Did The Future Begin In 1610?Time is a valuable commodity for humans. We like our news up to the minute and our technology up-to-date. But when it comes to some temporal boundaries scientists are still trying to figure out ... More >
A Real CHAPPiE Would Be... WeirdNeil Blomkamp's new film CHAPPiE, which hits US theaters this weekend, follows the unlikely transformation of a defective robot into a one-of-a-kind conscious machine. The movie inserts ... More >
Tony Stark Gives Boy A Bionic Arm [Video]Today in "Robert Downey Jr. saves the world," the Hollywood superstar presented an Iron Man-style bionic arm to a young disabled boy named Alex. More >
Welcome To The Inflatable Space AgeThis morning Robert Bigelow—budget hotel billionaire; paranormal investigator; space entrepreneur—unveiled the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which will soon ship to ... More >
NASA: Ganymede Has A Saltwater OceanNASA announced today that researchers using the Hubble space telescope have detected the presence of a saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. More >
It's no secret that scientists can now edit genes. Resolving disease-causing mutations could help cure some of the world's most deadly diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hemophilia. In the past, these modifications have been limited to genes in non-reproductive cells. But a number of researchers around the globe are poised to conduct the same editing in human embryos, which have genes that affect the entire rest of the organism. According to a coalition of American geneticists, that's a terrible idea.
In October 2014, Slovakian company AeroMobil unveiled a prototype vehicle that exhilarated Back To The Future fans, as well as pretty much everyone else: the long fantasized flying car. Dubbed AeroMobil 3.0, the car/plane hybrid showed off its driving and flying abilities in a video filmed at the 2014 Pioneers Festival in Vienna. With its wings tucked in, the carbon fiber vehicle drives the streets seamlessly with other cars. Then, it makes its way to a parking lot, unfolds its wings, and takes off from a grass runway. It soars leisurely over the buildings of Vienna, before touching down in a green field.
There are few better ways to answer a question than by building a cyborg to solve it. Researchers at UC Berkeley and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore wanted to know how beetles steer themselves in flight, so they did the only logical thing: strapped an electronic backpack to a giant flower beetle, let it fly, and recorded the results.
London isn't exactly known for its bright and sunny climate, so the idea of more skyscrapers darkening the horizon of that metropolis isn't very appealing to people who enjoy seeing the sun every once in a while. But the skyscrapers are coming. A projected 250 are planned for the city, and designers are developing solutions that might give Londoners a brighter future.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a consumer tech company that isn't selling a wearable device, or at least thinking about it. Whether for health or fitness, plenty of people are strapping on sensors to gather data. At South by Southwest this year, Dr. Leslie Saxon, an interventional cardiologist and director of the Center for Body Computing at the University of Southern California spoke about the future of where that biometric data will take us for an IEEE panel. Her vision for it goes beyond a watch or wristband.
At South by Southwest on Sunday, MIT professor and double amputee Hugh Herr shared his vision of a future without disability. In the field of bionics, Herr and his team have made incredible strides, such as building powered ankle-foot prosthetics that provide tactile feedback like their biological counterparts, or regenerating neurons in rats and humans. But beyond the possibilities of now or even the near future, Herr gives us a glimpse into a world where, eventually, those with healthy or even mildly suboptimal limbs may prefer bionic limbs, or where having bionic legs wouldn't be an impediment but rather an advantage. We caught up with Herr after his IEEE presentation to learn a little more about the world of extreme bionics.
The earth is a dirty place, and we aren't getting much help from space. Every day, dust from meteorites, comets, and other 4.6 billion-year-old pieces of our solar system fall into the earth's atmosphere. This meteoric dust is incredibly small, kind of like particles of smoke. But there is plenty of it.
The quantity and diversity of bacteria that populate the human gut is truly mind-boggling; there are over 10,000 species of microbes, and for every human gene in your body, there are 360 microbial genes. Researchers are just starting to understand the importance of these microbes to our digestion. In an editorial published today in Cell Press, a team of Australian researchers argue that doctors should be spending more time analyzing patients' gaseous byproducts (you may know them as farts) to better understand their digestive health.
Personal genetics company 23andMe will soon start developing pharmaceuticals, according to Bloomberg. After the Food and Drug Administration ordered the company to stop selling its direct-to-consumer spit tests in 2013, 23andMe has been figuring out where to go next; last month the FDA approved it to start selling a screening test for a rare genetic condition, and in January it announced a partnership with biotech company Genentech to develop new treatments for Parkinson's Disease. Now it has hired former Genentech executive Richard Scheller to undertake its own pharmaceutical endeavors.
How do you reconstruct a civilization's history when it has been literally trampled underfoot? Some of Rome's roads through the Balkans are largely forgotten, others still in use, and others we only know about because of documents from travelers explaining a route that matches ruined Roman distance markers. Hoping to get a better grasp of how these road networks worked in the Balkans between the 1st century BC and 4th century AD, researchers turned to an unlikely research assistant: slime mold. Published in The Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, a new study details how “slime mould imitates development” of these roads, by figuring out the most efficient way to travel between cities. That is, if the cities were made of yummy treats.