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University of Minnesota

Things We Saw Today: Here’s a Dog Who Paints With the Help of Its Human. You’re Welcome

Here's a dog that can paint with the help of its human. Jumpy's adorable, and you know you needed this video today.

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A Quadcopter You Can Pilot With Your Thoughts? Sure, We’ve Got That [Video]

Now that we're discussing not "the mind-controlled helicopter" but "the latest mind-controlled helicopter," it's a dead giveaway that we live in the future.

Full disclosure -- we've brought you news of quadcopters that you can fly with your mind before. That doesn't make the University of Minnesota's latest addition to the pack any less awesome. The copter designed by professor Bin He and his team has some pretty smooth moves, maneuvering itself through an obstacle course of ballons much more gracefully than I did the last time I had to navigate an obstacle course full of ballon rings.

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Test Tube Evolution Creates Artificial Enzyme With New Structure In Lab

A lab at the University of Minnesota is home to a newly created artificial enzyme that could offer researchers new insights into the origins of life on Earth. That's because rather than being assembled by researchers one step at a time, this enzyme was created in a test tube by directed evolution. The result is a loosely shaped enzyme that may resemble the collections of molecules in the primordial soup that preceded life on the planet.

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Scientists May Have Observed the Jump From Single-Celled to Multicellular Organisms

There's a number of puzzles about the beginnings of life on Earth that continue to evade scientists. One of them was a pretty fundamental question about how life made the jump from single-celled organisms to the multicellular marvels we're familiar with today. Researcher Will Ratcliff at the University of Minnesota wanted to look at how that process may have occurred and discovered that it might not have been so big a leap after all.

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Cyberweapon to Take Down Internet … Whenever

So, some guys got together and figured out a way to take down the entire Internet as we know it. One guy was like, "Dude -- remember that time we were talking about conquering the Internet? ... Wanna try it?" And his buddy was all, "Pssssssht, come on, man! ... You think we could?" So the first guy, totally seriously says, "Totally." And they did! Okay, maybe this isn't exactly how it went down, but Ph.D. candidate Max Schuchard of the University of Minnesota and his colleagues did have the idea to design the ultimate cyberweapon, an attack that would render the Internet dead, useless, and blacked out, for at least a few days before it could even start to be repaired. And then save it for a rainy day. They don't see anyone trying to wage this kind of attack any time soon, so in the meantime, they are going to work on how to defend against it. But here is what they came up with:

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