Australian Popular Science News Latest news from Issue #50 - January 2013 <p>It's the one with lots of groovy drones and planes and whatnot on the cover. Plus a cyborg cockroach! Find out what that's all about after the break...</p> 2020-01-09T15:52:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Hands On With The Razer Edge Gaming Tablet <p><!-- - break - -->We've known about the Razer Edge - a Windows 8 tablet designed top to bottom for gaming - for awhile, but today at CES was the first time we'd actually gotten a chance to play with it. And, despite my own reservations about Windows 8, small Windows 8 tablets, gaming tablets, and tablets with detachable joysticks, as soon as I started using it, I got it: this is probably the best Windows 8 tablet I've used, period, and it's a hell of a lot of fun.</p> 2020-01-09T12:12:00.0000000+11:00 Discovered: Giant Dolphin-Like Sea Monster That Ate Dinosaurs <p><!-- - break - -->Dolphins are great! Intelligent, charming, cute. This newly-discovered dolphin-like predator: maybe not so great. </p> 2020-01-09T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 Today on Mars: When Curiosity Brushes Away The Red Dust, Mars Looks Pale <p><!-- - break - --> The Mars rover Curiosity is not afraid of getting dirty - it swallowed some scoopfuls of dirt to clean itself out - but sometimes, it needs a clean work surface. To that end, the rover just used its special brush for the first time, clearing away the dust from a specific flat rock it plans to study in greater detail.</p> 2020-01-09T03:44:00.0000000+11:00 Captive Hyena Figures Out A Meat Puzzle Faster Than Its Wild Cousin <p><!-- - break - -->When animal behaviorists want to study animal skills, they often work with animals living in the nation's zoos and aquariums, testing problem-solving and other traits. But a new study suggests this may not paint an accurate picture. Animals in captivity act much differently than animals in the wild, and their ability to face new problems is no exception.</p> 2020-01-09T03:01:00.0000000+11:00 Up Close With The 2012 Olympus Bioscapes Microscopic Photography Challenge <p><!-- - break - -->Perhaps it's a sign of just how far imaging technology has come in the last decade that the overall winner of the Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging competition - an annual microscopic photography contest now in its tenth year - wasn't a still photograph but a video. Amid a range of stunning visuals captured via dozens of imaging and microscopy techniques, Ralph Grimm's video of colonial rotifers - micrscopic beings that sustain themselves on dead bacteria and the like - took top prize, the first time a video has done so.</p> 2020-01-09T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robots Add App Control, Speed, Sensors <p><!-- - break - -->Fifteen CESes ago, Lego unveiled the Robotics Invention Kit, the system that would become Mindstorms. Since then, DIyers have machined 'bots to do everything from flush the toilet to solve a Rubik's cube - faster than a human being, no less. Today, the Danish company announced a near-gut refresh of the line, the Mindstorms EV3. The 594-piece kit will be the first Mindstorms system with app support, as well as a sensor suite that allows creations to navigate and react autonomously. </p> 2020-01-08T14:00:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Ford Wants You To Design Its Next App <p><!-- - break - -->Inching us ever closer to the connected car of the future, Ford today announced plans to crowdsource the next generation of driver-friendly apps. The 150-year-old company is opening its code libraries and other resources to developers worldwide. The idea? Consumers know what they want, so let them design the apps that'll keep them entertained - and safe - on the road.</p> 2020-01-08T12:55:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Look At This Weird TV <p><!-- - break - -->I just got out of Samsung's CES event, which was mostly not very exciting, unless there's something about the concept of a fridge with a touchscreen in it that excites you. And if there is that's fine, I hope you achieve all your life's goals and get yourself a fridge with a touchscreen in it. But what <em>was</em> weird was this gargantuan 4K TV. It's an 85-incher, which is absurd, and it's more absurd because the screen is encased in this metal frame and is <em>not removable at all</em>. So, unless you basically own a hotel or choose to build your home around your new TV, this is going to be tough to fit in most houses. </p> 2020-01-08T11:00:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: The Hideous Glitz Of My Favorite Event <p><!-- - break - --> There is a long line of celebrities standing at the back of the stage. Noel Lee, the CEO of Monster Cable, wheels around in front of them on a Segway with gold-painted rims - the gold just a bit too orange - and flame decals. (Lee has a physical disability which impairs his ability to walk, and has turned his use of the Segway into a trademark.) Tyson Beckford, the supermodel, is a pro, encouraging, smiling, clapping. Xzibit, the rapper and sometime-actor, is chubbier than I remember him from <em>Pimp My Ride</em>. He looks alternately bored and confused. Drew Brees, of the New Orleans Saints, wears monochromatic navy blue dad-clothes, and stands awkwardly at the end of the line, his arms hanging at his sides. </p> 2020-01-08T08:53:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Fitbit's New Flex Wristband Never Leaves Your Person <p><!-- - break - -->We haven't been too thrilled with Fitbit's offerings in the past - not that they're not good at what they are, just that the fitness tracker in general is not what we'd like it to be right now. One of the bigger problems with the Fitbit is that you have to remember to take it with you, so we're glad to see that problem remedied with the new Fitbit Flex, announced today here at CES. </p> 2020-01-08T07:32:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Lexus Unveils Autonomous 'Safety Research' Car <p><!-- - break - -->At CES today, Lexus showcased an "Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle," a souped-up LS being used as a testbed for autonomous car technology. </p> 2020-01-08T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 CES 2013: Nvidia Announces Ludicrous Portable Gaming System <p><!-- - break - -->Nvidia isn't a company everyone necessarily knows; they've long been known for graphics hardware, but have recently branched out into mobile silicon with the Tegra line of combination CPU/GPU processors, which are used in some Android tablets and smartphones. Last night they combined those two specialties and added a hefty dose of wild, optimistic insanity, announcing a portable gaming system currently code-named "Project Shield."</p> 2020-01-08T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 Do Natural Disasters Breed Health Epidemics? <p><!-- - break - -->Few post-disaster myths have a stronger hold on our imaginations than the specter of a follow-on epidemic. Some imagine a killer virus will spread through the sudden glut of dead bodies. Others merely go by the notion that when it rains - or shakes, or erupts, or burns - it pours. But we can all take a deep, healthy breath: It's not true. There don't tend to be spontaneous epidemics in the wake of natural disasters. As a World Health Organization team explained in a 2007 study published in the journal <em>Emerging Infectious Diseases</em>: "The risk for outbreaks after natural disasters is low."</p> 2020-01-08T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 2013 Prediction: Asia Takes Two Routes To Space <p>Earth's two most populous nations have major space launches slated for 2013: China will send a lander to the moon and India will propel an orbiter toward Mars. On the surface, their goals appear similar-cement a toehold in a frontier dominated by the US, Russia, and Europe-but the ways in which they will achieve them are very different.</p> 2020-01-08T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Politics Is Most Important Factor For Climate Future, Study Finds <p><!-- - break - -->An analysis in <em>Nature</em> has confirmed what we already knew: politicians need to hurry up if we're going to stop climate change. What's more, the longer they wait, the more it'll cost them - and taxpayers - to fight the problem. </p> 2020-01-05T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 Skip Out On The Elks Lodge, Die In A Traffic Accident <p><!-- - break - -->Do you live around a cranky neighbour? Are <em>you</em> the cranky neighbour? </p> <p>These are important questions because, according to a new study, areas with low "social capital" - lack of neighbourliness, I guess would be one way of putting it - are associated with higher rates of traffic fatalities. Love thy neighbour, or stay off the roads. </p> 2020-01-05T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 UK Police Launch Website Asking Public To Identify Over 1,000 Found Bodies <p>Over 350 of the individuals that have gone missing in the UK over the last few years have not been found, according to a UK Missing Persons list. Meanwhile, the nation's police have the opposite problem - records and photos of over 1,000 bodies that have been found, but never identified.</p> 2020-01-05T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 On DARPA's 2013 Wish List: Extreme Diving, Portable Brain Reading, And Gravity Vision <p><!-- - break - -->DARPA solicitation days are like Christmas morning for technology nerds, occasions whose bounty defense tech geeks look forward to precisely because we have no idea what we are going to get. And in case you thought DARPA might scale back its far-out R&D ambitions in light of impending defense budget cuts, be advised: the DoD's blue-sky researchers fear no fiscal cliff (in fact, it has likely already developed a self-assembling hypersonic vehicle that will automatically scramjet the agency to safety should any cliff, fiscal or otherwise, be autonomously detected). So what does DARPA want in 2013? Read on.</p> 2020-01-05T04:27:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Send A Cloud Of Atoms Plunging Below Absolute Zero <p><!-- - break - -->Absolute zero - that's zero degrees Kelvin, or -273 degrees C - is understood by textbook definition to be the absolute coldest anything can be, a temperature threshold at which atoms actually lose all of their kinetic energy and stop moving completely (or at which entropy reaches its lowest value). There can be nothing stiller than completely still, and hence absolute zero is as low-energy as something can go. Right? But researchers have discovered that's not exactly the case. By messing with the distribution of high- and low-energy atoms within a system, a team of physicists at the University of Munich in Germany has created what it defines as a negative temperature system - one that has a temperature south of absolute zero.</p> 2020-01-05T02:31:00.0000000+11:00 Early Earth Should Have Been A Snowball, But Wasn't <p><!-- - break - -->When our sun first got going, some 4.5 billion years ago, it wasn't the same blazing star we know today - its warmth and brightness grew gradually as more and more of its fuel ignited. So, for Earth's first two billion years, our planet was bathed in a light 25 per cent dimmer than it receives today. </p> 2020-01-05T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Important Science Of The Season: Hot Chocolate Tastes Better In An Orange Cup <p><!-- - break - -->A creamsicle-coloured set of mugs will make your hot chocolate taste and smell sweeter than it would taste served in plain white or stark red, according to European scientists. This adds to the growing set of studies that claim the vessel in which our food is served can have a dramatic effect on the way our senses perceive the food.</p> 2020-01-04T09:09:00.0000000+11:00 New Ground-Based Indoor Positioning Tech Is Accurate Down To Just A Few Inches <p><!-- - break - -->Indoor navigation is most certainly the holy grail for positioning system makers right now. Satellite-based location technologies like GPS work wonderfully out under the open sky, where signals bounced from satellites to receivers on the ground are unhindered by man-made structures or natural obstructions. Take that same technology into the subway or a large shopping mall, and the signal goes dead. But a new ground-based positioning system called Locata could soon replace or augment satnav using radio signals that are a million times stronger than GPS signals, indoors or out.</p> 2020-01-04T06:30:00.0000000+11:00 Everything You Read About Health Is Wrong <p><!-- - break - -->There's a major problem in health journalism: It's wildly unreliable. As David H. Freedman points out in an excellent critique in the January/ February issue of Columbia Journalism Review, the rate of "overall wrongness" in top medical journals is as much as <em>two thirds</em> - something even the most seasoned science reporters don't point out. The resulting information conveyed to lay readers, is, at best, confusing and, at worst, dead wrong.</p> 2020-01-04T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Say Hello To Mobile Ubuntu, Coming To An Android Phone Near You <p><!-- - break - -->It's not every day that we see a new mobile OS, even if it's not <em>entirely</em> new. Canonical, makers of Ubuntu, the largest distro of Linux, showed off a very-nearly-finished build of the Ubuntu mobile OS yesterday, and it actually looks pretty good! </p> 2020-01-04T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 2013 Prediction: Stem Cells Sidestep Controversy <p>During 2012, two scientific teams announced, in separate studies, that they had transformed ordinary adult skin cells into neural cells, a breakthrough that could change the course of human stem cell research. Stem cells hold enormous potential for medicine because they can develop from undifferentiated cells into a variety of specialized ones. But their use has been stymied by ethical concerns; most are harvested from human embryos, which are destroyed in the process. </p> 2020-01-04T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Babies Pick Up On Language Before They're Even Born <p><!-- - break - -->Research suggests we pick up on the nuts and bolts of speech six months after birth. But a new study suggests newborns have already learned parts of a language, can distinguish between their native tongue and a foreign one, and even - in a really weird way - demonstrate that they know the difference, much earlier than we thought. </p> 2020-01-03T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: What Is This 'Vital Equipment' On The International Space Station? <p><!-- - break - -->International Space Station astronaut Chris Hadfield just tweeted this photo of... some sort of tank or something on board the International Space Station. </p> 2020-01-03T08:30:00.0000000+11:00 A Map Of Every Person In The US And Canada <p><!-- - break - -->Here's a <a href="" target="_blank">pretty cool interactive map</a> made by Brandon Martin-Anderson showing, according to census data, every single person in the United States and Canada. The map uses the 2010 US census and the 2011 Canadian census, for a total of 341,817,095. But interestingly, there are no other visual aids - no landmarks, no borders, no rivers or lakes. So if you want to find your Seppo friends or relatives, you'll have to go by population groups, which gets pretty difficult as you zoom further in. Unless you live in Nunavut or something.</p> 2020-01-03T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 This Robot Vomits So You Won't Have To <p><!-- - break - -->Sometimes inventions, even the important ones, aren't pretty. Case in point: this vomiting robot. It could help us understand, and then battle, an illness that no one's found a cure for in 40 years. Even if it's not the cutest 'bot out there. </p> 2020-01-03T06:30:00.0000000+11:00 NASA Considers Tugging An Asteroid Into Orbit Around The Moon <p><!-- - break - -->NASA's (and President Obama's) vision for sending a manned space mission to a distant asteroid by the 2020s doesn't seem to be gaining much steam, but a conceptual mission under development by the Keck Institute for Space Studies in California could bring an asteroid much closer to home in that timeframe. An estimated $2.6 billion could fund a mission that would send a robotic spacecraft out into interplanetary space and drag an asteroid into orbit around the moon where robots and even humans could explore it far more conveniently.</p> 2020-01-03T05:31:00.0000000+11:00 People Like Science, Says The New York Times <p>The New York Times published a little trend piece that argues "social media and science found each other in 2012." Evidence cited: there were scientific or science-related events that broke through to become part of the general public conversation...</p> 2020-01-03T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 Neil Armstrong Planned 'Small Step For Man' Line Months Before The Moon Landing <p><!-- - break - -->Neil Armstrong always maintained that he'd thought up possibly the most famous line in American history just after landing on the moon, but in an interview with <em>The Telegraph</em>, his brother says the origin story starts months before the landing, back on earth, and with a game of Risk. </p> 2020-01-03T03:51:00.0000000+11:00 How Birds Learn To Sing <p><!-- - break - -->Birds learn to sing in much the same way humans learn to talk: by listening to, and then imitating, the vocal sounds of their elders. Of course, those sounds rarely come out right the first time, but a fledgling's sense of hearing can tell her just how off the mark she is. If a note is too low, she'll know to whistle it higher next time, and that feedback helps birds (and us) learn how to communicate.</p> 2020-01-03T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 2013 Prediction: Hackers Attack Mobile Phones <p>In 2009, the annual Pwn2Own cybersecurity competition provided hackers with a shot at cracking smartphones. They failed. In September, the event offered phones as targets again. This time, contestants seized control of them, successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in the two most popular operating systems, iOS and Android. </p> 2020-01-03T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 2013 Prediction: Physics Enters A New Era <p>On July 4, 2020, a panel of scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva announced the discovery of a new particle, the long-anticipated Higgs boson (or something very much like it). The Higgs is the final piece of the Standard Model of particle physics, a theory that accounts for everything we experience in our lives, from rocks to puppies to stars and planets. After decades of searching and billions of dollars, the Higgs discovery marked the end of one era and the beginning of another, which scientists will embark upon in 2013.</p> 2020-01-02T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 New Technique To Study The Impact Of Cell Phone Radiation <p><!-- - break - -->Concerns about the health risks associated with cell phones date back almost to the dawn of the industry. Over the last four decades, while cell phones shrunk and multiplied and worked their way into the very fabric of human existence, the vague threat of danger has slunk along behind like a faint but troubling and unshakeable odor: do what they could, scientists couldn't quite eliminate it, and they couldn't quite define it, either. The best they've been able to do is say that the radiation coming from cell phones may or may not cause cancer.</p> 2020-01-01T07:50:00.0000000+11:00 Next-Gen Space Rovers <p><!-- - break - -->NASA's past few Mars rovers have been friendly robots with head-like masts and cameras for eyes, easily anthropomorphized and adored. The next generation might be decidedly less cute - they resemble a medieval battle mace. </p> 2020-01-01T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Giant Panda Genome Holds Recipe For Powerful Antibiotic <p>Scientists have found the code for a powerful antibiotic within the giant panda genome, according to a story in the Telegraph. Pandas' immune systems naturally produce the small anti-bacterial protein, but their critically low numbers and almost invariable failure to breed in captivity rule the animals out as a potential source for the compound. </p> 2020-01-01T05:13:00.0000000+11:00 How The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Made Kids Fat <p><!-- - break - -->After a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011, causing major meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, local schools restricted outdoor activities and parents (understandably) wanted to keep their children indoors. That's had an unexpected consequence. Fukushima children 5 to 9 and 14 to 17 are the fattest in the country. </p> 2020-01-01T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 People Mostly Ignore Smart TV Features, Because They Are Bad <p>A new survey finds that most people with smart TVs aren't using the majority of the smart features.</p> 2020-01-01T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Does Pot Use Cause Psychosis, Or Does Psychosis Cause Pot Use? <p><!-- - break - -->The link between teenagers smoking pot and psychosis is ripe for a correlation-causation debacle. Studies have indicated there's a relationship between psychotic symptoms and above-average marijuana use, but the reasons behind that correlation are not clear. Does pot cause psychosis in teens, or are teens with mental health issues retreating into marijuana use to deal with those issues? </p> 2020-01-01T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Why Do We Crave Greasy Food When We're Hung Over? <p><!-- - break - -->The desire to eat high-fat foods after drinking too much is rooted in human's earliest, humblest beginnings, some scientists say. </p> 2020-01-01T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 What It's Like To Use The Beautiful, Futuristic Nest Thermostat <p>The Nest thermostat is a test case for the proposition that better consumer products can save the world. It is indeed an excellent consumer product, but the early results on world-saving are inconclusive.</p> 2020-12-29T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 The Great Antarctic Search For Life Is Over (For Now) <p><!-- - break - -->The British Antarctic Survey above Lake Ellsworth was a Great White Hope for discovering never-before-seen life. Scientists spent years planning an ambitious study of the lake, which sits two miles below the Antarctic surface, hoping to burrow through the ice with a hot-water drill. If they'd arrived at the bottom, the team might've found microbes with biology never observed by humans. Instead, the team's heading home. </p> 2020-12-29T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Human Penis Size, Illuminati, And The Other Most Popular Wikipedia Pages Of 2012 <p><!-- - break - -->A barebones site <a href="">has collected</a> the 100 most popular Wikipedia stories from each major language. The different languages have different pages entirely, as they're more like localized versions of Wikipedia than translated versions of the original, English-language site. The view counts are public; anyone can check and see the popularity of any individual page. So what was the most popular?</p> 2020-12-29T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Science Confirms The Obvious: Being Nice Helps You Make Friends <p><!-- - break - -->After conducting a month-long study with several hundred Canadian tweens, researchers have arrived at the conclusion that permeates every after-school special you've ever been bored enough to watch: being nice makes people like you. </p> 2020-12-28T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 US Forensic Crime Labs Are A Mess. What Happened? <p><!-- - break - -->Earlier this month, we wrote about Annie Dookhan, a forensic chemist at a Massachusetts-based crime lab who stands accused of some pretty stark negligence. Turns out she's not the only one. Problems in crime labs have reached the top levels of government and spread out across the country, shining a spotlight on the troublesome role of science in criminal cases. </p> 2020-12-28T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Stuffing Your Face With Holiday Bikkies Disrupts Your Body Clock <p><!-- - break - -->Blue-spectrum light and weird work schedules can easily interfere with our bodies' master clocks, but did you know that food can, too? All those cookies and pies you've been eating this week are going to mess with your sleep, especially when you're nibbling on them all day. Holiday travel will make it that much worse.</p> 2020-12-28T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 15 Science and Technology News Bytes From 2013 <p>And now! A collection of science nibbles you'll be hearing more about throughout 2013. Enjoy!</p> 2020-12-28T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 Global Warming Triggers Volcanic Eruptions, Scientists Say <p><!-- - break - -->Here's an idea you've probably heard before: volcanic eruptions - the big, explosive Pinatubo kind - spew millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, and the sulfur dioxide stays there for a few years, reflecting sunlight and cooling down the planet for a few years. In other words, eruptions can affect climate. </p> 2020-12-28T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 FDA Says Giant, Genetically Modified Salmon Is Environmentally Safe <p><!-- - break - -->The AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically modified fish that grows year round and much faster than a natural salmon, has been approved for human consumption for years now (at least in the US). But one consistent hurdle to getting the "FrankenFish" on supermarket shelves is the suspected environmental impact. </p> 2020-12-27T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 Science Confirms The Obvious: Kids With Allergies Get Bullied <p><!-- - break - -->It's bad enough that they have to avoid milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A new study reveals that kids with allergies also get picked on at lunch. </p> 2020-12-27T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 GameSci: The Wii U's Unlikely Influence <p><!-- - break - -->To most of the world, Sega's Visual Memory Unit has been been dead for the better part of a decade, forgotten as a footnote in the annals of videogame history. It was a memory card, shaped mostly like a Tamagotchi, that slipped into the giant controller of a Sega Dreamcast, with its tiny, 1.5-inch greyscale screen peeking through a little cut-out. If players wanted to, they could pull it out of the controller and, using two buttons and a control pad, play rudimentary mini-games. It was a smallish element of a failed console released 13 years ago from a company that no longer even makes hardware. </p> 2020-12-27T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Robot Boy To Be 'Born' In 9 Months <p>Where are our mass-produced robot butlers already, the Rosies of our Jetsons families? Still a ways off, unfortunately, but here's the next best thing: 'Roboy,' a child-like service bot that researchers are billing as "one of the most advanced humanoid robots."</p> 2020-12-27T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Asparagus Prevents Hangovers, Incredibly Useful Study Finds <p><!-- - break - -->It's the holidays, so maybe you've been drinking too much. And maybe you've been dealing with a few too many hangovers. But no more. Just stuff some asparagus in your pocket and enjoy your New Year's Eve. </p> 2020-12-27T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Which Computer Is Smarter, Watson Or Deep Blue? <p>Humans haven't fared well against IBM computers.Record-holding <em>Jeopardy!</em> champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter lost to IBM's Watson last year on national television. Garry Kasparov, often considered history's greatest chess player, fell to IBM's Deep Blue in 1997. </p> 2020-12-27T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What Causes Motion Sickness, And How Do You Cure It? <p><!-- - break - -->Motion sickness is a mismatch between what your body and your brain is experiencing, says Dr. Sujana Chandrasekhar, director of New York Otology and ENT surgeon at the New York Head and Neck Institute. </p> 2020-12-25T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Q+A: Cody Wilson Of The Wiki Weapon Project On The 3-D Printed Future of Firearms <p><!-- - break - --> The Wiki Weapon project is an initiative undertaken by Defense Distributed, a non-profit headed by University of Texas law student Cody Wilson aimed at generating a freely-distributed, open source design for a 3-D printed firearm - an idea that has come under serious fire from proponents of increased gun control in the U.S., particularly in light of last week's tragic shooting of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The idea behind the project - embraced by some, absolutely detested by others - is that technology will soon make regulating firearms virtually impossible. That is a very polarizing idea. But to say the very least Wiki Weapons is also a technologically intriguing project, one that forces us to examine some very relevant - some might say ominous - questions about new technological capabilities and where they are taking us, as well as what happens when technology gets way out in front of the law. We spoke with Wilson briefly this week hoping to address some of these questions. Below is an edited transcript of that conversation.</p> 2020-12-22T08:50:00.0000000+11:00 Study: Online User Reviews Influence Us In Ways We Don't Even Realise <p><!-- - break - -->Nowadays, many of us rely on online user reviews, instead of expert opinions or the advice of family and friends, for help making decisions both big and small. If we want to know about a restaurant, a hotel, a product - or even a neighborhood, a school district, a church, a donut shop or a barber - we tap the web and the massive database of reviews that populates it. Turns out those reviews are influencing us in ways we might not realize.</p> 2020-12-22T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 A Homemade Rocket Ship for the Masses <p>Anyone with enough brains and balls can build their own rocket and fly it to space. Or at least that's what the non-profit, open source space project Copenhagen Suborbitals wants to prove.</p> 2020-12-22T04:01:00.0000000+11:00 Male Peacocks Try To Attract Females While Already Bonking Other Females <p><!-- - break - -->A study at Duke University sought to uncover the meaning behind the peacock's so-called "hoot dash" display. The hoot dash is a peculiar courtship move in which a male peacock emits a loud noise, something like the honk of a clown's horn, right before copulation. The female peahen is already ready for mating; why does the male need to let out this powerful squawk?</p> 2020-12-22T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 How To Survive The Apocalypse, Cold War-Style <p><!-- - break - -->The world is definitely not going to end today. So don't worry. But! If you enjoy worrying, or just really want to be prepared for future apocalypses, then the March 1951 issue of <em>Popular Science</em> is required reading. In the middle of the Cold War, we published an eerily-illustrated handbook for surviving an atomic bomb strike, from preparing your family's foxhole to what to do if you're caught outside during the blast. Unfortunately, none of these preparations were likely to do much good if your neighborhood was actually hit by a nuclear bomb, but some of the advice might come in handy against mysterious Mayan voodoo (or whatever.)</p> 2020-12-22T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 How Genetics Is Perfecting The Christmas Tree <p><!-- - break - -->With just a few days left until Christmas, my tree is barely holding on - to its needles, to its stiffness, and to its dignity. It was an early tree this year, the result of the earliest possible Thanksgiving, but it was more than that. There was something about this tree that made it dry out quickly, and make it less likely to keep its thin needles. It is a Fraser fir, <em>Abies fraseriis</em>, so this was a surprise to John Frampton. </p> 2020-12-22T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 BeerSci: How Beer Gets Its Colour <p><!-- - break - -->Before you read this column, I urge you to pop open a belated birthday beer. Pour that beer into a clear glass (pint or tulip, your choice), hold it up to the light, and take a good look at the color. </p> 2020-12-21T08:01:00.0000000+11:00 Inject Rhino Horns With Poison, That'll Stop Poachers <p><!-- - break - -->In South Africa, conservationists have had to come up with new and more innovative ways to prevent poachers from killing the local rhinoceros for their horns. Enter the Rhino Rescue Project. </p> 2020-12-21T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 How To 3D Print A Record <p><!-- - break - -->Try to spin these 3D printed vinyl analogs at your next party, and the dance floor will likely grind to a halt. But the technique created by Instructables assistant tech editor Amanda Ghassaei for converting digital audio files into printable, playable 33 rpm records is actually pretty amazing, and as 3-D printer resolution continues ticking upward, the sound quality can only get better and better.</p> 2020-12-21T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Study: We Can Spot Powerful Leaders In 2 Minutes <p><!-- - break - -->Thought experiment: What if you didn't know Barack Obama was president? Would you be able to spot him in a crowd - single him out as a leader? A new study suggests you might. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that people can identify leaders by sight - all it takes is about two minutes.</p> 2020-12-21T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What Kind Of Dinosaur Meat Would Taste Best? <p><!-- - break - -->An ostrich-like dinosaur known as an <em>ornithomimid</em> would probably yield the most consumer-friendly cut of meat, while still maintaining a unique dinosaur taste. </p> 2020-12-21T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Engineer Algae To Produce New Targeted Cancer Therapy <p><!-- - break - -->If traditional cancer therapies like chemotherapy are the WMDs of medicine - powerful, indiscriminate killers - targeted drug therapies are the assassins, trained to seek out and destroy enemy cancer cells, one at a time. </p> 2020-12-21T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Paper Waste Makes World's Grossest-Looking Bricks <p><!-- - break - -->We don't want to be unkind, because it's nice that people are working toward a future where we won't have to rely on traditional brick-making methods, which produce tons of carbon dioxide. But a new idea for "green" bricks is a little less, uh, aesthetically pleasing than other ones we've noticed. </p> 2020-12-21T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Genetically-Engineered Stingray-Skin Sneakers Are A Hoax <p>Back in June, news sites began picking up the story of Rayfish Footwear, which claimed it could genetically engineer stingrays to have whatever skin pattern or color you want, and then make you some cool sneakers out of it. Just like we thought, that is not possible, and the company is fake. NextNature, the Dutch organization behind Rayfish (they've also done other pranks), just released a video documenting the prank, though it's not totally clear what point they were trying to make with the whole thing. Video after the jump.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-12-20T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 We Want These "Ultrastretchable" Charging Cables Now, Please <p><!-- - break - -->At some point soon, we'll have wireless everything - wireless charging, wireless syncing, wireless video, wireless audio. We've already got a lot of that stuff, in fact. But today, we still need wires and cables, and a new creation from researchers at North Carolina State University could make them much more usable - by making them stretchy.</p> 2020-12-20T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 These Massive Extinct Eagles Could Have Carried Off That Toddler's Dad <p><!-- - break - -->Last night, a video supposedly showing a golden eagle swooping down to pluck a toddler from a Montreal park - it was unsuccessful, luckily - hit the internet. Great video! This morning, avian experts both amateur and professional began weighing in, saying the video was doctored, that the bird in question was not actually a golden eagle, that the bird's behaviour is unusual and that, all in all, it's probably fake. </p> 2020-12-20T06:15:00.0000000+11:00 Nearby Star Tau Ceti Could Have A Habitable Planet <p><!-- - break - -->It was really big news back in October when astronomers discovered an Earth-sized planet whipping around Alpha Centauri B, a star in the Alpha Centauri system, the closest star system to Earth. Now, it turns out the nearest single sun-like star to us is likely also harboring planets - five of them - and one looks to be orbiting in the so-called "goldilocks zone."</p> 2020-12-20T06:04:00.0000000+11:00 The Eagle-Snatching-Baby Video Is Insane, But It's Also Fake <p>From <a href="" target="_blank">Motherboard:</a> I knew we were all in for an <em>epic display of virality</em> (sorry) last night when I saw about a dozen unrelated people share the same video last night, a video that features a toddler in Montreal, one turned into a tasty, immobile package of calories by its winter clothing, get snatched up by a golden eagle and dropped on its head. Whether or not you've seen it already, watch it again. Don't worry, I'll wait.</p> 2020-12-20T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: A Rare And Spectacular View Of Saturn <p><!-- - break - -->Cassini, the NASA spacecraft that has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, captured this spectacular portrait on October 17. In the image, the sun is positioned behind Saturn, backlighting the fragments of ice that make up its rings, while the planet itself - the side we can see, anyway - remains in darkness. </p> 2020-12-20T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Would Arming Teachers And Students Really Have Prevented A Tragedy? <p><!-- - break - -->A recent bill sent from the Michigan House of Representatives to the Governor would make it easier to carry a concealed weapon in a school. After Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger said the policy could have been "the difference between life and death for many innocent bystanders."</p> 2020-12-20T02:30:00.0000000+11:00 Scan Of Mummy Reveals Pharaoh Died With His Throat Slit <p><!-- - break - --> The end of the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses III's reign was never meant to be a mystery for the ages. The Egyptians left behind a number of detailed historical documents that clearly lay out some basic details: In the year 1155 BC, members of the pharaoh's harem attempted to kill him as part of a coup. The plan was found out and the conspirators were tried in court, convicted, and punished. </p> 2020-12-19T10:00:00.0000000+11:00 Peter Thiel's Latest Pet Project: Tornado-Powered Energy <p><!-- - break - -->Billionaire Peter Thiel is already trying to create all sorts of zany things: 3D printed meat, reconstructed brain tissue, antimatter-fuelled spaceships and more. Now he wants to harness tornadoes. To produce energy.</p> 2020-12-19T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 Smartphone-Controlled Japanese Toilet Keeps A Personal Poop Diary <p><!-- - break - -->The day will come, and come soon, when we will control our entire domestic lives with a phone. We will turn the lights on and off, we will change the temperature to the precise level we desire, we will cook our dinners and make our beds and brew our coffee and close our blinds and feed our pets with a tap and a swipe. We can do most of that now, in fact, though it's kind of expensive and cobbled-together to implement. </p> 2020-12-19T08:45:00.0000000+11:00 A Spider Builds Fake Spiders To Psych Out Predators <p><!-- - break - -->Don't be fooled: this isn't a real spider. It's a fabrication! A lie! It's a decoy spider built from twigs, leaves, debris, dead insects, and whatever stuff nightmares are made of. </p> 2020-12-19T08:05:00.0000000+11:00 Ping Pong Ball-Sized Robots Can Swarm Together To Form A Smart Liquid <p><!-- - break - -->Some of the best robot swarms we've seen can either fly in formation or swim in a group, and while these are certainly awesome, they represent somewhat singular abilities. A new swarm that looks like a bunch of ping pong balls is both simpler and more complex, with potentially much more flexibility.</p> 2020-12-19T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Why Are Architects Deploying Drones? <p><!-- - break - -->Drones have been taking on more creative jobs lately. (Artsy skateboarding photographer? Check. Local news reporter? Check.) So it was just a matter of time before drones joined the construction game.</p> 2020-12-19T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 Stem Cell Surgery Led To Bones Growing In Patient's Eye <p>Stem cell surgery, in which stem cells from a patient's body are transplanted into some other part of the body, is gaining in popularity. One patient in Los Angeles found out the hard way that the surgery is largely untested and unregulated. </p> 2020-12-19T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Revisiting Britain's Biggest Hoax: Who Faked The Bones Of The Piltdown Man? <p><!-- - break - -->On December 18, 2020, Charles Dawson told The Geological Society of London that a workman had uncovered the remains of one of the earliest humans in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England. The skull fragments and lower jaw bone of the "Piltdown Man" showed that it had a brain two-thirds the size of a modern human's and a jaw remarkably similar to that of a young chimpanzee.</p> 2020-12-19T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 NASA's Twin Moon Probes Crash Successfully Into Moon! <p><!-- - break - -->After 350 days in lunar orbit, the twin probes Ebb and Flow ended their mission today with a carefully planned dive into a mountain near the moon's north pole. The probes' crash site has been named in honor of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. </p> 2020-12-18T10:30:00.0000000+11:00 IBM Predicts: Cognitive Computers That Feel And Smell, Within The Next Five Years <p><!-- - break - -->At the end of each year, IBM releases its "5 in 5" - five technology predictions that IBM researchers foresee coming to fruition within the coming five years. These predictions are based on everything from emerging market trends to cultural and social behaviors to actual technologies IBM has incubating in its many labs. And if this year's predictions are to be believed, many computational systems - from your tablet and laptop to your smartphone - are about to get a lot more sensory, learning to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell in their own digital ways.</p> 2020-12-18T09:01:00.0000000+11:00 Asterank 3D: A Visual Guide To Getting Rich In Space <p><!-- - break - --> Imagine it: trillions of dollars worth of precious metals, fossil fuels, and fresh water, just lying around waiting to be claimed by anybody with a little know-how and an adventurer's spirit - any lucky person willing to travel a few million km into the great black unknown, latch on to a big hunk of funny-shaped rock, and claim 'em!</p> 2020-12-18T08:01:00.0000000+11:00 Fitness Trackers Make Terrible Gifts <p><!-- - break - -->Fitness trackers, little pedometer-type things that purport to measure your activity and help you get into shape, are on about a billion gift guides this year. But maybe they shouldn't be. Here are the two most pressing reasons not to buy someone a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, or Jawbone Up as a gift. </p> 2020-12-18T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 North Korea's Satellite Is Still Tumbling And Likely Completely Dead <p>More bad news for North Korea on the first anniversary of dearly departed leader Kim Jong-il's death: the satellite it launched into orbit last week is not only tumbling out of control, but is also likely completely dead, astronomers say.</p> 2020-12-18T06:47:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Use A Virus To Reconstruct The Heart's Own Pacemaker <p><!-- - break - -->A slight genetic tweak can restart the heart's own innate pacemaker system, according to new research. Someday, newly jumpstarted internal pacemakers could eliminate the need for electrical implants.</p> 2020-12-18T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Paralysed Woman Can Eat A Chocolate Bar, With Graceful Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm <p><!-- - break - -->Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have created a prosthetic arm that is the most sophisticated mind-controlled prosthesis ever created. Using a mix of cutting edge hardware and complex programming, the team has enabled a 52-year-old woman paralyzed from the neck down by a degenerative neurological disorder to move a robotic arm and hand with a degree of nuance and fluidity never before seen.</p> 2020-12-18T05:04:00.0000000+11:00 5 Petitions For Things Less Important To US Prosperity Than A Death Star <p><!-- - break - -->The people of the United States have spoken. A White House petition to begin construction of a Death Star by 2016 has reached the 25,000-signature threshold, meaning the White House now has to respond. </p> 2020-12-18T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Google Hires Ray Kurzweil To Head Its Engineering Lab <p><!-- - break - -->The singularity is nearer. Or, if you take the viewpoint of Technology Review, maybe the singularity is dead, now that Google has hired Ray Kurzweil to lead its engineering lab. </p> 2020-12-18T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 To Pinpoint Audio Evidence, UK Police Record 7 Years Of Background Noise <p><!-- - break - --> Metropolitan police in London have been recording the hum of the nation's electrical grid for the last seven years, the BBC reports. And not just for fun: fluctuations in the sound enable audio forensic experts to pinpoint the time when any digital recording - of, say, a phone call - was made.</p> 2020-12-18T00:58:00.0000000+11:00 Watch: Asteroid Toutatis Twirling Through Space During Earth Flyby <p><!-- - break - -->The three-mile-long chunk of space rock that swung past Earth early this week never got closer than a distance of about four million miles, but NASA scientists still managed to catch it on tape.</p> 2020-12-15T08:28:00.0000000+11:00 How Roald Amundsen Won The Race To The Bottom Of The World <p><!-- - break - -->On December 14, 2020, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen's five-man expedition arrived at the South Pole on skis and dogsleds, beating Robert F. Scott's ill-fated team by a month. Amundsen, who left medical school at age 21 for a life at sea, was also the first person to cross the North Pole by airship and the first to traverse Canada's Northwest Passage. </p> 2020-12-15T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Who Were The First Organisms To Live On Land? <p><!-- - break - -->A new paper out in the journal Nature this week has stirred up an old debate among geologists about when, exactly, life on Earth first colonised dry land. </p> 2020-12-15T07:02:00.0000000+11:00 Adorable Beagle Diagnoses Deadly Infections By Sniffing You <p><!-- - break - -->In hospitals, a nasty little bacterium called <em>Clostridium difficile</em> causes problems for patients - it's highly infectious and can cause diarrhea among people who are already sick. Diagnosing whether a patient has <em>C. diff</em>, as it's called, requires a stool sample, which can take days to analyse. So scientists at the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam trained a beagle named Cliff to sniff out the nasty bacterium. The craziest part? Cliff doesn't need to sniff stool samples - he can tell just by walking up to a patient as the patient lies in bed.</p> 2020-12-15T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 How Many Model Rockets Would You Need To Get To Space? [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->Today, the always-great web-comic XKCD gets Wile E. Coyote on everyone by explaining how many model rockets you'd need to shoot a rocket into space. (Spoiler: you will need several model rockets.)</p> 2020-12-15T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Sculptures Reimagine Pasta And Bamboo As Bacteria And DNA <p>We only know a few things about these sculptural interpretations of the microscopic world from artist Sinead Foley. 1) The bacteria and cells are made mostly from everyday objects, like pasta. 2) The results are surprisingly detailed (maybe done through 3-D modeling?). 3) Every photo is <em>stunning</em>.</p> 2020-12-15T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Are You Healthy Enough To Fly To Space? <p><!-- - break - -->In a sign of the times in which we now live, a paper published in the latest edition of medical journal <em>BMJ</em> advises clinicians that they will soon be asked to clear patients for the rigors of spaceflight, and they need to be ready to do so. With space tourism becoming more feasible for more and more people, it's inevitable that patients are going so start asking their doctors for such evaluations, just as they might ask if they are health enough to go scuba diving or mountain climbing.</p> 2020-12-15T01:56:00.0000000+11:00 NASA's Twin Orbiters Will Crash Into The Moon On Monday <p><!