• Tesla's Big Announcement Is PowerWall: A Battery For Your Home

    PowerWall: A Battery For Your Home

    Could a battery big enough to power your whole home be coming to market soon? Yes, says Elon Musk. More than that, he says it will change the world. Rumors have swirled for weeks about a new ... More >
  • Blue Origin's Rocket Flies 58 Miles High [Video]

    The Latest Private Rocket Launch!

    New Shepard--the primary rocket from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' private spaceflight venture, Blue Origin--flew a successful test flight yesterday. It climbed 307,000 feet, or 58 miles high, and did so ... More >
  • Watch Pluto And Its Moon Rotate Around A Center Of Mass [Video]

    Watch Pluto and Charon Orbit Each Other [GIF]

    Dwarf planet Pluto is coming into view. And we're already discovering a few exciting things about this mysterious little space rock. More >
  • Secret Air Force Space Plane Gets Darth Vader-Style Engine

    Secret Space Plane Gets Darth Vader's Engine

    The Air Force's secret robot space plane is going to try out a new engine. The X-37B has so far spent a total of 1367 days tooling around in Earth's orbit, doing classified things. Yesterday, the ... More >
  • Watch Thermal Video Of A Lithium-Ion Battery Exploding

    Watch This Li-Ion Battery Explode!

    This Friday, Europe's largest freight carrier, Cargolux, will ban bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries from its freight planes. Last month, an international group of airplane manufacturers ... More >
Erik Sofge
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015
Ossur

For a full decade, Gudmundar Olaffson was unable to move his right ankle. That's because it wasn't there. Olafsson's amputated lower leg was the delayed casualty of an accident from his childhood in Iceland, when he was hit by an oil truck. “I lived in pain for 28 years,” says Olafsson. “After 50-plus operations, I had it off.” For years after the operation he wore a Proprio Foot, a prosthetic with a motorized, battery-powered ankle, sold by the Reykjavik-based company Ossur. The Proprio is essentially a wearable robot, with algorithms and sensors that automatically adjust the angle of the foot during different points in its wearer's stride. Olafsson's ankle moved on autopilot.

Loren Grush
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015
Popular Science/Loren Grush

In 1976, renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan brought a weird, reflective prop with him to the Tonight Show Staring Johnny Carson. The toy was a mockup of a solar sail—a revolutionary idea for space travel propulsion that eschews fuel. “[It] travels on the radiation and particles that come out of the Sun—the wind from the Sun,” Sagan explained to Carson, comparing the technology to how an ordinary sail boat moves through the ocean.

by Morgan Kinney
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015
_Libby_flickr/
Nature // 

Sci-Fi movies present no shortage of doomsday scenarios--asteroids, climate change and supervolcanoes just to name a few. But let's say that one of these situations actually occurs, and humans are annihilated with the exception of one male and one female. Could humanity survive?

Alexandra Ossola
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015

Sometimes, other people interpret your words differently than you may have intended--like you're not on the same wavelength. Turns out that the neuroscience backs up that idea; words elicit unique neurological responses in different people's brains, according to a study published in the journal Neurocomputing. This revelation could lead to a whole new way for people to securely access their devices, no passwords required.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015
Tech // 

Concrete has been a go-to building material since Roman times. It's durable, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. There's just one problem: It has a tendency to crack.

Alexandra Ossola
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015

Synthetic versions of opiates like morphine and heroin have been prohibitively expensive to make, so the drugs are still made the old-fashioned way, from opium poppies. Now researchers have genetically modified yeast to complete one of the key steps in the synthesis process, according to a study published in Nature Chemical Biology, making fully synthetic opiates closer to becoming a reality. That means that opiates could be much more widely available, both to patients who need it and to the drugs' abusers. But the technology could make the drugs less harmful as well.

Katie Peek
at 11:01 AM May 21 2015
Science // 

In these United States summer is unofficially the sunny, sweltering weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Yes, astronomically speaking, it's June 21 to September 23. We're choosing to ignore that here in favor of the cultural definition, because come on, early June feels way more like summer than mid-September.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:00 AM May 21 2015
Ascent AeroSystems
Drones // 

From the body type alone, Sprite looks less like a drone and more like a sleek and modern water bottle aimed at hikers. It's a far cry from the standard four-rotored body of most drones, but that forms the Sprite's central sales pitch: a portable drone, that can slide easily into a backpack for outdoor use.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 11:00 AM May 21 2015
Science // 

Today, President Obama addressed the graduating class of the Coast Guard academy in a speech that mentioned the phrase 'climate change' 26 times.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:00 AM May 21 2015
Lawrence Wang, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

On Saturday, the United States arrested Hao Zhang, a professor at China's Tianjin University, as he landed in Los Angeles. The charges brought against him, detailed in an indictment filed April 1st in the District Court, are a curious mishmash of corporate espionage, all committed against U.S. defense research. According to the case brought by the federal government, Zhang was one of six people who conspired to steal the trade secrets behind several acoustic devices and replicate them in China.

Alexandra Ossola
at 10:43 AM May 20 2015

Lyme disease, swine flu, bubonic plague—many of humanity's greatest scourges jumped from our animal co-habitants to make us sick. During an outbreak, researchers need to understand where the disease is coming from in order to effectively treat it and stop it from spreading. But with thousands of pests as possible vectors of disease, and with diseases coming from animals more frequently now than ever before, they often have difficulty doing so. Now artificial intelligence can help identify disease-carrying animals with up to 90 percent accuracy, according to a study published yesterday in the journal PNAS.

Jason Tetro
at 10:43 AM May 20 2015
Source: Wikipedia
Nature // 

For motile bacteria, moving from one environment to another is a gamble. There's no guarantee the place will be hospitable; more likely than not there will be stressors in place. Some may be physical in nature but others could be chemical threats. One such source of trouble is an antibiotic.

Nicholas Deleon
at 10:43 AM May 20 2015
NASA
Hacks // 

Last month, security researcher Chris Roberts was removed from a United Airlines flight, after the airline claimed he had endangered his fellow passengers by tweeting a message about potential security vulnerabilities aboard the aircraft. In 2012, Ars Technica reports, Roberts claimed to have hacked into the International Space Station, according to a recently discovered video.

Rachel Fobar
at 10:43 AM May 20 2015

Modern classrooms aren't working for kids, according to Lia De Cicco Remu, the director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada. “Our schools are like jails--brick walls, colorless, not very engaging or exciting,” she tells the Georgia Straight, days before a Microsoft educational summit in Vancouver.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:43 AM May 20 2015
U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia Commons
Space // 

Tomorrow, the Air Force is scheduled to send its secret space plane back into orbit for undisclosed purposes. The two X-37Bs--unmanned, shuttle-like craft--have already spent over three and a half years in orbit. The Air Force, despite “air” in their name, have a mission that extends into space, which adds an extra layer of military secrecy to their tests of an actual covert space planet.

 
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