Europe

  • Inspired by traditional marine chronometers, Swiss design firm MB&F has teamed up with manufacturer L’Epée 1839 to create a marine-themed, high-end table clock called the Octopod, with the inner movements contained inside a bathysphere-like bubble and mounted atop a set of eight articulated legs.
  • Asteroids have a lot to teach us about the Solar System, but their nomadic nature makes them hard to study. Now a proposed mission called the Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet involves sending 50 tiny spacecraft to visit hundreds of asteroids, before bringing their data payloads back to Earth.
  • Science
    Previous studies seemed to tell the tale of the last population of Neanderthals huddled in a Croatian cave 32,000 years ago as modern humans invaded Europe. But an Oxford team has analyzed bones using a new radiocarbon dating technique and found the Neanderthal remains were too old to fit the story.
  • Science
    Researchers have found human-like footprints dating back 5.7 million years – a time when our ancestors were thought to still be getting around on ape-like feet. More mysteriously, these prints were found in the Greek islands, implying hominins left Africa much earlier than previously thought.
  • To get a better look at the molecular scale we need a “camera” that’s several kilometers long, and one such facility is firing up this month. The European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL), which happens to be the largest x-ray laser in the world, can take 3,000 images per second of that tiny world.
  • Science
    ​The Lower Saxony State Museum is full of hidden discoveries lately. A plesiosaur skeleton gathering dust for years turned out to be a new species, and now on closer inspection, an Ichthyosaurus fossil in the museum's care has been found to be the largest specimen, and it was pregnant.
  • Science
    Museum specimens may have already been “discovered,” but important new details can still turn up on closer study. A new investigation into an old plesiosaur skeleton in a German museum discovered that not only did the bones belong to a new species, but the animal was the oldest of its kind.
  • ​Just last week, Tesla announced it was building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in Australia. Now a German energy company, Ewe Gasspeicher GmbH, is building a redox flow battery in underground salt caverns with enough output to supply a day’s worth of power to 75,000 homes.
  • It's generally accepted that humans originated in Africa, but new studies may paint a different picture. By examining fossils of early homini​ns, researchers have found that humans and chimpanzees may have split earlier than previously thought, and this may have happened in Europe, not Africa.
  • One of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world has just started turning in the North Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. Hidden over the horizon, the Gemini wind farm isn't visible from the mainland or the neighboring islands, and is set to produce about 2.6 TWh of electricity every year.
  • The da Vinci robotic surgical system may be handy, but a high price tag could be out of reach of some hospitals. Now Intuitive Surgical has announced the da Vinci X, a new version of the robot designed to be a little easier on the budget, while still providing most of the flagship model's abilities.
  • A draft report submitted to the European Parliament's legal affairs committee recommends that robots be equipped with a "kill switch" in order to manage the potential dangers in the evolving field of self-learning autonomous robotics.