By Irene Klotz MELBOURNE, Fla. (Reuters) - Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first Americans to land on the moon, will spearhead a new research institute in Florida aimed at paving a path toward Mars exploration and settlement, officials said on Thursday. The Buzz Aldrin Space Institute will be based at the Florida Institute of Technology, also known as Florida Tech, located about 40 miles (64 km) south of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Melbourne. Aldrin, 85, wants to expand his long-term space exploration program that includes human spaceflight, robotics and science initiatives.
By David Alexander MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter awarded $75 million on Friday to help a consortium of high-tech firms and researchers develop electronic systems packed with sensors flexible enough to be worn by soldiers or molded onto the skin of a plane. Carter said funding for the Obama administration's newest manufacturing institute would go to the FlexTech Alliance, a consortium of 162 companies, universities and other groups, from Boeing , Apple and Harvard, to Advantest Akron Polymer Systems and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Knut, the star polar bear who was hand-reared at Berlin zoo after his mother rejected him, had a type of auto-immune inflation of the brain that is found in humans, scientists said on Thursday. Knut, who was just four when he drowned at the zoo in 2011, was reared by his keeper Thomas Doerflein. Knut had an epileptic fit and drowned in a pool in his enclosure.
Archeologists have discovered a massive ceremonial skull rack from the heyday of the Aztec empire in the heart of Mexico City, a find that could shed new light on how its rulers projected power by human sacrifice, the team said on Thursday. The skull rack, known as a tzompantli in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, was used to display the bleached white craniums of sacrificed warriors from rival kingdoms, likely killed by priests atop towering temples that once stood nearby. Dug up behind the capital's colonial-era cathedral, the as yet partially uncovered skull rack was likely built between 1485 and 1502 and may have been about 112 feet (34 meters) long and 12 meters (40 foot) wide, lead archeologist Raul Barrera said.
The Allonautilus scrobiculatus, a species of mollusk in the same family as the nautilus, was spotted off the coast of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific in early August, the scientists said. The Allonautilus' shell has been known to science since the 1700s. The Allonautilus is so rare likely because it is completely reliant on scavenging to survive, Ward said.