-- - break - -->Just shy of a full year encircling the moon, NASA's twin lunar probes are bidding farewell on Monday, crashing in a controlled fashion into a small mountain-like formation at the moon's north pole. The GRAIL twins, nicknamed Ebb and Flow, are almost out of fuel and their lives would come to an end anyway - but rather than let them fall out of the lunar sky, as it were, NASA is performing a kind of spacecraft euthanasia.</p> 2020-12-14T09:04:00.0000000+11:00 New Venomous Primate Species Discovered In Borneo <p><!-- - break - -->In the jungles of Borneo, an international team of researchers have discovered a new species of slow loris, and classified two previously known subspecies as distinct species in their own rights. That up there is the <em>Kayan</em> loris, the new species.</p> 2020-12-14T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 North Korea's Satellite Is Tumbling Out Of Control <p><!-- - break - -->Here's something troubling to start your afternoon: North Korea launched a new satellite into space earlier this week and now it's apparently tumbling out of control amid all the other satellites that the world relies on.</p> 2020-12-14T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Thank You, Apple Maps. Now Go Away. <p><!-- - break - -->The terrifying few months of what will be forever known as Apple Mapgate (no it won't) are over. Google just released Google Maps for the iPhone, so we can all stick Apple Maps in our "Utilities" folder on our homescreens where it can sit comfortably next to other useless apps like Compass and Stocks. But here's the weird thing: Google didn't just package up the old Google Maps for iOS app and re-release it. They spent the past few months actually making a better app, with features the iOS version of Google Maps never had before. </p> 2020-12-14T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 How To Make Beer [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->When the United States ratified the Twenty-First Amendment in 1933, <em>Popular Science</em> celebrated the end of Prohibition by getting completely wasted (probably) and publishing this lovely infographic on how to make beer. "With the removal of national restrictions against the manufacture and sale of beer, American brewers are again in action," said our June 1933 issue. "Their operations represent one of the most extensive applications of modern industrial chemistry."</p> 2020-12-14T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Could Scientists Have Found A Gay Switch? <p><!-- - break - -->Gayness may not be in our genes, but in the molecules that regulate them. New research suggests that epigenetic factors - chemical "switches" attached to genes that turn them on or off - are a more plausible heritable mechanism behind homosexuality than DNA itself. </p> 2020-12-14T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 North Korea's Rocket Launch - Imminent Doom? No. <p><!-- - break - -->Late yesterday, North Korea joined the spacefaring nations club, when it successfully launched a rudimentary satellite that now appears to be in orbit. North Korea being North Korea, this was a troublesome development. The nation's insular, military leadership is widely regarded as a rogue regime. It has brazenly developed a nuclear weapons program in the face of international objection and regular economic sanctions. And its "peaceful" space program is largely (and by my most expert accounts, accurately) perceived as a front for intercontinental ballistic missile technology.</p> 2020-12-13T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 Digital Tool Ages Your Face To Scare You Into Saving Money <p><!-- - break - -->Did you know that if you see an age-enhanced version of yourself, you're more likely to save extra money for retirement? Stanford researchers know, because they studied that effect in 2011, and Bank of America division Merrill Edge knows, because they're pointing to the Stanford study as the rationale behind a newly released online digital-aging program that exists to remind you that you're going to get old and die. </p> 2020-12-13T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 For New Lamps, An Unlikely Energy Source: Gravity <p>Kerosene lamps used in off-grid, rural areas are a major problem. They're bad for people's health and the environment's. One startup's solution is to tap another, greener resource, something we all have in abundance: gravity.</p> 2020-12-13T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 A Hauntingly Beautiful Skateboarding Video Shot With A Hexacopter Drone <p>Among those who appreciate the craft, the skateboarding video is a cherished art form that has long been associated with unconventional filmmaking methods. This beautifully executed Czech production is no exception, shot via the versatile perspective of a camera-equipped hexacopter drone that captures an underlit, Tron-like skateboard (and rider) traversing a barren cityscape at night. </p> <p><br /> </p> 2020-12-13T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 PSY, Mars, and Gabby Douglas: Google Sums Up The Year That Was 2012 <p><!-- - break - -->You probably searched Gabby Douglas, Mars Curiosity, and PSY's names on Google or YouTube, because you want to be up to date on news, memes, and tiny gymnasts. What you didn't know was that you were voting with each search. Google assembled the data from search trends to figure out the most-searched things of the year - it's called Zeitgeist 2012.</p> 2020-12-13T06:30:00.0000000+11:00 Very Important Science Finding: Put Your Cask Wine In The Fridge <p><!-- - break - -->Today in Very Important Science: if you're drinking bagged or boxed wine - and we're not going to tell you not to, it's good for you - make sure to keep it at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You snooty oenophiles with your wines in bottles, who cares, do whatever you want with your single-varietal Monopoly Man swill. </p> 2020-12-13T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 These Terrifying Handcuffs Can Shock And Drug Prisoners <p><!-- - break - -->An Arizona-based company recently filed a patent for high-tech futuristic handcuffs that are, in a word, terrifying. In addition to restraining prisoners, the cuffs can also deliver electric shocks and sedatives.</p> 2020-12-13T05:15:00.0000000+11:00 Mexican Drug Smugglers Are Launching Pot Into The US With A Huge Pneumatic Cannon <p><!-- - break - -->When we last checked in on the DIY innovations of Mexican cartel drug smugglers, we found them lobbing four-pound bales of marijuana over the Mexico-Arizona border with a trailer-mounted catapult. But technology never stands still. US Customs and Border Patrol agents recently found 33 canisters of marijuana in a field on the US side near the point where the Colorado River crosses the US-Mexico border, and they think the pot got there after being launched from a huge pneumatic cannon.</p> 2020-12-13T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 RIP Pixels? <p><!-- - break - -->The pixel isn't perfect. For most everything, lining up tiny blocks and displaying them on a screen works well enough. But those blocks have limitations. Now a team of researchers is saying there's a better way to present onscreen images - one that'll replace the pixel in five years. </p> 2020-12-13T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 What Does A Climate Scientist Think Of Glenn Beck's Environmental-Conspiracy Novel? <p><!-- - break - -->When I was first asked to review Glenn Beck's new tome <em>Agenda 21</em>, I feared I could not accomplish the task objectively. After all, Beck - as recounted in my own book <em>The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars</em> - once suggested that I, and indeed all of my fellow climate scientists, commit hara-kiri out of shame for promoting the purportedly bogus science of climate change. Hard not to harbor a bit of a grudge after that.</p> 2020-12-13T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Strangest Thing You'll See Today: Air Pollution Represented By Nostril-Hair Length <p><!-- - break - -->The colored balloons on this map of Asia represent current levels of air pollution, namely particulate pollution, which are at harmful levels for nearly 70% of developing Asian cities, according to Clean Air Asia. But the brightly colored dots on the map probably weren't what caught your eye - maybe it was the giant pigtails sprouting from the lone nose on the right?</p> 2020-12-12T10:00:00.0000000+11:00 China Fires Officials Who Sanctioned Secret Feeding Of Genetically Modified Rice To Kids <p><!-- - break - -->Chinese leaders have fired three government officials involved in a study of genetically modified rice, after complaints that the study's subjects weren't properly informed. The subjects were kids whose parents didn't know what their kids were eating.</p> 2020-12-12T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: Two And A Half Years Of Computer Use In One Incredible Image <p><!-- - break - -->For a project titled Every Day of My Life, artist/programmer/designer Marcin Ignac used software to track, measure, and visualize his computer use every day for 2.5 years. The result: This beautiful, simple look at one of the most prominent aspects of daily life in the 21st century. Each line is a single day, with colors representing which app was being used at the time of day. (So, for example, your line might be red during this time, signaling that you're using your browser.) The black sections are times when he had his computer off - meaning that blacked-out section in every day is probably night. </p> 2020-12-12T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 A Robot With Bones And Muscles <p>We see a <em>lot</em> of robots here, including some that mimic human movement. But this one gets a special prize for having the most muscles - or the robot equivalent, pulley-like contraptions - of any robot based on a natural creature. The final muscle tally for the University of Tokyo's Kenshiro robot is 160, with 50 in the legs, 76 in the trunk, 12 in the shoulder, and 22 in the neck. And it also has a slightly unnerving pair of tennis shoes. </p> 2020-12-12T05:57:00.0000000+11:00 Genetic Researchers Grow A Fish That Has Legs <p><!-- - break - -->The fossil record has a lot of strange stories to tell about the evolution of life on Earth, and one of the strangest is how life moved from sea to land. Though clues from the record give the rough outlines of the story - limbs grew from fins in a series of stages in which fins grew longer and narrower - scientists are still filling in the details, trying to determine what genetic changes might have allowed the limbs to grow. </p> 2020-12-12T05:02:00.0000000+11:00 Concept Of "Purity" Makes Conservatives Care About Environmental Issues <p><!-- - break - -->It's not that political conservatives don't care about things like climate change, recycling and deforestation - it's that they don't care about it the same way liberals do. True, they tend to be less concerned about it at first, but when you give them the right messages, they <em>do</em> care. If environmental issues are couched as defending the Earth's purity and sanctity, that is.</p> 2020-12-12T04:01:00.0000000+11:00 White Nose Syndrome In Bats Could Yield Clues About AIDS <p><!-- - break - -->The millions of bats succumbing to a deadly fungal infection across the US will leave massive ecological holes in their wake - prime predators of insects are disappearing, for one, and cave flora and fauna that depend on bats could be in danger of collapsing. But research on the animals' immune responses could have one silver lining: helping AIDS patients.</p> 2020-12-12T03:02:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: How Long Would It Take Santa To Deliver Presents To Every Kid On Earth? <p><!-- - break - -->About six "Santa months," according to Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University. He's a Santa math specialist (really) whose students took on the problem.</p> 2020-12-12T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 How The Internet Has Spread Around The World [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->When Tim Berner-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1991, it was a bit of a misnomer - at the time, virtually all of the world's five million internet users were concentrated in just 12 countries, and 70 percent were dialing up from within the United States alone. </p> 2020-12-12T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 3D Painting Visualises Earthquakes In Real Time <p><!-- - break - -->Design student James Boock is turning Christchurch's seismology into something more than a record of natural disaster. Quakescape, a project conceived in the aftermath of last year's earthquakes, transforms seismological data into a work of art in realtime, splashing color across a 3D topographical model of Christchurch that corresponds to the magnitude of the earthquakes that occur there.</p> 2020-12-11T10:00:00.0000000+11:00 New Human-Powered Styrofoam Plane <p><!-- - break - --> A team of Japanese motorcycle makers may soon remind the world that another type of bike - one with pedals - can be an incredibly efficient way to get around. Team Aeroscepsy is gunning for a new world record for distance flown in an aircraft under human power.</p> 2020-12-11T07:01:00.0000000+11:00 Take A Virtual Trip To The Moon With Patrick Moore's Handy Guide <p><!-- - break - -->British astronomer and television show host Patrick Moore died Sunday at his home in Selsey, England. He was 89. The beloved xylophone-playing, monocle-wearing scientist published his first paper about the moon when he was just 13 and went on to author more than 60 books about astronomy. </p> 2020-12-11T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Stop Shooting Wolves, You Maniacs <p><!-- - break - -->Last week, an alpha female grey wolf known as 832F, perhaps the most widely seen wolf at Yellowstone National Park, was shot and killed after straying just outside the boundaries of the park and into greater Wyoming. Wyoming is a lunatic state that has legalized the mass shooting of an animal that poses basically no threat to anyone and is, in fact, an essential part of the ecosystem as a whole.</p> 2020-12-11T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Science Can Now Turn Human Urine Into Brain Cells <p><!-- - break - -->It turns out urine isn't just human waste. Chinese researchers have managed to reprogram kidney cells harvested from urine samples into neural cell progenitors - immature brain cells that can develop into various types of glial cells and neurons. Reprogramming cells has been done before, of course, but not with cells gleaned from urine and not via a method this direct (more on that in a moment). The technique could prove extremely helpful to those pursuing treatments for neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.</p> 2020-12-11T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Watch A 10-Story Building Go Up In Two Days <p>Prefabricated structures are getting lots of media attention right now, notably after China's BroadGroup put up a 30-story pre-fab hotel in 15 days with plans to build the world's tallest building in three months using the same technique. Now we have another entry in the taller-than-usual prefab building category: a 10-story building in Mohali, India, that was built in two days. TWO DAYS.</p> 2020-12-11T04:01:00.0000000+11:00 Latest Apple Maps Glitch Strands Motorists In Australian Wilderness <p><!-- - break - -->The Apple Maps saga continues! The latest chapter finds police in Victoria, Australia, issuing a formal warning to motorists not to use the app. The reason: Police there have had to rescue half a dozen motorists who were quite literally lost in the wilderness after using the app's directions to try to navigate between cities. Some were stranded in a national park for up to 24 hours.</p> 2020-12-11T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 Shapeshifting Metamaterial Could Revolutionize How We Treat Wounds <p><!-- - break - -->Researchers at Cornell University have somewhat accidentally created a strange new kind of metamaterial that flows like a liquid metal but also remembers its shape. In the presence of water, the liquid metamaterial snaps back into the form of its original container - a property that could have significant applications in treating wounds and beyond. </p> 2020-12-11T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Why The Only Secure Password Is One You Don't Even Know That You Know <p><!-- - break - -->Hristo Bojinov wants you to forget your password. More precisely, he wants you to never really know it in the first place. Bojinov, a computer scientist at Stanford, and his colleagues have developed a computer program that can implant passwords in a person's subconscious mind - and retrieve them subconsciously too. The technique could make it impossible for, say, a high-security government agent to reveal his password; the agent wouldn't actually know the secret code. Eventually, the use of subconscious passwords could even trickle down to the rest of us. And considering the precarious state of password protection, that probably can't happen soon enough.</p> 2020-12-11T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Why Isn't the US Afraid Of A Tsunami Hitting San Francisco? <p>(<em>This report from the PopSci Mothership in the US - pertinent because our editor-in-chief lives in California...</em>)</p> <p><!-- - break - -->When news broke of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake off the eastern coast of Japan early this morning, our first reaction was to fear a tsunami. The devastating earthquake that hit Japan last March and left 15,000 dead was in large part so damaging because of the ensuing tsunami, massive waves of ocean water which crashed up to six miles inland and over a hundred feet high. Luckily, Japan today's earthquake and its aftershocks seem to have minimal adverse effect, and the waves are not high enough to be damaging.</p> 2020-12-08T08:07:00.0000000+11:00 AirHarp, The Instrument You Play Without Touching Anything <p><!-- - break - --> It looks like magic, but it's just technology. For a casual weekend hack, developer Adam Somers used a Leap Motion USB motion sensor device to turn his computer into a musical instrument. By adjusting settings in the AirHarp app and waving his fingers around like a wizard casting a hex, Somers was able to recreate the sound of a harp, playing in different keys, melodies and timbres. Watch the video to see and hear what we're talking about.</p> 2020-12-08T07:04:00.0000000+11:00 New Microscopy Technique Gets Close Enough To See The Lengths Of Atomic Bonds <p>For the first time, scientists have used an imaging technique that's so precise that it's possible to see the different lengths of individual atomic bonds.</p> 2020-12-08T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Secret Weapons Behind Pearl Harbour <p><!-- - break - -->Today, the US marks 71 years since the attack on Pearl Harbour that catapulted the United States into World War II (it was yesterday for us, of course). The attack was devastating. More than 2,400 people died and more than 1,000 were wounded. It was also, in the cold language of military science, wildly successful.</p> 2020-12-08T05:15:00.0000000+11:00 How To Scrub GPS Data From Your Photos; Or, How To Be Smarter Than Vice <p><!-- - break - -->John McAfee - anti-virus pioneer, "person of interest" in Belize murder investigation, and launcher of increasingly bizarre media stories - has been captured. It happened after journalists from <em>Vice</em> accidentally published an iPhone photo of McAfee with embedded GPS data. </p> 2020-12-08T04:01:00.0000000+11:00 Does Edible Deodorant Work? <p>The makers of Deo Perfume Candy claim that if you eat a few of their pink lozenges, the odour compounds contained therein will travel through your body and start oozing out of your pores, giving you a vague and pleasant rose-smelling aura. That's right. It's edible deodorant. But don't throw out your Speed Stick just yet. I tried it for a week, and suffice it to say "pleasant" is a wild overstatement.</p> 2020-12-08T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 Moon Trips: Only $750 Million! <p><!-- - break - -->On the heels of SpaceX's vision of a human colony on Mars, here's another idea for people who think of outer space the way the rest of us think of Hawaii: a space-tourism startup is selling trips to the moon at $750 million each.</p> 2020-12-07T10:00:00.0000000+11:00 Video: A Black Hawk Helicopter Goes Autonomous <p><!-- - break - -->Our brand new drones aren't the only things becoming increasingly autonomous. This newly-released video of a November 5 flight over the Diablo Range in California shows a US Army Black Hawk helicopter autonomously navigating through hills and valleys at low altitude. </p> 2020-12-07T06:02:00.0000000+11:00 Samsung's Galaxy Camera Is The Camera Of The Future [Review] <p><!-- - break - -->To review the Samsung Galaxy Camera, Popular Photography's Dan Bracaglia lends his photographic expertise to talk about the camera from a photog's perspective, while Popular Science's gadget reviewer, Dan Nosowitz, reviews the camera from a gadget-geek's perspective.</p> 2020-12-07T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 How Scientists Turn The Ocean Into A Controlled Laboratory <p><!-- - break - -->When marine biologist David Kline, of Australia's University of Queensland, set out for Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef, he and his team were determined to help answer a pressing question: How will rising acidity from climate change affect coral reefs? So they brought along their Coral Proto FOCE, the first device that lets scientists manipulate acidity in a reef's natural environment. </p> 2020-12-07T03:01:00.0000000+11:00 You Built What?!: A Remote-Controlled Robo-Arm <p><!-- - break - -->Two summers ago, Easton LaChappelle thought it would be fun to build a robotic arm controlled wirelessly using a glove. LaChappelle, then 14, knew nothing about electronics, programming, or robots-but he was bored and desperate for a challenge. So over the next couple of years, the teen, now a high school junior, toiled in his cramped bedroom workshop in Mancos, Colorado, ironing out the details. In time, he emerged with a robo-arm operated by a gaming glove-and his mind.</p> 2020-12-07T01:59:00.0000000+11:00 Love Of Spicy Food Is Built Into Your Personality <p><!-- - break - -->When I was a kid, I'd watch in awe as my dad ate dinner. It wasn't just the heaps of food piled on his plate that impressed me. (The words "portion control" had yet to enter the public lexicon.) What always made me shake my head in disbelief was his curious habit of alternating bites of his meal with bites off a jalapeno pepper. To save time, he'd simply hold the pepper in one hand and his utensil in the other. I should also mention that my heritage is Indian, and that my mom served up traditional spicy dishes on a nightly basis. But it was never spicy enough for Dad. </p> 2020-12-07T01:01:00.0000000+11:00 Remembering Dave Brubeck, The Mathematical Pianist (1920-2012) <p><!-- - break - -->I saw Dave Brubeck play, once. That's not that unusual; he performed pretty much right up until he died, earlier today, the day before his 92nd birthday. I was in high school, playing piano, trying to figure out what I wanted out of the instrument. I had been classically trained, and got tired of the constraints, of the tamped emotion, the lack of freedom. I had a year or so of jazz training, but I didn't much like playing standards, and I didn't like playing with other jazz kids, who in high school tend to play anonymous and masturbatory jazz-funk, almost exclusively. Pop music was what I loved, but the piano parts were all boring.</p> 2020-12-06T10:00:00.0000000+11:00 Today On Mars: Where Curiosity's Cruise Stage Crashed Down <p><!-- - break - --> When the Mars Rover Curiosity left Earth, it was carrying a cruise stage, whose parts included a sun sensor and star scanner, propellant tanks, and a couple of antennae. The craft released the cruise stage, along with two 165-pound blocks of tungsten ballast, to gain some aerodynamic lift right before it hit Mars' atmosphere, preparing for the "seven minutes of terror" it would take to reach the surface. </p> 2020-12-06T09:02:00.0000000+11:00 Readers! Help Astronomers Study The Galaxy That's Going To Collide With Ours <p><!-- - break - -->Sometimes, scientists need a hand. There's a lot of data to sift through, and now more than ever, the public can be part of that sifting. Take this fun new project: a crowdsourced <a href="" target="_blank">hunt for star clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy</a>. </p> 2020-12-06T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Study Says Women Can Spot Cheaters At A Glance <p><!-- - break - -->It seems like you can't throw a dart at a wall of research without hitting a "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" claim. Recently, we've seen some good studies along those lines (and some not so good studies). Now here's another one, out of Australia: women, researchers say, can tell if a person they've never seen before has a history of infidelity. </p> 2020-12-06T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Grand Award Winner: The Sand Flea <p>Reconnaissance robots have typically required elaborate engineering to overcome the challenges of urban surveillance; models based on hummingbirds, flies, and cockroaches are all in development.</p> 2020-12-06T06:39:00.0000000+11:00 Sperm Count Is Falling In France, And Globally, Too, Study Says <p><!-- - break - -->A biggest-of-its-kind study suggests that sperm counts are falling. By a lot. Researchers studied French men from 1989 to 2005, measuring their sperm counts regularly, and found that counts fell about <em>one third</em> in that 16-year period, from 74 million per millilitre to about 50 million. A steady yearly decrease of about 2 percent took it that low. </p> 2020-12-06T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Social Robot Designed To Befriend Lonely Astronauts <p><!-- - break - -->NASA has already sent its own humanoid Robonaut into orbit aboard the International Space Station, and now Japan's JAXA is following suit. The small humanoid will travel to the station next summer to reside in Japan's Kibo module, where it will keep JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata and the rest of the crew company.</p> 2020-12-06T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Modernisation and Discretionary Income Positions Africa On The Rise <p>As the portfolio manager for the T. Rowe Price Africa and Middle East fund, I look for investment opportunities across two large regions - more than 60 countries in all. Since there's much less research than usual written about the companies and countries the fund covers, it's critical for us to visit the countries and meet with management. On average, I'm traveling once every four weeks. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-12-06T04:02:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Might've Discovered World's Oldest Dinosaur <p><!-- - break - -->Paleontologists have discovered what very well might be the oldest known dinosaur, if in fact <em>Nyasasaurus parringtoni</em> is a dinosaur at all. A study published in the journal <em>Biology Letters</em> is describing a new species of prehistoric reptile that appears to predate the previous earliest-known dinosaur by 10 to 15 million years. That not only stands as a new superlative in dinosaur classification, but if confirmed, it fills a gap in the evolutionary timeline that's been puzzling scholars for years.</p> 2020-12-06T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Robot Boat Makes it to Australia! <p><!-- - break - -->In November of last year, Liquid Robotics dropped four of its brand new Wave Glider robots in the water just off the coast of San Francisco with hopes of making history and learning a thing or two in the offing. Two of the robots would set a course for Japan and the other two for Australia, each destination roughly 16,500 km away. It was to be the longest journey ever taken by any autonomous vehicle, a slow but steady swim across the entire Pacific Ocean that would collect and relay high resolution oceanographic and atmospheric data all along the way, stopping only for a quick maintenance check-up in Hawaii - if they made it that far at all. </p> 2020-12-06T01:11:00.0000000+11:00 Video: A Timelapse View Of Earth From The ISS <p><!-- - break - -->Happy holidays from the International Space Station! Film student Giacomo Sardelli created this timelapse video of the ISS to promote world connectedness and peace on Earth. 'Tis the season. Although this background music is way more epic than "Frosty The Snowman."</p> 2020-12-05T09:45:00.0000000+11:00 NASA's Newest Engineering Challenge: How To Change A Light Bulb <p><!-- - break - -->Astronaut insomnia is somewhat legendary at NASA, with astronauts popping sleep pills with regularity and averaging only six hours of sleep a night, far less than the eight and a half hours they're technically allotted. This can cause serious problems as fatigue sets in. To help matters, NASA is embarking on a major mission to change all the light bulbs on the space station.</p> 2020-12-05T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 Researchers Can Tell A Liar By The Nose With The 'Pinocchio Effect' <p><!-- - break - -->To tell if a person is lying, just measure his or her nose. No, not the length - the temperature. Researchers at the University of Grenada are calling it the "Pinocchio Effect," after - you guessed it! - the marionette who just couldn't seem to tell the truth and become a real boy. Thermograms show that the old fairytale isn't all that far off. Though the nose doesn't grow when you lie, its temperature (along with that of the muscles in the inner eye) rises.</p> 2020-12-05T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Video: 3D Printed Assault Rifle Breaks After Just 6 Shots <p><!-- - break - -->A field test of a 3D printed assault rifle ended quickly over the weekend, with the printed plastic parts breaking apart after six rounds. It was the first live test of the printed AR-15 assault rifle, the Wiki Weapons Project's target for the first blueprint of a fully 3D printed gun. There are still plenty of improvements to make before the team will recommend assembly, as the test shows.</p> 2020-12-05T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Animal Bluffs Inspire A New Breed Of Deceptive Robots <p><!-- - break - -->Squirrels have a habit of storing acorns and other nuts in various spots, then patrolling those stashes. But what happens if another opportunistic squirrel shows up to steal the bounty? The stash-owning squirrel fakes out the would-be thief, "checking" fake cache sites to throw the invader off the trail. Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have endowed robots with the same ability.</p> 2020-12-05T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Spider Astronaut Dies On Display At Smithsonian <p>The "spidernaut" Nefertiti has died. It was 10 months old. A "Johnson Jumper" spider, it was sent on board the International Space Station in July as part of an experiment; researchers watched to see if the spider would adapt its feeding behavior to weightlessness (it did).</p> 2020-12-05T02:59:00.0000000+11:00 African Elephant's Cataract Operation Is The Biggest Eye Surgery Ever <p><!-- - break - -->Duchess, a 4.4-ton, 45-year-old African elephant at the Paignton Zoo in Devon, England, had already lost her right eye to glaucoma, and cataracts threatened to blind the other. So in September, veterinarians put Duchess under the knife for the second cataract operation ever performed on an elephant.</p> 2020-12-05T02:02:00.0000000+11:00 Better Than A Condom? Discreet Nanofabric Protects Against Pregnancy and HIV <p><!-- - break - -->University of Washington researchers have developed a new contraceptive that for the first time offers women a discreet way to protect against both sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. An electrically spun nanofabric, the technology is designed to dissolve in the body, releasing preventative drugs. The goal: to empower women to make their own reproductive choices safely and cheaply. </p> 2020-12-05T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 How Moon Dust Could Improve Weather Predictions On Earth <p><!-- - break - -->When John Lane stood in his backyard and pointed his laser at the rain, he wasn't thinking about weather on Earth. He was trying to figure out the best way to track lunar dust, part of a project to protect NASA's Apollo landers from would-be moon visitors. But he ended up helping weather forecasters anyway, by finding a new way to measure the size of raindrops - something weather radar can't do.</p> 2020-12-04T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 This Is What Thinking About Nothing Looks Like <p><!-- - break - -->What do empty thoughts look like? According to the artist Gustav Metzger, they look like the weird blobby object above. Metzger hooked up his brain to a robotic sculpting machine that carved away at a piece of Portland Stone based on the stimuli it received from Metzger's EEG readings as he tried to think of nothing at all. Titled "Null Object," the work is now on display at London's Work Gallery.</p> 2020-12-04T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 What Ancient Antarctic Microbes Reveal About The Hunt For Extraterrestrial Life <p><!-- - break - -->In a frigid lake some 65 feet below Antarctica's icy surface, NASA scientists and their partners from the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and several other institutions have made an important discovery both for our understanding of life on Earth and for the search for extraterrestrial life. In the briny depths of Lake Vida, an oxygen-free, nitrous oxide-rich saltwater body buried underneath Antarctic ice for millennia, the researchers have found a thriving colony of bacteria. This, in an environment that would instantly extinguish most life.</p> 2020-12-04T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Mmmmm? Scientists Make Bread Last 60 Days <p><!-- - break - -->Hard truth is, we waste 40 per cent of the food we buy, whether because we forget about it in the back of the fridge, fail to wrap it properly, or something else. It's equivalent to about nine kilos per person per month, according to one study. Now a new spinoff company claims it can preserve at least some of our food for longer, by zapping it with microwaves.</p> 2020-12-04T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 FIPEL Lighting Could Replace Fluorescents <p><!-- - break - -->Like the desktop printer and the fax machine, the fluorescent overhead light might soon see a diminished role around the office. Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a field-induced polymer elecroluminescent (FIPEL) lighting technology that silently gives off a soft, white glow, sans the annoying hum and yellow tint of fluorescent bulbs or the sharp, bluish hue of LED light fixtures.</p> 2020-12-04T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What Do Forensic Chemists Do, And Why Would They Cheat? <p><!-- - break - -->Earlier this fall, a forensic chemist at the Massachusetts-based crime lab William A. Hinton State Laboratory was charged with obstruction of justice. Annie Dookhan allegedly mixed drug samples, neglected to test them properly and forged colleagues' signatures throughout her nine-year career to drive up her productivity. She might not have even received the master's degree she claimed to have (University of Massachusetts officials are denying her credentials). Now a grand jury is investigating the case and is expected to return indictments against the disgraced chemist some time after today. The story is like something straight out of "Law & Order." </p> 2020-12-04T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 MIT Researchers Create The Swiss Army Knife Of The Robotics World <p>MIT is calling this tiny device the Swiss army knife of the robotics world, though that doesn't really seem to do it justice. Developed at the university's Center for Bits and Atoms, the milli-motein is a caterpillar-sized robot that can be folded into assorted shapes, signaling a future in which devices shapeshift into almost anything imaginable.</p> 2020-12-01T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 As Kilauea Volcano Spews Lava Into The Ocean, Tourists Flock To The Scene <p><!-- - break - -->Remember those plucky writers who were reckless enough to walk outside during Hurricane Sandy? Oh, right...that was us. But we at <em>PopSci</em> might not be the only ones who enjoy a good disaster despite the danger. A volcano pouring lava into the ocean, for example, might be pretty impossible to resist. Hawaii tourism officials are banking on that.</p> 2020-12-01T08:44:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Can Viagra Make You A Better Athlete? <p><!-- - break - -->Over in the US they take their sport seriously. VERY seriously. Boner-pill seriously. Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall caused a great engorgement in the wit of the sports commentariat when he admitted that he's "heard (of) guys using like Viagra, seriously" to gain a competitive edge on the field. </p> 2020-12-01T07:17:00.0000000+11:00 Carbomorph - The Key To 3D Printing <p><!-- - break - -->For a long time now, the ability to print electronic circuitry and components on commercially available 3D printers has been viewed as the development that will thrust 3D printing out of its current nascent maker space and into the mainstream of both manufacturing and home fabrication. And while it's already been demonstrated on specialized printers in the lab, researcher at the University of Warwick in the UK have developed a low-cost material they've named "carbomorph" that is conductive, piezoresistive, and printable in currently available, consumer-affordable 3D printers.</p> 2020-12-01T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 In 2013, Free Schools In England Will Have To Teach Evolution In The Classroom <p>Scientists were concerned that children in England's free schools - taxpayer-funded schools that aren't run by local authorities - might not learn about evolution in schools run by creationists. </p> 2020-12-01T04:21:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: The Northern Lights Like You've Never Seen Them Before <p>In pictures and in person, the Earth's aurora looks sorta like wispy clouds made of emerald fuzz. That's gorgeous and all, but we need a clearer picture for scientific study. Auroras, which happen when charged particles from the sun enter Earth's magnetic field, could reveal a lot to us about how the Earth and the Sun interact. Most cameras just swallow all the light into one image when you take a picture, so researchers would have to use filters to study specific bands of the spectrum.</p> 2020-12-01T04:02:00.0000000+11:00 Which Dates Matter Most To Us? A Weighted Calendar [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - --> Which dates matter? All of them, of course. But there are some we talk about more than others, and this calendar from <a href="" target="_blank">web comic xkcd</a> gives those dates prime real estate. </p> 2020-12-01T01:59:00.0000000+11:00 Military Uniforms Of The Future Will Automatically Turn Into Chemical Suits In The Presence Of Threats <p><!-- - break - -->Soldiers on the battlefield may soon be getting a second skin. Researchers at UMass Amherst are developing a new nanotube-based fabric intended for use in military combat uniforms that protects grunts from chemical and biological agents. But unlike the cumbersome and (really, really) hot chemical suits the military currently issues to mitigate those kinds of threats, this material will automatically switch from a highly breathable state to a protective one, triggered by the presence of a chemical or biological threat. The uniform may well know the threat is present before the soldier does.</p> 2020-12-01T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 To Fight Winter Blahs, Sweden Offers Light Therapy At The Bus Stop <p><!-- - break - -->Days will keep getting shorter as we approach the winter solstice, which means fewer and fewer hours of sunlight. That can be depressing at normal mid-North American latitudes, so imagine how bad it gets in a place like Sweden. To fight the winter doldrums, a Swedish utility is installing UV lights at bus stations.</p> 2020-11-30T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 No Organics Yet For Mars Rover Curiosity, NASA Warns <p>NASA's forthcoming news conference (scheduled for Monday) about the Mars rover Curiosity's latest findings may not be so "earth-shaking," it turns out. The busy rover has not found any evidence of organic material on Mars - at least not yet.</p> 2020-11-30T06:59:00.0000000+11:00 The Big-Boy Microsoft Surface Pro Comes at a Big-Boy Price <p>In case you're still confused (because it is confusing): the Microsoft Surface we've been talking about lately is the Surface RT, which is basically like a tablet. The Surface Pro, though it looks pretty much like the Surface RT, has full laptop capabilities, just like any other Windows 8 computer.</p> 2020-11-30T06:09:00.0000000+11:00 'Intelligent' Rifle Pre-Tags Target <p><!-- - break - --> Taking the "sport" out of "sport shooting" and the "man" out of "marksman," a company called TrackingPoint has developed what it calls "Intelligent Digital Tracking Scopes" for use on its "Precision Guided Firearms." The latter is something of a misnomer, as neither the munition itself nor the firearm is guided, but the shooter is - sort of. TrackingPoint's technology allows a shaky shooter to digitally tag a target through the optic, which then won't let the firearm discharge until it is lined up perfectly on the target.</p> 2020-11-30T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 US Store Staples Will Offer On-Demand 3D Printing <p><!-- - break - --> 3D printing is at an awkward, prepubescent stage right now. The printers aren't exactly common, but a few early adopters have them. That leaves out the people who'd like to use them occasionally without investing in a printer of their own, and that seems like the market Staples is catering to by offering 3D printing to customers. </p> 2020-11-30T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 What Are Your Odds Of Winning The Lottery? [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->People have just won that ridiculous, record-breaking US$579.9 million Powerball jackpot. Two people, even! But you know who <em>didn't</em> win the jackpot? A lot more people. Amazingly, this holds true in Australia as well as the US. Voluntary taxation you say? Well, this infographic shows exactly how crappy your chances are of winning the lottery - and how lucky today's winners really are.</p> 2020-11-30T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Winged Robots Will Live In Cows' Stomachs To Monitor Their Methane Burps <p><!-- - break - -->Cow burps are a problem. Also cow farts. Those are responsible for 28 per cent of all human-related methane emissions. When that methane is released into the atmosphere, they heat up the already warming planet. So some researchers are enlisting technology to help out. </p> <p><br /> </p> 2020-11-30T03:06:00.0000000+11:00 Turn Your Favorite Mitts Into Gadget-Compatible Manipulators <p><!-- - break - -->Winter gloves and gadgets don't mix. Most touchscreens use capacitive sensing to complete a weak electrical circuit through skin and locate our tapping. And while wool, cotton, and leather gloves insulate hands from the cold, they block the body's ability to shuttle electrons. Strategic stitching with conductive thread, however, can prevent essential electronics from becoming unresponsive bricks the moment you bundle up.</p> 2020-11-30T01:58:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Why Are Mean People So Hot? <p><!-- - break - -->Mean people are attractive because of their meanness, not in spite of it. What I call meanness is more officially known as the "Dark Triad" of personality traits-narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. A recent study shows that people who exhibit these traits are better than people who score lower on the Dark Triad at making themselves appear more attractive.</p> 2020-11-30T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Cadbury's Chocolate Of The Future Doesn't Melt Even At 40 Degrees <p><!-- - break - -->We've known since the advent of the cream-filled Cadbury Egg that scientists at the confectionary company like to play fast and loose with the rules of chocolatiering. But the latest development out of Cadbury's R&D facility in Birmingham, UK, has us wondering if they've crossed that delicate line between genius and madness. They call it "temperature-tolerant chocolate." But let's call it what it is: chocolate that doesn't melt.</p> 2020-11-29T09:04:00.0000000+11:00 Largest Quasar Ever Discovered Burns 100 Times Brighter Than Entire Milky Way <p><!-- - break - --> Astronomers have found a galaxy whose super-luminous nucleus - called a quasar - is burning 100 times as much energy as the entire Milky Way galaxy. </p> 2020-11-29T07:48:00.0000000+11:00 Skylon Spaceplane Engine Endorsed By European Space Agency <p><!-- - break - -->The Skylon, a concept spaceplane that (theoretically) could go from a standing start to orbit and back without disposing of any rocket stages, took another big step forward today as tests independently audited by the European Space Agency confirmed that the Sabre engine underpinning it is conceptually sound. It's the second key endorsement from the ESA that Skylon and the Sabre engine have picked up in the past two years - giving Sabre-maker Reaction Engines cause to call its technology the biggest engine breakthrough since the jet.</p> 2020-11-29T06:57:00.0000000+11:00 SpaceX Plans Mars Colony <p>SpaceX founder/Tony Stark movie inspiration Elon Musk made some heads turn this week, as heads are wont to do when they hear someone plans to ship 80,000 people to Mars. In a talk at the Royal Aeronautical Society, Musk offered early ideas on how to start a colony on the Red Planet. Then, yesterday, he doubled down with a tweet. </p> 2020-11-29T05:45:00.0000000+11:00 Britain Is Testing An Amphibious House That Rises Along WIth Floodwaters <p><!-- - break - -->When floodwaters rise there aren't a lot of places to hide, and in the oft-rainy UK that can spell big problems and major property damage. So in an attempt to mitigate the problem, British authorities have just built the country's first amphibious house on the banks of the River Thames. When the river rises, the house rises with it. Bring on the Biblical deluge.</p> 2020-11-29T04:58:00.0000000+11:00 Korean Government Will Intervene On Gadget Addiction, Starting With 3-Year-Olds <p>Gadgets and the Internet are big in South Korea. Really big, as <a href="">this Associated Press story</a> points out.</p> 2020-11-29T03:28:00.0000000+11:00 Clues To Climate Of Historical Earth Lie In Ancient Human Feces <p><!-- - break - -->Researchers studying past climates have a handy new tool for uncovering ancient human settlements: Human feces. Apparently biomarkers only found in the intestines of higher mammals can persist in lake sediment, serving as an indicator that humans were living, eating and, yes, excreting in a given area. </p> 2020-11-29T02:42:00.0000000+11:00 Awesome Color Wheels Made From Musician Names And Song Titles [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->The designers of We Are Dorothy are masters at representing snippets of pop culture in fresh, visual ways. The British team has created maps for a musical town (Penny Lane, Highway 61) and a Los Angelesesque city atlas with cinematic landmarks (Reservoir Dogs, Jurassic Park). As a followup to those, and in that same vein, their newest project is pure pop Pantone: colour charts that feature only colours named for songs and musicians. </p> 2020-11-29T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 5 Of Physics's Greatest Sex Scandals <p><!-- - break - -->We know it can be hard to resist the temptation of bikini models on the Internet, but physicist Paul Frampton was duped pretty bad. The University of North Carolina professor flew to Bolivia to meet up with model Denise Milani, but Milani never showed up. Instead, a man with a briefcase claiming to be Milani's intermediary sent Frampton on a drug smuggling mission. Frampton was arrested before he made it back the United States and convicted last week. We're all fools in love, huh?</p> 2020-11-28T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 Deep In The Earth's Core, Clues About Its Mysterious Birth <p><!-- - break - --> We've known for over half a century that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, but for people like University of California, Davis geologist Qing-zhu Yin, that number just isn't good enough - they need to determine what digit comes after the '5'. Yin has spent the last fifteen years trying to figure out exactly how our solar system formed - how, over a span of some tens of millions of years, a large chaotic disc of dust and gas turned itself into eight planets in orderly orbit around a central star. </p> 2020-11-28T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Which City Has The Most Nobel Prize Winners? [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->Courtesy of Italian design agency Accurat, here's a simple, attractive look at data from the Nobel Prizes. It's in Italian, but like most well-done infographics, it doesn't require too much reading to get the idea. At a glance, you can tell prize-winners in economics are older than the average age for all categories, and winners in chemistry and physics are older than they were in the early 20th century. (By contrast, the age for peace prize winners looks more erratic. Take a look at those orange circles.) There's also a look at winners by home city (New York takes the crown), and a space for university affiliation of the laureates. Check out a bigger version <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> 2020-11-28T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 LHC's Latest Particle Collisions Find What May Be A New Form Of Matter <p><!