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  • 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 >
Alexandra Ossola
at 10:37 AM May 4 2015
Patrick Hoesly on Flickr
Science // 

One minute the mouse was starving, and the next it turned away from its food, leaving it untouched. Its sudden bursts of activity were counteracted with just as sudden bouts of lethargy. This mouse was acting strange, and it wasn't by accident--it was because scientists made it behave that way.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:37 AM May 4 2015
Tesla
Energy // 

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 announcement from Tesla, with onlookers around the world latching onto any crumb of information from the electric car company. CEO Elon Musk kept the suspense level high, promising that on Thursday he would reveal 'The Missing Piece' of the energy equation.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Drones // 

Graffiti by drone was supposed to be a bad joke. Despite a ban on drones from this year's South by Southwest convention, a remote-control vandalism machine made its way to the show. Now, someone has used a drone to scrawl a tag across a billboard in New York. Welcome to vandalism's most complicated, least exciting era.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
Zanastardust, via Wikimedia Commons
Science // 

The world of Middle Earth, as portrayed in the Lord of the Rings books and films, is known mainly for its inhospitability. Giant spiders, orc hordes, ringwraiths on horseback, and terrifying monstrosities of shadow and flame in the depths of caverns all make for a pretty unpleasant environment. As the books tell, it's also a great setting for adventurers, who tirelessly cross the world to fight these monsters and others. A study by Richard Walker and Alice Cooper-Dunn, published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics, asks if the oxygen content of Middle Earth may allow greater feats of adventuring than our atmosphere does.

Sarah Fecht
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
Photograph by Sam Kaplan

Thanks to new genetic engineering techniques, we can edit DNA with more precision than ever before. This technology has the potential to change whether a baby lives or dies, but it also carries with it a lot of unanswered scientific and ethical questions, such as the possibility of one day creating "designer babies".

Sarah Fecht
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015

Your heart might “skip a beat” if you're frightened or you suddenly see a long-lost love, but in real life, an irregular heartbeat can be dangerous. If the heart can't pump enough blood to the body, it could result in organ failure or stroke. And certain prescription drugs may throw off the natural rhythm of your heart if not properly vetted.

Loren Grush
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
Adam Gazzaley, Roger Anguera-​Singla, Rajat Jain, Tim Mullen, Christian Kothe, John Fesenko, Oleg Konings, Matt Omernick, and David Ziegler

Even after 54 years of sending astronauts into space, NASA is still learning about how space conditions affect the human body. Currently, the agency is studying the effects of long-duration space flight on human vision, with its unique twins study. And researchers continue to analyze how microgravity wears away at the musculoskeletal system.

Alexandra Ossola
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015

From armored fish scales to ice-proof airplane coating based on frog's skin, the natural world has long been an inspiration to engineers. For those designing implantable medical devices, incorporating elements of the natural world has been even more challenging. Now an international team of physicists has developed microparticles that move like microorganisms in the body and are able to swim against the flow of bodily fluids. The researchers hope that this technology could be used to unclog arteries or deliver drugs to specific parts of organs, according to the study published today in Science Advances.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
PT.Lundin, used with permission

North Sea Boats' new X-18 Tank Boat feels like it should be a G.I. Joe toy. The 60-foot long catamaran can travel up rivers, carry a small inflatable boat on its back, and deliver either 20 Marines or Navy SEALs to shore. It also has a tank cannon in a turret on top of the main cabin, and if that isn't enough, it's possible to put an automated heavy machine gun turret on top of the tank turret.

Sarah Fecht
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
Pembient, via New Scientist
Nature // 

With poaching on the rise, Africa's rhinos could be extinct within a few decades. Thousands are slaughtered every year for their horns, which sell for about $30,000 a pound. The horns are used in traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicines, and despite Western medicine having shown that these treatments typically don't work, demand for products from endangered species continues to rise.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:36 AM May 4 2015
AirMap

Bought a drone, and want to fly it legally, but have no idea where to do that? A new map created by drone hobbyists and enthusiasts aims to be an atlas, laying out the legal landscape for piloting unmanned vehicles. Called simply AirMap, the project is a collaboration between Ben Marcus, who created the NoFlyZone registry for people who don't want drones buzzing around their houses, and Gregory McNeal, a professor of law and public policy at Pepperdine. Available now in beta form, the AirMap takes user input and regulation changes into account, creating a durable map of which sections of sky are currently safe and legal for drones to fly in.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 10:47 AM May 1 2015
jz.chinami.com.cn
Robots // 

This rocket robot carries about 40-50 metres of explosive rope coiled inside its dark green ammunition box. The explosive rope is attached to the two rockets on either side of the robot for launch over mines and over obstacles.

Brooke Borel
at 10:46 AM May 1 2015
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Your monthly roundup of infestations, contagions, and controls from around the web.

Alexandra Ossola
at 10:46 AM May 1 2015

At some point in your life, you've probably been asked to donate blood. If your blood is type O, you may have been asked to donate even more, because your blood type is the most useful and is less common. The difference between blood types may seem small--people with blood types A and B have an extra sugar molecule bound to the surface of their red blood cells--but a transfusion of the wrong blood type can be fatal. For example, the immune system of a type O individual will launch a massive attack on the "invading cells" of a type A individual, all because it detects that sugar molecule.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:46 AM May 1 2015
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Drones // 

Rarely has human flight achieved the gracefulness of the birds. Manned airplanes, no matter how sleek, are still largely tubes with wings, pulled through the sky by powerful engines. Helicopters are little better, their spinning blades creating a frenzy of noise and dust wherever they go. Even simple drones, like the U.S. military's hand-tossed RQ-11 Raven, land with all the grace of a dropped LEGO tower. At the University of Maryland, researchers working on a series of drones also named Raven have created that rare, beautiful machine: a drone that flaps its wings to fly, a robotic heir to the sky.

 
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