The Star that 'Nearly' Hit EarthAround 70,000 years ago, earth was a pretty bleak place. Homo erectus had just gone extinct, and we were all in mourning. But while we were distracted by things like the near-extinction ... More >
This Winter Is One Of The Warmest On RecordWinter on the East Coast of the United States has been brutal, and it isn't over yet. Freezing temperatures are predicted to break even more frigid records over the next two days. Boston has been ... More >
A Super Fast Test for EbolaToday, the World Health Organization gave the green light to doctors in West Africa to use the first ever rapid test for diagnosing the Ebola virus. More >
Thermal Solar Towers Are 'Vaporising' BirdsThe Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Nevada is set to come online in March. Once completed, it will use thousands of mirrors to focus sunlight on a tower, melting millions of pounds of salt ... More >
Farmers Eye Drones For The FutureEven though humans have been farming for thousands of years, there's always a new trick to learn or a new technology to try. In modern times, these tricks often come attached to small flying ... More >
My mom always used to say that video games were never good for anything, but a new game developed in part by Ubisoft, creator of Assassin's Creed, may prove her wrong. Dig Rush, which was created in conjunction with Amblyotech Inc. and based on the research of ophthalmologists at McGill University, is more than just a game: It's designed to help treat amblyopia, the condition more commonly known as "lazy eye," where one eye doesn't work together smoothly with the other and with the brain. The National Institute of Health estimates that the condition is pretty common, affecting two or three out of every hundred children.
The United Kingdom is building a laser gun. Technically, the Ministry of Defence is looking for a contractor to build a “laser directed energy weapon capability demonstrator,” but that's a jargony soup for laser gun. There will be a briefing for defense companies in mid-April, where the Ministry of Defence can hammer out all the business matters that go into buying a weapon that destroys things with light.
Sponsors can now fund remote-controlled weapons for war in remotely controlled lands. Ukraine is embroiled in a civil war against Russian-backed separatists, and some volunteers on the pro-Ukrainian side have set up a crowdfunding page for people to fund a tiny robot tank. Dubbed “The People's Project,” the initiative is currently 73 percent of the way toward raising the $8,000 needed to complete the machine.
Surgeons at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco have gotten pretty good at doing kidney transplants; they have done about 200 of them per year since 1968. But over the next two days, a team of five surgeons and over 60 support staff will complete a six-way kidney transplant, operating on 12 individuals: 6 donors and 6 recipients.
Hydrophobic clothing that won't stain when you spill something on yourself is the dream of clumsy people everywhere, but the materials that are commercially available generally wear out after a wash or two. Now researchers have come up with a self-cleaning coating that's tough, even when it gets damaged.
Carbon dioxide emissions make the big headlines in climate change news, and with good reason--we've now seen the impact of carbon dioxide on global temperature. But carbon dioxide has a far more potent cousin lingering in her shadow. Methane comes in second to carbon dioxide in the amounts produced by human activity, and the amount of time it spends in the atmosphere, but compared to CO2, each molecule packs a much bigger punch. When compared pound for pound, the EPA found that methane's impact on climate change is 20 times greater than CO2. The gas' potency, combined with the fact that methane emissions are on the rise makes methane of great interest to scientists studying climate change.
What the world needs most are more things that explode in more ways. A team of researchers from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, as well as one with Brazil's Federal University of São Paulo, sought the answer to a simple question: If they attached a compound known for its use in combustion to a dense carbon molecule, would the whole thing explode? Yes, it turns out. Why do this? Because they can, and because the field of nano-explosives is new, and it needs working tiny bombs before people can even start to figure out how to use them.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) has a bad reputation as the cause of particularly disgusting food poisoning incidents and other illnesses. But not all types of E. coli are bad--there are plenty of harmless varieties found just about everywhere, and some of them are getting put to work.
In 2009, a Maryland county court convicted Glenn Raynor of rape, the verdict hinging on a key piece of evidence: Raynor's DNA samples. However, Raynor didn't give his DNA willingly. After he consistently refused to provide any samples to the police, officers snagged a few samples of Raynor's sweat from a chair he had been sitting in during an interrogation session. The DNA matched DNA found at the crime scene, and the prosecution built their case around that fact, leading to a 100-year prison sentence.
The latest security vulnerability to make the rounds, aptly dubbed FREAK, shines a spotlight on why it's maybe not such a great idea to weaken the technology behind the security that we all rely on. Turns out that we're still paying for the mistakes of the 1990s--and I don't mean acid-washed jeans.
Designing an inch-long robot is tricky: there are lots of small moving parts, and it's hard to get a tiny enough battery that can still power the entire system. Instead of designing a whole new robot body, scientists at Texas A&M University instead hijacked an existing, efficient form: cockroaches. Using an implant that plugs into the roach's nervous system, they were able to steer the cockroach in the correct direction 60 percent of the time.
Everyone knows the age-old tactics for losing weight: eat better, eat less, and exercise more. But researchers at the University of Southern California may have found a way to sidestep that simple-sounding advice. Mice injected with a newly discovered hormone called MOTS-c gained less weight and were better able to regulate blood sugar, the same benefits they would have received if they had been exercising.