-- - break - -->Some unusual new physics may be emerging at the Large Hadron Collider, where particles are behaving in a surprising way. Collisions between protons and lead nuclei might be forming a new type of matter that relies on quantum entanglement, according to particle physicists.</p> 2020-11-28T05:03:00.0000000+11:00 Students Learn Better With Star Trek-Style Touchscreen Desks <p><!-- - break - -->Observe the criticisms of nearly any major public education system in the world, and a few of the many complaints are more or less universal. Technology moves faster than the education system. Teachers must teach at the pace of the slowest student rather than the fastest. And - particularly in the United States - grade school children as a group don't care much for, or excel at, mathematics. So it's heartening to learn that a new kind of "classroom of the future" shows promise at mitigating some of these problems, starting with that fundamental piece of classroom furniture: the desk.</p> 2020-11-28T04:09:00.0000000+11:00 Wii Mini Coming December 7 for $99 <p>Well, this was unexpected. Nintendo is trying the take-a-cool-thing-and-make-it-smaller business model. A Best Buy blog post gives the details on the Wii Mini. </p> 2020-11-28T02:31:00.0000000+11:00 Gray Matter: Finding Water Where It's Least Expected <p><!-- - break - -->Water hides itself really well. Its molecules can form weak chemical bonds with many substances, allowing it to remain concealed within their crystal structures. There's no sign of water's presence-no dampness, no softness, no anything-until something triggers its release.</p> 2020-11-28T02:01:00.0000000+11:00 Boxee TV Review: Not Ready For Primetime <p><!-- - break - -->When I spoke to Boxee CEO Avner Ronen in the run-up to the release of the Boxee TV, it was hard not to see the nascent set-top box as the best new tool for those wanting to ditch pay TV. It would have apps like Netflix and YouTube, sure, but it would also be a Boxee, so it'd play downloaded videos in that great, clean way Boxee always has, and then it'd have this cool new cloud DVR so it could record live TV shows and play them back on any device. That's everything! But Ronen repeatedly insisted that the Boxee TV was not a cure-all for cord-cutters. He said it was just a component, not a complete solution. I thought he was just trying to play nice with the content providers like Comcast and Viacom, feigning modesty so they wouldn't see Boxee as an enemy.</p> 2020-11-28T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Samsung Thinks It'll Release Flexible OLED Displays Next Year <p>The Wall Street Journal reports today that Samsung is "in the last stage of development" for flexible plastic OLED displays, and that the displays will be released in the first half of 2013. </p> 2020-11-27T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 What The Future Will Look Like, According To Famous Science Fiction [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->Our science fiction isn't always on the nose. 1984 didn't look exactly like <em>1984</em>, and 2001 didn't bring us the kind of Space Odysseys we envisioned. So forgive us for being skeptical about predictions pegged to dates that haven't been reached yet - the subject of this terrific visualization by Italian designer Giorgia Lupi. </p> 2020-11-27T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 How Kids (And Other Amateurs) Are Improving Science <p><!-- - break - -->Scientists often spread themselves too thin trying to gather and monitor vast amounts of data, so why not outsource some of that work to non-scientists? It's only getting easier to collaborate with citizen scientists. Volunteers can enlist through social media, gather field data through a smartphone app, then put all of that into an organized web database fresh for the analysing. </p> 2020-11-27T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Highway Patrol Of The Future Is A Robot <p><!-- - break - -->Every year, the Design Challenge - formulated by and for the LA Auto Show - asks the automotive industry's most advanced design labs to speculate on possible futures as they pertain to the continuing evolution of the automobile. This year's theme: <a href="" target="_blank">highway patrol 2025</a>. Entries from the likes of GM, Subaru, BMW, and Honda naturally show a lot of imagination, but more than that they show a degree of agreement between the industry's brightest creatives that the future is going to be crowded, full of traffic jams, and above all very, very automated.</p> 2020-11-27T06:30:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: Sun Gone Wild <p><!-- - break - -->Every time the sun lashes out with another beautiful but potentially threatening solar flare or coronal mass ejection, we are reminded that the naturally occurring solar cycle is approaching a "solar maximum" in 2013 and that solar activity is on the ascent. But what does that mean? If you're having a hard time picturing an active ball of flaming nuclear fusion versus a less-active ball of flaming nuclear fusion, simply <a href="">see above</a>.</p> 2020-11-27T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 With Electrodes Implanted In The Retina, Blind Patient Can Read <p><!-- - break - -->A new eye prosthetic can download electrical data right into a blind person's retina, bypassing a camera and placing digital information right onto the nerve cells. A blind patient who used the device could read Braille patterns in less than a second, according to Swiss researchers.</p> 2020-11-27T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Laser-Cut Scotch Tape Makes A Tiny Gripping Robotic Claw <p>Scotch tape is indispensable this time of year, even for the least-skilled gift wrappers among us. Now it may have another use that lasts well beyond the wrapping paper frenzy: a shape-changing gripper. </p> 2020-11-27T04:05:00.0000000+11:00 Can Taking A Pill Before Bed Get Rid Of Bed Bugs? <p><!-- - break - --> Can you cure a bed bug infestation just by downing drugs? While the idea has appeal, particularly for people afflicted with nightly bites and for scientists dealing with a pest that is increasingly <a href="" target="_blank">difficult</a> to kill, the short answer is probably no. But before we get to the long answer, some background. </p> 2020-11-27T03:12:00.0000000+11:00 Google Nexus 4 Review: A Phone You Should Buy <p><!-- - break - -->The Nexus 4 is the first Android phone that combines all the disparate parts of a phone - interface, options, ease of use, speed and smoothness, depth of features, quality and number of apps - in the right way. It is the best Android phone I've ever used, sure, but it's the only Android phone I've ever used that feels as <em>intentional</em> as the iPhone. It feels like it was put together with a vision of how this phone should work as a whole - not just "add this feature, add this feature." It's probably the best smartphone on the market, period.</p> 2020-11-22T06:15:00.0000000+11:00 These Beautiful Nano-Rainbows Could Make Better TVs <p><!-- - break - -->It's difficult to manage colour when you get to the nanoscale, but researchers from King's College London have found a way to trap light on nanostructures. Based on the shape of the structure, they can capture a rainbow created on gold film that's 100 times smaller than a human hair.</p> 2020-11-22T05:38:00.0000000+11:00 Watch This Awesome Robot Play Catch Better Than Your Dad <p> <!-- - break - --> Fancy a round of catch? This Disney robot plays an eerily humanlike game. In a combination of engineering and sorcery, researchers created a robot that follows the ball in the air with its eyes, catches the ball in its hands, and reacts when it misses a catch. Also, it juggles. </p> 2020-11-22T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 To Make Steam Without Boiling Water, Just Add Sunlight And Nanoparticles <p><!-- - break - -->Today in mind-bendingly cool stuff that nanoparticles can do: A team of researchers at Rice University in Texas has demonstrated a mechanism by which they can create steam in just seconds by focusing sunlight on a mixture of water and nanoparticles. This isn't just some artificial means of lowering boiling point either; this solar powered "boiler" can produce steam before the water even gets warm to the touch, without ever bringing the aggregate water to a boil.</p> 2020-11-22T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Discover An Exoplanet So Massive They're Not Even Sure It's A Planet <p><!-- - break - -->You know we've found something new and interesting when scientists don't really know how to classify it. Using the Subaru Telescope an international team of astronomers has <a href="" target="_blank">discovered a "super-Jupiter"</a> so massive that it seems they're not quite sure whether to call it a planet or a low-mass brown dwarf (in other words, a star that failed to fire). Located roughly 170 light-years from Earth, the host star is roughly 2.5 times more massive than the sun and its planet is about 13 times larger than Jupiter, making this the highest-mass star to ever host a directly imaged orbital companion - especially one of this size.</p> 2020-11-21T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 Optical Camouflage Renders The Backseat Of A Car Transparent <p>The problem with the backseat - really with the whole rear of the car - is that it's in your way when you're trying to reverse. So researchers at Keio University in Japan have applied optical camouflage technology to automobiles, making the back seat <a href="">appear transparent</a> so the driver can see straight through it when reversing.</p> 2020-11-21T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 DHS Is Experimenting With A Huge Inflatable Plug To Stop Future Flooding Of Transit Tunnels <p>When Hurricane Sandy struck New York City a few weeks ago, seven of the 14 under-river subway tunnels flooded as a result of the storm surge, halting operation of some subway lines for more than a week.</p> 2020-11-21T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Can You Make An Authentic Twinkie At Home? <p><!-- - break - -->Last week, Hostess Brands, Inc. announced it was going out of business, raising fears of an orphaned Twinkie the Kid, inciting Twinkie runs on eBay, and turning up home-made recipes for the snacks. (So many recipes.) It's since been reported that mediation will save the company, but we still need to know: Can you really make a homemade Twinkie taste the same as the version with the Hostess stamp of approval? </p> 2020-11-21T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Could A Sonic Weapon Make Your Head Explode? <p><!-- - break - -->There's an elevator in the Brown University Biomed building (hopefully fixed by now) that I've heard called "the elevator to hell," not because of destination but because there is a bent blade in the overhead fan. The elevator is typical of older models, a box 2 metrer by 2 metres by 3 metres with requisite buzzing fluorescent, making it a perfect resonator for low-frequency sounds. As soon as the doors close, you don't really hear anything different, but you can feel your ears (and body, if you're not wearing a coat) pulsing about four times per second. Even going only two floors can leave you pretty nauseated. The fan isn't particularly powerful, but the damage to one of the blades just happens to change the air flow at a rate that is matched by the dimensions of the car. This is the basis of what is called vibroacoustic syndrome-the effect of infrasonic output not on your hearing but on the various fluid-filled parts of your body.</p> 2020-11-21T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Human Rights Watch Wants An International Ban On Autonomous Killer Robots <p>The threat of autonomous killer robots is very real and we have to stop them before it's too late. </p> 2020-11-20T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 Great Apes Might Experience Mid-Life Crises Just Like Humans <p><!-- - break - -->Across cultures and countries, humans experience a pretty well-defined U-shaped curve in our happiness. We're happy when we're young, and well-being descends into its nadir during midlife, only to rise again in old age. Midlife crises are a cliche, but they're real - and they're just as real in our primate cousins, apparently.</p> 2020-11-20T08:01:00.0000000+11:00 Watch Paralysed Dogs Walk Again After Nose Cell Transplants <p><!-- - break - -->For the past few years, scientists at Cambridge University have been working with dogs who were paralysed in accidents to test therapies and new cell treatments that reverse the damage. A new study shows that their methods can work, restoring dogs' ability to walk by using cells grown from the lining of the animals' noses. In the study, 23 dogs with transplanted cells were able to walk again.</p> 2020-11-20T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 How Israel's ‘Iron Dome' Knocks Almost Every Incoming Missile Out Of The Sky <p><!-- - break - -->The clash between Israel and Hamas-backed fighters in the Gaza Strip continued over the weekend and into today, with the death toll in Gaza inching toward 100 (there were 91 recorded deaths as of Tuesday morning). But amid the troubling images and stark numbers trickling out of the conflict there, one set of numbers represents a rare bright spot: the number of Hamas rockets that Israel's "Iron Dome" missile-defense shield is knocking out the sky.</p> 2020-11-20T06:01:00.0000000+11:00 How To Build An LED Lightsaber [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->This infographic is a step-by-step guide for building a nerd's dream: grab some PVC, spray paint, LEDs, and a few other DIY trinkets, then make a lightsaber.</p> 2020-11-20T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Are People Getting Dumber? One Geneticist Thinks So <p><!-- - break - -->There's this great recurring "Saturday Night Live" skit from several years back where Phil Hartman plays an unfrozen caveman who goes to law school. He pontificates on the American judicial system while marveling at modern technology like "the tiny people in the magic box" (a TV). It fits a common stereotype: Human ancestors were, well, cavemen, and not as smart as we are today. A provocative new hypothesis from a Stanford geneticist tries to turn this stereotype upside down. </p> 2020-11-20T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: From Above, These Saharan Mountains Look Like Abstract Art <p><!-- - break - -->At ground level the Sahara desert often seems somewhat monochromatic, but from above that picture changes completely. </p> 2020-11-20T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Researchers Achieve Quantum Teleportation Between Two Macroscopic Objects For The First Time <p><!-- - break - -->Sometimes it's tough to get excited about stuff happening in quantum technologies, not because it's anything less than fascinating but because it can be so hard to wrap your head around this stuff and anyhow the practical applications often seem very far away. But this is one of those milestones that you have to appreciate: Physicists have for the first time teleported quantum information from one macroscopic object to another. </p> 2020-11-20T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Issue #49 - December 2012 <p>It's that time of year again! Time for the annual PopSci Best of What's New awards! We scrutinise, evaluate and occasionally subject to robo-showdown a massive collection of 100 innovations from fields such as entertainment, engineering, aerospace, automotive and more. But that's not all!</p> 2020-11-19T11:09:00.0000000+11:00 Nintendo Wii U: The PopSci Review <p><!-- - break - -->The big criticism with Nintendo consoles is that they're engineered for kids. The original Wii was innovative and flat-out fun enough to make it all work - it seemed charming rather than simplistic. But the new Nintendo console, the Wii U, is careful not to seem <em>too</em> playful and innocent - launch titles, for example, have you playing as a brooding Batman and a space marine. And you'll be doing it with a goofy new controller, which looks like a PS3 controller with a 6.2-inch tablet between your two hands. And it usually feels really <em>right</em>, even if not every game makes the most of it. </p> 2020-11-18T05:32:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What's The Most Porous Material On Earth? <p>It goes without saying that climate change is one of the thorniest problems of our time. If only we had some kind of sponge to just soak up all that carbon dioxide! The Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) developed by UCLA researchers might not be a catchall solution. But as the most porous materials on earth, they can be used to store, separate or convert molecules - and could help absorb harmful gases before they reach the air.</p> 2020-11-17T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 From Google, A Breathtaking Interactive Journey Through The Stars <p><!-- - break - -->Here's a beautiful way to make yourself feel insignificant. A bunch of space-loving Google employees got together to make 100,000 Stars, a virtual tour through, well, 100,000 stars. You can zoom in and out, tumbling through our galaxy and beyond, while listening to a soundtrack from videogame score composer Sam Hulick.</p> 2020-11-17T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Latest From iRobot's Research Lab <p>The nice folks at iRobot were kind enough to swing through our offices yesterday to demo some of the latest things coming out of their robotics research labs - which, from the look of things, must be a pretty amazing place to clock in every day. iRobot, if you're unfamiliar, makes everything from the adorable little Roomba robots that putter around cleaning floors to the Packbots and Warrior robots that have helped military EOD teams disable improvised explosives devices in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. They're out at the front of the so-called robotics revolution, and so when they hand us a thumb drive full of brand new videos of robots we've never seen before, well, we just have to share them with you.</p> 2020-11-17T07:58:00.0000000+11:00 Nokia Lumia 920 Review: A Fisher-Price Phone For A Giant <p><!-- - break - -->The Lumia is a phone I <em>want</em> to like much more than I do. Each Nokia phone has all this weight on its shoulders: Nokia, the legendary company, is basically dead. Will the phone save Nokia? Windows Phone, the wild card third platform that could compete with Android and iOS, is totally underused. Will the phone save Windows Phone? </p> 2020-11-17T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 This Bug Has More Legs Than Anything Else <p><em>Illacme plenipes</em>, the "leggiest" (most-legged? legfullest?) animal in the world, hasn't been seen since 1928, when government scientists first spotted it. But it and its 750 legs were found again near Silicon Valley a few years ago, and it's now being described for the first time in the journal <em>ZooKeys</em>.</p> 2020-11-17T06:01:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What Is Sea Foam? Where Does It Come From? <p><!-- - break - --> Just a few hours before a tornado touched down in Queens, New York this past September, I was hanging out on a beach in The Rockaways, a narrow peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic just southeast of Brooklyn (though it is technically a part of Queens). The storm hadn't rolled in yet, but the wind had - little white clouds raced across the sky, sand flew through the air above the beach, and, along the shoreline, huge globs of foam blew off the water and collected on the beach in thick, jiggling blankets of yellowish-white. Foam built up in big, shapeless piles behind rocks, and dollops of the stuff broke free and scampered up the beach like animate loogies. </p> 2020-11-17T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 3D Printing Will Turn Homes Into Mini Factories <p><!-- - break - -->In 1984, inventor Charles Hull built the first rapid-prototyping machine, a massive device that turned digital blueprints into plastic models constructed layer by ultrathin layer. Since then, 3D printers have shrunk from room-filling behemoths to tabletop boxes just larger than a typical ink jet. They have also dropped in cost from hundreds of thousands of dollars to as little as $500. Home printing has flowered as a result, with amateurs "fabbing" anything in plastic, from cellphone cases to scale models of Rodin's Walking Man. Yet such tinkering, however nifty, is simply 3D printing's first act. Its real promise is much greater: to turn every home into a self-sustaining manufacturing and recycling center. </p> 2020-11-17T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Reimagining Buildings Of The Past With The Materials Of The Future <p><!-- - break - -->Part of the reason we're enamored with our famous buildings is for the sense of history they impart. When you look at the White House you're not just looking at a building; you're looking at our shared presidential past. That's great. But if you coldly stare at those structures like they were just well-molded hunks of concrete and steel, you might fairly wonder: <em>can't we do better</em>? </p> 2020-11-17T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Super Tractor Messes with our Eyes! <p>Souping up a car is no big thing. Heck, there are shops you can go to and by shiny metallic blue parts right off the shelf.</p> <p>Souping up a tractor on the other hand, that's something else entirely...</p> 2020-11-16T13:40:00.0000000+11:00 Utah Cops May Be Required To Wear Camera Glasses <p><!-- - break - -->Memo to Salt Lake City Police Department: Lifeblogging was never cool. Neither, come to think of it, are the glasses you see above. But the chief of police of Salt Lake City is hoping to make the above accessory mandatory for his on-duty officers, as well as for every other officer in the state. Much like dashboard cameras currently log what's happening in front of a police officers car during a shift, this tiny glasses-mounted camera will record everything an officer sees - and does - while on patrol.</p> 2020-11-16T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 US Navy To Retire Mine-Sweeping Dolphins And Use Robots Instead <p><!-- - break - -->Soon, dolphins and sea lions won't be hunting mines any more. The US Navy is phasing out the Marine Mammal Program. Though trained sea mammals have been serving the Navy for 50 years, they're retiring to make way for cheaper, easier-to-manage robots. </p> 2020-11-16T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 BeerSci: What's The Connection Between Hops And Marijuana? <p>"Are hops and marijuana related?" I've fielded that question many times, usually after someone has sampled an especially resinous IPA - although at least one PopSci editor asked me the same question when looking at a photo of the leaves of a hop plant.</p> <p>The answer to that question is yes and no.</p> 2020-11-16T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Today In Wallpapers: A Climate Model Spits Out A Beautiful Image Of Global Aerosols <p><!-- - break - -->The climate is soon coming to destroy you, but in the meantime you can enjoy this beautiful piece of the modern body of climate science that unequivocally spells your eventual doom.</p> 2020-11-16T04:08:00.0000000+11:00 The Best Review of Halo 4 <p>Halo. Refreshing new take on a venerable series? Maybe not...</p> <p>"The plot is hysterical in both senses of the word, at the same time. Things are always happening, and there is always a blast door that must be shut on penalty of galactic holocaust..."</p> 2020-11-16T03:46:00.0000000+11:00 Four Of The Greatest Polymers Of All Time <p><!-- - break - -->Here at <em>PopSci</em>, we usually focus on the newest innovations in science and technology. But many past innovations in polymer science - the study of plastics and other similar materials - are still relevant and deserve recognition. They've saved lives, kept babies dry and made huge shark observation tanks possible. Some have tradenames that have gone on to represent an entire class of product, such as Kevlar. Others lurk in obscurity. Here are some of the most important materials and a glimpse into how scientists designed them to work their magic. </p> 2020-11-16T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 New E-Textbooks Will Tattle To Lecturers About Students' Reading Habits <p><!-- - break - -->Digital textbooks seem like they should be a boon to students. They all fit on a single, thin device. They're (hopefully) cheaper. But dead-tree books beat them out on at least one thing: they won't tattle on you for not doing the assigned reading. </p> 2020-11-16T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Top 25 Innovations of the Last 25 Years <p>Ever since we inaugurated the Best of What's New (BOWN) awards 25 years ago, the bar we as editors set for our honorees has remained extremely high...</p> 2020-11-16T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Metamaterial Focuses Radio Waves, Could Yield Up-Close Views Of Molecules <p><!-- - break - -->When nature's materials can't do the job scientists want done, it's time to head into the lab and get creative. That means entering the impressive, strange genre of metamaterials - stuff with a designer molecular structure that gives it unique properties. The latest entry in that field: a metamaterial lens from MIT that can bend and focus radio waves, which could be used to bring us higher-resolution images - of outer space or of molecules on Earth.</p> 2020-11-15T09:01:00.0000000+11:00 Lonely Orphaned Planet Spotted Wandering Aimlessly Through Interstellar Space <p><!-- - break - -->It's lonely way out there in interplanetary space, lonelier still if you don't have a star to call home. But this solitary life is all CFBDSIR2149 has ever known. Astronomers searching for the faint signatures of brown dwarf stars discovered this Jupiter-class giant hurtling through the cosmos with not star to orbit and nowhere in particular to be.</p> 2020-11-15T08:29:00.0000000+11:00 Israel Declares War On Hamas Via Twitter, Hamas Responds Via Twitter <p>Israel launched an offensive this morning on "terror sites and operatives in the Gaza strip, chief among them Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets." </p> 2020-11-15T08:14:00.0000000+11:00 Nanotechnology Is Changing The World <p><!-- - break - --> "Everything, when miniaturized to the sub-100-nanometre scale, has new properties, regardless of what it is," says Chad Mirkin, professor of chemistry (and materials science, engineering, medicine, biomedical engineering and chemical and biological engineering) at Northwestern University. This is what makes nanoparticles the materials of the future. They have strange chemical and physical properties compared to their larger-particle kin. The thing that matters about nanoparticles is their scale.</p> 2020-11-15T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 BigPic: The Science Of Lubricated Hamsters <p><!-- - break - -->Excellent Tumblr <a href="" target="_blank">Thanks, Textbooks</a> found this great one from a physics textbook involving a somewhat questionable activity. </p> <p>[via <a href="" target="_blank">Maggie Koerth-Baker</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Popperfront</a>]</p> 2020-11-15T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 The App Store Is Full Of Bogus Health Apps <p>The App Store is filled with health apps and most of them are garbage. At least, that seems to be the overarching sentiment running throughout the Washington Post's extensive examination of bogus health-related apps now cluttering both the iTunes App Store and Google Play. </p> 2020-11-15T04:54:00.0000000+11:00 Still Hate Apple Maps? Nokia Is Here To Help <p>Apple Maps has, as promised, come a long way since its disastrous beta days, but it's still not great, lacking public transit directions, bike directions, and offline maps, and still getting things wrong sometimes (or jeopardizing national security). We've been waiting for Google's replacement Google Maps app for iOS, but there might be a third competitor: Nokia.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-11-15T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 How Lincoln Invented Modern War <p><!-- - break - -->In between shots of soldiers meeting their brutal end and Sally Field being the most perfect Mary Todd Lincoln of all time (besides maybe MTL herself), the trailer for Steven Spielberg's <em>Lincoln</em>, a war drama in theatres everywhere November 16, presents Honest Abe as an honest badass. "I am the President of the United States of America...clothed in immense power," he declares, because if you're going to abolish slavery you have to be the toughest dude in the room. In our 1957 issue, <em>PopSci</em> celebrated Lincoln as the awesome war scientist he was. We wrote about how the great emancipator tested out and helped create at least a rudimentary form of most of the weapons we knew in the mid-20th century. </p> 2020-11-15T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 The Darkest Material On Earth? <p>The idea of dark materials might sound familiar to you if you read <a href="" target="_blank">fantasy trilogies</a> or like casually memorising lines from <em>Paradise Lost</em>. Unfortunately, this material isn't used to create more worlds - but it might help save this one. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNT), the darkest material known to man, was developed by researchers at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2007. With the ability to absorb 99.970 per cent of light, VACNT has significant implications in solar energy research. For instance, it can be used to improve the efficiency of solar panels.</p> 2020-11-15T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Watch A French Researcher Control A Robot With His Brain <p><!-- - break - -->Researchers in Japan are using a brain-machine interface to control the actions of a humanoid robot. The goal is to allow people "to feel embodied in the body of a humanoid robot," in the words of one researcher.</p> 2020-11-14T08:57:00.0000000+11:00 Vets Want A Global Monitoring System To Track Sickness In Pets Before It Jumps To Humans <p><!-- - break - -->The next pandemics will come from animals, in all likelihood, as zoonotic diseases jump into the human population. Global health authorities keep tabs on sick livestock and sick people for that reason. But nobody keeps tabs on your dog or cat - and an international group of veterinarians wants to change that.</p> 2020-11-14T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 iPad Mini Review: Tablet Small <p><!-- - break - -->Whether you'll like the iPad Mini has a lot more to do with your physical health than you'd think it would. How healthy are your eyes? How big are your hands? How strong are your forearms? How acute are your ears?</p> 2020-11-14T07:31:00.0000000+11:00 Tesla Model S Named Motor Trend's First All-Electric Car Of The Year <p><!-- - break - -->In a striking sign of the future to come, the car-kingmakers at Motor Trend magazine have for the first time named an all-electric vehicle their <a href="" target="_blank">Car of the Year</a>. The Tesla Model S is the first car without an internal combustion engine to win the coveted award. It's also much-loved by PopSci, FYI.</p> 2020-11-14T06:55:00.0000000+11:00 Watch Today's Total Solar Eclipse Live From The Middle Of Nowhere, Right Here <p><!-- - break - -->The skies across northeastern Australia will go dark around 2:44pm EST today. That's when the moon will slide in front of the sun and cast a deep, circular shadow on the Earth.</p> 2020-11-14T06:06:00.0000000+11:00 How James Bond's Aston Martin Survived A Huge Explosion In 'Skyfall' <p><!-- - break - -->In the new James Bond movie <em>Skyfall</em>, the Aston Martin DB5 - a rare but staple race car in the spy fiction series since 1964 - explodes into smithereens. We'll spare you the cinematic details, but take heart, auto aficionados. The real DB5 is safe.</p> 2020-11-14T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 Lenovo Yoga 13 Review: The Windows 8 Laptop You Should Buy <p><!-- - break - -->The first crop of Windows 8 laptops are here, and they're much more interesting than, say, the first laptops to run Windows 7, or Windows Vista, or really any hardware that's ever accompanied a new version of Windows. That's because Windows 8 isn't really like any other version of Windows, and we'll get to that in a bit. I've been trying out a variety of Windows 8 laptops, and the Lenovo Yoga 13 is, so far, my favorite - the one I recommended to a roommate without hesitation (despite its flaws), and the one I grabbed whenever I needed to test something on Windows 8. Here's why.</p> 2020-11-14T05:11:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Can Japan's Latest Soft Drink Really Help You Lose Weight? <p><!-- - break - --> Soft drinks and weight loss don't usually go hand-in-hand. But Pepsi aims to change that with a new drink the company has just launched in Japan, called Pepsi Special. The soft drink has an added ingredient, dextrin, that the distributor, Suntory, says reduces your body's ability to absorb fat. So does that mean you can finally enjoy your soda with a slice of cheesy pizza, hold the guilt?</p> 2020-11-14T04:03:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What's The Lightest Metal On Earth? <p><!-- - break - -->The lighter a structure launching into air, the better. That's one of the reasons why ostriches can't fly - because their bones are solid instead of hollow. It's also one of the reasons why researchers at HRL Laboratories created the lightest metal known to man.</p> 2020-11-14T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 To Fight Bacteria, Coat Everything In Mucus <p><!-- - break - -->Bodily fluids are not the first thing that come to mind when you're looking for a disinfectant. But mucus is surprisingly good at preventing bacterial growth - never mind that it's a nasty side effect of infection on its own. A type of polymer found in mucus - known as mucin - can trap bacteria and prevent them from clumping together into a hard-to-remove biofilm, MIT scientists say.</p> 2020-11-13T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 17-Petaflop Titan Supercomputer Is Now Officially The World's Fastest <p><!-- - break - -->The latest TOP500 rankings of the world's fastest supercomputers is out today, and as expected Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan has unseated Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Sequoia in for the number one seat. That means a couple of things. For one, it represents something of a proving out for co-processor technology (that's technology that uses graphics processors alongside conventional processors to accelerate a machine's performance), which drove Titan's performance over the top. Secondly, it means it's been a really good year for American supercomputing.</p> 2020-11-13T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Seven Navy SEALs Disciplined For Divulging Secrets While Consulting On Video Game <p>Proof that video games keep getting more and more realistic: Seven U.S. Navy SEALs, including one who participated in last year's raid that killed Osama bin Laden, have been disciplined by the Navy for divulging secrets while serving as consultants for the new <em>Medal of Honor: Warfighter</em> video game released by Electronic Arts</p> 2020-11-13T05:38:00.0000000+11:00 Samsung's Cool/Weird Android-Running Galaxy Camera Will Cost $500 <p>The goofy Samsung Galaxy Camera - a point-and-shoot with a 4.8-inch touchscreen and a full version of Android - came out of nowhere and actually impressed us.</p> 2020-11-13T05:29:00.0000000+11:00 Synthetic, Self-Healing Skin That's Sensitive To The Touch <p><!-- - break - -->Before we can construct the realistic humanoid robots that populate our most vivid sci-fi-driven dreams, there are a lot of human systems that researchers are going to have to emulate synthetically. Not the least challenging is human skin; filled with nerve endings and able to heal itself over time, our skin serves as both a massive sensory system and a barrier between our innards and the outside world. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Stanford researchers has created the first synthetic material that is both self-healing at room temperature and sensitive to touch - a breakthrough that could be the beginnings of a new kind of robot skin (and in the meantime enjoy much more practical applications like enhanced prosthetics).</p> 2020-11-13T04:01:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: What's The Softest Material On Earth? <p><!-- - break - -->Everyone knows the hardest material on Earth is diamond, says George Pharr, director of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Tennessee. But when it comes to the softest stuff on the planet, "there's no one definition," he says. </p> 2020-11-13T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Introducing Our Latest Theme Week! <p><!-- - break - -->This week, as a companion to <em>Popular Science</em>'s November issue, we're bringing you a bunch of stories about materials science - a field that touches on all aspects of the world around us, from the paint on our walls to the the drugs that treat our diseases. Swing by for an exploration of some of the most dangerous materials in your home; a taste of what famous buildings might've looked like had materials scientists known what they know today; and a snapshot of nanomaterials as you've never seen them before. All that and more can be read here on, starting today. Enjoy! </p> 2020-11-13T00:30:00.0000000+11:00 Carl Sagan Advocates For Life On Mars <p><!-- - break - --> Carl Sagan, everyone's favourite late astronomer, would have been 78 today. We can't think of anyone who inspired so many people to love science and the universe than good old Sagan. This year, we're looking back to an interview with the scientist that appeared in our September 1972 issue. At the time, he was really stoked about Mars.</p> 2020-11-10T09:25:00.0000000+11:00 Your Scrambled Eggs Are Wrong, And Other Cooking Science Lessons From America's Test Kitchen <p><!-- - break - -->I learned how to cook the day I opened my first issue of <em>Cook's Illustrated</em>. Phrases like <em>Maillard reaction</em> and <em>gluten development</em> and <em>Best Blueberry Pancakes</em> flowed across pages adorned with desaturated sketches, drawing me in with their simplicity and forthrightness. This is the best way to grill salmon or make pie crust, the articles said - and here are three pages of reasons why.</p> 2020-11-10T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 Ask a Geek: How Can I Permanently Delete My Computer Files? <p><!-- - break - -->Before you sell, donate, or recycle your old computer, beware: You may be handing personal information to strangers. Simply restoring the operating system to factory settings does not delete all data and neither does formatting the hard drive before reinstalling the OS.</p> 2020-11-10T06:30:00.0000000+11:00 8 Of Stanley Kubrick's Greatest Technological Innovations <p>As you wander through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's <a href="" target="_blank">sprawling new exhibit on Stanley Kubrick</a>, it's hard not to marvel at how utterly distinct each of the legendary American film director's imagined worlds were: <em>Lolita</em>, <em>Dr. Strangelove</em>, <em>A Clockwork Orange</em>, <em>2001: A Space Odyssey</em>, <em>The Shining</em>, <em>Full Metal Jacket</em>, <em>Eyes Wide Shut</em>, each a meticulously crafted cinematic cosmos unto itself.</p> 2020-11-10T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 I Will Destroy This Robot Sheet-Music Sight-Reader, I Swear I Will <p><!-- - break - -->Sight-reading complex musical notation takes years of training, hundreds or thousands of hours of practice, sitting in front of the piano, a metronome drilling its infernal clicks into your brain. Eventually you'll gain the ability to read and perform just about any piece of music that's set in front of you, without ever having seen it before. It does not come easily, and it is not a natural skill; you have to keep practicing to retain it. Each month you don't practice takes two months to earn back the power you've squandered. It is a human achievement, a way in which we force our brains and fingers and feet and eyes to perform a task we are not born able to do. </p> 2020-11-10T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 People Are Literally Allergic To BlackBerry Phones <p><!-- - break - -->BlackBerry has been having a rough go of it lately, slowly sliding into irrelevance as Android and iPhone corner the market. Now add one more nail to that coffin: a study says that people are allergic to BlackBerry phones. As in, an actual itch-inducing allergy. As in, to a phone.</p> 2020-11-10T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Political Strife Caused By Climate Change Doomed The Mayans <p><!-- - break - -->Debilitating drought may have been a major factor in the fractious politics that ended the Maya civilisation, according to archaeologists. Maya culture thrived in wet seasons and fell apart when the rains ceased. "It's an example of a sophisticated civilisation failing to adapt successfully to climate change," <a href="" target="_blank">said James Baldini</a>, a professor at Durham University in the UK.</p> 2020-11-10T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 New Study Examines "Hookup Culture" In Awkward, Clinical Way <p>A new study from The Miriam Hospital's Centres for Behavioural and Preventive Medicine takes a look at the noted alarmist old-people concept "hookup culture," which seems to mean "non-romantic sexual encounters" and which is obviously eroding the very foundation of the Free West.</p> 2020-11-09T09:30:00.0000000+11:00 Baby Birds Use Unique Passwords To Unlock Dinner <p><!-- - break - -->In an interesting example of prenatal learning, a species of tiny Australian songbirds teach their embryonic young a special password, which the baby birds must chirp in order to get food after they're born. The password is a single unique note the mother wren teaches them from outside the egg, according to biologists.</p> 2020-11-09T07:01:00.0000000+11:00 This Is Why Nobody Will Use Credit Cards In A Few Years <p><!-- - break - -->Entertainment Weekly has twice now inserted an LCD screen into its paper magazine to show video ads. That's the growing pains that come when an entire medium is going through an upheaval - you get these little half-steps, a nod that, well, this thing we've used for a long time? It probably won't be around much longer. But that new things is maybe scary, or expensive, or not quite ready yet, so let's try combining the two. </p> 2020-11-09T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Universe Is Almost Done Making Stars <p><!-- - break - -->In its youth, the universe was a roiling soup of star ingredients, with new stars forming rapidly. But now it's much quieter, and things are not expected to get more exciting anytime soon, astronomers say. For the first time, astronomers have figured out the universe's star-birth rate, and found that today, it's 30 times lower than its likely peak some 11 billion years ago. As a result, all of the future stars may be no more than a 5 percent increase above what we've got now. </p> 2020-11-09T03:56:00.0000000+11:00 Why Do Computer Scientists Want Election Day To Drag On For A Full Week? <p><!-- - break - -->There's something so indescribably American about what millions of them did yesterday - standing in line at a polling place, exchanging hellos with neighbours, peacefully filling in circles or tapping touchscreens to record our future hopes. Thank God (in Whom they trust) all that's over! </p> 2020-11-09T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Inside The Largest Simulation Of The Universe Ever Created <p><!-- - break - -->Imagine being asked to solve a complex algebra problem that is roughly 95 percent variables and only five percent known values. This is a rough analogy perhaps, but it paints a fairly accurate picture of the task faced by modern cosmologists. The prevailing line of thinking says that the universe is mostly composed of dark matter and dark energy, two mysterious entities that have never been directly observed or measured even though the cosmological math insist that they are real. We can see their perceived effects, but we can't see them directly - and thus we can't seen the real structure of our own universe.</p> 2020-11-09T01:02:00.0000000+11:00 Fund A Tiny Robotic Dragonfly <p>The Georgia Institute of Technology has plopped its robotic dragonfly drone up on Indiegogo to be crowdfunded. It's a pretty impressive device: a four-winged, superlight flier with the capability to hold a camera, plus GPS, Wi-Fi, and compatibility with smartphone apps. </p> 2020-11-08T09:00:00.0000000+11:00 Obama: Congratulations! But We Need To Talk. <p>(<em>The following is a post-US-election dispatch from the PopSci mothership in New York.</em>) </p> <p>Dear President Obama,</p> <p><em>What a relief</em>, many of us thought this morning. We re-elected a president who supports public funding for research (truthfully, public funding for anything). We re-elected a president who acknowledges the reality of climate change (at least you did in your victory speech if not during the campaign). We re-elected a president who so eloquently <a href="" target="_blank">describes</a> occupations like doctors, scientists and engineers as the definition of American aspiration. </p> 2020-11-08T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Pacific Island Chain of Tokelau Is The First Territory Powered Solely By Solar <p><!-- - break - -->The remote island chain of Tokelau, positioned between New Zealand and Hawaii in the Pacific, suddenly has a significant claim to fame. Tokelau has become the first territory able to meet all of its electricity needs with solar power, officials say, completely weaning the string of atolls off of the diesel generators it has relied on for decades.</p> 2020-11-08T05:09:00.0000000+11:00 Researchers Turn Animal Ears Into Bio-Batteries <p><!-- - break - -->The line between man and machine - or at least mammal and machine - grows blurrier still. It's not exactly the Singularity, but a collaboration between researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have tapped into the electrochemical gradient that exists naturally in the inner ear of mammals and used it to power electronics for the first time - like the Matrix, but with guinea pigs.</p> 2020-11-08T03:39:00.0000000+11:00 How Do You Find More Donor Organs? Pay People For Their Body Parts <p><!-- - break - -->A Canadian study probing the modern feasibility of a relatively old idea has come to a somewhat unexpected conclusion: most people really don't have a problem with paying for human organs. Dr. Braden Manns of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and Institute for Public Health sent a questionnaire around to more than 2.500 public health workers and people affected with kidney disease. The results: people seem to think <a href=" - new-study-suggests-cash-for-organ-donation-could-boost-transplant-rates" target="_blank">it's okay to pay for body parts</a>.</p> 2020-11-08T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 'Donuts Inc.' Accused Of Fueling Cybersquatting After Bidding $56 Million For New Domain Names <p><!-- - break - -->When the so-called top-level domain names - with suffixes like .buy, .apple, or .book instead of .org or .com - went up for auction, it was compared to an Internet gold rush. Big companies hurried to snatch them up, despite the prohibitive $185,000 application fee. You might've heard about Google and Amazon going big on the new suffixes, but you probably didn't hear about Donuts Inc., a small, venture-backed company that's spent $56 million on more than 300 domains. For reference, that's about three times as many as Google is bidding for, and four times as many as Amazon. </p> 2020-11-08T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 Thank You, Bravo, For 'Start-Ups: Silicon Valley' [Review] <p><!-- - break - -->In a spectacular Sufjan-Stevensesque gimmick, Bravo has quietly pledged to create a television series about every single pocket of horrible rich people in the entire country. That includes housewives made of the same soft-touch plastic as many smartphones, trust-fund art gallery interns in New York, bipedal snake-monster matchmakers, and now, in <em>Start-Ups: Silicon Valley</em>, soulless husks of Ruby code in Silicon Valley. It is a performance art project of horrific proportions, a mirror held up to the American dream. You want to be rich? Here's what rich looks like. This will be shown in the Guggenheim in 40 years, probably.</p> 2020-11-07T10:00:00.0000000+11:00 Let's Replace Annoying Billboards With Sky Forests of Bamboo <p><!-- - break - -->In areas that allow unlimited billboard construction, the side of the road can look like a peeling, rusty forest. Signs that aren't hawking cellphone companies, fast food places or adult stores are adorned with horribly sketched toothy whales shouting YOUR AD HERE. But there is a better billboard future! Let's put plants on them instead, creating mini hanging gardens that can purify air and give us a break from a constant barrage of words and pictures.</p> 2020-11-07T09:32:00.0000000+11:00 DARPA Wants Cheap Head-Up Displays That Work In Any Kind Of Light <p><!-- - break - -->Warfighters have a whole suite of cameras they can use to see in the dark, through fog or smoke, and in broad daylight - but that's actually a problem, <a href="" target="_blank">according to DARPA</a>. Nobody wants to carry a suite of things. It would be better to have just one item that can do everything your suite could do.