How You'll Die On MarsWe're on our way to Mars. NASA has a plan to land astronauts on its surface by the 2030s. Private spaceflight companies like SpaceX have also expressed interest in starting their own colonies ... More >
Could This Hydrogen-Powered Drone Work?The biggest physical constraint on small drones is their power supply. Batteries can only hold so much energy, and as adding more batteries to a drone also increase the weight of that drone, there ... More >
Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs Are Finally HereFor 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 ... More >
US Air Force Wants Planes With Laser CannonsAccording to the Air Force, the future of war in the sky is lasers. Lasers on new jet fighters are a future goal, but there's lower-hanging fruit in the world of science fiction weapons that the ... More >
Will This Be The Year 4K Catches Fire?People have a tendency to simplify things down to numerical comparisons. If you cast your mind back to the 1990s, you might remember the "Megahertz Wars," where PC manufacturers seemed to debut a ... More >
A stubbed toe, a sore throat, a splitting headache: sometimes life might seem better if we didn't experience pain. In fact, pain can sometimes be useful—it's a way for your body to warn you when it's at risk of being damaged. Some people are born without the ability to feel pain, and their lives are often cut short as a result. In a study published this week in Nature Genetics, a team of researchers has analyzed the DNA of people who can't feel pain to identify a new gene that is essential to the process.
When they appear on the horizon, the robots to coming kill you won't necessarily look like warplanes. That's limited, human-centric thinking, says Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, and it only applies to today's unmanned weapons. Predator and Reaper drones were built with remote pilots and traditional flight mechanics in mind, and armed with the typical weapons of air war--powerful missiles, as useful for destroying buildings and vehicles as personnel. Tomorrow's nimbler, self-piloted armed bots won't simply be updated tools for old-fashioned air strikes. They'll be vectors for slaughter.
Things are on hold for the moment for the LightSail, the new solar sail spacecraft launched last week by Bill Nye and his Planetary Society organization. The prototype satellite, which uses energy from the Sun to propel through space has suffered a computer malfunction while in lower Earth orbit, ceasing communication between the tiny spacecraft and Earth.
With no threat/promise of re-election hanging over his head, President Obama is using the remainder of his time in office as a chance to talk about a political minefield, climate change. He mentioned it last week at the Coast Guard commencement exercises, and today he took to his newly formed twitter account to answer questions about climate change.
For the first time ever, NASA has drawn up a contract with a private company to bring humans into space. In late 2017, the space agency plans to send Boeing's spacecraft on a crew rotation mission, which means bringing fresh astronauts to the International Space Station and bringing home the old ones. SpaceX can expect a similar contract later this year.
Google unveiled its new mobile payments platform—Android Pay—at the company's annual developer conference Google I/O on Thursday. The new payments software allows anyone with an Android smartphone to upload their credit card information from Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express into their smartphones. Users will be able to pay for items at select stores by tapping their phone against a special pad at during checkout.
Of all the things a person could receive in the mail without warning, Anthrax is about the worst thing it could be. The spores, which can cause injury when inhaled, fit easily into letters, as the nation discovered tragically in the fall of 2001. Now, it looks like the Department of Defense accidentally mailed out live samples of anthrax spores to nine states and South Korea. Oops.
Ahab would give up his peg leg for views like this. A team with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a drone to catch a better glimpse of migrating gray whales, capturing pictures of a mother and calf. The drone flyover was part of a long-standing research project in Baja California, Mexico, where scientists track the migrations of gray whales up north to the Arctic.
In late March, a team of German-based researchers published a study that found that eating a bar of chocolate every day, when combined with a low-carb diet, helped participants lose weight. As is typical for a study like this, the story got picked up by a number of service-based publications in Europe and the U.S., doing write-ups with splashy headlines and suggestive images of women eating chocolate.
Clocking in at just $134 million per plane, the F-35B fighter jet is the most expensive sibling in its long-troubled family. The F-35s have been plagued for years with frustrations, cost overruns, and developmental difficulties. Designed to share parts with its Air Force and Navy brethren (the F-35A and F-35C, respectively), the F-35B also has the difficult task of replacing the U.S. Marine Corps' venerable Harrier Jump Jets. In order to fill those jumping shoes, it has to successfully take off in a short distance and land vertically. At operation trials over the past week on the USS Wasp, the F-35B demonstrated just that: for more than one hundred million dollars a plane, it can at least do what it promised.
Your brain does a lot when you are asleep. It's when you consolidate memories and integrate the things you've learned during the day into your existing knowledge structure. We now have lots of evidence that while you are sleeping, specific memories can be reactivated and thus strengthened.