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Backyard Brains of Ann Arbor, Mich., recently developed a RoboRoach toy that allows a cockroach to be controlled with an iPhone. The sensory capabilities of insects could play a huge role when it comes to helping human beings.

Alien Worlds and Androids brings guests face to face with worlds far beyond their own. Or are these worlds really that far away after all?

One of the many fascinating topics explored in the exhibition is cybernetic organisms — cyborgs, for short. A cyborg is an organism that has restored function or enhanced abilities due to the integration of some artificial component or technology that relies on some sort of feedback.

In this day and age, people and cockroaches can both be cyborgs. Both are already sensational in their own ways.

A cockroach can live for a week without its head. They breathe through little holes in each of their body segments. But without a head or mouth, they can't drink water and die of thirst.

The sensory capabilities of insects could play a huge role when… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Breaking Science
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Ramona Holloway from Charlotte Today stopped by Discovery Place recently to check out our newest exhibition, Alien Worlds and Androids.

The exhibition explores the intersection of science fiction and science fact, relating what we see in movies to the real life technologies scientists are using to study outer space and other extreme environments.

During her visit, Ramona learned the difference between robots and cyborgs, practiced using a robotic arm and even sat down to create her own alien.

"Alien Worlds and Androids isn't just a fun exhibit," she said. "It's educational too!"

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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TripAdvisor recently awarded Discovery Place with its 2014 Certificate of Excellence.

TripAdvisor recently awarded Discovery Place with its 2014 Certificate of Excellence.

According to TripAdvisor, the award honors hospitality excellence and "is given only to businesses that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website."

TripAdvisor is a highly popular travel website that features directory information and allows the public to post reviews of hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions.

"TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence," said Marc Charron, president of TripAdvisor for Business.… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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With virtually no assistance or intervention from Discovery Place staff, troupials have been thriving in our rainforest since 2010, yielding one of the most successful captive breeding programs in North America. The birds are shared with zoos across the country, where they serve an educational purpose in exhibits and reduce the need to take new animals from the wild.

If you've ever visited Discovery Place, you probably already know that conditions are right for family fun, hands-on science exploration and learning through play.

For the troupials in our rainforest, conditions are also right for one of the most successful captive breeding programs in North America.

Troupials (Icterus icterus) have been thriving at the Museum since 2010. The national bird of Venezuela, they have a gold torso, black head, long black tail and black wings with a distinctive white stripe.

Troupials throughout the world are tracked through an Association of Zoos & Aquariums studbook, which dynamically documents the pedigree and entire demographic history of each individual in a population of species.

Discovery Place has been "the top producer of troupials in North … Keep reading.

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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Have you met our newest World Alive resident? Earning its name from the long mustache-like appendages on the front of its mouth, the Fu Manchu Lionfish is commonly found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region.

Have you met our newest World Alive resident?

Stop by the aquarium and get to know the Fu Manchu Lionfish!

Earning its name from the long mustache-like appendages on the front of its mouth, the Fu Manchu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus) is commonly found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. This carnivorous fish eats shrimp, crab and other, smaller fish and can grow up to five inches long.

The lionfish is venomous and can inflict a painful sting with its fins but it's typically shy.

You'll probably find it hanging out on a reef in the tank it shares with longhorn cowfish (Lactoria cornuta). Another Indo-Pacific native species, these bright yellow fish have horns and spots like a cow.

The Fu Manchu Lionfish is also known as the Twinspot Lionfish, Ocellated Li… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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Students become a digital painting during a field trip to Van Gogh Alive at Discovery Place.

If Van Gogh were alive today, what would he paint? What might the portrait look like if he painted you?

Guests have a special opportunity to explore those possibilities at Van Gogh Alive, thanks to an exclusive experience created for Discovery Place by celebrated artist Ivan Toth Depeña, known for his use of science, technology and traditional media.

Developed in partnership with McColl Center for Visual Art, Depeña's creation uses projection-based interactive technology to transform silhouettes and movements into a digital "painting" that echoes Van Gogh's heavy brushstrokes and vivid colors.

Guests of all ages have embraced this opportunity to "become a Van Gogh painting."

Check out the video below to see how it works!



If you haven't experienced Van Gogh Alive yet, tim… Keep reading.

Filed Under: Inside Discovery
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