</p> 2020-11-07T08:27:00.0000000+11:00 Your Kinect Will Count The Number Of People In The Room So It Can Charge You A Per-Person Rate <p><!-- - break - --> You already knew your Kinect was watching you, but perhaps not like this. A US Patent and Trademark Office filing by Microsoft reveals that the company is devising a means for your Xbox peripheral to count the number of people in the room and even identify who they are in order to assess licensing fees for content based on the number of people in the room.</p> 2020-11-07T07:26:00.0000000+11:00 The West's First Gene Therapy Goes On Sale Mid-2013 <p><!-- - break - -->The first gene therapy to be approved in the West will hit the market by the middle of next year, opening the masses to a controversial treatment that directly alters a patient's own DNA. Dutch biotech uniQure's Glybera was approved for sale by the European Commission late last month.</p> 2020-11-07T06:45:00.0000000+11:00 Gamers Chipping Away At Digital Cube Are Promised 'Life-Changing' Secret <p>This is how the just-released game <em>Curiosity: What's Inside The Cube?</em> works: Anyone with an iPhone or iPad can <a href="" target="_blank">download the iOS app</a>. With the app, the players connect on the Internet, furiously tapping on their screens to remove pixely chunks of a single, gigantic cube.</p> 2020-11-07T06:15:00.0000000+11:00 NASA Astronauts Cast Their Votes From Space <p>Proof that remote e-voting <em>is</em> possible, even if we haven't figured out how to make it happen on Earth: NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station are filling out digital versions of their ballots today, and beaming them back to Mission Control.</p> 2020-11-07T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 'We Wanted To Make A Robot That Could Squeeze Through Holes And Change Its Shape' <p><!-- - break - -->"If you don't have legs, you can propel yourself by deforming your body. Earthworms do this through peristaltic locomotion: The muscles in one body segment contract while others relax, which creates a traveling wave that moves them forward. Our robot, Meshworm, moves this way, using wires for muscles. To make a muscle segment, we twist the wire into a long, narrow spring, and then wrap the spring into a tube shape. After that, we link up several segments and cover them with plastic braided mesh, like the screen on your window. </p> 2020-11-07T03:03:00.0000000+11:00 Scientist Wants To Fly A Blimp Over Mountains To Search For Bigfoot <p><!-- - break - --> Jeffrey Meldrum, an anatomy and anthropology professor at Idaho State University, has spent significant time in his career <a href="" target="_blank">searching for Bigfoot</a>. That's gained him the ire of colleagues, but it hasn't stopped him from upping the stakes more and more. Now he's gotten the nod from the University to <a href="" target="_blank">build a remote-controlled blimp</a> and continue the chase.</p> 2020-11-06T09:13:00.0000000+11:00 Methane Is Scarce, But That Doesn't Mean There's No Life On Mars <p><!-- - break - -->Finding methane on another world is like finding breadcrumbs on a trail - it's a telling clue, a detail that gives reason to ask more questions and maybe find some answers, in this case related to extraterrestrial life. This is why news from the Mars rover Curiosity late last week is kind of disappointing - looking around for methane, Curiosity found a whole lot of nothing. </p> 2020-11-06T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Science Predicts What Kinds Of Toys A Dog Will Enjoy <p><!-- - break - --> Dog toy selection is more art than science. Maybe you think it's safe to just go for a classic. Something like a nice bone. </p> 2020-11-06T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 Amputee Climbs 103 Stories Using Mind-Controlled Bionic Leg <p><!-- - break - -->A man with a mind-controlled bionic leg climbed to the top of Chicago's famous <s>Sears</s> Willis Tower Sunday, part of a charity stair-climbing event. Zac Vawter, 31, lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident and is the first person to climb that many floors wearing a bionic limb.</p> 2020-11-06T04:01:00.0000000+11:00 How I Hacked An Electronic Voting Machine <p><!-- - break - -->Roger Johnston is the head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory. Not long ago, he and his colleagues launched security attacks on electronic voting machines to demonstrate the startling ease with which one can steal votes. Even more startling: Versions of those machines will appear in polling places all over America on Tuesday. The touchscreen Diebold Accuvote-TSX will be used by more than 26 million voters in 20 states; the push-button Sequoia AVC Voting Machine will be used by almost 9 million voters in four US states. Here, Johnston reveals how he hacked the machines - and why anyone, from a high-school kid to an 80-year-old grandmother, could do the same.</p> 2020-11-06T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Why Living Cells Are The Future Of Data Processing <p><!-- - break - -->Not all computers are made of silicon. By definition, a computer is anything that processes data, performs calculations, or uses so-called logic gates to turn inputs (for example, 1s and 0s in binary code) into outputs. And now, a small international community of scientists is working to expand the realm of computers to include cells, animals, and other living organisms. Some of their experiments are highly theoretical; others represent the first steps toward usable biological computers. All are attempts to make life perform work now done by chips and circuit boards.</p> 2020-11-06T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Lonely Asian Elephant Learns To Speak 5 Words In Korean <p>If you speak any Korean - or are familiar with Season 2 of <em>Arrested Development</em> - you know that the word for "hello" is "annyong." Koshik, an elephant who spent much of his youth at Everland Zoo in South Korea, can actually pronounce it. A beluga whale made the news just last week for being able to imitate human sounds, but this elephant can actually say words! The animal kingdom is constantly one-upping itself.</p> 2020-11-03T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 Meet The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia <p><!-- - break - -->"All I am is a contributor. I have no title, I'm just a Joe Blow," says Ken Mampel, a currently unemployed 56-year-old living in Ormond Beach, Florida. He's also largely responsible for <a href="" target="_blank">the Wikipedia article about Hurricane Sandy</a>. If it isn't already, that article will eventually become the single most-viewed document about the hurricane. On the entire internet. </p> 2020-11-03T06:30:00.0000000+11:00 BeerSci: Uncovering the Secrets Of Barley <p><!-- - break - -->Last month, scientists announced a big breakthrough in barley research: They had finally sequenced the entire barley genome. In response, some media outlets ran stories declaring that this will somehow result in better beer (barley being one of beer's key ingredients). Sure, on some level, understanding the barley genome is going to yield better - or more, or cheaper - beer, especially if climate change goes down the way scientists suspect it will and crops become more difficult to grow due to substandard environmental conditions. But those media stories are missing the point: That kind of better-beer hyperbole is a bit like taking some NASA results from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and saying that the data will help you get a better tan. The implications of the research are much more complex. </p> 2020-11-03T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 This Giant Stellar Bubble Looks Like A Dog's Head <p><!-- - break - -->Some 5,000 light years away, hovering in the constellation Canis Major, this <a href="" target="_blank">massive 60-light-years-across bubble is lurking</a>. Known as a Wolf-Rayet bubble (and thought by some to resemble a wolf- or dog-like head), it's a type of cosmic structure created by huge stars that generate equally colossal stellar winds. When imaged in X-ray, it gives us the shifting blues, greens, yellows, and reds seen above.</p> 2020-11-03T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 New Mission Will Explore Bizarre Gravitational Anomaly Around Earth <p><!-- - break - -->Something strange happens to spacecraft swinging past Earth for a gravity boost - they suddenly speed up, and their trajectories change in unexpected ways. It's a tiny change, but enough that physicists have started to take notice. The European Space Agency is planning a new mission that could <a href="" target="_blank">measure this gravity anomaly</a> and figure out if a new, unknown physics is at work. </p> 2020-11-02T23:56:00.0000000+11:00 Humans Can't Be Empathetic And Logical At The Same Time <p><!-- - break - -->Logic and emotion tend to be considered as polar opposites. Think about the analytic CEO-his actions make sense in the science of profit, but when it means using cheap human labor or firing a couple hundred employees, there's an apparent lack of concern for the human consequences of his actions. Many choices are a struggle to compromise the two systems - and that may have to do with how our brains are wired. </p> 2020-11-02T07:57:00.0000000+11:00 News Writers: Stop Trying To Scare People With Made-Up Storm Language <p>Here is a short list of major news organizations referring to Sandy as a "superstorm": <a href=",0,4132136.story">The L.A. Times</a>, <a href="">CBS News</a>, <a href="">Time</a>, <a href="">The Guardian</a>, <a href="">Business Insider</a>, <a href=" - insured-losses-from-superstorm-sandy-s-damage-will-easily-be-in-billions">the Toronto Star</a>, and <a href="">the Wall Street Journal</a>. </p> <p>Here's what Professor Alan Blumberg, professor of ocean engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology and director of its Center for Maritime Systems, says a "superstorm" is: "It's a media invention. There's no real meteorological term called 'superstorm.'" </p> 2020-11-02T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Thinking About Maths Is As Painful As A Hot Stove Burn, If You're Anxious <p><!-- - break - -->Are you the type of person who has a calculator app at the ready, helping figure out restaurant tips and sale discounts? Does the above image make you nervous? Are you actually <em>scared</em> of maths? It's OK! It's your brain playing tricks on you. </p> 2020-11-02T06:27:00.0000000+11:00 NYC Mayor Bloomberg, Citing Climate Change, Endorses Obama <p>New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has had Barack Obama and Mitt Romney trying to court him for some time now, both hoping the third-term independent could help move some swing staters to their respective corners. It wasn't clear either candidate would get the nod from Bloomberg, but the mayor just endorsed Obama.</p> 2020-11-02T06:12:00.0000000+11:00 News Now Brought To You By Drones? <p><!-- - break - -->Over at the University of Nebraska, journalism students putting another tool in the reporter's toolbox: drones. The Drone Journalism Lab at U. of Nebraska Lincoln has filed its first drone-assisted story, a print/video story package (you can see the video below) on the ongoing drought in Nebraska's Platte River basin.</p> 2020-11-02T04:58:00.0000000+11:00 NOAA's New Storm-Chasing Robot Survives Sandy And Reports Back <p><!-- - break - -->Back in August, as Tropical Storm Isaac was churning toward New Orleans, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration experienced a near-miss. One of its prototype wave-powered Wave Glider robots - a proof of concept storm tracking ‘bot that NOAA plans to evolve into an entire fleet - was in the water north of Puerto Rico on a routine science mission when Isaac skirted by, just missing the robot and robbing NOAA of a great opportunity to give its robotic storm chaser a real-world trial. This week, NOAA got its second chance.</p> 2020-11-02T03:58:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Why Does Salt Water Make Hurricane Damage So Much Worse? <p><!-- - break - -->Sandy crippled the NYC subway system this week, knocking out power, damaging switches, and dumping gallons of storm water into the city's aging tunnel infrastructure. Officials estimated that it would take several days for the subway to return to normal (some lines have already resumed service), and a 2011 study on similar disasters suggested it could take even longer, up to several months. A big part of the problem? Salt. </p> 2020-11-02T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 The iPad Mini, Undressed <p>Our friends over at iFixit got their hands on the new iPad Mini and, as is their wont, tore it to pieces.</p> 2020-11-02T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 A Working Tetris Game Inside A Pumpkin <p><!-- - break - -->Nathan Pryor at <a href="" target="_blank">HaHa Bird</a> has essentially won Halloween. Rather than carving a boring spooky face for trick-or-treaters to ignore, he made the gourd into a Tetris machine. There's a grid of holes on the facade and LED lights inside. Players can control the game using the stem of the pumpkin, which functions as a joystick. Waste not, want not.</p> 2020-11-01T08:37:00.0000000+11:00 Daily Infographic: A Family Tree Of Every Bird On Earth <p><!-- - break - -->This gorgeous infographic is the first family tree linking <a href="" target="_blank">every bird on Earth</a>, revealing how birds have evolved since the dinosaur age. </p> 2020-11-01T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 A Laser To The Brain Eliminates Bad Habits In Rats <p><!-- - break - -->Neuroscientists at MIT have identified the region of the brain that switches between old and new habits. In the study, researchers trained rats to run in a T-shaped maze. They would receive chocolate milk for turning left or sugar water for turning right. When the researchers took away the rewards, the rats who had learned to turn left continued to do so, even though they weren't benefitting in any way. </p> 2020-11-01T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Monsters Are People Too, Says Dungeons And Dragons Study <p><!-- - break - -->A pair of eyes in front of us automatically lures our own gaze, even if they belong to an animal. But what about a monster with multiple eyes located not on the head, but on its hands or legs or torso? Where do we first look?</p> 2020-11-01T06:28:00.0000000+11:00 Large Hadron Collider Unleashes Rampaging Zombies <p><!-- - break - -->At first I thought the zombie trend was kind of played out, but then I saw <a href="" target="_blank">this trailer</a>. It's another zombie film, but this one has the Large Hadron Collider! The Higgs field! "Decay" as one of the nerdiest plays-on-words ever! It's great.</p> 2020-11-01T05:28:00.0000000+11:00 Smartphone-Using Teens Have More Sex, New Study Says <p><!-- - break - -->A new as-yet-unpublished study claims that teens who have smartphones are more likely to set up hookups. It may be because smartphones make it simpler. </p> 2020-11-01T04:48:00.0000000+11:00 Today On Mars: Curiosity's First X-Rays Determine Mars Soil Is Like Hawaii's <p><!-- - break - -->Martian soil is a lot like the weathered volcanic soils of Hawaii, according to the latest from the Mars rover Curiosity. The minerals in Martian soil are a similar composition to basaltic material on Earth. </p> 2020-11-01T03:20:00.0000000+11:00 Here's Why The New Boxee TV Won't Have Amazon Instant Video <p><!-- - break - -->Boxee, the underdog startup which emerged from the hacker world to create some of the best and most interesting streaming media gadgets on the market, is <a href="" target="_blank">doing its best to go mainstream</a>. And what's more mainstream in the US than Walmart?</p> 2020-11-01T01:40:00.0000000+11:00 What Not To Do In A Superstorm <p><!-- - break - -->I wish I could blame the following stupidity on booze, but I don't even have that crutch. I'll blame it instead on being cooped up in the house for hours on end watching horrible things unfold on the internet and outside my window. See, right when that hurricane made landfall last night, my friends and I were wandering the streets of Brooklyn. </p> 2020-10-31T08:30:00.0000000+11:00 Disney Will Release A New Star Wars Movie In 2015 <p>Disney has bought <em>Star Wars</em>. In a just-announced deal for $4 billion, the company picked up Lucasfilm, the production company that made The Biggest Cultural Thing In Modern Times. And along with that, Disney's making <em>Star Wars: Episode VII</em>, to be released in 2015, with another film to be released every two to three years after. </p> 2020-10-31T08:15:00.0000000+11:00 Lebbeus Woods, Futuristic Architect, Dies <p><!-- - break - -->Lebbeus Woods, an experimental architect, artist, and theoretician, has died. He passed away in his sleep this morning, <em>New York Times</em> architecture critic Michael Kimmelman reported on Twitter.</p> 2020-10-31T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Steve Jobs's Yacht Unveiled At Last <p>It's the yacht that Steve Jobs commissioned before his death, and it was just unveiled in the Netherlands this week. </p> 2020-10-31T06:48:00.0000000+11:00 Cheap New Nanoparticle HIV Test Gives Fast Results Visible To The Naked Eye <p><!-- - break - -->Researchers at Imperial College London have created a simple and quick HIV test that is both more sensitive and 10 times cheaper than existing methods. The new test, which uses nanotechnology to produce results visible to the naked eye, could be invaluable in poorer countries that lack sophisticated laboratory equipment. </p> 2020-10-31T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 To Deflect Asteroids From Earth, Deploy Paintballs By The Tonne <p><!-- - break - -->We can't do much to deflect a hurricane, but we may have a pretty good defense against asteroids. A particularly pale asteroid could reflect so much sunlight that the photons bouncing from it could create enough force to steer it away. All we'd need to do is ensure that any asteroids coming our way are bright white. MIT graduate student Sung Wook Paek's solution is to blast incoming offenders with pellets full of white paint.</p> 2020-10-31T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 Roku's New One-Stop Search Finds Your Video, Regardless Of App <p><!-- - break - -->This morning, all newish Roku boxes - that's the Roku 2, Roku LT, and some older Roku HDs - got an update to support one-stop search. Right on the homescreen, there's a new search option that'll trawl through Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Crackle, HBO Go, and Vudu. It's one of those things that sounds small but that's actually pretty big - one-stop search is a major tool in unifying what used to be disparate standalone apps, which means it's a major tool towards making streaming media easier and less awkward to use.</p> 2020-10-31T03:30:00.0000000+11:00 The Fastest Science Machine In The World <p><!-- - break - -->With the release of the next TOP500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers just weeks away, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has this week officially deployed Titan, a 20-petaflop machine. Titan is expected to edge out Sequoia, another Department of Energy machine housed at Lawrence Livermore National Labs, putting the U.S. confidently back atop the supercomputing pyramid (Sequoia is expected to hold the number-two spot) after spending the last few years often chasing China and Japan.</p> 2020-10-31T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 Daily Infographic: Gorgeous Wind Map Captures Sandy In Real-Time <p><!-- - break - -->Storms such as the one formerly-known-as-hurricane-Sandy are a font of scientific information. I am sure that many PhD dissertations will result from sifting through the reams of data the storm generated. But that data can also be visually captivating, as in the case of this nifty near-real-time info-vis module of the wind by infographic artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg.</p> 2020-10-31T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 IBM Transistors Made Of Nanotubes Could Replace Silicon, In Ever-Tinier Computer Chips <p><!-- - break - -->As silicon microchips get smaller and manufacturers pack more and more transistors onto each individual chip, Moore's Law - the optimistic observation that the microchip industry doubles the number of transistors it can build on a single chip every 12 to 18 months - becomes a little more difficult to maintain. But IBM researchers are <a href="" target="_blank">reporting a breakthrough</a> in transistor technology that could allow them to further reduce the size of logic gates - the fundamental digital switches on the modern microchip - and therefore continue shrinking microchips for another decade or more, enabling our gadgets to continue growing faster, more powerful, and (hopefully) more efficient.</p> 2020-10-31T01:40:00.0000000+11:00 Behold: An Indoor Hurricane Simulator! <p><!-- - break - -->About two years ago, Brian Haus, the chair of the Division of Applied Marine Physics at the University of Miami, was studying storms in the western Pacific ocean, off the coast of Taiwan. He and his team chase hurricanes. Sometimes the hurricanes completely miss the sensor-packed buoys placed in their path to track power and speed. Sometimes they don't. </p> 2020-10-31T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 5 Things Hurricane Sandy Reveals About Global Warming <p><!-- - break - -->Hurricane Sandy pummeled the eastern United States with unprecedented storm surges, rainfall, and howling winds Monday. Making matters worse: A cold front strengthed the cyclone into a snowy "Frankenstorm," while an Arctic weather system trapped the storm over densely populated regions.</p> 2020-10-31T00:00:00.0000000+11:00 How The PopSci Staff Prepares For A Hurricane <p>The PopSci Mothership is based in New York. And New York is in the process of being ground flat - or perhaps just gently dampened - by Hurricane Sandy. Here's how the team is (literally) weathering the storm...</p> <p><!-- - break - --></p> 2020-10-30T09:44:00.0000000+11:00 The Dictionary Of Hurricane Sandy: Wind Shear <p>Wind shear usually comes up when you talk about how a hurricane weakens. The term refers to changes in wind speed or direction over a short distance and can be measured either vertically or horizontally. </p> 2020-10-30T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 BeerSci: What To Drink During A Hurricane <p><!-- - break - -->Team BeerSci is trapped at home with a few Zone A refugees and we're contemplating how to pass the time as Hurricane Sandy approaches. It's not a tough decision: we made sure to put plenty of homebrew in the fridge last night, and there is a high probability that one will make an appearance on my desk next to the computer in the next few minutes. </p> 2020-10-30T06:52:00.0000000+11:00 Major New Google Announcements! <p><!-- - break - -->While the New York team cowers behind cans of overpriced and underflavoured Amy's Soup, those spoiled techies out in Mountain View, California - the location of Google headquarters - announced a whole mess of new Android stuff today. Here's what you need to know.</p> 2020-10-30T06:34:00.0000000+11:00 The Dictionary of Hurricane Sandy: Storm Surge <p>During a hurricane, a storm surge is usually the greatest threat to life and property. The disaster associated with Hurricane Katrina, as most will recall, was pretty much all derived either directly or indirectly from the storm surge. And while most people probably have a pretty good idea of what storm surge is, there is some nuance here that is worth noting.</p> 2020-10-30T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Dictionary Of Hurricane Sandy: Baroclinic Energy <p>One of the most striking features of Sandy is its source of energy. Most tropical cyclones get their energy from convection of warm tropical air up through the core of the storm to the upper atmosphere, as the storm moves across the warm waters of the Atlantic or Caribbean. Most storms are at their strongest when they are out to sea over warm water and lose energy once they come ashore.</p> 2020-10-30T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Dictionary of Hurricane Sandy: Spring Tide <p>Most coastlines on Earth experience two low tides and two high tides every day, as the enormous mass of water is tugged upon by the gravity of the orbiting moon and sloshes in and out on its 12-hour cycle. </p> 2020-10-30T04:30:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: How Much Caffeine Would It Take To Kill You? <p><!-- - break - -->A wrongful-death lawsuit filed last week against the makers of Monster energy drinks claims that 14-year-old Anais Fournier drank two 24-ounce cans of Monster in the day before she unexpectedly died late in 2011. The coroner's report described "caffeine toxicity" as contributing to her death. Just what does it take to ingest a lethal dose of caffeine?</p> 2020-10-30T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 The Dictionary Of Hurricane Sandy: Landfall <p>Landfall is a simple but misleading term. The proper definition, for a tropical or subtropical storm like our new friend Hurricane Sandy, is that when the eye of the storm passes over land, it is classified as "making landfall." </p> 2020-10-30T02:38:00.0000000+11:00 A Look At Instagrams Of Hurricane Sandy In Real Time <p>If you want to take the visual pulse of a major event, you can do a lot worse than checking out Instagram. Now, for Hurricane Sandy, we present <a href="" target="_blank">Instacane</a>, a site that updates with Instagram images of the storm in real time.</p> 2020-10-30T02:08:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Looking For Volunteers To Snag Samples Of Hurricane Sandy <p>If you're in a safe area (please, don't do this if you're not) scientists are looking for some help dissecting Hurricane Sandy. By collecting samples with the help of volunteers, researchers can learn a lot about an extreme weather event: where it came from, how it got to where it is, and more. </p> 2020-10-30T01:29:00.0000000+11:00 Updated Theory: Moon is Chunk of Earth <p><!-- - break - -->New simulations of a crash between Earth and a protoplanetary sister long ago could have produced a moon that's chemically similar to our planet, according to a new analysis. It bolsters a theory that the moon is part of Earth, and it helps settle a question about how this could be physically possible.</p> 2020-10-29T06:02:00.0000000+11:00 Hurricane Sandy, The "Bride Of Frankenstorm," From Above <p>Hurricane Sandy, nicknamed "Bride of Frankenstorm" because it's almost Halloween and because meteorologists are just the worst pun-makers ever, was photographed by NASA's TRIMM satellite while centered over the Bahamas this morning.</p> 2020-10-27T07:54:00.0000000+11:00 GameSci: Want to Dominate The Game? Set Your Morals Aside <p><!-- - break - -->I've spent the week enjoying <em>Dishonored</em>, a Victorian-steampunk fever-dream of a game that came out earlier this month. In it you play Corvo, a bodyguard who's looking for revenge after being framed for a royal murder and kidnapping. So far, it's a lot more fun than I anticipated, in part because of its willingness to bite me in the ass for my choices. You can either carefully sneak by enemies or plunge right into the fray, slicing and dicing past. But if you choose the latter, you later have to confront the downed foes undead-style (a zombifying plague is a main plotpoint) and deal with a "darker" ending. Still, getting through is sometimes a lot faster with a weapon handy. Should I do the moral thing or the strategic thing? Is this even up to me?</p> 2020-10-27T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 A Bloody Seeping Hole In My Foot, And Other Memories From A Field Biologist <p>"When your feet start to bleed - and boy, will they ever - don't panic. The hole that appears to be eating its way into the space between your 4th and 5th toes on your right foot won't go any deeper than a full centimeter (you know this because you stuck your finger inside of it and then measured the extent of the bloody seepage on your pinkie finger… the hole is that wide and deep)."<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-10-27T03:40:00.0000000+11:00 The Most Advanced Warship Ever Built <p><!-- break --> When the USS <em>Zumwalt</em> rolls out of dry dock at Bath Iron Works in Maine next year, the Navy's newest warship will be 100 feet longer than the destroyers currently serving around the globe-and nearly twice as massive-yet it will have a radar signature 50 times smaller and will carry half the crew. Packed bow to stern with state-of-the-art radar, stealth, weapons, and propulsion systems, the USS <em>Zumwalt</em>, which will be operational in mid-2016, will be the most technologically sophisticated warship ever to hit the water.</p> 2020-10-27T02:02:00.0000000+11:00 How Designers Plan To Create 'The Route 66 Of The Future' <p><!-- - break - -->The folks behind the Dutch design lab Studio Roosegaarde have come up with some outrageous ideas (<a href="" target="_blank">a vanishing cocktail dress</a>! <a href="" target="_blank">A sustainable dance floor</a>!). So you know when they partner with a construction company to conceptualize The Future Of The Highway, as they did at Dutch Design Week recently, it's going to be good. Also: weird. </p> 2020-10-27T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Why Do Children Think Covering Their Eyes Makes Them Invisible? <p><!-- - break - -->Anyone who has ever engaged in a round of peekaboo with a child has witnessed an adorable yet somewhat illogical behavior that is nearly universally shared among children: the attempt to <a href="" target="_blank">hide from view</a> by simply closing their eyes. This is cute and all, but it's also baffling. Why do children think they can render themselves invisible? And why have nearly all young children come to this same irrational conclusion?</p> 2020-10-27T00:00:00.0000000+11:00 How To Properly Butcher And Eat A Triceratops <p><!-- - break - -->When it came to dining on Triceratops, the Tyrannosaurus had a problem. That nutrient-rich meat in the Triceratops neck was a Late Cretaceous delicacy, but with that huge bone and keratin frill in the way it was notoriously difficult to get to. Now, paleontologists at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., have developed a new theory for how the T. Rex devoured the best part of his meal...</p> 2020-10-26T08:31:00.0000000+11:00 China Is Building A Brand New Green City From Scratch <p><!-- - break - -->A tiny pocket city built from scratch next to a crowded urban center could alleviate some of China's crowding and pollution problems. A Chicago-based architectural firm designed a master plan for the city, which will be built within eight years and host 30,000 families, or roughly 80,000 people. </p> 2020-10-26T08:04:00.0000000+11:00 Today On Mars: Curiosity Entertains The Idea Of An Escorted Return Trip To Earth <p><!-- - break - -->Mars Rover Curiosity's mission is slated to run for just two Earth years, but the directory of NASA's Mars Exploration Program thinks it could have enough power to run for two decades. In fact, he says, Curiosity may actually <a href="" target="_blank">return to Earth</a> someday.</p> 2020-10-26T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 Furry Racism At The Pound: Why Is It Harder For Black Cats To Find Homes? <p><!-- - break - --> Are people spooked by black cats? Darker felines sure seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to adoption. Black cats stay in shelters longer and are more likely to be euthanised than their lighter-coloured counterparts. Researchers at University of California at Berkeley conducted a study to find a link between cat colour and people's perception of cat personality. The findings were surprising: People do judge feline personalities by colour, but don't assess black cats negatively relative to other cats.</p> 2020-10-26T04:23:00.0000000+11:00 NASA's New, Stunning Pics Of Solar Storms <p><!-- - break - --> Scientists who study solar weather try to find patterns in the violent, chaotic motion of magnetic field lines above the sun's surface. Though the lines aren't actually visible, their patterns are illuminated by the streams of hot plasma that travel along them. But, while the giant coronal loops that form during major solar storms are <a href="" target="_blank">easy to pick out</a>, the field lines are generally so tangled up that it's hard to pick any one of them out. </p> 2020-10-26T03:32:00.0000000+11:00 5 Things You Need To Know About The Microsoft Surface <p>Windows 8 is two OSes in one. The Surface has two models with two different versions of that OS. This is confusing! So here's the breakdown.</p> 2020-10-26T02:15:00.0000000+11:00 Science Confirms The Obvious: Strict Parents Raise Conservative Kids <p><!-- - break - -->What makes a conservative? What makes a liberal? New research suggests that political socialization begins with parenting. Mothers and fathers who adopt an authoritarian parenting style (as opposed to an egalitarian style) tend to <a href="" target="_blank">raise children who endorse conservative ideologies as adults</a>. </p> 2020-10-26T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 NASA Is Building A Mocked-Up Deep-Space Habitat In Texas <p><!-- - break - --> When it's done, the concept for a ship that'll take astronauts to deep space won't look like much. Actually, it kind of sounds like a mess: the "Deep Space Habitat" is being cobbled together <a href="" target="_blank">from scrap parts</a> of the International Space Station, and even a museum mockup. Obviously, it's not going to send anyone to deep space. But it <em>does</em> give us a tantalising look at what it'll look when NASA does take the next steps in space travel. </p> 2020-10-26T00:00:00.0000000+11:00 Here Is What 84 Million Stars Look Like. You're Welcome. <p><!-- - break - -->In this picture, you are looking at a central concentration of ancient stars in the bulging part of our galaxy. The bulge is full of dust, gas and most of the stars in the Milky Way, which makes it hard to study - astronomers have to suss out stars from crowded, dusty zones and figure out how far they are from us. This new image catalogs 84 million of them, which is 10 times the number of stars cataloged in any previous study.</p> 2020-10-25T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Double-Diamond Anvil Creates Pressures Greater Than Earth's Inner Core <p><!-- - break - -->With a new megapressure environment, scientists will be able to replicate pressures one and a half times stronger than those found at the center of the Earth. The specialized anvil cell can create <a href="" target="_blank">double the amount of pressure</a> than anyone had previously demonstrated, an environment where new materials can be formed and where minerals behave very strangely.</p> 2020-10-25T06:25:00.0000000+11:00 Is This Tiny Sticker The Future of NFC? <p><!-- - break - -->At any given time there are a whole mess of buzzwords and concepts floating around the tech world, evolving incrementally until eventually they become something we can all actually use and enjoy (or, alternately, until they are replaced or forgotten). "The cloud," meaningless as that term is, has already transitioned into "thing everyone uses all the time." Something like 3D printing, on the other hand, is still at a comparatively early stage - you can technically do it, but nobody knows quite why you would, given the current state of the tech, and nobody knows what the application will be that makes it useful for normal people.</p> 2020-10-25T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 Boeing Tests A Missile That Knocks Out A Building's Power <p>In whatever sense that there's a "good" missile, this new one from Boeing seems like it. Rather than a missile that demolishes a target (along with everything nearby), countries have been clamoring for something more discreet: a weapon that knocks out the lights instead, crippling a target without collateral damage. </p> 2020-10-25T05:07:00.0000000+11:00 How The Sound Of Rain Helps Engineers Diagnose Unsafe Bridges <p><!-- - break - -->To test the safety of a bridge, engineers rely on some pretty low-tech methods. One common way of doing it is to drag a chain across the bridge and listen in for the hollow-sounding spots. But, weirdly, an even-lower-tech method might speed things along: Have the rain do the work for you.</p> 2020-10-25T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Electric Brain Stimulation Warps Your Perception Of Faces <p><!-- - break - -->Two nerve clusters in the brain are crucial for perceiving faces, a finding that could help treat people who suffer from face blindness and that could inform why some people have such good facial recognition. Like many other neurological studies, the research team was able to benefit from a patient's desperate measures to treat his debilitating seizures. It wasn't quite the man who mistook his wife for a hat - more a man who <a href="" target="_blank">mistook his doctor for some other guy</a>.</p> 2020-10-25T03:01:00.0000000+11:00 Fruit Punched: What Is The Point Of Flavored Mouthguards? <p><!-- - break - -->A mouthguard is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any fighting sport. Sure, the gloves are iconic, but they only protect the tiny bones of the hand. The headgear sure looks safe, but its actual value in protecting against brain damage has been called into question (and pro fighters don't get to wear one anyhow). It is the humble mouthguard that ultimately keeps a fighter's teeth intact, keeps him from biting off his tongue, wards off broken mandibles, and helps cushion the brain from blows to the jaw. In the heat of battle, under attack from a determined foe, a mouthguard may be a fighter's only real line of defence.</p> 2020-10-25T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Blue Origin Tests Its Rocket Crew Launchpad Escape System <p><!-- - break - -->On Friday, private spaceflight venture Blue Origin conducted a successful test of its Pad Escape system, demonstrating that its pusher escape motor system can effectively put daylight between its crew capsule and an imperiled launch vehicle (read: out-of-control rocket booster) should anything go awry during a potential future crewed space launch aboard Blue Origin's technology. Today, we got our hands on the video. </p> 2020-10-25T01:31:00.0000000+11:00 Issue #48 - November 2012 <p>The November issue helps you live in a new material world. Specifically, a world of amazing new materials that will form the building-blocks of the next generation of tech. Also there's a jet-powered Aussie speedboat. </p> 2020-10-24T14:36:00.0000000+11:00 Infographic: Horses And Bayonets? Guns And Butter? <p><!-- - break - --> "Horses and Bayonets" was a meme the instant it came out of President Obama's mouth during last night's debate. The phrase was part of a rebuttal against Governor Romney's claim that the US has the smallest number of ships since 1916 (the implication being that the US Navy is currently weak). </p> <p><em>This piece is by our US correspondents, so they refer to "we" a lot. Oh well - given the ANZUS treaty, it's probably apt!</em></p> 2020-10-24T07:52:00.0000000+11:00 Listen to Your Intuition, Because Your Body Can Predict Future Events Without Conscious Clues <p><!-- - break - -->Pre-cognition might really exist, at least in some limited fashion, according to a new study of studies. Humans can anticipate near-future events even without any evidence presaging the event - and apparently without realising it. One researcher even hints that quantum behavior might be involved.</p> 2020-10-24T07:05:00.0000000+11:00 Raw Food Diet Kept Primates Stupid <p>Hey! We're still on that raw food thing. Humans differ from their primate ancestors in a few obvious ways (our conspicuous lack of body hair, our short arms), but evolutionary researchers all agree that what really sets us apart - what makes us social and creative and <em>human</em> - is our big brains. The question researchers are still trying to answer is: How did it happen? What conditions or changes or achievements made it possible for our ancestors' brains to grow to twice the relative size of monkeys, orangutans, and chimpanzees? </p> 2020-10-24T06:28:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: How Do Places On Mars Get Their Names? <p><!-- - break - -->This week, the Mars rover Curiosity is humming its way across the pebbly surface of Yellowknife, leaving behind Peace Vallis and Hottah, and motoring through Gale Crater through a geologic region called Glenelg. Like every other major feature on Mars, all the names of all these places were carefully chosen, suggested to an international consortium of scientists, formally selected and then officially written into the gazetteer. Most places on Mars are named for geologic features on Earth, but sometimes there's a larger connection - like Glenelg.</p> 2020-10-24T05:28:00.0000000+11:00 Apple Goes Small At Today's Announcement With iPad Mini <p><!-- - break - -->Alright folks, event over. Here's what we learned:</p> 2020-10-24T04:39:00.0000000+11:00 Puppies Only Pick Up Yawns When They're Old Enough To Understand Empathy <p><!-- - break - -->Dogs catch contagious yawns just like people, baboons and chimps, which can be used as a measure of empathy. But this is a behavior they learn after they emerge from youngest puppyhood, a new study says. Like people, young dogs show a developmental trend in their likelihood of catching yawns. This is the first time anyone has studied young-organism yawning in a species other than people.</p> 2020-10-24T03:34:00.0000000+11:00 The iPad Mini Is For Snobs, The Kindle Fire Is For Dumb-Dumbs <p><!-- - break - -->So today is the day of the iPad Mini announcement. I tried to do a story about what small tablets are better at than big tablets, aside from costing fewer dollars, but the only thing I could come up with was book-reading. And then I wondered: which would be better at book-reading, a 7-inch tablet like the Kindle Fire, or a 7.85-inch tablet like the  iPad Mini?</p> 2020-10-24T02:32:00.0000000+11:00 Eating Cooked Food Made Us Human <p><!-- - break - -->Gathered around a blazing fire, our ancient ancestors probably huddled to pass the archaic kebab, munching cooked meat and figuring out how they might share it and plan to get more of it. Eating cooked food allowed these early hominids to spend less time gnawing on raw material and digesting it, providing time - and energy - to do other things instead, like socialize. The strenuous cognitive demands of communicating and socializing forced human ancestors to develop more powerful brains, which required more calories - calories that cooked food provided. Cooking, in other words, allowed us to become human.</p> 2020-10-23T09:08:00.0000000+11:00 Science Says Sex Addiction Is For Real. Here's How To Diagnose It. <p><!-- - break - -->Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen and other celebrities with an admitted proclivity for prurient behavior could soon serve as diagnostic case studies: New research shows that sex addiction is indeed a mental health disorder - one that can be easily and accurately diagnosed. </p> 2020-10-23T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Brand-New Vaccine Strategy Works Against Herpes, And Potentially HIV <p><!-- - break - -->Yale researchers developing a new technique for vaccination against genital herpes have succeeded, but their research may have implications far beyond what they set out to accomplish. Employing a two-part immune-system-boosting strategy known as "prime and pull," the researchers have effectively coaxed the body's own antibodies into setting up a defensive blockade in tissues that formerly were not conducive to such immune responses. In doing so, they may have found a mechanism that is effective in preventing not only herpes, but other sexually transmitted infections as well - infections like the AIDS-causing HIV-1.</p> 2020-10-23T07:01:00.0000000+11:00 Dentists Could Soon Diagnose Cancer By Looking At Your Saliva <p><!-- - break - -->Your dentist could soon be your new doctor. Don't cancel your annual physical just yet, but promising research coming out of UCLA's School of Dentistry suggests that salivary diagnostics - or "salivaomics" - could become a potent resource for early detection of a broad range of potential health problems like autoimmune diseases, diabetes and even life-threatening conditions like cancer.</p> 2020-10-23T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Italian Quake Scientists Convicted <p><!-- - break - -->After a 6.3 magnitude quake hit L'aquila, killing more than 300 people, Italian officials arrested six scientists and one former government official, saying they were falsely reassuring about the chances of the quake. Now they've just been sentenced to six years in prison. </p> 2020-10-23T03:58:00.0000000+11:00 New Telescope To Hunt For Earth's Twin <p><!-- - break - -->The Kepler space telescope (and several observatories on the ground) have pinpointed a plenitude of planets around other stars, but astronomers' knowledge of them remains fuzzy. A new European mission launching in five years will bring them into focus, figuring out their size, density and internal structure.</p> 2020-10-23T03:03:00.0000000+11:00 iPod Nano And iPod Touch Review: Hey Guys, Remember iPods? <p><!-- - break - -->Let's assume, before we go any further, that you have already decided you want a non-smartphone that can play media (or apps), so we can not waste any time by discussing under which probably weird circumstances you want one of these instead of a smartphone, which is of course much more capable and which you probably already have. No more discussion! Just reviews!</p> 2020-10-23T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Turn An Android Device Into A Pocket-Size Media Centre <p><!-- - break - --> The notion that a home entertainment centre must be in your actual home is antiquated. With an off-the-shelf adapter and a few apps loaded onto an Android phone or tablet, users can stream movies, TV shows, and videogames from remote computers or media services to a television. That means you can fully re-create the experience of being at home when you're at a friend's house, in a hotel room, or anywhere else with a good flat-screen. </p> 2020-10-23T01:27:00.0000000+11:00 They Said It Couldn't Be Done! <p><!-- - break - -->Da Vinci sketched the oldest known plans for a human-powered aircraft in 1485. Yet it wasn't until 1977 that the first one truly flew. Flight requires lift, when the net air pressure pushing upward counteracts the craft's weight. For years, many assumed that flight required more lift and more power than the human body alone could provide (although the admonitions did little to stop myriad failed attempts). But inventors persisted.<!-- - break - --> Aircraft fly using three basic configurations: fixed wing, flapping wing, and rotors. In the last 50 years, inventors have conquered fixed-wing and flapping flight. Now they are on the verge of overcoming the greatest challenge yet: vertical takeoff.</p> 2020-10-23T00:01:00.0000000+11:00 Will The City Of The Future Look As Insane As This? <p>To create the exhibit "Under Tomorrows Sky" (yes, it's apostrophe-free), speculative architect Liam Young brought together a batch of like-minded folks to imagine a city of the future...</p> 2020-10-20T08:30:00.0000000+11:00 Today On Mars: Curiosity Arrives At 'The Promised Land' <p><!-- - break - -->The Mars rover Curiosity has arrived at its long-sought destination: Glenelg, a region where three types of geologic formations converge into a potential bonanza for scientists. </p> 2020-10-19T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Science Confirms The Obvious: Rejection Can Make You More Creative <p><!-- - break - -->Don't let rejection get you down - it might be the ticket to creativity, science says. That's right: If regular rejection doesn't cause you to lose all self-confidence and withdraw from the world entirely, it just might boost your ability to think outside of the mainstream and draw upon a unique worldview, suggesting that the kind of people society considers "geniuses" might tend to have a go-it-alone, loner mentality.</p> 2020-10-19T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 How An Architectural Photographer Turned Google's Boring Server Warehouses Into Art <p>Our friends at Pop Photo talked to Connie Zhou, who took absolutely stunning photos of what might seem horribly boring: Google's server centers. </p> 2020-10-19T05:50:00.0000000+11:00 Daily Infographic: Who's Been In The Most James Bond Movies? <p><!-- - break - -->The 50th anniversary of James Bond - and the upcoming release of <em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Skyfall</em></a></em>, the newest film - have inspired a wealth of <a href="" target="_blank">infographics</a> over the last couple weeks, but <a href="" target="_blank">this interactive visualization</a> by Ramiro Gómez is arguably the coolest. </p> 2020-10-19T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 Exposing Kids To 10 Hours Of Science A Year Makes Them Smarter <p><!-- - break - -->Low-income minority fourth-graders from south L.A. improved their test scores in math and language after they got just a handful of science lessons, a new study found. College students studying science presented 10 separate one-hour lessons, and the kids rose up whole percentile ranks in other subjects.</p> 2020-10-19T03:15:00.0000000+11:00 Check Out The Most Richly Detailed Image Ever Taken Of Uranus <p><!