PowerWall: A Battery For Your HomeCould 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 >
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 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 Space Plane Gets Darth Vader's EngineThe 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 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 >
When humans first learned how to fly, they crashed all the time. The annals of early flight experiments are littered with the bodies of dead test pilots and aviation pioneers. Safety in manned aircraft improved dramatically over the first century of flight, but as more and more unmanned aircraft enter the skies, researchers want to make sure those gains aren't lost. A paper published yesterday in a special issue of the journal Aerospace aims to make sure that when drones crash, they don't hurt bystanders.
Virtual reality is about to meet actual reality. Oculus VR, the company behind the long-in-development Oculus Rift, has announced that it will finally begin to ship the virtual reality headset beginning in early 2016.
In Central Africa, many diseases are caused by parasites that infect people through insect bites or contaminated food or water. Once doctors know that a patient has a particular parasite, many of them are easy to get rid of with antiparasitic drugs. But if a patient is infected with the parasitic eye nematode Loa loa and undergoes antiparasite treatment to get rid of the Onchocerca volvulus worm that causes river blindness, the treatment can cause permanent brain damage or even death.
Nepal is still reeling from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near Kathmandu on April 25. The quake has flattened three quarters of the city's buildings and killed at least 7,500 people. Beneath all those collapsed structures, more bodies await discovery--either to be rescued or given a funeral. If it is to be the former, then time is of the essence. To help out in the search-and-rescue efforts, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security have sent two portable heartbeat detectors to Nepal, and the machines are already saving lives.
Inevitable, really. Earlier this year, Apple's ResearchKit apps brought scientific studies to people's fingertips. Though the apps aren't yet foolproof, they allow eligible iPhone users to participate in scientific studies, recruiting thousands of participants at a speed never thought possible. Now two new studies out of the University of California, San Francisco and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City will release an iPhone app to recruit people for genetic research; participants will send in samples of their DNA in order to better understand how their genetics connect to disease, according to an article published yesterday in MIT Tech Review.
Now that we've all gotten used to our high-definition video, it's time to take it up a notch. While TV manufacturers have already started rolling out sets that support the new 4K resolution, native 4K content has been in short supply. That may soon change, with Comcast's announcement that it will begin offering a 4K-compatible set-top box later this year.
TaxiBots and AutoVots only sound like toys that you played with in the 1980s that have been turned into a blockbuster movie franchise. They're actually autonomous vehicle concepts used in a study released in April by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Scientists wanted to plug virtual self-driving vehicles into a model of a real, live city using the data from a day of traffic and see what happened. It turns out, what happens is you free up a lot of paved space that can be used for recreation or buildings.
The call for action to limit antibiotic resistance has never been greater. The World Health Organization has already sounded the alarm and even offered the suggestion for legal measures to ensure all countries do their best to save antibiotics for the future. Even government auditors are calling out their administrations for failing to meet the needs. There is a concerted effort to bring resistance to the forefront and ensure something is done.
Humans are incredibly well-balanced machines. As a species, we've mastered bipedal locomotion, which is challenging for other animals as well as the machines we make. Even BigDog, the reigning champion of robots that walk, does so on four legs. ATRIAS, a bipedal robot made by Oregon State University, recently took its first steps outside onto the uneven ground. And like many an undergrad, it did so with several buddies nearby to make sure it stayed upright.
As many bird enthusiasts know, bird feeders attract more than just birds. Chipmunks, squirrels, and raccoons also gravitate towards these all-you-can eat birdseed buffets. But what you might not know is that bird feeders tend to attract a certain type of bird--ones that aren't from around here.
It's not always fun thinking about the worst-case scenario, but when it comes to human space travel, envisioning the terrible pitfalls that could happen during a mission is a necessity. It's the only way to figure out how to rescue a situation that would otherwise evolve into terrible tragedy.
On March 20, a woman in Liberia was diagnosed with Ebola. It was a mysterious case, since it happened 30 days after the country's last recorded occurrence of the virus, and Ebola is thought to be contagious for up to 21 days at most. The woman reported no contact with the Ebola virus or anyone from Guinea or Sierra Leone, where outbreaks are still ongoing. She didn't travel anywhere, and she didn't attend any funerals. Her only known link to the disease was having unprotected sex, on March 7, with a man who was hospitalized for Ebola back in October.