilot studies, the researchers were able to use their new DNA method to detect the presence of a 1% content of horse meat in products and to determine the actual amount with a high level of precision.

The researchers even found slight traces of the DNA of added mustard, lupin, and soy in a test sausage prepared for calibration purposes, something that could also be of interest with regard to allergy testing of foods. 

American women extol the technical educations of women in India - it may be that so many women in India are intent on getting a technical degree so they can get out of India. While sexual violence is getting all the current media attention, sexism and other bias are persistent.  The male bias is even evident in in women's health care - a woman in India is more likely to get prenatal care when pregnant with boys, according to a new paper by Leah Lakdawala of Michigan State University and Prashant Bharadwaj of the University of California, San Diego, which suggests sex discrimination in male-dominated societies starts early - even in the womb.

Solar cells act something like leaves, capturing sunlight and turning it into energy - unfortunately the manufacturing of solar cells, unlike trees, is something of an environmental disaster. From rare earth metals to all kinds of other materials due to substrates and cells, solar panels have to function for decades before they break even, as far as any ecological savings are considered.
If only solar cells could instead be made from trees.

Georgia Tech and Purdue researchers say they have done it; they have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from trees. Just as importantly, by fabricating them on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) substrates, the solar cells can be quickly recycled in water at the end of their life cycle.

Carbon dioxide created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the key factor in climate change, so researchers are looking for new ways to generate cleaner power. 

Researchers from the University of Georgia have shown they can take the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere and turn it into industrial products - a roadmap to biofuels made directly from the carbon dioxide in the air.