-- - break - -->Uranus looks a lot like some of our solar system's other planets in these <a href="" target="_blank">spectacular new images</a> from the Keck Observatory. Rather than beholding a pale bluish orb (like how <a href="" target="_blank">Voyager viewed the planet</a> nearly three decades ago), you can see whorls of clouds at high and low altitudes, huge hurricanes and strange features at its south pole. </p> 2020-10-19T03:00:00.0000000+11:00 GameSci: LittleBigPlanet Karting Gives You Rules Hoping You'll Break Them <p>The <em>LittleBigPlanet</em> series has always prided itself on creativity; the motto was, in short, build the game you want. So when I heard the newest game in the series would be called <em>LittleBigPlanet Karting</em>, I was wary.</p> 2020-10-19T02:00:00.0000000+11:00 Cruising Through The Throwback Game L.A. Noire With Someone Who Was There <p>In <em>L.A. Noire</em>, you play a detective cracking cases on the mean streets of 1940s Los Angeles. One of the most heralded parts of the game was its historical accuracy: The landscapes and buildings are modelled on how they really were in the '40s. But what would someone who was actually there think of the game? At <em>Eurogamer</em>, Christian Donlan tackles that question. His father grew up in the '40s and, even better, his grandfather was a beat cop. Read what both Donlan and his dad think of the experience <a href="">here</a>.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-10-19T01:12:00.0000000+11:00 Megapixels: The James Webb Space Telescope Gets Chilled to 400 Degrees Below Zero <p><!-- - break - -->In 2018, NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope, which will boast mirrors approximately seven times larger than those on the Hubble. Once operational, the telescope will peer through interstellar dust and clearly image some of the youngest stars and galaxies in the universe. </p> 2020-10-19T00:58:00.0000000+11:00 Spontaneous Combustion Is Easier Than You Think <p><!-- - break - --> The facts about spontaneous combustion are easily lost. Mostly this is because spontaneous human combustion is a favorite among conspiracy-theorist types. Reports of people suddenly going up in flames tend to omit an essential detail, such as a lit cigarette. Yet as with many phoney scientific concepts, the possibility is so intriguing that some people just want to believe.</p> 2020-10-19T00:00:00.0000000+11:00 V-Moda M-100 Review: The Headphones That Made Me Love Headphones <p><!-- - break - -->The single best non-essential tech item - like, not a laptop or smartphone - that you can buy is a really good pair of headphones. </p> 2020-10-18T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 Video: The 'World's First High-Speed, Commercially Available Amphibious Vehicle' <p>The first commercially available amphibious vehicle capable of decent speeds - 45 miles per hour on both land and water - is expected to go on sale in the US by the end of this year.</p> 2020-10-17T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Meet Boxee, The Hacker Project Gone Mainstream That Could Get You To Ditch Cable <!-- - break - -->In 1994, Avner Ronen was in the Israeli Defense Forces, stationed, he says, at the first place in the IDF with an internet-connected computer. Somebody there showed him some nudie pics, doubtlessly downloaded with painful slowness, but nudie pics. "I immediately saw the potential of the internet," Ronen told me, with about as much of a grin as I ever saw throughout our interviews. Which is not much. 2020-10-17T01:05:00.0000000+11:00 Saturn's Moon Titan Has A Soft, Crusty Surface, Like Freshly Frozen Snow <p><!-- - break - -->Walking on the surface of Titan would be like walking on a beach while the tide is going out, according to a new study. Or, if snow is your preferred outdoor surface, it's like breaking a snowshoe trail on a sunny day. The huge Saturnian moon's surface has the consistency of damp sand or crusty snow - you can walk gently on top, but push hard with your foot and you'll break through, sinking down at least a few inches.</p> 2020-10-16T02:59:00.0000000+11:00 Sensitive Structures <p>In our September issue, we featured a story on a University of Technology, Sydney, building embedded with special sensors that tell engineers when the structure is under stress or being corroded. For a more in-depth view into this area, we spoke with Behnam Vakshouri, a PhD student whose research involves this sensitive structure, about the building, the future of sensors in Australia, and why he's enjoyed working on this project.</p> 2020-10-09T10:54:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Is It Legal To 3-D Print A Handgun? <p><!-- - break - -->Earlier this week, the Wiki Weapons Project - an initiative to create a 3-D printed handgun and distribute the digital design file for free online - ran into a stumbling block when 3-D printer provider Stratasys pulled the lease on a printer it had provided the group. Stratasys cited a clause in the lease agreement that allows the company to rescind a lease for printers believed to be used for unlawful purposes. That raises the obvious (and thorny) question: Is the Wiki Weapons Project doing anything illegal?</p> 2020-10-05T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Amazing Video: Timelapse View Of The Australian Outback's Giant Radio Dishes <p><!-- - break - -->Australia's first portion of the enormous future Square Kilometer Array turns on this Friday, and will soon begin surveying the entire sky with a quickness. The array contains 36 12-meter antennas that spread across 4,000 meters but work as a single instrument, providing an enormous field of view.</p> 2020-10-04T05:53:00.0000000+10:00 Bats Combine Work And Dating <p>Echolocation is a bat's prime method of finding food and orienting itself, but it also helps the animals find and keep their mates, according to a new study. Bat calls contain detailed information an individual's identity, which helps male bats avoid rivals and helps females find their partners.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-10-04T05:07:00.0000000+10:00 Fake Toes Found In Ancient Egyptian Tombs Could Be The World's Oldest Prostheses <p>There is a documented history of ancient Egyptians creating fake body parts to augment bodies headed for burial, but a new study suggests that two artificial toes recovered from tombs there may in fact be the oldest known prosthetic body parts.<!-- - break - --> Researchers at the University of Manchester made replicas of the two items - both right big toes - and had volunteers missing those toes to wear them. The fake toes showed to be not only comfortable to wear, but to also vastly improve their walking while wearing traditional Egyptian sandals, suggesting these toes had more than an aesthetic, funerary purpose.</p> 2020-10-04T04:52:00.0000000+10:00 New Dinosaur Identified <p><!-- - break - -->The newly identified <em>Pegomastax africanus</em> is a strange new anomaly in the dinosaur world. When it roamed the planet more than 200 million years ago, it was less than 2 feet long and didn't even weigh as much as a housecat - making it one of the smallest dinos ever - and it definitely wasn't as likable as a housecat: despite it probably being a herbivore, it had 1-inch-long fangs and porcupine-style quills. </p> 2020-10-04T04:45:00.0000000+10:00 The Bloodhound Supersonic Car Project Test Fires Its Rocket Engine <p>The Bloodhound rocket car has another year of development ahead of it before Wing Commander Andy Green of Britain's Royal Air Force attempts to accelerate it to speeds upward of 1600 kilometers per hour (the current land speed record is 1220 kilomters per hour). In the meantime, the project is teasing us with glimpses of just how powerful this supersonic vehicle's power source will be. Earlier today at Newquay Airport in Cornwall, UK, the development team test fired the rocket engine that will power the Bloodhound across the flats of South Africa next year. Hold on tight.</p> 2020-10-04T01:35:00.0000000+10:00 Mythbusting: The Vampire Squid Is Not A Lethal Ocean Predator <p><!-- - break - -->There's nothing particularly cuddly about the vampire squid, and on top of that, it's named the <em>vampire</em> squid. It's even known by the vaguely hellish <em>Vampyroteuthis infernalis</em>. But the little guy is catching a break, finally: it's not a vampire, just a slime-eating garbageman of the deep. </p> 2020-10-03T08:18:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: Bathurst Signals <p><!-- - break - -->Over the weekend, the Mars rover Curiosity rolled up to an angular rock on Mars and took some closeup images, as well as a sniff of the rock's chemical composition. This rock is called Bathurst Inlet.</p> 2020-10-03T08:06:00.0000000+10:00 Ambitious $1 Billion Project Aims to Drill A Hole All the Way to Earth's Mantle <p><!-- - break - -->With enough money and enough moxie, scientists operating gigantic ocean-based drills could penetrate into the Earth's mantle by the early 2020s, returning samples that could hold clues to our planet's origins. The effort to reach into the heart of the Earth would be one of the most dramatic undertakings in science.</p> 2020-10-03T05:46:00.0000000+10:00 Genetically Engineered Cow Produces World's First Hypoallergenic Milk <p><!-- - break - -->Cow genes could be modified to prevent the animals from producing proteins that cause allergic reactions, according to a new study. Scientists in New Zealand engineered a dairy cow to lack the milk protein beta-lactoglobulin, while other milk proteins were dramatically increased.</p> 2020-10-03T03:01:00.0000000+10:00 Boeing's New Space Junk Scheme Clears Debris With a Cloud Of Ballistic Gas <p>Aerospace giant Boeing has developed a novel means of clearing space junk from low Earth orbit: A cloud of ballistic gas. Most space junk-clearing schemes involve launching something up there to physically de-orbit debris, but this means launching rocket stages into orbit that then become more orbital debris. Boeing's solution: Launch a rocket full of cryogenic inert gas right to the very edge of space, then forcibly eject tons of vaporised gas further upward into an orbiting debris cluster.<!-- - break - --> The initial density of the cloud will create enough drag to slow the debris just enough to de-orbit it, and the launch rocket would remain low enough to fall harmlessly back to Earth. </p> 2020-10-03T02:39:00.0000000+10:00 Meet The 2012 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Scientists <p><!-- - break - -->Every year, the MacArthur Foundation makes an investment - a $500,000 investment - in the future by handing out bags of money to people whose work shows promise. Of course that includes scientists doing world-changing research. The 2012 fellows were just announced, and here they are: Maria Chudnovsky and Melody Swartz. </p> 2020-10-03T02:25:00.0000000+10:00 3-D Printing Company Confiscates Wiki Weapon Project's Printer <p>The Wiki Weapon Project - the attempt by University of Texas law school student Cody Wilson to develop a 3-D printable handgun and distribute its digital design file across the Web - is under fire. Stratasys, the maker of the 3-D printer the project's backers hoped to use to prototype its designs, has reclaimed the printer they originally sent to Wilson, citing Wilson's lack of a federal firearms manufacturing license and the company's right to rescind any lease if it believes its printers will be used for unlawful activity.<!-- - break - --> This whole controversy exists in a huge legal gray area, but for now it looks like the Wiki Weapon is stalled.</p> 2020-10-03T00:47:00.0000000+10:00 A Map Of The World, According To Wikipedia Geotags [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->The English version of Wikipedia of has more than four million articles, or 2.5 billion words-50 times the number of words in the next-largest English encyclopedia, the <em>Encyclopedia Brittanica</em>, according to Wikipedia. And in all 271 languages combined, the online encyclopedia holds some 23.6 million entries. </p> 2020-10-03T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Could "Smiles," The Psychedelic Drug Implicated In An Actor's Death, Cause Violent Behavior? <p><!-- - break - -->Johnny Lewis, an actor known for his role on the show <em>Sons of Anarchy</em>, died last week, suspected of killing his landlady and her cat, then killing himself. The word leaked quickly that Lewis had been on a relatively new designer drug: "Smiles," or 2C-I. Several publications jumped on it, ready to lay the blame on drug use, or at least casually suggesting a connection. 2C-I is dangerous, yes, linked to overdoses and other erratic behavior - but is it linked to violence? Not especially. </p> 2020-10-02T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: Check Out Curiosity's Martian Roadmap <p><!-- - break - -->Mars rover Curiosity has already made some neat discoveries on its still-short mission, and this roadside map plots those. But it still has a way to go: It's Glenelg or bust. </p> 2020-10-02T07:31:00.0000000+10:00 Adam Cohen Lights Up Neurons To See How They Fire <p><!-- - break - -->Other 13-year-old boys want cash for their bar mitzvah. Adam Cohen asked for an oscilloscope. Shortly thereafter, he startled his parents by wandering into the living room with a home-built EKG machine taped to his chest. "They were a bit concerned that I was going to electrocute myself," Cohen recalls, "but apart from that, they were supportive."<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-10-02T06:00:00.0000000+10:00 We Are All Born Scientists, Study Finds <p><!-- - break - -->Young kids think and learn about their surroundings much the way that scientists think and learn in advanced experiments, a new study says. They form hypotheses, test them, analyse their findings and learn from their actions and the actions of others - all in child's play. </p> 2020-10-02T03:04:00.0000000+10:00 Swiss Quadrotor Robots Throw and Catch <p><!-- - break - -->We never get tired of writing about networked, swarm-like quadrotor drones, mostly because this field - though it currently lacks a killer application - continues to advance at such a rapid pace. We've previously seen quadrotors work collectively to build structures and play the James Bond theme, and now researchers at ETH Zurich are teaching them to play catch.</p> 2020-10-02T01:58:00.0000000+10:00 Watch Cyberattacks Spread Across The Globe In Real Time [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->A beautiful, hard-to-look-away-from graphic from the Honeynet Project shows cyberattacks as they happen, and where they happen. The red dots represent attacks; the yellow dots are "honeypots," or sensors, which monitor and publish the flow of cyberattacks. You can watch it all flow across the bottom, too. Almost every second, a new attack is reported and pushed through. </p> 2020-10-02T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Snow On Venus? Upper Atmospheric Layer On Normally Scorching Planet Might Be Cold Enough <p><!-- - break - -->Venus is known for its scorching, Earth-lander-melting, inhospitable surface - but don't judge a planet by its cover. Venus has a cold streak high in the atmosphere, where it might even be cool enough for snow to form.</p> 2020-10-02T00:39:00.0000000+10:00 After The LHC: The Next Really Big Experiments In Particle Physics <p><!-- - break - --><!-- - break - -->It took the Large Hadron Collider just three years to find the Higgs boson - but it took nearly 20 years to create the Large Hadron Collider. High energy physics happens at the speed of light, but the underlying practicalities move at the speed of bureaucracy, funding requests, and setting concrete. So to keep things moving forward, the global physics community is constantly envisioning and re-envisioning the next big things in high energy particle physics - things big enough to dwarf even the largest and most expensive science experiment mankind has ever created. </p> 2020-10-02T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: Curiosity Chemically Examines Its First Rock <p><!-- - break - -->Yesterday heralded news that Mars rover Curiosity had discovered evidence of water once flowing on Mars, but this image of Curiosity reaching out its robotic arm to examine its first rock, taken on an earlier Martian day, is more bittersweet. The rock was named Jake Matijevic, for the rover engineer who died this year. Matijevic helped engineer Curiosity, Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity. </p> 2020-09-29T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 A Guide For "Human Expansion Into The Cosmos" [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->Sean Ragan at MAKE magazine <a href="" target="_blank">spent some time</a> hunting down this 1980s infographic, and it's a beaut. Rockwell International was a major company in its time, and here it presents its "Integrated Space Plan" - basically, how we're all going to get off this rock we call home. It's (not surprisingly) overwhelming and slightly dated, but there's a lot of interesting ideas in it, too. </p> 2020-09-29T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Artificially Intelligent Gamer Bots Convince Judges They're More Human Than Humans <p><!-- - break - -->Two virtual gamers have convinced a panel of judges they were more human than the humans they competed with in a first-person shooter game, winning the five-year-old BotPrize and beating the Turing test of machine awareness. The game bots were video game characters controlled by artificially intelligent algorithms.</p> 2020-09-29T02:08:00.0000000+10:00 Where Do You Have To Work The Hardest For A Beer? [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->The post-work beer is always satisfying, but as a chart from <em>The Economist</em> shows, residents of some nations have to work harder for it. Sometimes a lot harder.</p> 2020-09-29T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Awesome New Electronics Can Dissolve and Disappear When They're No Longer Needed <p><!-- - break - -->A new class of electronics can dissolve and disappear on a pre-set schedule, within a few minutes or a few years, depending on when you want them to go away. They could live in the body and deliver drugs, they could stick on the exterior of buildings or tanks, and they can become compost instead of metal scrap - in other words, they turn the common conception of electronics completely upside down. </p> 2020-09-29T00:19:00.0000000+10:00 Using 'Fractal Kitties,' We Could Avoid A Critical Shortage Of Cat Photos <p><!-- - break - -->Threatened by the idea that we may someday run out of cat photos, a couple of Cornell mathematicians have set about using their skills to approximate the shape of a cat using a mathematic device known as the Julia sets of polynomials. The Julia sets of degree two polynomials is closely related to the more familiar Mandelbrot set, one of the most famous fractals. </p> 2020-09-28T23:07:00.0000000+10:00 Issue #47 - October 2012 <p>Our October issue is <strong>ON SALE FROM SEPTEMBER 26</strong>, and is about three of the greatest things in science and tech: guns, robots and boats! It's a future of defence special, where we look at stealth destroyers, smart guns and haptic battlefield robots. </p> 2020-09-28T10:45:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: First Physical Evidence Of A Once-Flowing Stream <p><!-- - break - -->Scientists have known that water flowed on Mars at one point, but until now, what that flow looked like has remained educated speculation. Now a discovery changes that. Mars rover Curiosity has found gravel that was once part of an ancient stream. This image shows the Martian rock outcrop where that gravel is. </p> 2020-09-28T06:22:00.0000000+10:00 After Pregnancy, Many Women Have Bits Of Male DNA In Their Brains <p><!-- - break - -->Mothers aren't just emotionally connected to their sons. A new study shows how genetic material can be passed on from fetuses during pregnancy, traveling through the human blood-brain barrier and settling in - and it might be relatively normal, too. </p> 2020-09-28T04:01:00.0000000+10:00 "Looper" And The Real Science Of Time Travel <p><!-- - break - -->This week, <em>Looper</em>, a gritty time-travel thriller from writer/director Rian Johnson (<em>Brick</em>, <em>The Brothers Bloom</em>) arrives in movie theaters across Australia. The story: Powerful crime organizations in the late 21st century can't off their foes without getting caught, so they illegally send victims back in time to the year 2044 to be disposed of by hitmen called "loopers." <em>Looper</em>'s time travel, in short, is a futuristic version of the concrete boots.</p> 2020-09-28T03:05:00.0000000+10:00 Your Clothes Could Soon Scrub Pollution Directly From The Air <p><!-- - break - -->Your washing machine and dryer are both energy intensive machines, but soon your rinse cycle could start giving something back. A liquid laundry additive called "CatClo" (for "catalytic clothing") developed by researchers at the University of Sheffield and London College of Fashion in the UK could imbue clothing with titanium dioxice nanoparticles that scrub nitrogen oxides from the air and oxidise them in the fabric. On the next wash, these nitrogen oxides are simply washed away.</p> 2020-09-28T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Brilliant 10: Anže Slosar Maps Matter At The Edge Of The Universe <p><!-- - break - -->The oldest part of the universe, more than 10 billion light years away, bursts with super-luminous quasars and diffuse aggregations of hydrogen gas. Anže Slosar, a cosmologist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, wants to map that expanse in 3-D. </p>že-slosar-maps-matter-at-the-edge-of-the-universe 2020-09-28T00:06:00.0000000+10:00 Invisibility, No Brake Lights, Ads Everywhere: The Future Of Self-Driving Cars <p><!-- - break - -->Car designer Chris Bangle has spent years designing forward-thinking vehicles, so now, with self-driving cars just legalised in California, we decided to pick his brain on what's next for the automobile that no longer needs its master.</p> 2020-09-27T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Google Maps Launches 3-D Snorkel View Of The World's Greatest Reefs <p><!-- - break - -->Google Maps just unveiled a new ocean-level street view, which we'll call Snorkel View, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to virtually dive with sea turtles other creatures in some of the world's most pristine coral reefs. You can use the Street View tool in several tropical locales to zoom in and swim with the fishes.</p> 2020-09-27T05:02:00.0000000+10:00 Carbon Nanotubes Generate The Smallest 3-D Hologram Pixels Ever <p><!-- - break - -->Holography is one of those "it's-2012-where-is-my-holodeck" kind of sciences - long promised by science fiction, still far from a practical communications tool. But the field is moving forward in fits and starts, even if a complete technology package that will beam moving holograms onto our tabletops, Princess Leia-style, is still on some far horizon. Example: Researchers at Cambridge in the U.K. have recently generated holograms with carbon nanotubes for the first time, generating the smallest hologram pixels ever.</p> 2020-09-27T03:19:00.0000000+10:00 5 Ways The Brand New Dark Energy Camera Will Utterly Change Our Understanding Of The Universe <p><!-- - break - --> For something that we know absolutely nothing about, dark energy owns a prominent place in astrophysics. Its discovery won the Nobel Prize even though the very term "dark energy" is a placeholder for a phenomenon we don't really understand, and though its effects are observable dark energy itself - which supposedly makes up three-quarters of the universe - has never been seen and remains unobservable. That's why the Dark Energy Camera - which achieved first light just last week - is such a big deal. With it, we might finally give the term "dark energy" some meaning.</p> 2020-09-27T02:24:00.0000000+10:00 Next Big Mars Goal: Bringing Samples Home From the Red Planet <p><!-- - break - -->NASA's next Mars moves should focus on bringing chunks of Mars back to Earth, possibly in a hand-off between a robot and an astronaut, according to a new planning document. Involving humans in a space-based rock swap would ensure the sample is protected and Earth is protected - and it would probably make sense anyway, given the timing and budget constraints for NASA's Mars plans.</p> 2020-09-27T00:45:00.0000000+10:00 New Brain Upgrade To Let Mars Rover Curiosity Decide For Itself Which Rocks To Zap <p><!-- - break - -->As the Mars rover Curiosity rolls through pebbly Gale Crater, it snaps a multitude of photographs and sends them to Earth, where humans pore over them and decide where to send the rover next. But within a few months, the rover will be able to find salient rocks on its own, speeding the process of exploring Mars.</p> 2020-09-26T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Recommends: What I Learned About Einstein In 4.5 Hours Of Opera <p><!-- - break - -->I went into the production of Philip Glass's "Einstein on the Beach" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Friday, curious to see if this famous 1976 work would tell me anything about science.</p> 2020-09-26T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 From Hubble, The Deepest-Ever View Of The Universe <p><!-- - break - -->Take a deep breath, stargazers: this is the farthest we've seen into the heart of the universe. The eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, as the photo's called, shows about 5,500 galaxies, although some are as much are only one ten-billionth of the brightness needed to be seen by human eyes. </p> 2020-09-26T06:42:00.0000000+10:00 Parking Software Lets Drivers Buy And Sell Info About Available Spaces <p><!-- - break - -->Rather than hunting for an empty parking spot, or even getting out and letting your empty car hunt for you, a new system relies on good old-fashioned capitalism to find open spaces. With TruCentive, drivers can buy and sell information about available spots.</p> 2020-09-26T05:05:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: Curiosity Records Hurricane-Like Air Pressure Swings <p><!-- - break - -->Mars Rover Curiosity is above all a robot geologist, but that's not stopping it from tracking weather on the Red Planet as well. And what strange weather it is. The latest exciting result from Curiosity: atmospheric pressures at some places on Mars swing wildly throughout the day.</p> 2020-09-26T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Brilliant 10: Deva Ramanan Trains Computers To Identify People <p><!-- - break - -->Deva Ramanan clicks a button on his MacBook Air and a video begins to play: Michelle Kwan skating in the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Next to it, a computer program renders what it "sees" in the footage: Kwan's head, legs, torso, upper arms, and forearms, all distinguished by different colors. Ramanan, a computer scientist at University of California at Irvine, trains computers to recognise three-dimensional humans in flat photography.</p> 2020-09-26T00:01:00.0000000+10:00 How Better Typography Could Reduce Car Crashes <p><!-- - break - -->The basic interior of the automobile changed little in the latter half of the 20th century. "You had the steering wheel, the gas pedal, the brakes. And the display in there might have been providing a digital readout of the radio station," says Bryan Reimer, a research scientist at the MIT AgeLab. </p> 2020-09-25T22:23:00.0000000+10:00 Why Not To Keep Your Liquid Nitrogen In A Sealed Container <p><!-- - break - -->Here at PopSci we use a lot of liquid nitrogen; we use it to crack locks, to mix drinks, and even just to cool off. But we're careful.</p> 2020-09-25T07:18:00.0000000+10:00 Brilliant 10: Greg Nielson Shrinks Solar Cells To The Size Of Glitter <p><!-- - break - -->Greg Nielson pushes a small jar full of rubbing alcohol across his desk at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. In the jar float shiny solar cells the size of glitter. "If you have panels of these on top of Walmart, you get twice as much power [as conventional photovoltaics] and your costs go down by half," he says. For the past six years, Nielson has worked to dramatically reduce the size of solar cells in order to make them more durable, efficient, and cost-effective. </p> 2020-09-25T04:54:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: The President's Signature <p><!-- - break - -->Starting with Nixon and the Apollo missions, we've been blasting presidential signatures into space for more than four decades. This one's the latest: Barack Obama's signature is on Mars rover Curiosity, with Joe Biden's right below it. This shot, of the left side of the rover's deck, was taken by the ever-flexible Curiosity on a recent Martian "sol," or Mars day. Also attached - on the neat, anodised aluminum plaque, which is the material of choice for this sort of thing - are the John Hancocks of various science advisers and NASA officials. </p> 2020-09-25T03:05:00.0000000+10:00 MIT's Wearable Sensor Pack Turns First Responders Into Digital Mapmakers <p><!-- - break - -->Robots have seemingly unlimited potential when it comes to search and rescue operations - they can enter hazardous environments, quickly map dangerous areas for first responders, and help establish communication links and a game plan for larger recovery and triage efforts. But in these scenarios, humans aren't going anywhere. We still need breathing, thinking bodies on the ground. So a team at MIT has built a wearable sensor pack that can "roboticise" human first responders, allowing the first person into a dangerous environment to digitally map it in realtime, just like a robot.</p> 2020-09-25T02:07:00.0000000+10:00 Science Of Theft: Freeze A Bike Lock Then Smash It <p><!-- - break - -->Strong, hard, tough. These sound like different ways of saying the same thing, perhaps describing a really good suitcase. But when applied to the physical properties of materials, each of these words has a very specific technical meaning that distinguishes it from the others. And those definitions explain why it's so difficult to make a bicycle lock that can foil thieves.</p> 2020-09-25T00:09:00.0000000+10:00 A New Artificial Heart Pump That Mimics the Real Thing <p><!-- - break - -->Today's artificial hearts contain pumps whose spinning rotors can damage blood cells, causing clotting that can lead to strokes. A new pump design could prevent that damage by mimicking the natural movement of human tissue.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-09-22T03:15:00.0000000+10:00 Project Of The Month: The Soldering Gun <p><!-- - break - -->Mike Warren, an editor at DIY website <a href=""><em></em></a>, wanted a tool that was fun and unusual for projects that require soldering electronics. His solution? Disassemble a 15-watt soldering iron and install it in the gutted body of an air-pellet gun. </p> 2020-09-22T02:15:00.0000000+10:00 The Statistical Physics Of Ponytails And Other Ig Nobel Winners <p>Science is our key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe, and also occasionally the key to unlocking the brain waves of dead salmon. Thus: another year, another announcement of the Ig Nobel prize winners, the men and women behind the most unlikely, hilarious, thought-provoking science of the year. </p> 2020-09-22T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 What Countries Are The Worst At Protecting Endangered Animals? [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->The demand for ivory and other illegal animal parts is on the rise in China and other Asian markets, and in Africa, tens of thousands of elephants are being slaughtered each year to meet it. Rhinos and tigers - whose horns and various other parts are also popular in China and Vietnam - are aggressively poached as well. </p> 2020-09-22T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Science Confirms The Obvious: Science Faculty Think Female Students Are Less Competent <p><!-- - break - -->There's a canyon-sized gender gap in the academic science world. Officials keep pushing to move women into the field, and the number of degrees granted to them has increased, but those degrees don't necessarily result in more women working in the sciences. A new study shows that science faculty see female students as less competent than their male counterparts, and it could cost them jobs, a fair salary, and mentoring opportunities. </p> 2020-09-21T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 One Gene Lays The Blueprint for A Cheetah's Spots And A Tabby Cat's Stripes <p><!-- - break - -->Anyone who's ever seen a cat knows how distinct he or she looks compared to every other cat - stripes and whorls cover their coats in seemingly endless variation. It turns out that one gene is responsible for regulating these patterns, and it's true for all of the domestic cat's larger cousins. Different mutations on a shared gene produce the blotchy patterns of pet tabbies as well as the stripes on a rare type of wild cheetahs. What's more, one geneticist thinks there could be an immunological reason for all these unique designs.</p> 2020-09-21T05:46:00.0000000+10:00 Harvard Business Review: Data Scientist Is The 'Sexiest Job Of The 21st Century' <p>What is the sexiest job of the 21st century? If you said "data scientist," you're probably an editor at Harvard Business Review and probably not anyone else. </p> 2020-09-21T05:30:00.0000000+10:00 Nestle Embeds GPS Trackers In Candy Bars To Hunt Down Eaters <p><!-- - break - -->Customers buying Kit-Kat bars in the United Kingdom could be unwrapping a 21st-century version of Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket - a GPS unit the candy-maker will use to find them, apprehend them and give them a prize. Nestlé claims to be the first to market its chocolatey wares with a GPS-based promotion. </p> 2020-09-21T03:56:00.0000000+10:00 Your Next Leather Wallet Could Be Grown In A Petri Dish <p><!-- - break - -->Science has been trying for years to grow the perfect sirloin in a petri dish, but animal hides, rather than animal meat, might be a simpler, easier-to-sell product you can harvest in the lab. A company called Modern Meadow could have a full-scale leather production facility up and running within five years, CEO and cofounder Andras Forgacs says.</p> 2020-09-21T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 The Fastest Way To Crack A 4-Digit PIN Number [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->We know people default to bad passwords, whether for their computers or banking PINs. But, we have to stress this here, people are <em>really</em> bad at picking passwords. This infographic visualizes that idea by taking all of the possible combinations and mapping them based on frequency of use.</p> 2020-09-21T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 German Art Laser Turns Random Desktop Crap Into Exotic Musical Instruments <p>An Instrument for the Sonification of Everday Things from Dennis P Paul on Vimeo.</p> 2020-09-21T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 First 3-D Printing Store in U.S. Opens <p><!-- - break - -->The 3-D printing world just took another big leap into the consumer market. Next stop: world domination? </p> 2020-09-20T08:20:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Popinator Tracks Where Your Voice Is Coming From And Shoots Popcorn Into Your Mouth <p><!-- - break - -->If you're tired of relying on your merely-mortal hands to catapult popcorn into your maw during snack time, there's a better way. The Popinator will do it for you, do it better, and do it from wherever you are in the room. Just say "pop."</p> 2020-09-20T07:27:00.0000000+10:00 How Bats Can Help Scientists Design Better Robots <p><!-- - break - -->Bats are great at hunting down prey via echolocation, in which their ultrasonic chirps bounce off anything in the air. Specialised ear designs and other features detect the returning sounds, helping the bats determine the location of a moving target. But what about when the target is still? </p> 2020-09-20T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 The U.S. Conducted Atomic Weapons Tests On Beer <p><!-- - break - -->The atomic bomb reached deep into the world's collective consciousness, changing everything forever. Testing something like that meant serious research into how a nuclear explosion would affect every part of life, including: "Will this bomb irradiate my beer?"</p> 2020-09-20T02:29:00.0000000+10:00 How An Underfunded Team Of Spanish Astronomers Could Help Solve The Mystery Of Dark Energy <p><!-- - break - --> Since 1998, when astronomers discovered that a mysterious force known as dark energy is blowing the universe apart, scientists have launched at least a dozen multimillion-dollar projects to figure out what, exactly, dark energy is. These range from the $71-million BigBOSS project to the $900-million Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is scheduled to see first light in 2019. But in an era of shrinking research funding, the advantage might go to scientists who can work on a shoestring budget-people such as Basque cosmologist Narciso "Txitxo" Benítez, who says he can scoop every one of those projects for less than $10 million.</p> 2020-09-20T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 This Escape Pod Could Save Lives In A Tsunami <p><!-- - break - --> Australian business owner Matt Duncan usually builds steel-hulled houseboats, but he was so affected by last year's devastating tsunami in Japan that he's turned his focus to seaworthy survival craft. His bright orange Tsunami Survival Pod can accommodate four people for two and a half hours.</p> 2020-09-19T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Write Your Name In The Stars With This New Font <p><!-- - break - -->When you spend lots of free time categorizing images of galaxies, you start to see recognizable shapes - including the letters of the alphabet. Over the past couple of years, the volunteer galaxy hunters over at the Zooniverse compiled a list, and now it's available on a whole new section of the site. You can write your name in the stars!</p> 2020-09-19T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 Sperm Can't Turn Left, Or Don't Want To <p><!-- - break - --> Sperm are small, but they're quick-an individual sperm can wiggle through a space 25 times the length of its body in a single second. (For comparison, a human would have to run 869 000 kilometers per hour to achieve the same relative speed.)</p> 2020-09-19T04:29:00.0000000+10:00 "There Is No Such Thing As Time" <p><!-- - break - --><em>The "rebels" who fight the Big Bang theory are mostly attempting to grapple with the concept of time. They are philosophers as much as cosmologists, unsatisfied with the Big Bang, unimpressed with string theory and unconvinced of the multiverse. Julian Barbour, British physicist, author, and major proponent of the idea of timeless physics, is one of those rebels - so thoroughly a rebel that he has spurned the world of academics.</em></p> 2020-09-19T03:30:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Why Do Girls Throw Like A Girl? <p><!-- - break - -->You don't need to look any further than last week's news cycle to see proof that a girl can throw a ball: Erin DiMeglio, the first female quarterback to play high school football in Florida, made a splash by taking a spot on her team. But some research indicates it's an uphill battle. </p> 2020-09-19T02:30:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Astronaut Suni Williams Completes First Triathlon In Space <p><!-- - break - -->Astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams, who just took command of the International Space Station over the weekend, likes to break records. (She is only the second woman ever to command the ISS, by the way.) She holds the record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman, spending 195 consecutive days on the ISS. Now she's finished the first-ever <s>space triathlon</s> spaceathlon.</p> 2020-09-19T01:19:00.0000000+10:00 Popular Neuroscience Is "Neurobollocks" <p>Steven Poole over at the New Statesman has a great piece up bashing the populist, not-so-scientific writings of folks like Malcolm Gladwell and Jonah Lehrer. It's an angry, thoughtful discussion of the complexities of the brain and why catchy headlines and simplistic conclusions might be doing us a disservice. </p> 2020-09-19T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 The Last Dinosaur Died In 1927: The Fossil Record According To Creationism [Infographic] <p><!-- - break - -->In the mid-1700s-about a century before the birth of geology and the first scientific attempts to determine Earth's age-an archbishop of the Church of Ireland named James Ussher mapped out the genealogies and chronologies of Biblical characters all the way back to Adam and Eve, and concluded that the world was created in the year 4004 B.C. </p> 2020-09-19T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 India Aims To Take The "World's Fastest Supercomputer" Crown By 2017 <p><!-- - break - -->India's government-backed computing agency has submitted a plan to the government there that calls for a massive investment in next-generation supercomputing power. The proposal, which calls for an investment of more than $870 million over five years, claims that it can rocket India to the very peak of the TOP500 list, the twice-a-year tallying of the fastest computing platforms in the world. In fact, the proposal says that these exaflop-range machines will be a full 61 times faster than the fastest existing machine.</p> 2020-09-18T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Upcoming Space Station Cameras Will Give All Humans Live Imagery of Their Houses From Space <p><!-- - break - -->An ambitious effort to broadcast real-time streaming video of Earth from space is closer to reality, after a new influx of cash and some new partnerships. By spring 2013, everyone on Earth will be able to watch the planet from the most unique vantage point ever built, the International Space Station. </p> 2020-09-18T05:38:00.0000000+10:00 Make Your Own Mars Watch, To Keep Time With The Rovers <p><!-- - break - -->Keeping time on Mars is a challenge not only because of the time slip - you jump forward 39 Earth minutes and 35 Earth seconds a day - but because of the actual mechanics. A Mars day is longer than an Earth day, which means an hour is longer, and so is a minute and a second. So, synchronising your watch with the Mars rover Curiosity's clock is all but impossible. Until now!</p> 2020-09-18T02:04:00.0000000+10:00 Full-Frame Compacts, Android Cameras, and More From Photokina 2012 <p>Our good friends at Popular Photography are out in Cologne, Germany, eating sausage and getting their sausage-grease-covered fingers all over the next generation of camera gear at Photokina 2012, the world's biggest camera convention. </p> 2020-09-18T01:44:00.0000000+10:00 Today On Mars: Opportunity Discovers Mysterious Martian Spheres <p><!-- - break - -->More than eight years into its mission, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is still sending back data and images that consistently fill us with wonder and periodically leave scientists scratching their heads. Consider the image above. Taken by Opportunity at an outcropping on the rim of Endeavour Crater known as Kirkwood, it reveals a small stretch of ground littered with tiny spheres, and geologists have no idea what they are or how they got there.</p> 2020-09-18T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Today on Mars: Roving and Photo-Snapping <p><!-- - break - -->Mars Rover Curiosity got a move on during its 38th sol hanging out on the red planet. After taking a few more self-portraits, and testing the robotic arm the rover will use to collect samples, it set off on one of its longest drives yet. </p> 2020-09-15T07:54:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Government Wizards Levitate Drugs With Ultrasonic Sound <p> <!-- - break - --> Good drugs dissolve easily in the body. Bad pharmaceutical molecules, meanwhile, lock themselves into hard-to-absorb crystals that require strong doses to work, and this overcompensation often leads to crummy side effects.</p> 2020-09-15T05:23:00.0000000+10:00 An Accessory That Replaces Mouse Movements With Hand Waves <p><!-- - break - --> It's been nearly 50 years since Douglas Engelbart, an engineer at the Stanford Research Institute, invented the first computer mouse. Since then, his basic point-and-click input scheme has remained fundamentally unchanged; even trackpads and touchscreens, which recognize multiple points at once, work on the same guiding principle. Now Leap Motion, a San Francisco company, is aiming to reinvent human-computer interaction.<!-- - break - --> Its three-inch-long motion-capture device, known simply as the Leap, lets users control computers and manipulate onscreen objects by just waving their fingers.</p> 2020-09-15T03:35:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: The Propulsion Research Center Builds A Better Rocket <p><!-- - break - --><em>This month </em>PopSci<em> presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.</em> </p> 2020-09-15T02:25:00.0000000+10:00 Marshall's Plans: Advanced Testing For DIY Projects <p><!-- - break - -->I'm always tinkering with cars and building strange machines, so it's crucial that I have the right electronic test and measurement equipment handy. Last month I showed off the gear I use the most often in my shop. But at times, I need more specialised gadgets to make sure my projects are the right length, speed or voltage. This is the gear I turn to when the basics aren't enough.</p> 2020-09-14T23:55:00.0000000+10:00 20 Facts About the iPhone 5 <p>Have you pre-ordered one already?</p> <p><!-- - break - --></p> 2020-09-14T07:35:00.0000000+10:00 Computer Learns to Recognise Badly Drawn Animals <p><!-- - break - -->At a party a few weeks ago, I had the unenviable task of trying to pictorially represent "Sesame Street." The most ridiculous-looking blob, which was supposed to be Big Bird, flowed from my dry erase marker. But as soon as I put a curly-haired face-thing on top of what appeared to be a garbage can, someone shouted the answer. We humans are pretty good at guessing each other's badly rendered line drawings. </p> 2020-09-14T06:23:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The First Film Shot With Google Glass <p><!-- - break - -->We've seen Google Glass, the project responsible for the filming, augmented-reality-providing glasses, jumping out of planes, but this is the first actual, edited film made with them. Diane Von Furstenberg's show at New York Fashion Week featured models wearing the glasses, and the designer herself wore them as well. The footage was edited into a pretty amazing insider look at how a runway show feels. Watch it below:</p> 2020-09-14T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 New Monkey Discovered, Looks Like Man In Monkey Suit <p><!-- - break - -->In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, scientists have discovered a new species of monkey - only the second in the last 28 years. The lesula is a guenon, a genus of Old World monkeys found exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa, and while guenons are very common, the lesula was unknown to western science until a chance meeting in 2007. A scientific team happened to find one being kept as a pet, leashed to a fencepost. It was known quite well to hunters of the area, but the scientists had never seen it before, hence discovery. Like the other guenons, it's a smallish, forest-dwelling monkey, preyed upon by leopards, humans, and chimpanzees.</p> 2020-09-14T01:28:00.0000000+10:00 Vintage PopSci: 7 Phone Ideas That Are More Innovative Than The iPhone 5 <p> <!-- - break - --> "Everyone takes the telephone for granted," PopSci lamented in December 1965. Everyone except the inventors at Bell Telephone Laboratories, who had recently unveiled seven crazy-futuristic ideas to revolutionize telephones in homes, offices and even the wilderness.</p> 2020-09-14T00:56:00.0000000+10:00 The First Watch That Automatically Can Set Itself Anywhere <p> <!-- - break - --> Even watches that sync with an atomic clock aren't accurate everywhere. They contain a radio that picks up a signal from a long-range tower connected to atomic clocks around the world. But the towers have a range of only about 1000 kilometers, leaving large regions, including South America and Canada, uncovered. The Seiko Astron is the first watch that uses GPS, so it can automatically set the time anywhere.</p> 2020-09-14T00:15:00.0000000+10:00 Today on Mars: It's Snowing Dry Ice At The Martian South Pole <p><!-- - break - -->Curiosity may be roving the Martian frontier to find out just how similar the Red Planet is to Earth, but meanwhile NASA's other Martian explorers are turning up evidence of just how different our neighboring planet can be. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned data suggesting that it snows on Mars just like it snows on Earth, with one key difference: On Mars, it snows dry ice.</p> 2020-09-13T07:22:00.0000000+10:00 Most Convoluted Crystal Ever Made Has Enough Surface Area To Cover A Desk <p><!-- - break - -->Today in cool stuff happening in university labs: Northwestern researchers have created two new record-setting synthetic materials with the greatest internal surface areas ever seen. There are a lot of potential applications for these metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), named NU-109 and NU-110, but first the mind-bending fact: if you were to unfold a crystal of NU-110 the size of a grain of salt, the surface area would cover a desktop.</p> 2020-09-13T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 Is Homeopathy Really As Implausible As It Sounds? <p>The new British minister of health has recently become the target of scorn and mockery, after a science writer with <em>The Telegraph</em> noted that he supports homeopathy, a branch of alternative medicine most health experts view as quackery. But just how quackish is it? <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-09-13T05:32:00.0000000+10:00 Alzheimer's May Be Caused By Poor Diet <p><!