• Google VR And The Quest For Wireless, Affordable Virtual Reality

    Google's Quest for Cheap Wireless VR

    Cardboard is convenient from the perspective of cost and usability, but is lacking in processing power, a method of interacting within the virtual world (save for one button on the side) or even ... More >
  • A New Robotic Surgery Tool Did Better Than Human Doctors

    Robot Surgeon "Superior" To Human Doctors

    In recent years, robots have steadily crept their way into the operating room, helping to perform procedures as humans direct their movements. Robotic devices in surgery have a lot of potential ... More >
  • Infecting Mosquitoes With Bacteria Could Help Stop Zika

    Infecting Mozzies... To Kill Zika?

    For its size, the Wolbachia bacterium packs a powerful punch. When it infects an insect, it hijacks the animal's reproductive system and ensures that it can only mate with other infected ... More >
  • Luxembourg Announces New Asteroid Mining Spacecraft: Prospector-X

    The Biggest Player in Offworld Mining is...

    The next gold rush might be the race for asteroids, and the nation-states that dominate this new industry may not be the usual suspects. After all, in space the amount of land you control on Earth ... More >
  • China Aims for Humanity's Return to the Moon in the 2030s

    China Wants Humans Back on the Moon by 2030

    Lieutenant General Zhang Yulin, deputy commander of the manned space program, announced that China would land a man on the moon in the next 15-20 years. Chinese authorities also announced their ... More >
Kelsey D. Atherton
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Drones // 

Drones are a tool of precision. Flying overhead, their cameras scan for targets. The agri-drone is a small-scale adaptation of the same premise. Developed by researchers at Japan's Saga University, the agri-drone scans crops for clusters of bugs, and then delivers a precision dose of pesticide to the plant-eating critters below.

Coby McDonald
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Courtesy of NASA
Nature // 

Forecasting a volcanic eruption is difficult and nearly impossible with particularly restless volcanoes that constantly shudder and emit gas and steam. But a team of volcanologists led by Diana Roman of the Carnegie Institution for Science has found a way. Like the proverbial "calm before the storm," the researchers say that restless volcanoes go quiet just before they erupt.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
NASA

In a paper published this week in Nature, researchers used observations of x-rays to peek inside the action of a star getting torn apart by a black hole.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Flirtey, used with permission
Drones // 

It was a much a technological demonstration as it was a trial run for the future. Yesterday, a small hexacopter collected medical samples from people on the land, flew to its home ship, and then returned to shore, carrying medicine. Operated by drone delivery service Flirtey, the promise is better medicine after coastal tragedies.

Amy Thompson
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Planetary Society

Carl Sagan dreamt of navigating the cosmos on sails pushed by the solar wind—the steady stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun. These solar sails may one day carry humans to other planets and maybe even other star systems. The Planetary Society, led by CEO Bill Nye “The Science Guy”, aims to make this dream a reality.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Science // 

Jimmy Kimmel has been doing a pretty convincing impression of Karl Malone for decades, but it took scientists with real-time face mapping software and a digital overlay to really nail the execution.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
John Chae

Google is one of the companies at the forefront of robotics and artificial intelligence research, and being in that position means they have the most to worry about. The idea of a robot takeover may still be an abstract, science fictional concept to us, but Google has actually compiled a list of behaviors that would cause them great concern, both for efficiency and safety in the future.

Coby McDonald
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Courtesy of Amanda Adams
Nature // 

Scorpions dig similar digs (which they dig, because they live in burrows, ya dig?). That's according to a recent study that looked at the dwellings of three species of the predatory arachnid from three distinct locations. Scorpion burrows can vary widely in depth and complexity, but the study, published in The Science of Nature, found that across species and habitats, their homes tend to share some key features.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
Space // 

Comets stink. Literally.

Kelsey D. Atherton and Dave Gershgorn
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Robots // 

Robots are not like us. They may inhabit the same spaces, and they may mimic life in their movements, but the kinds of bodies that lend themselves to metal and springs are not the same as those built from flesh and bone. No one knows this better than Boston Dynamics, the formerly Google-owned robotmakers whose shambling, bouncing machines all look like an evolutionary tree from a metal world that forgot about skin. Their latest, SpotMini, combines all that artificial weirdness into a compact, adorable form.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
YouTube
Nature // 

Would an infant human from the brink of civilization be able to function in modern times? That's the question a new video tries to answer.

Jeremy Deaton
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Pixabay

Coral reefs are enduring the longest and most pervasive bleaching event on record. Warmer waters are cooking coral, sapping reefs of their color and life.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
YouTube
Space // 

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a pretty big fanbase, and not just at Popular Science. The astrophysicist's charismatic presentations (and legendary meme status) mean he can really get a crowd going over things a lot of people slept through in high school and college.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
Solar Impulse

After a flight time of 71 hours and 8 minutes, Solar Impulse 2, piloted by Bertrand Piccard, became the first solar powered airplane to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean. The plane took off from New York and landed in Seville, Spain.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 12:47 PM Jun 24 2016
People's Navy Online

In June 2016, the PLAN released a clear photo of its newest, stealthiest nuclear attack submarine (SSN) being loaded with missiles. China's nuclear submarines are among the most secretive Chinese military platforms- it's a rare event to have even a photo of a forty year old Type 091 Han submarine, or the Type 092 Xia nuclear ballistic missile submarine. So an official photo of a modern Type 093B submarine is definitely big news in the world of PLA watching.

 
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