-- - break - -->The root causes of Alzheimer's disease are still a scientific uncertainty, though there's no lack of suggestions and opinions circulating in the biomedical community. But here's one we hadn't yet heard that is gaining traction amid increasing evidence: Alzheimer's is primarily a metabolic disease much like diabetes. At its root, a poor diet can be the instigator of this degenerative neurological condition. The evidence is so stark that some scientists have even taken to referring to Alzheimer's as type 3 diabetes.</p> 2020-09-13T04:15:00.0000000+10:00 Russia is Building the World's Largest Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker <p><!-- - break - -->Russia already has a huge fleet of both diesel-powered and even nuclear icebreakers, but it recently penned an order for something the world has never seen before: a massive new 170 meter long, dual-reactor nuclear icebreaker that will be 14 meters longer and at least4 meters wider than any other icebreaker in its fleet. Powered by two 60-megawatt compact pressurized water reactors, it will be the world's largest "universal" nuclear icebreaker.</p> 2020-09-13T01:31:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: The Shock Compression Laboratory Smashes Planets <p><!-- - break - --><em>This month </em>PopSci<em> presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.</em> </p> 2020-09-13T00:08:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Take a Spin Through the Pencil Nebula <p><!-- - break - -->When it comes to enduring legacies, supernovae have little competition in the universe. What you are looking at above is the Pencil Nebula (though its appearance is sometimes compared to a witch's broomstick) as <a href="">captured in a new image</a> by the Wide Field Imager at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile. From our vantage point on Earth, it is still noticeably moving across the night sky even though it is something like 8,000 light-years away. All this from a star that exploded 11,000 years ago.</p> 2020-09-12T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Plant False Short-Term Memories Directly In Rodent Brains <p><!-- - break - --> For the first time, scientists have implanted false memories directly into pieces of cut-out rodent brain tissue, storing different types of short-term memory and proving the brain cells can store information about specific contexts. The memories lasted 10 seconds inside in vitro brain tissue, meaning brain tissue stored in a test tube was able to remember - albeit very briefly.</p> 2020-09-12T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Valve Wants to Move PC Gaming to the Living Room <p><!-- - break - -->Our friends at Kotaku have a preview of Big Picture mode, a new experiment for Valve's Steam platform. Steam is sort of like the iTunes Store of PC gaming - it's a one-stop shop for games, and it has basically complete control of that market. Big Picture mode gives Steam an interface specifically designed for the living room - you're supposed to sit 3 meters away from the screen, on your couch, controller in hand, which makes it very different from the way PC gaming is normally done.</p> 2020-09-12T03:35:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Harvard's Robotic Tentacle Can Lift a Flower Without Crushing It <p><!-- - break - -->We've written about a few soft robotic tentacles here before, but researchers from Harvard working with the Department of Energy and DARPA have come up with one that they claim is sensitive and nuanced enough to grip and manipulate a flower without breaking it. Their work is detailed in the latest issue of the journal <em>Advanced Materials</em>.</p> 2020-09-12T03:16:00.0000000+10:00 Astronaut Frank Culbertson Watched the 9/11 Attacks From Space <p>On September 11th, 2001, there was only one American on the International Space Station: Expedition Three Commander Frank L. Culbertson. That morning, after a physical examination of the other astronauts, command on the ground told Culbertson what had happened. </p> 2020-09-12T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Brilliant 10: Christy Haynes Reveals the Secrets of the Body's Blood-Clotting System <p><!-- - break - -->Human blood cells are fairly well understood. That's not true of platelets, the tiny nucleus-free discs that circulate in the blood and play a key role in regulating clotting. Platelets are less than a fifth of the size of a typical red blood cell, and until University of Minnesota chemist Christy Haynes started studying them, scientists had no way to see what was happening inside. </p> 2020-09-11T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Big Dog Is Back <p><!-- - break - -->DARPA's terrifying Big Dog is back, this time a little less terrifying (but still pretty terrifying). </p> 2020-09-11T06:08:00.0000000+10:00 Science Confirms the Obvious: Literature is Good for Your Brain <p><!-- - break - -->In news that probably isn't going to blow your mind, researchers have found that reading is good for your brain. But it's not as straightforward as "book learnin' is good for you." By asking a test group of literary PhD candidates to read a Jane Austin novel inside of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, a Stanford researcher has found that critical, literary reading and leisure reading provide different kinds of neurological workouts, both of which constitute "truly valuable exercise of people's brains."</p> 2020-09-11T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 A New Tack for HIV Vaccines, and Why This Problem Is So Hard to Solve <p>Attempts to create a vaccine for HIV have failed time and again partly because no one has been able to achieve the right vaccine balance - one that can spur the body into action, but not make a person sick. A new study in monkeys suggests a new solution: Vaccines could be more effective if they can be made to linger in the body.</p> 2020-09-11T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Drill World's Deepest Hole in the Ocean Floor <p>Japanese researchers have toppled a 19-year-old record for the deepest passage into the floor of the world, reaching 2,466 meters as of today. That's about 600+ meters  deeper than the lowest part of the Grand Canyon, from rim to floor. The old record, 2,111 meters, fell Friday. </p> 2020-09-11T02:00:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Rover Curiosity Snaps a Self Portrait, Records Some Lolz on the Red Planet <p>Since Mars Curiosity Rover's landing in the Red Planet's Gale Crater last month, we've seen pictures from just about every imaging instrument aboard the robotic geology lab. But today, we're seeing a different kind of image: a self-portrait of Curiosity snapped by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, the camera fixed to the end of the rover's seven-foot robotic arm. Everything you snapped on Instagram over the weekend suddenly pales in comparison, no?</p> 2020-09-11T01:06:00.0000000+10:00 How Engineers Can Help Prevent Water Wars <p><!-- - break - -->Somewhere around 2014, if all goes according to plan, Turkey will complete the Ilisu Dam, a major component of one of the world's most ambitious - and controversial - hydro-engineering projects. The dam is the latest addition to the $32-billion Southeastern Anatolia Project (known by its Turkish acronym, GAP). Along with 21 other dams, Ilisu will lock up the entire Tigris and Euphrates watershed, creating 7,476 megawatts of hydroelectric capacity and irrigating a parched farm region nearly the size of New Jersey. Ilisu's reservoir, however, will also flood the ancient city of Hasankeyf, uproot as many as 70,000 members of Turkey's struggling Kurdish minority, and give Turkish engineers an alarming degree of control over the fate of their downstream neighbors in Iraq.</p> 2020-09-11T00:12:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: The DHS Center of Excellence Destroys IEDs <p><em>This month </em>PopSci<em> presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.</em> </p> 2020-09-08T03:45:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Why Is Bill Clinton So Good at Speaking to a Crowd? <p><!-- - break - -->There is a reason why so many of you were enthralled by former President Clinton the other night. It's the same reason why Barack Obama had a tough act to follow last night at his own convention. The art of speechwriting and speech-giving - and it is an art, no doubt - is also, in many ways, a science. A good speech flows sort of like a backward scientific method; it starts with a preconceived idea, and is supported by evidence reinforcing the idea. And politics aside, there may be no one better at doing this than William Jefferson Clinton.</p> 2020-09-08T00:57:00.0000000+10:00 Megapixels: A Monkey Controls a Robot Hand With its Mind <p>The first direct brain-machine interface, developed in the 1990s, connected a computer to a rat. By 2003, scientists had mostly replaced rats with nonhuman primates. One of which is Jianhui, an eight-year-old rhesus macaque at Zhejiang University in eastern China.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-09-07T23:34:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: The Plasma Physics Laboratory Makes Miniature Suns <p><em>This month </em>PopSci<em> presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.</em> </p> 2020-09-07T07:47:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Cyborg Cockroach Scurries Along a Precise, Curved Path <p>We've seen schemes for remotely-controlled cyborg insects before, including at least one DIY kit for building your own robotically-enhanced cockroach, but researchers at NC State are really moving this discipline forward (literally). A team there has developed an electronic interface that allows them to remotely control cockroaches along fairly precise paths, and they have the video to prove it.</p> 2020-09-07T06:53:00.0000000+10:00 Inside the Mysterious Dark Matter of the Human Genome <p>When scientists sequenced the human genome a decade ago, it was somewhat like looking at a blueprint in a foreign language - everything was marked in its proper location, but no one could tell what it all meant. Only about 1 percent of our genome codes for proteins that actually do anything, so the rest of our DNA has been like biology's dark matter, acting in mysterious ways. Now, after years of monumental effort, scientists think they have some answers.</p> 2020-09-07T04:59:00.0000000+10:00 Astronauts Repair $150 Billion Space Station with a Toothbrush and Some Bent Wire <p>It was both a high drama rescue and a defining moment for implements of oral hygiene. During a hastily scheduled six-and-a-half hour spacewalk yesterday, a NASA astronaut and her Japanese counterpart fixed the broken $150 billion dollar International Space Station. Key to their success: a toothbrush.</p> 2020-09-07T03:47:00.0000000+10:00 Science Has Discovered the 'Pigtail' Molecular Cloud and it is Beautiful <p>Some 30,000 light-years away near the chaotic, gaseous region near our galactic center, a team of Japanese researchers has found the strange cosmic feature you see above: a helical molecular cloud twisting across some 60 light years. This kind of structure is not the kind of thing astronomers expect to find here, but in observing the "pigtail" molecular cloud, as they are calling it, they have figured out some interesting things about the goings-on there at the heart of the galaxy and the magnetic characteristics that exist there.</p> 2020-09-07T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Global Warming Could Be Linked to the Number of Exploding Stars in the Sky <p>An astrophysicist working on one of the cosmos greatest mysteries has a new theory on global warming theory that might sound implausible on its face, but actually makes some sense: that we can measure future global warming based on the number of exploding stars we see in the sky.<br /> <!-- - break - --><br /> Dr. Charles Wang of the University of Aberdeen has put forth a new theory concerning supernova that involves a Higgs Boson-like mystery particle that is scheduled to be tested at CERN. That's interesting, but perhaps more intriguing is the idea that his theory could aid in our understanding of where global warming originates and where it is going.</p> 2020-09-06T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Ball of Metal Bounces Off a Thin Sheet of Super-Tough Hydrogel <p>We've seen hydrogels - the squishy material of the future - do some neat tricks before. Researchers, for example, have already tried to make them autonomous self-healers, ready to repair themselves when they break. But what if they just didn't break <em>at all</em> under strain? Then you'd get something like this video, which shows a new, super-strong hydrogel shrugging off a ball of metal. </p> 2020-09-06T07:28:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Cheetah Robot Sets a New Land Speed Record <p>Last we heard from Boston Dynamics' Cheetah, it was coursing along at 28 kilometers per hour, the fastest a robot had ever run. Now, inspired perhaps by Olympic sprinters, it's cranked that up to a frightening  45.5 kilometers per hour. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-09-06T06:25:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Rover Curiosity Snaps a New 360-Degree Panoramic on its Way to Glenelg <p>A new image released by NASA this week shows the Mars Rover Curiosity's view of the red planet in a sweeping 360 degrees. The rover, which is en route toward a location known as Glenelg since last week, has been prodigiously snapping photos with its navigation camera, and mission handlers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory stitched together this panorama that shows both where Curiosity has been and where it is going.</p> 2020-09-06T03:07:00.0000000+10:00 Classic Knot Designs Tie Down Mars Rover Curiosity's Cables, to Knot Fans' Delight <p>The Mars rover Curiosity is chock full of the most advanced technology humans can build, from its miniaturized X-ray machine to its awesomely powerful laser. And then there are these knots.</p> 2020-09-06T01:43:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: The Center for Defense Chemistry Fingerprints Explosions <p><em>This month </em>PopSci<em> presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.</em> </p> 2020-09-06T00:52:00.0000000+10:00 Haptic "Ghost" Armband Teaches Your Muscles To Behave Like Athletes' Muscles <p>Training for the highest levels of a sport requires fine-tuning of muscle memory, but this is often a visual game, with athletes watching high-speed video of themselves and their competitors to nail down the right moves. So impaired vision can be a major obstacle. A new device developed for the Paralympics gives physical feedback instead - and it could even be used to help athletes emulate the movements of star athletes.</p> 2020-09-05T23:57:00.0000000+10:00 You Can Give the Kinect the Power of Image Recognition <p>The Kinect can see, but the ability to see objects is different from the ability to recognise objects. You and I, with our eyes and brains that work so effectively, can see a water bottle of pretty much any size, shape, color, or material, and recognise what it's for. But a Kinect is not as smart as we are, and needs a hand to get to our level. That's where you come in.</p> 2020-09-05T07:09:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: Lightning Research Lab <p><em></em>A lucky few engineering students at the University of Florida get to do something vaguely magical: conjure their own lightning...<em></em></p> 2020-09-05T05:11:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Manipulate the Dreams of Rats, Opening the Door to 'Dream Engineering' <p>MIT researchers have successfully reached inside the brains of rats and manipulated their dreams using an audio cue conditioned into them during the previous day. It's a development that lends insight into the whole sleep/memory consolidation relationship. But it's also worth reiterating that this is dream control, external manipulation of the mind during sleep. And it could one day lead to the controlled engineering of dreams.</p> 2020-09-05T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Nuclear-Powered LEDs Will Light Up Future Space Farms Far From the Sun <p>Robots don't need a whole lot to survive, and even thrive, on the surface of Mars (once they get there, anyway). But meeting even the most basic needs of humans will be a huge challenge - we'll need some kind of bioregenerative system to grow food, produce oxygen, clean our water and recycle nutrients. Still, that doesn't mean we can't take a page from the Mars rover Curiosity and go nuclear.</p> 2020-09-05T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 Viral Gene Therapy Gives Non-Smelling Mice the Ability to Smell <p>Science can make blind mice see again and deaf mice hear - now scent-deprived mice can sniff their surroundings and smell for the first time, after a new gene therapy. It may be a while before this treatment percolates up to humans, but it's a sign that gene therapy could restore smell in this rare but disorder.</p> 2020-09-05T02:09:00.0000000+10:00 Smart Carpet Detects Your Gait, Knows if You've Fallen <p>Packed with smart meters, smart appliances, smart windows and doors, smart lighting, smart HVAC and other smart what-have-you, the smart home of the future is purportedly going to be overflowing with sensors that make life more efficient and convenient. Now, it could be packed with sensors that make sure you're not splayed on the floor alone in the living with a busted hip, unable to reach the phone. A research group at the U.K.‘s University of Manchester has developed smart carpeting that can tell when someone has stumbled or fallen, and even analyse people's gaits for signs of oncoming mobility problems.</p> 2020-09-05T01:02:00.0000000+10:00 The Labs That Go Boom: The Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic Deploys Photon Torpedoes <p><em>This month </em>PopSci<em> presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.</em> </p> 2020-09-05T00:06:00.0000000+10:00 Light-Activated Muscle Could Make Robots Move Like Real Creatures <p>New generations of bio-inspired robots will be more than just inspired by nature - they may use actual biological components. Bioengineers at MIT have genetically modified muscle cells to respond to light, which could be used to make easily controllable robot muscles that look and act like the animals on which they're based.</p> 2020-09-03T01:15:00.0000000+10:00 In World First, Scientists Surgically Implant a Working Bionic Eye In a Blind Patient <p>We've been waiting on the prospect of a bionic eye for a while now; being able to surgically give sight to the sightless would be a medical breakthrough, and we're right on the cusp. Exhibit A: In a world first, scientists have successfully implanted a prototype bionic eye that has helped a woman see shapes. </p> 2020-09-01T04:40:00.0000000+10:00 Russia Wants a New Long-Range Bomber That Cracks Mach 5 <p>There's a new arms race brewing, and this one is destined to be very, very fast. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is calling for the development of a hypersonic long-range bomber to ensure Russia is not "falling behind the Americans." He doesn't want some subsonic or even supersonic analog to the American B-2, he says. Russia's next bomber - slated for delivery by decade's end - will move faster than Mach 5.</p> 2020-09-01T01:59:00.0000000+10:00 For Some Reason Apple Doesn't Want iPhone Users Keeping Tabs on the Drone Wars <p>We've covered the technology aspects of the ongoing drone wars thoroughly here at PopSci. The geopolitical and legal ramifications have been fodder for an endlessly cycling debate in the blogosphere. Esquire's Tom Junod recently termed it the "Lethal Presidency" while examining the moral ramifications. The bottom line is, the U.S. is engaged in several shadow wars around the globe in which unmanned aircraft are lethally striking at a list of individuals in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. And Apple's App Store, for its part, seems to want nothing to do with it.</p> 2020-09-01T01:10:00.0000000+10:00 After Embryo is Washed of Disease, Healthy Purebred Baby Buffalo Born in the Bronx <p>The first "genetically pure" bison produced from a cleansed and transplanted embryo was born in June, officials at the Bronx Zoo announced today. Now the zoo can expand its bison herd with only the purest samples of prairie cows.</p> 2020-09-01T00:09:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Maryland Student Hovers 8 Feet High in Human-Powered Helicopter, Smashing Previous Records <p>Records are made to be broken, and a bunch of students at the University of Maryland are smashing the ones they just set earlier this summer. They're so close to winning the crazy-hard American Helicopter Society's Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter competition - watch an amazing almost 3 meter flight past the jump.<br /> <!-- - break - --><br /> Henry Enerson, a freshman at UMD, is one of a handful of pilots taking turns furiously pedaling in the cockpit of the Gamera II, a human-powered quadcopter. The team has already met one major requirement of the Sikorsky Prize this week, hovering for 65 seconds. Now if they can hit one minute and get a little higher to exactly 3 meters they'll win the $250,000 32-year-old prize. </p> 2020-08-31T07:38:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Body-Cooling Glove Could Give Athletes a Better Boost Than Steroids <p>Almost all mammals have a network of veins near a hairless part of their skin that controls rapid temperature management - and it's no different for people. For us it's the palms (as opposed to, say, a dog's dangling tongue). But like some other biological processes, the technique can be gamed, with engineering topping physiology. That's the case with a body-cooling glove out of Stanford that researchers say might be more potent - and obviously much more legal - than steroids.</p> 2020-08-31T07:15:00.0000000+10:00 San Diego Zoo Wants Inventors to Design New Robots and Devices Inspired By Its Animals <p>The San Diego Zoo, one of the best-regarded zoos in the world, has spent several years promoting biomimicry and its potential benefits to the economy and various research fields. Now the zoo is really ramping up its inspired-by-nature kick, launching an entire Centre for Bioinspiration, complete with the British spelling. Come look at the amazing animals, get excited and then design a cheetahbot!</p> 2020-08-31T06:23:00.0000000+10:00 South African Scientists Claim Breakthrough Drug Cures All Strains of Malaria <p>Malaria is the scourge of tropical nations, crippling its victims with symptoms like debilitating fever, convulsions and nausea, and killing half a million people annually. Now researchers in South Africa say they may have a one-size-fits-all solution, in the form of a new drug that could work with just one dose.</p> 2020-08-31T05:20:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Controlling a Drone With Nothing But Your Thoughts <p>We recently gave the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 a pretty solid review here on PopSci for improvements made to the recreational quadcopter's smartphone- or tablet-based control interface, which we found to be very intuitive. But a team of researchers at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, has gone a long step further. Using an off-the-shelf Emotiv EEG headset, they've devised a brain-machine interface that lets users control an AR.Drone with their thoughts alone.</p> 2020-08-31T04:20:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Recommends: Steven Millhauser, Short Fiction's Greatest Historical Futurist <p>Many of Steven Millhauser's best stories are wonders of historical futurism. He is interested in the road not taken, in what might have been, whether it's a frighteningly interactive form of painting ("A Precursor of the Cinema") or a bodysuit that simulates any tactile experience ("The Wizard of West Orange"). If you like steampunk or sci-fi, if you like Christopher Nolan or Rian Johnson - really, if you like PopSci - you owe it to yourself to check out Millhauser.</p> 2020-08-31T03:20:00.0000000+10:00 Cassini Beams Back Stunning Images of Seasons Changing on Saturn <p>Curiosity, you are such an amazing space mission that we will sacrifice a thousand blog posts, a million gallons of newsprint even, in your honor. But can you do <em>this</em>? NASA's Cassini probe, not content to be forgotten in its faraway orbit around Saturn and its moons, has beamed back new natural-color images of the ringed planet that are absolutely breathtaking. Released yesterday, they show a very different planet than the one Cassini arrived at eight years ago.</p> 2020-08-31T02:19:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: How Long Can a Brain Live in a Dish? <p>Scientists have isolated the brains of dogs, cats and monkeys and kept them alive for short periods in one way or another. But the most successful "whole-brain preparation" of a mammal was developed in the mid-1980s. A neuroscientist at NYU Langone Medical Center named Rodolfo Llinás came up with a way to keep the brain of a young guinea pig alive in a fluid-filled tank for the length of a standard workday.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-30T07:08:00.0000000+10:00 Hurricane Isaac Captured in Eerily Beautiful Images from Orbit <p>Hurricane Isaac has now made two landfalls in southern Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast region is no doubt in for a long Wednesday. The slow-moving storm carries an increased risk for flooding in the affected regions, as rainfall totals will be higher. And then there's that storm surge, and those Category One, 130 kilometer per hour winds. Kind of makes you wonder how something so violent and destructive on the underside can look so tranquil from above. This is a major test of the world's largest water pump system, which was installed in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-30T06:45:00.0000000+10:00 Photo of the Day: NASA Tests Gigantic Parachutes for the Next Manned Space Capsule <p>Even the space shuttle, which glided through the atmosphere and landed like an airplane, had parachutes to help slow it down - they're the most effective drag-inducers out there. But you'd better be sure they work. NASA is testing the giant heavyweight parachutes being developed for the next space capsule that will ferry humans into orbit, Orion.</p> 2020-08-30T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 The U.S. Air Force is Officially Seeking Cyber Weapons <p>Look, we all know the Pentagon is seeking cyber weapons. For defensive purposes only, of course, not for playing dirty cyber tricks on enemies of the state (Stuxnet, anyone?). But it's a bit strange when the military does it so openly. For instance, when it submits a request into the public domain saying "please build us cyber weapons." Which is what the Air Force just did.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-30T04:05:00.0000000+10:00 IBM Is Bringing Its Mega-Intelligence Watson to Your Smartphone <p>Siri is helpful when you want to schedule a reminder or look at the forecast, but wouldn't it be better to have a bona fide Jeopardy! champ in your pocket? IBM is trying to figure out how to bring the power of its superbrainy Watson to smartphones, helping people answer far more complex questions.</p> 2020-08-30T03:04:00.0000000+10:00 Can't Define "The Cloud"? Who Cares? <p>"The cloud" is nothing and everything at once, so it's not surprising that pretty much nobody (no normal people, I mean) can define or even identify it. But tech terms like this soak through our cultural consciousness until it seems like you're <em>supposed</em> to know what it is. Which is where this unexpectedly enlightening survey comes in. It found that most people have no idea what the cloud is, have <em>pretended to know what it means</em> on first dates, and yet effectively all respondents are active cloud computing users. And that's the way this stuff should work. When you can use technology without using jargon, that's a triumph of technology, not a reason to ridicule users. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-29T06:07:00.0000000+10:00 Robo-Grading Programs Judge Student Essays Better Than Humans Do <p>Since 2009, Utah has used computers to grade essays on a state student-assessment test. And testing companies use essay-evaluating software as one of two graders on graduate-school admissions exams such as the GRE. But how well, really, can a computer grade an essay?<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-29T05:21:00.0000000+10:00 AIDS Virus Could Be Harnessed to Fight Cancer <p>Viruses are skillful mutants, changing their structures or outer proteins to evade the shifting natural defenses of their targets. (This is why you have to get a flu shot every year.) Now researchers in France report using one of the most proficient mutants, HIV, to fight another intractable disease: Cancer.</p> 2020-08-29T04:23:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Rover Curiosity Photographs Its Destination, Enormous Mount Sharp <p>Since we don't have the usual landmarks on Mars that we enjoy on Earth, it can be tough to get a sense of scale for the great shots we've seen from Mars rover Curiosity. In this photo of Mount Sharp - Curiosity's scientific destination - the mound in the center of the image is about 300 meters across and 100 meters high. Curiosity, relative to that, looks like a speck of dirt, as you can see after the jump. </p> 2020-08-29T02:58:00.0000000+10:00 A Mechanical Scale Capable of Weighing a Single Molecule <p>Researchers at Caltech, working with French colleagues, have figured out a mechanical means to weigh the previously un-weigh-able - things like individual molecules, viruses, proteins, and other particles - at the individual level, one by one. Such a scale should lead to huge leaps in understanding of molecular processes within biological cells, as well as advances in nanotechnology and other sciences of the very small.</p> 2020-08-28T23:50:00.0000000+10:00 Now on Kickstarter: The First Steps Toward a Lunar Space Elevator <p>There's only one it's-the-future-why-don't-we-have-x trope that rivals the flying car, and that's the space elevator. (First proposed in 1895, it might even predate it.) The idea of a giant tower that can carry us from Earth to outer space is legend, and it probably will be for a long time. But a company has successfully Kickstarted what they say is their first step to building one on the Moon.</p> 2020-08-28T07:44:00.0000000+10:00 Stealing Data From Your Brain, With a $300 Scanner <p>The Emotiv brain-computer interface was designed to let users control their computers with their thoughts alone, opening up a new avenue for hands-free computing as well as a potential means for those with disabilities to communicate through machines. So much for good intentions. Scientists at the University of California and the University of Oxford in Geneva have devised a way to steal a user's sensitive information - account numbers, PIN numbers, etc. - via Emotiv's off-the-shelf brain signal-reading technology.</p> 2020-08-28T06:44:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Learn to Cook a Steak by Cooking Bizarre Imaginary Steaks <p>How do you learn to cook a steak? Some people might say "attempt to cook a steak." Those people are living in the past! What you should do is rig a system of wires and pulleys and augmented reality cameras and projectors so you can toss and turn a digital projection of a steak and onions with a digital projection of a spatula while feeling simulated resistance that mimics the weight of a steak. Duh. Video after the jump.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-28T05:38:00.0000000+10:00 Swarms of Scottish Robots Will Find and Heal Damaged Coral <p>Swarms of caretaker robots will soon buzz around the damaged coral reefs of Scotland, re-cementing broken sections with utmost precision. Researchers at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University are programming autonomous underwater vehicles to follow a set of simple rules, like bees in a swarm, to keep corals healthy.</p> 2020-08-28T04:54:00.0000000+10:00 NASA's Next Nanosatellites Will Carry HTC Smartphones <p>"The smartphone in your pocket has more computing power than the spacecraft that took the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon," says anyone trying to impress anyone else with the massive scaling of computing power over the last few decades. Perhaps taking a clue from this cocktail party trivia, NASA is now developing spacecraft powered by commercial smartphones. The space agency's PhoneSat program (not sure if that's an official name, but that's what people are calling it) aims to develop prototype nanosatellites built around HTC handsets.</p> 2020-08-28T03:55:00.0000000+10:00 Biocompatible Transistors Wired Into Living Human Tissue <p>A new material developed at Harvard and MIT adds a distinctly cybernetic element to the science of tissue engineering. The 3-D mesh of transistors and cells, which can support tissue growth while monitoring its health and progress, could even be a step toward prosthetic devices that connect directly to the nervous system. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-28T01:58:00.0000000+10:00 Artificial Intelligence Predicts and Combats Crop-Destroying Fruit Flies <p>Oriental fruit flies are one of the biggest scourges to farmers around the globe, often forcing officials to put crops into quarantine just to keep <em>Bactrocera dorsalis</em> shut out. In Taiwan, where the situation is especially dire, scientists are using artificial intelligence tech that can determine, with uncanny accuracy, where and when an outbreak is about to happen. </p> 2020-08-28T01:16:00.0000000+10:00 Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, Dies at 82 <p>Neil Armstrong's one small step, indelible in the minds of generations, will live far beyond his last day on Earth today, Aug. 25. The reclusive 82-year-old former astronaut and the first man on the moon may not have wanted such a legacy, preferring to focus on his role as a professor and pilot. But he will remain as as reluctantly famous in death as he was throughout the past 43 years of his life. </p> 2020-08-26T13:50:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Rover Curiosity's Tracks Are More Than Just Skid Marks in the Martian Dirt <p>The Mars rover Curiosity's first roll was more than a cause for celebration - it will help pinpoint where the rover set down, and emblazon the name of its maker into the Martian soil. Curiosity's wheels have holes arranged in the Morse code pattern for "JPL."</p> 2020-08-25T06:00:00.0000000+10:00 Electronic Sutures Can Check For Infections and Even Help Wounds Heal <p>Stitches deserve a makeover. We've been using them in some form for thousands of years. So while they've stood the test of time, a researcher from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is wrestling surgical sutures into the future by creating "smart" electronic versions. They can monitor sutured sites for infection, and even help in the healing process.</p> 2020-08-25T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 Paralympic Athletes Try to Get a Performance Boost By Hurting Themselves <p>We've heard of odd rules put in place (marijuana use comes to mind) to keep Olympians and Paralympians from gaining an unfair advantage, but this is odd and more than a little scary: Against regulations, some Paralympians may physically hurt themselves - maybe to the point of breaking a bone - in order to get an edge in competition.</p> 2020-08-25T02:04:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Turn Adult Red Blood Cells Into Embryonic Stem Cells <p>Despite the ethical and political differences they incite, stem cells are still a miraculous medicine, potentially able to change into whatever a sick body needs them to be. The only way to get them, though, is from actual embryos. If we could get around that, theoretically, the problems would be gone. Johns Hopkins scientists are making progress there, creating them from a non-controversial supply of something we have in bulk: adult red blood cells. </p> 2020-08-25T00:57:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Squid Skin Dances When You Blast Cypress Hill At It <p>Animals use electricity to move, and so electricity can be used to make them move, as the scientists at Backyard Brains show in a neat DIY experiment that can be done with a cockroach's leg. For a larger scale version, they connected the device to a squid, which produce pigmented cells called chromatophores to reflect light. By using an iPod blasting Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Membrane" as the stimulant, they discovered a lovely, abstract look at the process. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-24T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 Pop Review: The Nintendo 3DS XL Proves Bigger Is Sometimes Better <p>We've said it before, but our favorite application for 3-D - really, the only venue in which we don't hate it - is gaming. Nintendo just released the 3DS XL, basically a bigger version of the glasses-free 3DS, and it's great. Here's why.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-24T06:28:00.0000000+10:00 Amazing Video: Mars Rover Curiosity's Descent and Landing in High Res <p>As promised, NASA has stitched together high-resolution imagery of the descent and landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, captured from the rover's own bellycam. The full-color four-frame-per-second video is below, with synchronised narration from Allen Chen and the other scientists in the control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.</p> 2020-08-24T05:45:00.0000000+10:00 Sea Chair Project Collects Ocean Plastic Garbage to Make Stylish Sitting Stools <p>Of all the ideas for dealing with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, this one may be closest to home - turn it into furniture. Until sea drones can be built to hoover it all up, this is as good a solution as any.</p> 2020-08-24T05:05:00.0000000+10:00 The Future of Electronics is Just One Single Molecule Thick <p>Where electronics are concerned, the future is two-dimensional and very, very thin. One molecule thin, to be exact. That's not quite as thin as a sheet of graphene, but new research from MIT shows that while one-atom-thick graphene shows exceptional strength and other novel properties, the future of electronics lies with materials like molybdenum disulfide (MoS<sub>2</sub>) that are a couple of atoms thicker but much, much easier to work with.</p> 2020-08-24T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 A Blueprint to Let Anyone 3-D Print an Open-Source Gun At Home <p>We've already seen that it's possible to print parts of a gun - and have it work - using a 3-D printer. The project was highly controversial, but now a group wants to make sure that anyone can print a working gun at home. </p> 2020-08-24T03:03:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Real Working Hoverbike Zooms Across the Desert <p>Future tech doesn't always look the way the '70s might've predicted, but sometimes it does. Case in point: this beautiful, fully functional hoverbike that could've been torn out of our archives. It's going to be a while before you see one zipping down the street, but if the public does get a chance to ride one, the bike is rideable right out of the box - no training required.</p> 2020-08-24T02:06:00.0000000+10:00 Tomorrow, NASA's Twin Radiation Belt Probes Launch for the Most Hostile Regions in Nearby Space <p>In the wake of Curiosity's landing on Mars, a return to regular science missions in Earth orbit may seem a bit pedestrian. But tomorrow morning just after 4 a.m. EDT, an Atlas V rocket is launching from Cape Canaveral carrying a unique mission aimed at doing some pretty critical science much closer to home. The twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes are bound straight for the Van Allen radiation belts that ring Earth, mysterious and hazardous regions of nearby space that we've known about for decades without truly understanding them.</p> 2020-08-24T01:06:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Inside NASA's Spectacular Undersea Mission to Save Earth from a Deadly Collision <p><em>PopSci is pleased to present videos created by Motherboard, Vice Media's guide to future culture. Motherboard's original videos that run the gamut from in-depth, investigative reports to profiles of the offbeat forward-thinking characters who are sculpting our bizarre present.</em></p> 2020-08-24T00:20:00.0000000+10:00 Audio: Gibbons On Helium Sing Soprano <p>Researchers have just discovered that gibbons not only compete with our top ranks of singers - they have the technique down pat with almost no effort. How did we find this out? By gassing them with helium and listening in on the results, of course. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-23T23:18:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Rover Curiosity Successfully Makes Its First Test-Drive <p>Two weeks after being expertly parked in Mars's Gale Crater by NASA's sky crane apparatus, Mars rover Curiosity has made its first test-drive. It wasn't a particularly long journey; it moved just 3 meters from its landing site - a half-hour trip - so to re-park itself in an area where the rover has visually confirmed there are no obstacles.<br /> <!-- - break - --><br /> The play-by-play: Curiosity successfully tested its wheel turning capability yesterday, performing what NASA is aptly calling a "wheel wiggle." Today, it took those skills on a real test. The rover moved 5 meters away, turned 90 degrees, and reversed a meter. <em>Fin.</em></p> 2020-08-23T05:57:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Is There Any Way to Prevent Toe Cramps? <p><strong>Short answer:</strong> Not really.</p> 2020-08-23T05:09:00.0000000+10:00 New Camouflage Face Paint Could Shield Soldiers From Bomb Blasts' Heat <p>When a roadside bomb or other explosive device goes off, it hits everything nearby with an extreme blast of pressure. Almost simultaneously comes a heat - more than 1,000 degrees  - that's hot enough to cook skin. Presented today at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, a new invention will try to counteract that, and do it through a technology that's already been used for hundreds of years: camouflage paint. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-23T04:08:00.0000000+10:00 Keep Your Bananas Ripe by Spraying Them With Recycled Shrimp Shells <p>Science spends a lot of time taking care of bananas - inventing refrigerated ships, crushing acres' worth of them to come up with enough seeds to breed, and so on. Now a group of Chinese researchers are proposing a secondary banana coat, spraying Andrew W.K.'s favorite fruits with a hydrogel made from discarded shrimp shells.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-23T03:11:00.0000000+10:00 Video: New Dad Builds a Baby Monitor Out of Lasers and a Wiimote <p>Preparing for a newborn baby is a lot of work, from buying the bassinet to arranging the diapers. And soldering apart the Wiimote, installing the crib lasers and turning on the camera.</p> 2020-08-23T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Video: DARPA's New Amphibious Tank Prototype Drives On Water <p>DARPA's Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (TEMP) program is a wide-ranging effort to pack standard ISO shipping containers with technologies that can assist during humanitarian disasters or aid military in solving other unconventional, international problems (like piracy). Essentially DARPA wants a modular means to quickly turn any ship into a technology-laden base of operations that can quickly execute ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore operations. We've seen the ship-based portion of this before. We're now seeing the ship-to-shore piece.<br /> <!-- - break - --><br /> Meet CAAT (for Captive Air Amphibious Transporter). The prototype vehicle is basically like a tank with treads made out of air-filled pontoons, enabling it to roll over water (and obstacles in the water) with Abrams-like efficiency and continue its forward march once it hits shore. Perhaps the coolest thing about the video below: this is a 1/5 scale demonstrator.</p> 2020-08-23T01:15:00.0000000+10:00 Nikon's New Point-and-Shoot Comes With a Full Version of Android <p>Connected cameras aren't new - hell, there have been connected SD cards for like five years - but this is a bit of a departure for Nikon. The Coolpix S800c is a 16MP point-and-shoot with a big 3.5-inch touchscreen, which will be used to navigate a full copy of Android Gingerbread, with Wi-Fi and GPS and apps and all that.</p> 2020-08-23T00:40:00.0000000+10:00 The Army's Quick Fix for Soldier Suicides: Anti-Depressive Nasal Spray <p>The U.S. Army tallied 38 confirmed or suspected suicides among its ranks last month - that's among both active- and non-active-duty members including the Army National Guard and Army Reserve - the highest rate of suicide within the branch yet observed, further underscoring a mental health crisis that the services have yet to get a handle on. But help may be coming in an unlikely form: nasal spray.</p> 2020-08-23T00:08:00.0000000+10:00 Solving Age-Old Mysteries By Going Beyond the Spectrum of Visible Light <p>Our friends at American Photo have a great feature up today about hyperspectral photography, a technique that takes advantage of the fact that photographs often capture light beyond the visible spectrum. Using the technique, you can peel back history - and see what lies underneath pages that have been blacked out, erased, or written over. </p> 2020-08-22T07:49:00.0000000+10:00 Autotransfusion Device Collects Stray Blood During Surgery and Pumps it Back Into the Patient <p>Massive blood loss, known as MBL in the medical world, is a major cause of death during cardiac surgery - and an accepted one, because it's the best option we have. Blood transfusions help, but those aren't without complications, either. A new device could cut that step out of the process for some patients by collecting the blood from a surgery, concentrating the blood cells, and routing it intravenously right back to the person on the table.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-22T06:33:00.0000000+10:00 Video: DARPA's Lightweight, Inflatable Robotic Arm Lifts Four Times its Own Weight <p>The future of military robotics isn't all heavy metal and humanoid soldier-bots. If DARPA's newest warbot implement is any indication, the future is soft, lightweight, and inflatable. The Pentagon's blue-sky research wing is about to award $625,000 to iRobot to develop an inflatable robotic arm that can lift four times its own weight.</p> 2020-08-22T05:31:00.0000000+10:00 Distant Red Giant Caught Devouring One of Its Planets <p>Astronomers have glimpsed the first evidence of a dying star devouring one of its planets, a fate that may await the inner planets - including Earth - in our own solar system. The star in the new study swallowed its planet as it mushroomed into a red giant.</p> 2020-08-22T04:28:00.0000000+10:00 Rape Results In More Pregnancies Than Consensual Sex, Not Fewer <p>If you follow American politics you have probably already heard that in an interview Sunday, Missouri Representative and Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin said he believed that rape-related pregnancy was "really rare." He continued by saying that, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."</p> 2020-08-22T02:29:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Engineer Switches His Entire Family to Mars Time <p>Since the moment the Mars rover Curiosity landed in Gale Crater two weeks ago, NASA engineers have been living on Mars time, rolling their clocks forward 40 minutes every day to keep time with the rover. One engineer brought his entire family along for the ride.</p> 2020-08-22T02:09:00.0000000+10:00 Army Sends Mobile 3-D Printing Labs to Afghanistan For On-Demand Gear <p>3-D printing has yielded items both fascinating and potentially troubling. Now we can add one more to the list of printed achievements: The U.S. Army has had a rapid prototyping wing for some time, and now they've deployed full teams - complete with scientists and 3-D printers - to Afghanistan.</p> 2020-08-22T01:14:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci #46 - September 2012 <p>The September edition will hit shops on the 29th of August. And it's all about cars. Find out more after the jump!</p> 2020-08-21T15:54:00.0000000+10:00 SWITCH60 Review: The First Liquid-Cooled LED Bulb Will Light Up Your House Like Edison <p>The ice cream cone-shaped fluorescent light bulb was supposed to be the lamp of the future, producing just as much light as the century-old Edison incandescent at a fraction of the energy. But CFLs look terrible, enveloping rooms in an unfriendly bluish hue. LED lamps are the next future of lighting, but they have their own obstacles to overcome, including sensitive electronics that can burn out when they get warm. SWITCH, the first liquid-cooled light bulb, aims to solve that issue and light up your house with the comfortable yellow glow of the incandescent.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-21T07:50:00.0000000+10:00 A Robot Drill For Mars Will Be NASA's Next Interplanetary Mission <p>NASA's next interplanetary mission won't be a space boat or a comet-hopper, but another mission to Mars, this time with a stationary probe to drill into the planet. The InSight lander could rival the Mars rover Curiosity's amazing laser in terms of Martian instrument-penetration, drilling 30 feet into the planet's crust.</p> 2020-08-21T07:12:00.0000000+10:00 Giant Cave Spider Discovered in Oregon <p>Oregon is not a safe place for arachnophobes, with at least 500 species of spiders known to inhabit forests, rotten logs and other dwellings. And now there's a new spider on the block. </p> 2020-08-21T06:07:00.0000000+10:00 Synaptics Introduces Pressure-SensitiveTrackpad <p>Trackpads have been a remarkably simple solution to what could've been a complicated problem: translating the mouse to a laptop. But pushing that technology any further requires some lateral thinking, and the next dimension laptops might venture into is detecting pressure from your fingers, which would open the door for a larger set of commands. It would change how we navigate, and we might be almost there. </p> 2020-08-21T04:01:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Affordable Robot Hand Made with Cellphone Parts Can Replace Its Own Fingers <p>The human hand is incredibly complex, and no matter how many attempts we see to replicate it, none seem to get it perfectly right. So a DARPA-funded project is throwing the idea of completely mimicking it out the window and going with an impressive four-fingered plastic machine that can move objects, replace the batteries in a flashlight, and even help detect IEDs. </p> 2020-08-21T02:59:00.0000000+10:00 In Hong Kong, Starbucks Biorefinery Turns Stale Pastry and Coffee Grounds Into Plastic <p>Instead of burning it, composting it or just dumping it in landfills, food waste from your area coffee shop could be upcycled into new plastic or laundry detergent. Starbucks Hong Kong is trying out a new biorefinery, breaking down stale bakery products and coffee grounds into a sugary mixture that can be used for manufacturing.</p> 2020-08-21T02:11:00.0000000+10:00 Innocent Martian Rock Tweets As It's Zapped by Curiosity <p>The Martian rock recently named N165 found itself thrust into the limelight this week as it received a new neighbor from Earth - the Mars rover Curiosity. Some genius made a Twitter account from the perspective of N165 as it meets Curiosity, attempts to make friends - and is ruthlessly attacked.</p> 2020-08-21T00:57:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Penny-Sized Thrusters Could Turn Tiny Satellites Into Orbiting Garbagemen <p>The big rockets of our day get all of the fanfare during a launch, but often they're accompanied by tiny stowaways known as CubeSats, which hitch a ride and drop into orbit. They're convenient and able to get us into space cheaply, roughly the size of a Rubik's Cube and weigh only three pounds. A potential problem with them, though, is there's no way to control them once they're gone, and when we keep sending them farther from terra firma, they could pile up in space. To nip that problem in the bud early, an MIT professor has developed penny-sized thrusters that could help us take them down ourselves. </p> 2020-08-18T04:05:00.0000000+10:00 A New Robot Dismantles Pipe Bombs While Leaving Forensic Evidence Intact <p>The first priority in a bomb-related emergency is, of course, to safely dismantle the bomb. If it's a pipe bomb - the basement-built explosive device - a robot could be sent in to do the job. But enlisting one could hurt officials' secondary objective: obtaining evidence to determine who built the bomb. SAPBER, a new robot, can safely disarm it and turn over the forensics needed to track down its maker.</p> 2020-08-18T02:59:00.0000000+10:00 Visualised: Worldwide Shark Attacks Since 2000 <p>At the Florida Museum of Natural History, filling up two five-drawer file cabinets are 2700 detailed accounts of shark attacks that collectively make up what's called the International Shark Attack File. The name of the database might be somewhat misleading-two recent stories suggest that shark-human interactions should be referred to as "incidents" rather than "attacks." But whether we think of them as vicious, violent killers or big, curious fish navigating cloudy waters, one thing is clear from the Shark Attack File: Sharks bite more people in U.S. waters than anywhere else in the world. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-18T01:58:00.0000000+10:00 Rough Sketch: "This Squishy Arm is Cheap--Good For Search and Rescue" <p>Our 35 centimeter long robotic elephant trunk has five segments, each made of a silicone membrane with an embedded metal spring that acts like an exoskeleton. The segments are filled with dry coffee grounds and each is vacuum-controlled separately. When coffee grounds are loosely packed, they're in a liquid-like state. When they're vacuum-packed, they transition into a solid-like state. </p> 2020-08-18T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Rough Sketch: The Camera That Takes Photos 100 Times Bigger Than the Average Point-and-Shoot <p>"Our Aware-2 camera combines 98 small cameras with a spherical lens to take black-and-white gigapixel photographs. It set the record for the largest digital snapshot by a terrestrial camera. One image from the camera, printed at 300 dots per inch, is 8 feet high by 16 feet long. </p> 2020-08-17T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 The Sun Is the Most Perfect Naturally-Occurring Sphere in the Universe <p>After 50 years of research, we've discovered a strange, beautiful fact about our Sun: it's more perfectly round than anything else in the natural world. It's not the roundest in a certain category; it's just the roundest sphere there is. If it were a beach ball, <em>The Guardian</em> writes, it would be a hair's width away from complete perfection. </p> 2020-08-17T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 New Stretchy, Soft Chameleon Robot Can Change Colors and Hide In Any Environment <p>Soft robots are coming a long way, with strong yet stretchy bodies that can survive all kinds of assaults. But it would be even better if they didn't have to survive smashing attempts at all, instead blending into their environments so neither animals nor people would even know they were there. Researchers at Harvard designed new chameleon-bots that can do exactly that.</p> 2020-08-17T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Dream Kitchens of the Future: Augmented Reality Countertops, Ingredient Sensors and Sous Chef Bots <p>Modern kitchens already contain multitudes of cooking-related gadgets, from iPads slicked with EVOO to excellet multitasking tools. But it would be nice if the appliances themselves helped you cook, letting you know it's time to stir the risotto, that you should add salt to your soup or how to debone a chicken. Researchers in Japan (where else?) have some ideas about how to do that.</p> 2020-08-17T03:12:00.0000000+10:00 5.5-Meter-Wide Rideable Robot Named Stompy Gets Funded on Kickstarter <p>Project Hexapod, based in Somerville, MA (just outside Cambridge), just passed their requested $65,000 funding on Kickstarter, which is great, because Project Hexapod is building a 1800 kilogram, 5.5 meter wide, two-seat rideable six-legged robot. Its name will be Stompy. We love this project.</p> 2020-08-17T02:12:00.0000000+10:00 A Mechanical Road Crew for Filling Potholes Quickly and Cheaply <p>A quarter of America's major metropolitan roads have stretches in substandard condition, and drivers pay the consequences-potholes alone cost car owners an average of $335 a year in tires, repair and maintenance. The standard method for fixing potholes is to send three workers and a hotbed truck to toss in an asphalt mix and give it a few thumps with a shovel or boot. The process can take as little as two minutes, but the fix is only temporary. One study found that about half of repaired potholes had returned four years later.</p> 2020-08-17T01:15:00.0000000+10:00 Billionaire Investor Peter Thiel Backs New Venture Aimed at Producing 3-D Printed Meat <p>Billionaire Peter Thiel would like to introduce you to the other, other white meat. The investor's philanthropic Thiel Foundation's Breakout Labs is offering up a six-figure grant (between $250,00 and $350,000, though representatives wouldn't say exactly) to a Missouri-based startup called Modern Meadow that is flipping 3-D bio-printing technology originally aimed at the regenerative medicine market into a means to produce 3-D printed meat.</p> 2020-08-16T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 Diagnostic Eyedrops Could Make Patients' Eyes Light Up With Signs of Neurological Disease <p>Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or Creutzfeld-Jacobs are tough to diagnose. Outward symptoms can obviously be an indicator, but symptoms for many neuro-disorders overlap while protein biomarkers for each illness, called amyloids, are difficult to distinguish between. But researchers at UCSD are developing a new diagnostic tool that could soon let doctors diagnose a patient's neuro-degenerative condition simply by gazing into his or her eyes.</p> 2020-08-16T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Fly Through A Billion Light Years of the Universe, Past Galaxy Clusters and Dark Matter <p>A massive cosmic cataloguing effort released a new crop of star and galaxy data last week, noting the locations and brightnesses of hundreds of thousands of objects. Now you can fly through some of them in this new video - click past the jump for a "flight through the universe."</p> 2020-08-16T05:30:00.0000000+10:00 Strong Hands and Voice Pitch Really Are Signs of Fertility <p>Recent research tells us that the sound of our voices betrays clues about our age, whether we're menstruating (if we're female), our sexual behavior and our physical strength. All of these factors, evolutionary psychologists say, are indicators of her reproductive potential. Voice pitch, in particular, has been associated with indirect measures of reproductive fitness in both men and women-men with "masculine" low-pitched voices and women with "feminine" high-pitched voices tend to be rated more attractive and have more sexual partners, for example, and they have higher levels of sex hormones (testosterone in men and estrogen in women). </p> 2020-08-16T04:30:00.0000000+10:00 Karate Experts' Superhuman Punch Comes From a Unique Brain Structure <p>If you've seen the board-breaking power of a professional martial artist and thought it looked superhuman, don't worry: for a while now science couldn't fully explain it, either. The punches delivered by a top-notch fighter are so tough that muscle strength alone can't account for them. But researchers from Imperial College London and University College London have discovered that a unique brain structure could be what gives experts fists of fury.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-16T03:30:00.0000000+10:00 How Tablets Will Remake Television <p>The days of leaning back to watch TV have ended. Eighty-eight percent of tablet owners say they use the device in front of the tube; they find tweets, news, video and other information related to the program they're watching. Afraid of losing eyeballs, networks have released dozens of one-off apps with additional programming content. But that means that viewers must hop from app to app, distracting themselves even further from the TV-viewing experience. Now app developers are starting to take a new approach, one that allows tablets to communicate directly with Wi-Fi-enabled TVs and set-top boxes. The result could fundamentally change how viewers experience TV. </p> 2020-08-16T02:30:00.0000000+10:00 Museum Relics Prove Pacific Sharks Died Out Before We Knew They Were There <p>Dusky sharks do not live in the Pacific waters near the Republic of Kiribati. Neither do spottail sharks, nor the aptly named bignose sharks. But they used to live there at one point in the past - right by the Gilbert Islands, according to anthropological evidence. Ancient shark-tooth weapons can serve as a record of past biodiversity, according to new ecological research.</p> 2020-08-15T07:34:00.0000000+10:00 With New Programming, Autonomous Airplanes Can Navigate on the Fly With No GPS <p>Self-piloted drones may be able to land or fly almost anywhere - even aircraft carriers - but they need some complex navigation skills to do it, including the somewhat existential ability to know where they are in the world. But this is difficult without some type of onboard relative positioning system. A new algorithmic project at MIT straps netbook computer parts to a specially designed, laser-equipped airplane that can find itself and navigate tight spaces safely.</p> 2020-08-15T06:29:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Disney's 3-D Facial Scruff Technology Reconstructs Beards Down to the Individual Hair <p>Face capture technology has come a long way, especially as 3-D stereoscopic imaging and the like have made leaps forward in recent years. It's now relatively easy to capture a face in 3-D and reconstruct it digitally for applications such as the amazing CGI you see in movies like The Avengers (Ruffalo-Hulk was pretty visually awesome, no?). But facial hair is another story altogether. Current face capture systems don't capture it well, and the skin that it obscures on the face then becomes an issue as well. Disney Research is changing that.</p> 2020-08-15T05:25:00.0000000+10:00 Mutant Butterflies are Turning Up in Japan's Nuclear Disaster Zone <p>The first serious indications of the ecosystem impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan are in, and they're troubling. Researchers there collected 144 common pale grass blue butterflies from the region a couple of months after the catastrophic nuclear meltdowns leaked radiation into the environment last year. After studying them for a few generations, those researchers are finding signs of genetic mutations that are leading to physical abnormalities.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-15T03:20:00.0000000+10:00 Interactive Infographic: How Do Olympic Gold Medalists Compare? <p>Now that the Olympics are done, we can reflect on the big moments. (Usain Bolt's lightspeed 100-meter win and Michael Phelps's sunken-pirate-ship levels of gold come to mind.) But if we pull the historical camera back even farther, we can look at the big picture, seeing exactly how much of a blip on the timeline this year made. With that in mind, we've created an interactive graph that shows every gold-medal time for several events and annotations for years that were outliers, or that were just especially interesting (including tech like the Speedo LZR suit, or less-known developments like the official roughening of the javelin to handicap the competitors). It's a look at how technology, smarts, and super-human ability brought the Games to where they are now.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-15T02:21:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Smash Quantum Teleportation Distance Record, Beaming a Photon Over 143 Kilometers <p>The Olympics are over but international competition is still hot and records continue to fall. Just eight short days after a Chinese physics group posted a paper claiming to have achieved quantum teleportation across a record-setting 97 kilometers, a joint Canadian/European team posted another claiming to have teleported a single photon across 143 kilometers.<!-- - break - --> That second paper hasn't been peer-reviewed yet (the Chinese paper just came out in the peer-reviewed journal Nature on August 9), but should it stand up to scrutiny, we've got yet another new distance record in the quantum teleportation event. </p> 2020-08-15T01:40:00.0000000+10:00 New Algorithm Predicts Your Future Movements Within 20 Meter Accuracy <p>Plenty of hay has been made over which apps and cell phones track our movements, but so far it has been difficult to accurately determine where we're going next - people can be unpredictable, after all, and make dinner plans at random new places on a whim. In that case, what's a prediction algorithm to do? Track all your friends, too, it turns out.</p> 2020-08-14T07:33:00.0000000+10:00 Spotting Cancer Cells in Blood With a 27-Picosecond Camera <p>A simple blood test that offers early detection of cancer in the human body has long eluded medical researchers, but a team at UCLA is getting closer. By blending an ultra-fast camera and a powerful optical microscope with software that can process the data they produce at extremely high speeds, the team hopes it can spot circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that have broken away from cancerous tumors in blood samples, potentially making early cancer detection as simple as taking a blood draw.</p> 2020-08-14T06:45:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Reach the 'Highest Possible' Resolution for Color Laser Printing at 100,000 dpi <p>A lot has been written about the perceived benefits and non-benefits of higher-than-the-human-eye-can-perceive resolutions, things like displays that go beyond HD and retina or cameras and scanners that capture imagery in pixel counts that go so far beyond the threshold of what we can see as to be meaningless, at least visually speaking. Undaunted, researchers in Singapore claim they have achieved the highest resolution possible for color laser printing by recreating the classic Lena test image at 100,000dpi.</p> 2020-08-14T05:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Indestructible Military Inchworm-Bot Survives Attack By Bootheels and Hammers <p>Soft, bendy robots could have a wide variety of benefits, from squishing into tight spaces to conduct surveillance, to crawling through a person's body to deliver drugs or take medical images. But it's hard to build entirely soft objects containing soft bodies, soft batteries and soft motors. A new version developed at MIT and Harvard is both soft and tough, inching around like an earthworm yet surviving multiple cruel blows from a rubber mallet.</p> 2020-08-14T04:20:00.0000000+10:00 Electronic 'Smart Fingertips' Could Give Robots and Doctors Virtual Touch <p>The same touchy engineers who gave us the first peelable epidermal electronics last year have a new virtual tactile system: Smart fingers, which could someday bring a real sense of touch to telepresence applications. Surgical robots or human doctors could virtually feel surfaces, temperatures and other characteristics, through special smart gloves designed to trick the brain into thinking it's feeling.</p> 2020-08-14T03:19:00.0000000+10:00 Video: NASA's Experimental Morpheus Lander Fails Flight Test by Exploding <p>Space exploration doesn't always go smoothly. For instance, the triumph of Apollo 11 was followed by the failed mission and near-disaster of Apollo 13. Prior to launching Alan Shepard into space in 1961, NASA blew countless space rockets to pieces on the launchpad. Russia still crashes its spaceships periodically. And lest last week's euphoria over the Mars rover Curiosity landing have you thinking NASA's got this spaceflight thing down to a pure science, please see the video below. Late last week, NASA's experimental unmanned Morpheus lander failed spectacularly during vehicle tests. Really spectacularly. With fire and explosions and whatnot.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-14T02:15:00.0000000+10:00 Jailbreak Your iPhone For New Functions in the Notification Center <p>Jailbreaking-altering an iPhone or iPad's firmware to access unlicensed apps-became less useful as Apple released more feature-rich iOS updates. But now developers have come up with a new reason to jailbreak iDevices: They've enabled users to add settings, music controls and more to Notification Center, iOS 5's drop-down information panel. That puts a huge amount of functionality in one convenient location, with only a five-minute tweak. Here's a look at the best new features and how to get them.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-14T00:14:00.0000000+10:00 New York Bookstore Brings SF Back From the Dead <p>Much of the oldest and best science fiction stories and novels are, sadly, long out of print. The only way to read them is to dig through second-hand bookshops, rummage sales, or dusty attics, or hope that the local library still keeps their old paperbacks around. A group in Brooklyn called Singularity&Co. wants to change that. The attack is two-fold: raise some of these long-lost stories from their graves and release them as e-books, and showcase some really killer hardcovers and paperbacks at an honest-to-god brick-and-mortar bookstore near the East River. Being a dedicated sci-fi nerd, I felt obligated check it all out for myself at their grand opening last night.<!-- - br - --></p> 2020-08-11T07:40:00.0000000+10:00 The Test Olympians Use to Improve Their Performance--On the Inside <p>To help prepare for track meets, competitive 5K races and especially the Olympics, Boston-based runner Ruben Sanca runs 185 kilometers per week, takes vitamins and mostly watches his diet. But he would still feel fatigued after training runs. Then a blood analysis and a special software program revealed his internal chemistry needed some adjusting. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-11T06:14:00.0000000+10:00 What Curiosity Means for the Future of Space <p>Mars rover Curiosity has landed. You know this because you have an Internet connection and because the hair-raising landing was a huge media spectacle, and justifiably so. NASA just delivered the most sophisticated suite of science instruments ever packaged on a planetary rover onto the surface of Mars via an untested landing maneuver, instruments that should provide us with two uninterrupted years of unrivaled geological science on another planet. That in itself is a truly incredible story. But it's not the whole story.</p> 2020-08-11T05:04:00.0000000+10:00 F=ma: Prosperity Isn't How Much You Move--It's How You Move It <p>Science is how people attempt to see the world as it truly is. That's why I'm drawing the title of this new column from the wisdom of the greatest of scientists. Since Isaac Newton first stated his Second Law of Motion, we have understood that "force" is really a product of mass and acceleration: <em>F = ma</em>. Move more things faster, and they will exert more force.</p> 2020-08-11T03:35:00.0000000+10:00 Lockheed Martin's 'Flying Humvee' Concept Gets a Lift from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter <p>When DARPA launched its Transformer (TX) program back in early 2010, PopSci responded as most media did by applauding the ambition while simultaneously harboring serious skepticism. In essence the DoD was asking for a flying car, a "1- to 4-person transportation vehicle that can drive and fly," capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), for troops looking to avoid rough terrain and IEDs. The very idea simply <em>feels</em> impossible - at least until you have a sober conversation with the guy building it.</p> 2020-08-10T23:40:00.0000000+10:00 Giant 3-D Printer to Make An Entire House in 20 Hours <p>3-D printers can make airplanes and their parts, food and more - why not entire buildings? A professor at the University of Southern California aims to print out whole houses, using layers of concrete and adding plumbing, electrical wiring and other guts as it moves upward.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-10T06:23:00.0000000+10:00 Protein With Liquid Built In Could Be Key to Life Without Water <p>For all our attempts to find it on other worlds, water may not be the most essential molecule for life, a new study suggests. A protein that brings oxygen to muscle can function without it, using a synthetic polymer in its place.</p> 2020-08-10T05:23:00.0000000+10:00 MIT's Smart Handheld Woodworking Tool Makes Precise Cuts Automatically <p>It can be satisfying to build something yourself, making careful measurements and ensuring your carefully routed wood slats fit together perfectly. Except when your measurements are off by a few microns and nothing fits. Some MIT students decided that a smart machine could help matters, and designed a re-routing router that automatically cuts the right shape.</p> 2020-08-10T03:39:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Does Training at High Altitudes Help Olympians Win? <p>It's widely assumed that training on top of a mountain will give an athlete a major leg-up when competing closer to sea level. But it turns out it's not quite that simple, and in fact, athletes are discouraged from conducting training exclusively at high altitudes. How much altitude training helps, and how to tweak the finer points of a high-altitude training regimen are questions still under consideration. It's not nearly as simple as running on a mountain, coming down, and feeling prepped for your marathon. Today's altitude training cycle comes from decades of trial and error - and it doesn't work the way you'd think.</p> 2020-08-10T02:50:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Japanese Company Will Scan and Print You a Statue of Your Gestating Fetus <p>What you might not expect when you're expecting: a company that wants to 3-D print a statuette of your unborn child. Japanese engineering outfit Fasotec will gladly take an MRI scan of an expecting mother's fetus and using its BioTexture modeling software to capture 3-D data related to human tissues convert that scan into a CAD file, then print it up in resin. It's called the "Shape of Angel" service (what else?), and it will only set you back roughly $1,250.</p> 2020-08-10T00:52:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Army's Massive LEMV Airship Makes its Maiden Flight (Finally) <p>LAS VEGAS - Military personnel and defense contractors attending the year's largest unmanned systems convention here awoke this morning to a bit of breaking robotics news unraveling thousands of kilometers away from their briefing rooms and exhibition booths. First lighting up Twitter and later acknowledged by the Army, the first flight of Northrop Grumman's robotic Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) took place this morning in New Jersey, marking the first flight of one of the DoD's next generation military airships.</p> 2020-08-10T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 How A Sundial Lets Curiosity See Mars in Living Color <p>PASADENA, Calif. - We've seen a brief sample of the full-color environment at Gale Crater on Mars, but before the Mars rover Curiosity can beam back full-size versions, its cameras need a checkup. Scientists want to be sure they're seeing Mars as it really looks, in real ochre - so the cameras have to be calibrated. To do it, Curiosity will call upon one of the most ancient tools of astronomy: A sundial.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-09T06:15:00.0000000+10:00 Performing Self-Surgery to Become a Handmade Cyborg <p>Today in great reads: The Verge's Ben Popper has a killer story up about the world of underground body hackers - those souls brave and crazy enough to perform surgery on themselves to give themselves new powers and strengths. It goes beyond regular cyborg ideas, partly because the guys are doing it themselves, with no safety net. </p> 2020-08-09T02:45:00.0000000+10:00 What Our Eyes Say About Our Sexual Preferences <p>Cornell University researchers used porn and measures of pupil dilation to study arousal in straight-, gay- and bisexual-identifying men and women, reports a study published April 3 in <em>PLoS ONE</em>. The results, which point to surprising differences in arousal based on a person's sex and sexual orientation, corroborate previous research using measures of genital response, opening up a less-invasive method of studying arousal and orientation.<br /> <!-- - break - --><br /> Human development experts Gerulf Rieger and Ritch Savin-Williams measured pupil dilation in 325 people as they watched two 30-second videos - one of a woman masturbating and one of a man - as well as a 1-minute clip of a neutral landscape that served as a palate-cleanser and a control between the porn clips. Participants in a pilot study chose the clips based on the attractiveness of the models, and the order they were shown in (man first versus woman first) was selected randomly during the dilation study. </p> 2020-08-08T23:56:00.0000000+10:00 Olympics FYI: Why Is Cannabis Considered a Performance-Enhancing Drug? <p>On Monday, American judo competitor Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympics for doping with cannabis. (He says he accidentally ate a pot brownie.) The key word here is "doping" - if the situation were different, Delpopolo might just have been "using." Cannabis is on the Prohibited List, a catalogue of banned drugs maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA. Test positive for a drug on WADA's list? You're doping, and face dismissal from the Games. Test positive for anything else, even if it's illegal? No worries - you're free to compete. This is one powerful list. But why is cannabis, the users of which are not necessarily renowned for their athletic ability, on it?<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-08T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Satellite Photo Shows Aftermath of Mars Rover Curiosity's Landing <p>Getting Mars rover Curiosity onto the surface of the planet had to be coordinated between many mechanical parts: a heat shield to protect it, a supersonic parachute to soften the landing, and a sky crane to set it down on Mars. It went smoothly for the rover, and now NASA has released another photo, which they've nicknamed a "crime scene" shot, showing what happened to the bit players in the landing, too.</p> 2020-08-08T06:33:00.0000000+10:00 Use Your Body's Electrical Field To Uniquely Identify Yourself <p>You are unique. This is one of the more obscure ways you're unique: An alternating current of different frequencies running through you causes a reaction that's noticeably different from anyone else's. Researchers from Dartmouth University are trying to put this difference to use by creating wearable electronics that respond to - and only to - their intended user.</p> 2020-08-08T05:46:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Software That Can Tell What City It's In By Looking At The Architecture <p>Generations of sweating architects and designers have been at work for hundreds of years, pulling inspiration from different sources, to give the biggest, most iconic cities in the world their unique looks. The result is a Paris that isn't the same as New York and a Barcelona that isn't the same as Tokyo. We can pick up on the subtle differences, and now new software can, too. </p> 2020-08-08T05:08:00.0000000+10:00 Are Recent Extreme Weather Events Caused By Global Warming? NASA Scientist Says Yes <p>It's not in doubt that global warming is changing the planet for the worse, but it's difficult to identify which, if any, specific weather events we can definitively link to it. But a new (and divisive) paper from senior NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen suggests that global warming is almost definitely the cause of heat waves and other events observed in the last decade. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-08T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 The Fully Electronic, Futuristic Starting Gun That Eliminates Advantages in Races <p>It's easy to take for granted just how insanely close some Olympic races are, and how much the minutiae of it all can matter. The perfect example is the traditional starting gun. Seems easy. You pull a trigger and the race starts. Boom. What people don't consider: When a conventional gun goes off, the sound travels to the ears of the closest runner a fraction of a second sooner than the others. That's just enough to matter, and why the latest starting pistol has traded in the mechanical boom for orchestrated, electronic noise. </p> 2020-08-08T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 First Color Image of Mars Beamed Back to Earth by Curiosity Rover <p>That didn't take long: early yesterday we received the earliest images from Mars rover Curiosity's descent and landing zone, and now we've received the first color image from the Mars mission. It shows the Gale Crater in the background - Curiosity's home for now - and the next images will only be getting better from here.</p> 2020-08-08T00:32:00.0000000+10:00 How NFC Radios Will Help the Visually Impaired to See <p>The day I entered public school, I was classified as visually impaired. I have a rare genetic syndrome known as achromatopsia. I'm color blind and light sensitive, and my distance vision is flat-out awful. Even corrected, it's closer to 20/100 than 20/20. I can't see street signs until I'm a meter away from them and I don't even bother trying to read most posters, plaques or museum cards. </p> 2020-08-08T00:08:00.0000000+10:00 Megapixels: Space Shuttle Enterprise Gets Grabbed By a Crane <p>Space Shuttle <em>Enterprise</em> was the property of the Smithsonian Institution for 27 years. The shuttle never went to space; instead, NASA used it for landing and launch-pad vibration tests. The end of the space shuttle program last year gave the Smithsonian the opportunity to get <em>Discovery</em>, a shuttle that actually earned its "space" moniker. Thus <em>Enterprise</em> came to its new home, New York City, in April, where 50 employees from NASA and aerospace company United Space Alliance spent eight hours separating the 75,000 kilogram shuttle from its modified Boeing 747 transport.</p> 2020-08-07T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 These Are The Cameras Currently Shooting On Mars <p>We've taken a look at some of the instruments Mars rover Curiosity will be using now that it's arrived at its destination, and our friends at <em>PopPhoto</em> have a look at the cameras that are documenting its journey. </p> 2020-08-07T06:38:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Rover Curiosity Sends First High-Resolution Photo <p>NASA has just released the best-looking photo (above) we have of the Gale Crater, the piece of the Red Planet where Mars rover Curiosity landed last night. The photo shows the rim of the crater on the horizon and a gravel field in the foreground, as seen through a fisheye lens, a part of the many cameras Curiosity has on board. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-07T03:20:00.0000000+10:00 You Don't Want the New U.S. Customs Robot to Find You Suspicious <p>U.S Customs and Border Protection has a new hire on hand at its Nogales, Ariz., border crossing between the United States and Mexico. CBP has installed an avatar kiosk at the checkpoint to help quickly move persons enrolled in CBP's Trusted Traveler program through the border crossing quickly, analysing what they say - both their words and the way they say them - for suspicious signals.</p> 2020-08-07T02:45:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Make Your Houseplant a Touchscreen? Or Theremin? What Is Going On Here <p>For people who like the Microsoft Kinect but also the simple joys of nature, the dream makers at Disney Research have just smashed together that particular peanut butter and chocolate into a magical (and very, deeply strange) new technology: plants that can register movements like a touchscreen, then display those movements, or use them to interact with an electronic device. </p> 2020-08-07T01:38:00.0000000+10:00 Building Artificial Islands That Rise With the Sea <p>With an average elevation of just 1.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives-a nation comprising 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean-is the lowest country in the world. Sea level, meanwhile, has risen by about 18 centimeters since 1900, and scientists predict that it will rise as much as 60 centimeters more by 2100, pushing much of the population (about 390,000 and growing) out of their homes. In the past, engineers have used sand and rubble to create islands elsewhere, but these structures can disturb the sea and seafloor ecosystems.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-07T00:50:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Has Plenty to Celebrate Now Curiosity is Down <p>PASADENA, Calif. - Long minutes of thunderous applause greeted the managers and engineers who paraded into an auditorium here Sunday night, triumphant after a perfect landing on another world. The Mars rover Curiosity sent a picture from the Martian surface just moments after its self-piloted descent and airdrop, and everyone assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory could not help but cheer. It's a huge moment for NASA, which delivered the rover over budget and two years late - but delivered it, and beautifully. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-06T18:08:00.0000000+10:00 The Scene at NASA's Mars Rover Landing Watch: Peanuts, Playoff Beards and Other Curiosities <p>PASADENA, Calif. - The mood is increasingly electric here at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where worldwide media, dignitaries and hordes of scientists and engineers are gathered to watch the new Mars rover's landing attempt. The Mars rover Curiosity is three and a half hours from touchdown - scheduled for 10:31 p.m. Pacific time, 3:31 p.m. Monday Australian time - and it's almost time to break out the peanuts. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-06T11:47:00.0000000+10:00 Why the Mars Rover Curiosity's Crazy, Complicated Landing Isn't So Crazy After All <p>PASADENA - Later tonight, a white-and-orange spacecraft, shaped roughly like a chicken pot pie, will come screaming into the Martian atmosphere at 21,120 kilometers per hour. The fireball surrounding the Mars Science Laboratory craft will reach 2100 degrees Celsius as it descends, like a controlled meteor on a ballistic path. By 10:31 p.m. Pacific time/3:31 a.m. Australian time, NASA hopes to hear that it safely slowed to zero KPH in seven minutes of terror, and is ready to explore Mars. </p> 2020-08-06T06:21:00.0000000+10:00 Watch This Spot: Mars Rover Curiosity Touches Down Monday <p>No doubt you have heard that the new rover Curiosity is preparing to make an edge of the seat landing on Mars. Stay tuned and watch  for updates on PopSci about the landing (or resulting crater) from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory!</p> 2020-08-04T08:29:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Invests $1.1 Billion in Manned Commercial Trips to Space <p>The dust has settled on the final round of NASA's Commercial Crew integrated Capability program project, and three winners have been given funding for the next round of American-made space taxis: Boeing, who received $460 million; SpaceX with $440 million; and the Sierra Nevada Corporation, with a paltry $212.5. The companies will use it as seed money to create commercial spacecraft that U.S. astronauts will fly aboard.</p> 2020-08-04T02:16:00.0000000+10:00 Physicists Demonstrate Working Quantum Router, a Step Toward a Quantum Internet <p>As much as we love our silicon semiconductors, quantum computers are very much a technology of the future. Instead of the usual string of 1s and 0s, they'll be able to send both types of information at the same time, dwarfing their traditional counterparts. But one major problem is that they can only move through one optical fiber. To push more information through, they need a router, and Chinese physicists have unveiled the first one.</p> 2020-08-04T02:12:00.0000000+10:00 Fiendish Creator of Browser Game QWOP Releases CLOP <p>We're big fans of innovative gameplay here at <em>PopSci</em>, and the web browser can provide the perfect, simple canvas for that. For example: You may be familiar with the game <a href="">QWOP</a>, created by Oxford professor Bennett Foddy, whom we featured in our PopSci Arcade earlier this year. In QWOP, you frustratingly try to direct a person through a race by moving their limbs using the Q-W-O-P keys. It's almost impossible to beat and almost impossible to put down. Now, from the same productivity vampire comes <a href="">CLOP</a>. This time you're a unicorn. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-04T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Stock Trading Robot Makes Decisions Based on Superstitious Algorithms <p>When we feel there's a situation out of our control, we often fall back on superstition to account for it. ("Nothing else is working, why not blame it on that black cat?") But when enough of us rely on superstition, it's not just an individual comfort; it starts to have real repercussions. Now a designer has created an algorithm trades stock superstitiously, and it's going to see if gambling based on full moons and thirteens can pay off.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-04T00:57:00.0000000+10:00 How The Largest Health Surveillance System Ever Created Is Preventing An Olympic-Size Pandemic <p>Right now in London and various sites around the UK, more than half a million international travelers are sharing stories, beers, doner kebabs, close living quarters and - let's be frank - the occasional mattress. Roughly 17,000 athletes and officials from hundreds of countries are packed into the Olympic Village alone, and that doesn't take into account the spectators - more than 8 million tickets will be punched at the Games - who have piled on top of greater London's nearly 8 million inhabitants. Culturally speaking, it's a marvel that we can do this and all get well enough along. Epidemiologically speaking, it's a nightmare scenario.</p> 2020-08-04T00:09:00.0000000+10:00 Russian Robotic Spacecraft Completes First Same-Day Docking at ISS, Just Six Hours After Launch <p>Russia just set a speed record for a sprint that took place a long way from London. An unmanned Russian Progress cargo ship launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday and docked with the International Space Station just six hours later, marking the first same-day docking ever performed at the ISS.</p> 2020-08-03T07:01:00.0000000+10:00 Navy Experimental Rail Gun to Fire GPS-Guided Projectiles <p>The U.S. military has been looking for ways to smarten up its dumb projectiles for years - look no further than this GPS guided mortar round recently fielded by the army - hoping to increase lethality while reducing collateral damage. The Navy is no exception to this trend, and the seaborne branch is looking for precision beyond its current arsenal. The Office of Naval Research wants a guided munition for its experimental electromagnetic rail gun that can alter the course of a 9000 kilometer per hour projectile in flight.</p> 2020-08-03T06:03:00.0000000+10:00 Why Is It So Hard to Land On Mars? <p>Mars is not a friendly place. It's freezing, windy, barren, and quiet except for howling dust storms that can threaten hopeful visitors. The planet is kind of a jerk, really, presenting vindictive obstacles to thwart the robotic explorers sent toward it for the past 47 years. And Mars usually wins. </p> 2020-08-03T04:51:00.0000000+10:00 India Will Launch Probe to Mars Next Year <p>While we in the U.S. wait with bated breath for Mars Rover Curiosity's August 5 landing on the red planet, India's space program, the Indian Space Research Organisation, has confirmed that it plans to send an orbiter to Mars in 2013. It's one small step in a program that's been making giant leaps in recent years, including multiple satellite launch missions.</p> 2020-08-03T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 New LHC Results: We Were Sure We Found the Higgs Boson, and Now We're Even Surer <p>Researchers at CERN and the world over were already sure they had found the Higgs Boson - five-sigma sure - but in case there were any lingering doubts a new round of results coming out of Geneva further backs the earlier findings. One team there now reports a 5.9 sigma level of certainty that the Higgs exists. That equates to a one-in-550 million chance that the results are incorrect reflections of statistical errors.</p> 2020-08-03T03:08:00.0000000+10:00 The Best Way to Measure Intelligence Could Be Brain Imaging <p>There are a lot of hurdles to accurately predicting intelligence, from the difficulty of defining exactly what it is to accurately understanding the complexities of the human brain. Some techniques are surprisingly simple, like measuring the size of the brain. But others, like a new study that suggests brain imaging could crack the IQ code, require a little more finesse. </p> 2020-08-03T02:08:00.0000000+10:00 The Next Generation of Mars Rovers Could Be Smaller Than Grains of Sand <p>NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, scheduled to reach the red planet this Sunday, is the size of an SUV for good reason: It's built to carry 75 kilograms of scientific instruments over boulders and into gullies. But putting Hummer-size robots on other planets is not altogether practical. For one, it's expensive. (Getting a <em>Curiosity</em>-weight rover to Mars takes more than a 450,000 kilograms of fuel.) Large rovers are also power-hungry and limited in range. For future missions, some researchers, eager to do more science with fewer resources, have begun looking to nanobots-each one about one-one-billionth as big as <em>Curiosity</em>.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-03T01:22:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Google Street View Adds Space Shuttles, Launch Pads and More At Kennedy Space Center <p>America's space shuttles may be settling into their retirement roles as national artifacts, but for space fans who miss their presence at Kennedy Space Center, Google has a new offering - Street View images of the entire complex, shuttles and all. The web giant unveiled the new images this morning, and we have a preview. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-08-03T00:09:00.0000000+10:00 The First Shirt That Lowers Your Body Temperature <p>The human body already has a highly efficient cooling system: As perspiration evaporates, it draws heat away from the body. Wicking fabrics facilitate this process by distributing sweat evenly over the fabric, so that it dries more quickly. Despite devising cheats, such as menthol-like chemical coatings added to fabrics, companies have never actually improved upon the body's natural cooling process. Designers at Columbia Sportswear have now made a fabric that does.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-02T06:36:00.0000000+10:00 Seeing Through Walls With a Wireless Router <p>In the 1930s, U.S. Navy researchers stumbled upon the concept of radar when they noticed that a plane flying past a radio tower reflected radio waves. Scientists have now applied that same principle to make the first device that tracks existing Wi-Fi signals to spy on people through walls.</p> 2020-08-02T05:28:00.0000000+10:00 Europe Will Require New Vehicles to Include Autonomous Self-Braking System <p>Cars in Europe may soon become very much more robotic whether drivers want them to or not. New rules coming down from the European Commission will require all commercial vehicles to be fitted with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology by November 2013, and passenger vehicles could soon follow suit. These cars will go beyond simply sending a signal to the driver when they detect an impending collision via radar, lidar (that's like radar but with light), or video sensors and apply the brakes themselves.</p> 2020-08-02T04:25:00.0000000+10:00 Aussie Tycoon Wants to Clone Dinosaurs for His Real Life, Resort-Based Jurassic Park <p>In other billionaire news today, a controversial and ostentatious Australian is supposedly planning a real-life Jurassic Park, complete with cloned dinosaurs. Clive Palmer, who also wants to build a modern-day Titanic replica, has held talks with the scientists who cloned Dolly the sheep, reports Australia's Sunshine Coast Daily.</p> 2020-08-02T04:15:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Ride On a Seabird's Back as It Dives Toward the Ocean Floor <p>Giving video cameras to animals can yield some awesome results, especially underwater - remember the octopus guerrilla filmmaker? In a new video, ride on the back of a South American seabird as it captures footage of its 45 meter deep dive.</p> 2020-08-02T03:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Autonomous X-47B Warplane Test Flight <p>PopSci's favorite autonomous warplane is having a big week at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The first of the two aircraft has been reassembled, run through a battery of tests, and is officially back in the air, this time on the East Coast.</p> 2020-08-02T02:46:00.0000000+10:00 Panasonic's Artificial Photosynthesis Turns Water, Sunlight, and CO2 into Useful Chemicals <p>Artificial photosynthesis - the idea that we might be able to create energy and other useful thing from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, as plants do - is something of a holy grail for energy and green chemistry researchers. And while some efforts have shown modest potential - MIT's Nocera Lab, for instance, claims to have created an artificial leaf from stable materials - efficiency is still a problem. That hasn't stopped consumer electronics giant Panasonic; the company yesterday revealed that it is investing in artificial photosynthesis technology that turns carbon dioxide and sunlight into industrial chemicals. <!-- - break - --> Just add water.</p> 2020-08-02T02:16:00.0000000+10:00 Nine Unsuspecting Scientists Win $27 Million in Suddenly Announced Largest-Ever Annual Physics Prize <p>A Russian physics student turned social media billionaire just made theoretical physics the most lucrative thing in science, heaping $3 million apiece on nine researchers. The new Fundamental Physics Prize is worth more than double the Nobel, at least monetarily speaking. </p> 2020-08-02T01:11:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Engineer "Chimera" Primates to Combat Human Ailments <p>Roku, Hex and Chimero are the world's first primate chimeras-individual monkeys made from multiple fertilised eggs of the same species. Each animal has six different sets of genes instead of one.<!-- - break - --> To produce each monkey, biologist Shoukhrat Mitali­pov and his team at the Oregon Health and Science University placed six separate four-celled embryos into a petri dish and, using a micropipette, nudged them into a single aggregation. After a few days, the researchers implanted the aggregation into an adult female macaque. The resulting young have cells descended from each of six embryos evenly distributed throughout their bodies.</p> 2020-08-01T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 Turn Animated Characters From Games Into Movable 3-D Printed Beasts <p>Imaginary creatures rule the universes of various video games, maybe none more notably than the fantastical beasts you can create all by yourself in "Spore." Ever wonder if your two-headed, seven-eyed four-legged dinosaur-thing would be able to stand up? New software developed at Harvard will make it real for you, making a new computer model and constructing a physical animal-thing with a 3-D printer.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-01T06:32:00.0000000+10:00 Approved: The First Swallowable Electronic Devices <p>No matter how fast pharmaceutical companies can churn out drugs to prevent or cure illnesses, health insurance doesn't cover the cost of hiring a person to follow you around and remind you to take your meds. So the FDA has approved a pill that can do it on its own by monitoring your insides and relaying the information back to a healthcare provider. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-01T05:37:00.0000000+10:00 Video: 'Roadable Airplane' Shows Up at Experimental Aircraft Show <p>There was an unusual visitor at the Oshkosh airshow this year: a roadable aircraft manufactured by PlaneDriven. The PD2 takes a Glasair Sportsman amateur-built airplane and adds a separate 50-hp "drive unit" to the rear of the craft to provide ground power. To put the vehicle into drive mode, the pilot folds the wings, starts the drive unit, and away we go. </p> 2020-08-01T04:59:00.0000000+10:00 Twitter (the Company) Has Been Behaving Very Strangely This Olympics <p>In the short time since the opening ceremonies of the London Games, we've seen the usual kind of Twitter-related stories - a Swiss soccer player banned for a racist tweet, everybody everywhere voicing their complaints about NBC's mostly abysmal coverage, that kind of thing. But there's some weirder, darker undercurrents going on, with journalists blocked, kids arrested, and free speech on Twitter seeming a much more questionable right than it might have seemed during the Arab Spring. </p> 2020-08-01T01:49:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Retro-Sci-Fi Tour of Mars Rover Curiosity's Awesome Chemistry Lab <p>As we approach the Mars rover Curiosity's landing Sunday night, we're having a lot of fun seeing all the promotions - there are all kinds of videos, museum exhibits and road shows to help explain what the newest interplanetary explorer will do. Below is a great new one from the American Chemical Society.</p> 2020-08-01T00:56:00.0000000+10:00 Summer Olympics: 2020 <p>The modern Olympics have been running for 116 years, but many events remain unsafe and difficult to score. We propose ideas that might help solve some of the toughest problems. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-08-01T00:01:00.0000000+10:00 Nike's New Strobing Glasses Enhance Athletes' Visual Acuity and Sensory Skills <p>Nike has developed a means of increasing visual short-term memory retention and physical reaction time via a set of strobing goggles that rob athletes in training of some of their vision. The SPARQ Sensory Performance system evaluates an athlete for 10 visual performance skills and creates a training program specifically for him or her that involves wearing Nike's SPARQ Vapor Strobe Eyewear, which basically fog over to block the wearer's vision for short periods of time, forcing the athlete to anticipate what's coming next.</p> 2020-07-31T07:35:00.0000000+10:00 Video: William Shatner and Wil Wheaton Narrate Mars Rover Curiosity's Landing <p>NASA is enlisting Hollywood to help promote its blockbuster new Mars rover, Curiosity, in a couple of new videos. Below you can watch both William Shatner and Will Wheaton describe Curiosity's "seven minutes of terror" as it touches down on Mars.</p> 2020-07-31T06:25:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Four-Ton Japanese Mega Bot Fires BBs At Smiling Humans <p>This boxy guy is called Kuratas, otherwise known as Vaudeville, and he stands 12 feet 5 inches tall. He weighs about 4.5 tons and is diesel-powered. Do not smile at him. He will shoot that grin right off your face.</p> 2020-07-31T05:34:00.0000000+10:00 Just A Week From Landing, Mars Rover Curiosity Makes Final Course Corrections <p>A week before its scheduled landing, the spacecraft carrying the Mars rover Curiosity is just about done arranging itself in space. There's time for two more trajectory correction maneuvers, but the one the Mars Science Laboratory pulled off over the weekend should be the last nudge the spacecraft needs before entering the Martian atmosphere.</p> 2020-07-31T04:36:00.0000000+10:00 Civilian Drones to Search for Downed Power Lines During Blackouts <p>Today in ways the impending domestic drone explosion is going to change your life: a number of utilities are testing new technologies that will allow them to quickly diagnose grid problems and rapidly restore electricity to areas stricken by blackouts - technologies that include augmented reality apps and aerial drones. These prototype systems could go a long way toward streamlining the grid repair process, quickly returning households and local economies to normal after sever weather events or other power-related calamities.</p> 2020-07-31T02:20:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Q&A: The U.S. Olympic Team's Chief Technologist Tells Us How Olympians Train <p>By almost any account, the 2012 Olympics will be the most high-tech ever, from the actual starting guns to the microsecond camera finishes. But the pre-Olympics are even more high-tech, as athletes increasingly turn to advanced video and biomechanical data analysis to track their performances and train more efficiently.</p> 2020-07-31T01:43:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Will Athletes Ever Stop Breaking Records? <p>Even if athletes never got any stronger or faster, and if their techniques and training never changed, they would still break records from time to time. That's because the ability of each person who decides to compete, and the outcome of each competition, are affected by random processes. What happened on the way to the track that might affect the athletes' performance? What's the weather like? And so on. Every sporting event is a matter of chance as well as of achievement, and chance always offers the possibility of a breakthrough.</p> 2020-07-31T00:02:00.0000000+10:00 South Korean Artist Prepares to Launch His Homemade Satellite Into Orbit <p>South Korean artist Song Ho-jun has spent years working on his very own DIY sputnik, a homemade satellite cobbled together from electronics store parts. It might be the first satellite completely built by an individual. Now, later this year, it'll launch. </p> 2020-07-28T07:14:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Releases Satellite Photos of Olympic Host Cities <p>As is the case every four years, only a lucky few will be able to see the summer Olympics live and in-person. The rest of us peasants will settle for watching and streaming the games from our homes. But if you want something that feels a little grander, maybe even cosmic, NASA has just released a series of satellite photos depicting past Olympic host cities from space. The earliest comes from 1997 and shows Atlanta, and the series goes all the way up to London 2012. </p> 2020-07-28T04:09:00.0000000+10:00 How Science Predicts Which Olympic Events Will Be the Most Exciting to Watch <p>The Olympics represent something very special in the culture of sport, but from a viewing perspective they are a logistical nightmare. Multiple events play out at the same time, forcing you to pick and choose between your favorite events. Where will the next dazzling, record-breaking performance take place? Will someone rob Usain Bolt of his 100-meter record? Will there be a Kerri Strug moment in the gym? There's no way to to tune into the Games with absolute certainty that you'll see something historic, but Steve Haake thinks you can increase your chances. Science can tell us where we're most likely to see the closest competitions or record-breaking performances, and where we're least likely to see anything exciting at all.</p> 2020-07-28T03:23:00.0000000+10:00 What Photo Gear Do You Bring to Shoot the Olympics? <p>For a photographer, the Olympics are a goldmine - there are stories big and small, athletes in prime physical condition, the drama of the sports and the Games itself. But it's also a challenge to shoot all that stuff. Our friends over at Pop Photo talked to veteran Getty photographer and awesome name-haver Streeter Lecka about what gear he's bringing to London. It's especially interesting to hear how a Getty photographer does this kind of thing - it's not exactly how you or I would work. Read the story over at <a href="">Pop Photo</a>.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-28T02:04:00.0000000+10:00 Epidemiological Algorithm Scans Your Tweets, Can Predict You'll Get The Flu Next Week <p>In a crowded urban areas present in thousands of cities around the world, it's impossible to keep your distance from people who may be sick. If you've left your apartment - and maybe even if you haven't - there's a decent chance you've been around someone who is under the weather and there's really no way you could know it.</p> 2020-07-28T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Smartphone Clocks Could Keep Precise Time By Syncing With Fluorescent Lights' Flicker <p>Your smartphone is probably losing track of time. Most electronics with internal clocks keep them regulated via vibrating crystals (much like a quartz clock) that keep their timekeeping precise. But while far better timekeepers than mechanical clocks, even these crystals can be thrown off their regular frequencies by external factors like humidity or temperature. Which is why scientists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology think you're better off syncing your clock to your overhead lights.</p> 2020-07-28T00:02:00.0000000+10:00 A Working Assault Rifle Made With a 3D Printer <p>Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home. </p> 2020-07-27T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 Video: In Nail-Biting Flight, Holder of Electric Bike Speed Record Sets Electric Plane Speed Record <p>Test pilot and speed freak Chip Yates, already a record-holder for the world's fastest electric motorcycle, broke another one last week in his all-electric airplane. In only its second flight, his Flight of the Century Long-EZ took to the skies over Inyokern Airport in California and reached a top speed of 325 KPH.</p> 2020-07-27T06:07:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Automatic Pastry Identifier Can Tell a Croissant From a Baguette in One Second <p>"I will have that curly thing," as I once put it to the pastry-selling woman across the counter. There was no sign, so how was I supposed to know it was called a pecan braid? This new food recognizer could have helped!</p> 2020-07-27T04:03:00.0000000+10:00 With A Chemical Injection, Blind Mice Can See <p>An injection of a specific chemical directly into the eyes can temporarily restore sight in blind mice, suggesting a new therapy for people with vision loss, a new study says. The researchers who discovered the chemical capability are working on an improved version that could someday work in humans.</p> 2020-07-27T03:07:00.0000000+10:00 The Totally Custom, Absurdly Light 3-D Printed Shoe That Could Win Olympic Gold <p>Luc Fusaro, a French engineering and design student who does <em>not</em> work for Nike or any other shoe company, is creating a 3-D-printed running shoe. It's revolutionary, but he's hoping it barely affects runners at all. To be precise (and maybe optimistic), the shoes - branded "Designed to Win" - could shave 3.5 percent off a runner's time. That's it. But in the professional running world, that's the difference between Olympic glory and heading home in defeat. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-27T01:20:00.0000000+10:00 Can Bridgestone's Airless Tire End the Inner Tube Era? <p>Since the Scottish inventor Robert Thomson patented pneumatic tires in 1845, they have become standard on every vehicle with two, four or 18 wheels. Pneumatic tires are now so durable that many drivers never even bother to check their air pressure. But the tires still have weaknesses, not least of which is the tendency to go flat.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-27T00:18:00.0000000+10:00 Skydiver Makes Successful Leap From The Stratosphere <p>The free-fall at Questacon is about the biggest drop most of us will experience in our lifetime. Even skydivers only fall for a minute or two - unless your name is Felix Baumgartner and you’re jumping from 29 kilometres above the Earth. </p> 2020-07-26T11:15:00.0000000+10:00 Absorbent Paint Could Soak Up Chemical Weapons, Protecting Vehicle Occupants From Deadly Gas <p>Syria's regime announced for the first time this week that it has chemical weapons, and stands ready to use them if attacked. A new type of paint could potentially guard against it, protecting tanks and armored vehicles with a special chemical-absorbing topcoat.</p> 2020-07-26T07:48:00.0000000+10:00 Digital Iris Fakes Made with Evolving Algorithm Fool Biometric Scanners <p>There's more to iris scans than meets the eye, and that could end up being their undoing. New academic research coming out at the Black Hat Security conference this week shows a way to recreate iris images from the digital codes underlying iris-scanning security protocols - images that are so good that they can trick commercial-grade iris-scanning security devices into thinking they're the real thing.</p> 2020-07-26T07:04:00.0000000+10:00 In Record Summer Heat, 97 Percent of Greenland's Surface Ice Turns to Slush <p>While we enjoy the cold weather this winter, it has been a sensationally hot summer for many other parts of the world, with records breaking daily. But Greenland seems to have just claimed the heat-related phenomenon crown, with 97 percent of its ice sheet turning to slush. The even stranger part? It might be completely normal - at least for now.</p> 2020-07-26T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Japanese Trashcan Bot Frantically Drives Around to Catch Your Tossed Litter <p>This Japanese trashbot is custom-built with a fairly complex-looking control board, power system and operating code. Three wheels at the base have 360 degrees of motion, so the robot can spin in any direction.</p> 2020-07-26T02:08:00.0000000+10:00 Mac OS X Mountain Lion Is Here <p>Apple's newest desktop/laptop operating system, Mac OS X 10.8 (otherwise known as Mountain Lion) was released this morning. You can only get it via download in the Mac App Store, for an impulse-worthy $20. We're still playing with ours; it's a minor update, especially compared to the complete overhaul that is the next version of Windows, though there are some new features here we're excited about, like AirPlay mirroring, a great new version of Safari, and a notifications bar. If you've got, like, a full day, check out <a href="">Ars Technica's review</a> - it's a 26,000-word, 24-page behemoth of a piece that covers all the ins, outs, and other prepositions related to the new update.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-26T01:35:00.0000000+10:00 With Orbiter Glitch Repaired, Mars Rover Curiosity Landing Will Now Be Broadcast Live <p>NASA has some good news from Mars two weeks before its newest rover is set to land on the planet - they'll be able to listen to the landing after all. The aging Odyssey orbiter is now properly in place and will relay landing data immediately, as originally planned.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-07-26T00:58:00.0000000+10:00 The First Phone That's Audible Anywhere <p>All phones have a fatal flaw: In noisy environments, it can be nearly impossible to hear someone on the other end of the line. As a remedy, some separate Bluetooth headsets use bone conduction to supplement the phone's speaker. Actuators in the earpiece translate audio signals into vibrations, which travel through the jawbone and skull and into the bones in the ear and on to the auditory nerve. Though helpful, those systems produce muffled sound because the vibrations bypass the eardrum, the flap of soft tissue responsible for increasing clarity and producing tone.</p> 2020-07-26T00:19:00.0000000+10:00 Video: How Mars Rover Curiosity Will Search for the Ingredients of Life <p>NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently released the much-watched "Seven Minutes of Terror" video, which describes the harrowing descent to the Red Planet that the Mars rover Curiosity will undergo on August 5. Now, from the same lab, comes a look at the chemical tools Curiosity will use to search for signs that Mars could have once sustained life.</p> 2020-07-25T05:59:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Did Prehistoric Birds Evolve Flight By Falling Out of Trees? <p>Possibly. The trees-down (or "arboreal") hypothesis has been around for many years, says evolutionary biologist Richard O. Prum of Yale University. Researchers guessed that the scales of tree-dwelling Triassic reptiles elongated into feathers, which helped them leap away from predators. Once the proto-birds could glide, they were en route to avian flight. "It was like one big, crazy hairball of ideas all stuck together," Prum says. </p> 2020-07-25T05:02:00.0000000+10:00 Using Neuroscience to Find an Activity Gamers Like as Much as Shooting People <p>A few years ago, given an Xbox 360 for testing purposes, I went to the EB Games to get a new game. I like games, but I don't like games with guns or sports, because I don't particularly like guns or sports in real life, either. The guy at the EB was absolutely <em>flummoxed</em> by my request for an Xbox game with neither. He ended up recommending the game version of the movie <em>G-Force</em>, which is a movie for children featuring talking CGI guinea pigs.</p> 2020-07-25T02:11:00.0000000+10:00 India to Predict Monsoon Rains With Supercomputer Accuracy <p>In an effort to stay one step ahead of the summer monsoon season, Indian scientists are embarking on an ambitious and unprecedented project to build computer models that will allow them to predict the movements of erratic monsoons weeks in advance. If successful, the Indian government thinks it can drastically alter economic outcomes for hundreds of millions of people whose lives depend directly on India's agriculture sector.</p> 2020-07-25T01:59:00.0000000+10:00 Plastic-Eating Underwater Drone Could Swallow the Great Pacific Garbage Patch <p>A new underwater drone concept could seek and destroy one of the ocean's most insidious enemies, while earning a profit for plastics recyclers. This marine drone can siphon plastic garbage, swallowing bits of trash in a gaping maw rivaling that of a whale shark. </p> 2020-07-25T00:07:00.0000000+10:00 IBM Will Power the Murchison Widefield Array <p>As we move through the Information Age, it’s become increasingly apparent obstacles to future scientific discovery might not be in the collection of data, as has been the case in the past. Instead, we’ve got so much data we can’t manage it - which is why IBM has partnered with the Murchison Widefield Array radio system to help manage the data it collects about the origin of the universe. </p> 2020-07-24T11:03:00.0000000+10:00 Sally Ride, America's First Female Astronaut, Has Died <p>Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, died today in La Jolla, Calif., after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Ride was a doctoral candidate in physics at Stanford University in 1977 when she answered an ad placed by NASA seeking astronauts. She flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983, becoming not only America's first woman in space, but at 32 years of age, also the youngest American to have traveled in space at that time. She left NASA in 1987, spending much of her time thereafter encouraging students - especially young women - to pursue careers in science and engineering. She was 61.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-24T07:41:00.0000000+10:00 Don't Look to the Paleolithic for Diet Tips--Look to Apes <p>Paleo diets, in which people attempt to eat like they imagine cavemen ate (mostly meats, supplemented with occasional wild fruits), were trendy a few years back, and still have their adherents. The idea is that modern humans are healthier when eating what our bodies evolved to eat. And that's a fine idea, but Rob Dunn over at Scientific American has a correction: to find out what our bodies evolved to eat, why stop at the Paleolithic period? Why not go back further - to apes and monkeys? It's a great piece about how arbitrary diets can be. Read it <a href="">here</a>.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-24T07:00:00.0000000+10:00 Unique Chemical Bond Only Seen In Dwarf Stars Could Make Better Computers <p>Stars are responsible for forging every heavy element in the universe when they fuse hydrogen and when they explode at the ends of their lives. But they also create a strange third type of chemical bond between atoms, caused by their incredible magnetic fields. This previously unknown type of bond could lead to new research in quantum science, perhaps even quantum computing.</p> 2020-07-24T06:20:00.0000000+10:00 Speedo's Super-Fast, Shark-Skin-Inspired Fastskin Swimsuit Is Actually Nothing Like a Shark's Skin <p>Speedo's Fastskin line (including the banned-as-of-2009 LZR suit) of high-tech, high-performance swimsuits were inspired by the skin of a shark - shark skin's sandpaper-like texture is thought to reduce drag, hence its usefulness in swimming gear. But an ichthyologist at Harvard performed a study and found that Fastskin is "nothing like shark skin at all," and that its surface properties do not reduce drag one bit.</p> 2020-07-24T05:21:00.0000000+10:00 Sequenced for the First Time: the Genome of Human Sperm <p>Scientists have sequenced the full genomes of 91 sperm from one man, the first complete sequencing of a human gamete cell. It demonstrates the vast genetic variation in one person, according to genetic researchers at Stanford.</p> 2020-07-24T04:24:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Read Monkeys' Minds, See What They're Planning to Do Before They Do it <p>Neurologists working with monkeys at Washington University in St. Louis to decode brain activity have stumbled upon a rather surprising result. While working to demonstrate that multiple parameters can be seen in the firing rate of a single neuron (and that certain parameters are embedded in neurons only if they are needed to solve the immediate task), they also found that they could read their monkeys' minds.</p> 2020-07-24T03:30:00.0000000+10:00 Canon Announces First Mirrorless Compact Camera, the EOS M <p>Big news in the camera world, courtesy of our friends at PopPhoto: Canon just announced its first mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (ILC). ILCs are great because they take, largely, the core features and image quality of a DSLR and shrink them to near-point-and-shoot size - plus, you retain the ability to swap lenses. Sony has owned the category lately, but Canon's EOS M has most of the internals of its currently excellent Rebel line of entry-level DSLRs, including the same sensor as the T4i. It will retail for $800 when released in the US in October, but no word yet on an Australian release or price. Read more at <a href="">PopPhoto</a>.</p> 2020-07-24T02:54:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Successfully Tests its Inflatable Heat Shield in Reentry <p>NASA's inflatable heat shield took another big step forward early this morning when its Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE-3) came screaming through the atmosphere and splashed down in the Atlantic after spending 15 minutes undergoing the intense heat and pressure of atmospheric reentry. Launched from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the IRVE-3 mission further demonstrated that an inflatable heat shield can protect a space capsule as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.</p> 2020-07-24T02:51:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Jellyfish Made From Silicone and Rat's Heart Cells Swims and Beats Like a Heart <p>Despite being one of the most alien-looking things on Earth, the mechanism jellyfish use to swim is similar in some ways to the beating human heart. That inspired researchers to build a sort of cyborg jellyfish from the ground up, using heart muscle cells from a rat and silicone polymer. And it's actually only a little more odd-looking than a regular jelly. </p> 2020-07-24T01:59:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Trying to Give First Supersonic Biplane Some Lift <p>In the 1930s engineer Adolf Busemann conceived of a supersonic biplane that produced no sonic boom-the shock waves would bounce off the plane's two wings at opposing angles, nullifying each other. But the design created so much drag that the plane wouldn't have been able to fly. Now two groups are trying to improve the concept with computer simulations. Engineers at Japan's Tohoku University devised wings with shifting flaps that adjust for drag at different speeds. And researchers from MIT and Stanford University widened the air channel between the wings and tilted their leading and trailing edges. If either design gets built, it could be the first supersonic biplane to take off.</p> 2020-07-24T00:04:00.0000000+10:00 You Built What?!: A 14-Ton Pizzeria on Wheels <p>Jon Darsky spent years in San Francisco restaurants baking Neapolitan-style pizzas-thin crusts topped with fresh salted tomatoes and milky <em>fior di latte</em> mozzarella-in old-school specialty wood-fired ovens. In 2010 he began looking around for a place of his own but couldn't find the right piece of real estate. After a trip to Austin, Texas, a hotbed of mobile street vendors, he scrapped the idea of a bricks-and-mortar pizzeria and decided to put his oven on wheels.</p> 2020-07-23T12:25:00.0000000+10:00 Rough Sketch: Self-Guided Bullet For years, people have tried to come up with ways to steer bullets, and everyone has consistently said you can't do it. And you couldn't-if the bullet was spinning. A spinning bullet is too stable; you can't apply enough force to turn it off its axis of revolution. The secret sauce is that our bullet doesn't spin. It's kind of like a musket ball, which doesn't rotate, but with technology added to let us control where it goes. 2020-07-23T12:08:00.0000000+10:00 You Built What?!: A Portable X-Ray Machine <p>Late one night two years ago, Adam Munich found himself talking with two new acquaintances in a chatroom. One, a Pakistani guy, was complaining about rolling electricity blackouts in his country. The other had broken his leg in a motocross accident in Mexico and said his local hospital couldn't find a working x-ray machine. The two situations fused in Munich's mind; he wondered if a cheap, reliable, battery-powered x-ray machine existed-something that could be used in remote areas and function without being plugged in during blackouts. After discovering that the answer was no, he spent two years building one himself out of Nixie tubes, old art suitcases, chainsaw oil, and electronics from across the globe. It was an incredibly ambitious project for anyone, let alone a 15-year-old.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-23T10:00:00.0000000+10:00 Riding Along With the Mars Rover Drivers <p>Scott Maxwell stared at his bedroom ceiling in the hours after his first drive, restless with excitement. All systems were go, and he'd sent the commands by the time he left the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Now he was supposed to sleep before his next shift on Mars time. But he knew that on the fourth planet from the sun, the Spirit rover's wheels had started to move.</p> 2020-07-21T07:18:00.0000000+10:00 Google Nexus Q Review: An Unfinished Orb of Mystery <p>The Nexus Q is Google's first media streamer, a sphere that streams audio and video to speakers and/or TVs, using an Android device as a remote. It's also horribly restrictive and limited in functionality - but it has potential, providing either Google or industrious hackers put in some hard work. </p> <p>Unfortunately there is no word yet on when the Australian launch is scheduled or what local prices may be. Until we can personally get some hands on time, check out our US coverage of the Q. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-21T04:53:00.0000000+10:00 A Brainwave-Controlled Version of "Pong" <p>Few video games are more basic than <em>Pong</em>, but Charles Moyes and Mengxiang Jiang's version is incredibly complex. The two Cornell University students built a custom electroencephalography (EEG) device so they could control the game's onscreen paddle with their minds. </p> 2020-07-21T03:13:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Build First Complete Computer Model of an Entire Organism <p>To conduct experiments, researchers can change a variable in an organism and watch the results unfold. But life is messy, and it's difficult to understand the underlying processes that explain the data. Digitising the process could help, and now we're starting small: researchers have successfully made a computer model of <em>Mycoplasma genitalium</em>, the world's tiniest free-living bacterium. </p> 2020-07-21T01:10:00.0000000+10:00 Neurosecurity Lets You Store a Password In Your Brain Without Remembering It <p>Usually it's a problem when you can't remember a password. But in this particular case, it's by design. A new security technique mashes up cryptography with neuroscience to create passwords that are stored in users' brains but cannot be recalled, recited, or otherwise extracted by another party.</p> 2020-07-21T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Blackberry Adds Heightened Emotion to Cell Phone Messages <p>Most cell phones are pretty good at auto-correcting the errant spelling and punctuation that can ensue when you're typing while furious, or sad, or gleeful. But what if the messages you're sending could also convey those emotions embedded in your words? RIM filed a patent for just such a messaging system, which can determine the emotional context of a text in a way that goes beyond the little :-) we all know.</p> 2020-07-20T07:20:00.0000000+10:00 Video: NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Has Traveled A Marathon on Mars <p>All eyes will be on the new Mars rover Curiosity when it lands in just over two weeks, but lest we forget, NASA's indefatigable Mars rover Opportunity is still rolling along, too. The rover has driven about 35 kilometers, which prompted some Olympic-minded NASA people to realize the rover is nearing marathon distance. It will be the first interplanetary marathon.</p> 2020-07-20T05:56:00.0000000+10:00 Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Could Cause Ultraviolet Damage to Skin <p>We know CFL bulbs are world-changingly efficient, producing the same level of light as their incandescent parents while using a quarter of the energy. But they're still a relatively new device, and few long-term studies have been carried out on them. One of the most recent, a new report from a team at Stony Brook, suggests CFLs might cause damage to skin by releasing UV rays. </p> 2020-07-20T05:42:00.0000000+10:00 Billionaires: Russian Mogul Wants to Upload Your Brains Into Immortality <p>Earlier this year, a Russian media mogul named Dmitry Itskov formally announced his intention to disembody our conscious minds and upload them to a hologram - an avatar - by 2045. In other words he outlined a plan to achieve immortality, removing the human mind from the physical constraints presented by the biological human body. He was serious. And now, in a letter to the members of the Forbes World's Billionaire's List, he's offering up that immortality to the world's 1,266 richest people. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-07-20T03:29:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Kissenger Kissing Robot Transmits Your Signature Smooch <p>Last time PopSci checked in on Singapore-based Lovotics, roboticists there were trying to create an interface for human-robot love by imbuing robots with all the biological and emotional nuances that characterize human relationships. Now, the team there is trying to enhance long-distance human-human relationships via a robotic medium with Kissenger (or Kiss Me, both short for Kiss Messenger we presume).</p> 2020-07-20T01:20:00.0000000+10:00 A New Blood Test Could Spot Concussions Within Hours <p>Every year, hundreds of thousands of people with traumatic brain injuries go undiagnosed, often because they brush off their symptoms or because nothing unusual appears on CT scans of their brains. Without a diagnosis, people risk getting another concussion on top of the one they already have, increasing the chance of complications such as coma and death. But a new blood test could spot a brain injury within a few hours, enabling people to take time off to recover properly. </p> 2020-07-20T00:05:00.0000000+10:00 Victoria's Secret Designer is Giving Private Spaceflight a Makeover <p>An unlikely duo has launched an unlikely commercial space company in an unlikely place. A former Roscosmos (that's the Russian space agency) employee and the designer famous for crafting the Victoria's Secret angel wings are teaming to create next-generation space suits for the commercial spaceflight industry in Brooklyn. Final Frontier Design yesterday cleared its funding goal on Kickstarter by more than $7,000, and is on its way to developing a new breed of intra-vehicular space suit.</p> 2020-07-19T07:33:00.0000000+10:00 Geoengineers Will Release Tons of Sun-Reflecting Chemicals Into the Air Above New Mexico <p>Even if they can be a major disaster for people nearby them, volcanoes do one good thing: helping to cool the planet by sending sun-reflecting chemicals into the stratosphere. Now two Harvard engineers are trying to replicate the better part of the volcanic process on a small scale by spraying thousands of tons of sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere above New Mexico. </p> 2020-07-19T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 YouTube Launches Face Blurring Tool to Keep Protesters Anonymous <p>Recent events have shown how social networks can help world unrest get witnessed globally. YouTube was a major player in sending videos of Arab Spring protestors out to masses across the world, but it had its drawbacks: the person protesting in a video was seen everywhere, but they were also seen back at home, where losing anonymity to a despotic government could become dangerous. To counteract that, YouTube is launching a tool to let video uploaders blur faces, hopefully allowing the spread of the videos without bringing danger to the ones in them. </p> 2020-07-19T05:37:00.0000000+10:00 Astronomers Spot Ancient Spiral Galaxy From an Era When Spirals Should Not Exist <p>Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have stumbled on a rare and surprising find: A very distant spiral galaxy, swirling billions of light years away, which formed at a time when such spiral galaxies were thought to be nonexistent. Researchers say it's an astounding discovery - partly because it raises some questions about prevailing theories of galaxy formation.</p> 2020-07-19T04:40:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Model and Accurately Predict War Zone Attacks Using WikiLeaks Data <p>The WikiLeaks info-dumps, as a lot of the public realised as they started to be released, contained a whole lot of info - both genuine nuggets of military action and wartime marginalia. But by cataloguing <em>all</em> of the events logged in the WikiLeaks Afghan War Diary - 91,000 reports from 2004 to 2010 - researchers from the University of Edinburg have been able to accurately map the past of the conflict, which could lead to predicting the conflict into the future. </p> 2020-07-19T03:35:00.0000000+10:00 By Linking Telescopes, Astronomers Make the Sharpest-Ever Observation of a Distant Object <p>By tying together the observational power of three radio telescopes, astronomers have made the sharpest observation of a distant galaxy, some two million times sharper than human vision. That's big news in and of itself, but it's even bigger news for astronomers pursuing next-level Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). The observation demonstrates a kind of telescopic collaboration that's never been seen before, hinting at the future of astronomical observation.</p> 2020-07-19T02:36:00.0000000+10:00 Making a Camera Out of a Turtle Shell, an Egg, and More Weird Casings <p>Camera design is getting more and more interesting as its components get smaller, but there's one major limitation: cameras are always made out of cameras. I know! Ridiculous! Our friends over at Pop Photo put together a list of cameras made out of things that are not cameras - turtle shells, garbage cans, an egg, and more. Take a note, camera makers. Read the full story over at <a href="" target="_blank">Pop Photo</a>.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-19T01:14:00.0000000+10:00 Modular System Quickly Converts Container Ships to Drone-Powered Humanitarian Aid Stations <p>When disaster strikes and a humanitarian crisis unfolds, international aid generally arrives via naval ships - often the very same military vessels designed to put troops and materiel ashore during military conflicts. That works okay, but it involves pulling naval vessels off their primary security missions and then moving them to where they can help, which can take days. To help get aid to the places its needed faster without bothering the Navy, Raytheon has designed a modular approach for quickly outfitting commercial container ships with an array of advanced technologies designed to move humanitarian cargo ashore to the places its needed most, no seaport necessary.</p> 2020-07-18T23:45:00.0000000+10:00 Video: DARPA Device Puts Out a Fire With Blast of Sound <p>Applying physics to put out a fire, as opposed to chemistry, is an idea DARPA has been eyeing for a while, and it might lead to military devices that can better snuff out fires in enclosed places. Now they have demonstrated a new device in action. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-07-18T07:59:00.0000000+10:00 IBM Supercomputer Simulates Common Cold Virus <p>For humans, few things are as ubiquitous as the common cold. We catch it more than any other infectious disease and it's been with us as about as long as we've existed. But while there isn't a cure, our technology is constantly improving, and now in our corner we have Australia's fastest supercomputer helping to work out a solution.</p> 2020-07-18T06:34:00.0000000+10:00 Screen Yourself for Skin Cancer at Home With Your Phone's Camera <p>Something like 90 percent of melanomas - the most serious kind of skin cancer - are visible to the naked eye, no MRI, CT scan, or other kind of sophisticated scanning or imaging necessary. So why bother getting screened at a clinic? The University of Michigan has created an iPhone app that allows you to inspect yourself for skin cancer. All you have to do is take 23 nude pictures of yourself with your smartphone.</p> 2020-07-18T04:29:00.0000000+10:00 FDA Approves First HIV-Prevention Drug <p>In a milestone announcement, today the FDA approved the use of Truvada, the first drug to be used for HIV prevention in the 30-plus year battle against the virus. To be used as part of safe sex practices and continued testing, the drug, which was first approved in 2004, has already shown promise in preventing infection, with some figures placing protection rates as high as 90 percent. </p> 2020-07-18T03:45:00.0000000+10:00 Video: NASA is Testing a Water Prospecting Lunar Rover to Scout Future Moon Mission Destinations <p>While NASA waits with bated breath for the Curiosity rover's arrival on the Martian surface, engineers at NASA and the Canadian Space Agency are already at work testing a new lunar rover designed to seek out water and other natural resources closer to home. The rover payload, known as the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE), is designed to spend nine days prospecting for water resources on the moon sometime in the future.</p> 2020-07-18T03:28:00.0000000+10:00 The First Ever Self-Chilling Can <p>Twenty years ago, Mitchell Joseph set out to solve one of the great challenges of the modern age: how to make a can of beer that could cool itself. He designed a can that used and released the coolant HFC-134a. His prototype worked-it cooled liquid dramatically in a matter of minutes-but there was a hitch. HFC-134a is a greenhouse gas 1,400 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Popping one of Joseph's cans was the environmental equivalent of driving 800 kilometers, and it was illegal under EPA regulations. Suffice it to say, his original design never made it into production. This year, Joseph introduced the ChillCan, a completely legal self-chilling can that reduces a drink's temperature by 15ºC in three minutes. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-18T02:31:00.0000000+10:00 Security Consultant Cracks Handcuffs Open With 3-D Printed Plastic Keys <p>At a hacker conference in New York on Friday, a German security consultant demonstrated just how "disruptive" 3-D printing can really be. Using a 3-D printer, the hacker/consultant printed out various plastic copies of handcuff keys for bracelets manufactured by both English and German security firms. Then he used them to easily pop open both sets of cuffs.</p> 2020-07-18T02:25:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci #45 - August 2012 <p>The August edition of Australian Popular Science is all about flying the unfriendly skies - with the world's first true robotic warplane. Should we be scared or secretly impressed? And where's the science in mixed martial arts? We find out.</p> 2020-07-17T13:58:00.0000000+10:00 Bio-Retina Implant Could Give Laser-Powered Sight to the Blind <p>A new bionic eye implant could allow blind people to recognize faces, watch TV and even read. Nano Retina's Bio-Retina is one of two recent attempts to help patients with age-related macular degeneration, which affects 1.5 million people in the U.S. <!-- - break - --> Although a similar implant, Second Sight's Argus II, has been on the market in Europe since last year, it requires a four-hour operation under full anesthesia because it includes an antenna to receive power and images from an external apparatus. The Bio-Retina implant is smaller because it doesn't have an antenna. Instead, the implant captures images directly in the eye, and a laser powers the implant remotely. Because of Bio-Retina's compact size, an ophthalmologist can insert it through a small incision in the eye in 30 minutes-potentially more appropriate for seniors. The Bio-Retina will generate a 576-pixel grayscale image. And clinical trials could begin as soon as next year.</p> 2020-07-17T06:50:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Camera Uses Ultra-Fast Mirrors to Perfectly Track a Ping-Pong Ball in Play <p>The synchronized left-right-left-right neck swivel that's the hallmark of tennis spectation can be tough on the cameraman, too. Even in professional hands, capturing the perfect sequence is difficult when done manually. But a new project is aiming to autonomize a camera to perfectly capture close-up, dead-center video of fast-moving objects. And, at least when chasing a ping-pong ball, it looks good.</p> 2020-07-17T05:44:00.0000000+10:00 Land Your Very Own Curiosity Mars Rover Via Kinect <p>NASA's newest Mars rover, Curiosity, is just a few weeks away from its nail-biting landing, soaring to the surface and dropping via hovercrane. A new Kinect-based game unveiled today lets you land it yourself, using your own movement to maneuver Curiosity through the landing called "seven minutes of terror." <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-17T04:51:00.0000000+10:00 Recharged in Midair By Flying Battery-Drones, Electric Aircraft May Never Have to Land <p>Instead of taking off with thunderous jet engines, future airplanes may soar into the air on battery packs, and jettison them like so much ballast once the juice has been drained. Then these batteries could be replaced in flight. Instead of refueling with flying tankers, electric planes would rendezvous with autonomous flying battery-drones.</p> 2020-07-17T03:48:00.0000000+10:00 Powerful Lasers Could Be Fired Into the Clouds to Make It Rain <p>We're further along in using science to manually force the weather's hand than many people suspect. In 2009, for example, the Chinese government used weather manipulation to bring a snowstorm to Beijing, and they aren't the only nation giving it a try. But using so-called "cloud seeding" techniques as high-tech rain dances is controversial; critics say it's both ineffective and bad for the environment. A potentially better solution - to this, as to most things! - is to fire up some lasers. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-17T02:52:00.0000000+10:00 MIT's Smart Automotive Co-Pilot Secretly Helps You Drive Better <p>Before cars start driving themselves completely, they'll most likely start helping humans behave better on the road, politely ignoring instructions to run a red light or noticing traffic cones or other obstacles a driver might not see. A new system developed at MIT could help cars have our backs, letting them serve as semi-autonomous co-pilots.</p> 2020-07-17T01:57:00.0000000+10:00 Using DNA to Track the Spread of Bedbugs <p>Independent research teams from the U.S. and the U.K. are developing genetic techniques similar to those used in forensics labs to trace the ancestry of the bedbug. The work may help map the spread of the pesky bloodsucker over the course of the continuing global resurgence, as well as lead to DNA tests for use in lawsuits and other bed-bug-related disputes.</p> 2020-07-17T00:53:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, July 9-13, 2012 <p>The person in this week's Baarbarian illustration is facing a triple threat: dodging landmines with that phone, the moon waiting to strike, <em>and</em> the corn field that's prime territory for an alien attack, <em>Signs</em>-style. </p> 2020-07-14T06:32:00.0000000+10:00 Google Nexus 7 Tablet Review: Best of a Weird Breed <p>The Nexus 7, built by Asus with close oversight from Google, is the best Android tablet and the best seven-inch tablet. If you have already convinced yourself that you want either of those, this is the one you want. It's nice to be able to say that so concretely! But where the best seven-inch, or even the best <em>Android</em> tablet falls in the overall tablet market is the more important question. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-07-14T03:39:00.0000000+10:00 At Last, a Breed of Fruit Flies That Can Count Up to Four <p>Geneticists in Canada have finally succeeded in an experiment that lasted for 40 generations. Generations of fruit flies, I mean. The flies were kept in containers, and lights were repeatedly flashed on them. When the number of flashes was two or four, the container was given a shake. </p> 2020-07-14T02:31:00.0000000+10:00 Aerographite, the Lightest Material Ever Created We've been impressed in the past by aerogel, a lattice-like solid that's almost entirely made of air but can support weight and also has tremendous insulating properties. Then last year an ultralight metal caught our eye, weighing in at 99.99 percent air, which leaves 0.01 percent solid.<br /> Now we are excited to meet aerographite, a sponge grown of carbon nanotubes that's the least dense solid ever: a cubic centimeter of it weighs just two ten-thousandths of a gram. 2020-07-14T01:52:00.0000000+10:00 The Jets of the Future <p>NASA asked the world's top aircraft engineers to solve the hardest problem in commercial aviation: how to fly cleaner, quieter and using less fuel. The prototypes they imagined may set a new standard for the next two decades of flight.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-14T00:08:00.0000000+10:00 NASA's Augmented Reality App Lets You Ride Along with Curiosity Mars Lander <p>NASA's Curiosity rover is landing on Mars next month. But it's already landed on iPhones. So have the twin GRAIL spacecraft currently orbiting the moon. A new iPhone/iPad app released by NASA delivers an augmented reality experience in 3-D that allows users to print off imagery of the moon or Mars and view that imagery through the cameras on their devices, which then overlay the image on the device screen with various animations, graphics, and information.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-07-13T07:52:00.0000000+10:00 National Ignition Facility Cranks Laser Up to Record 500 Trillion Watts <p>In California, at the ultra-powerful fusion laboratory of the National Ignition Facility, 192 laser beams fired simultaneously, blasting their target - a circle 2 millimeters in diameter - with 500 trillion watts. That's 16,000+ times more than the entire of Australia was using at the time. It is the highest-energy laser shot ever fired in real life, although some fictional lasers have exceeded the record. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-07-13T06:58:00.0000000+10:00 Seen for the First Time: Starless Galaxies <p>Galaxy building theory says there are stars and there are stage hands. The bright, shining galaxies filled with stars, the theory goes, took star-building gas from somewhere else, but we couldn't find exactly where the help came from. Now astronomers have likely found that source; starless "dark galaxies" that fed others early in the history of the universe have been seen. </p> 2020-07-13T04:02:00.0000000+10:00 Supermarkets Use Retina Trackers To Monitor Your Shopping Choices <p>Consumer products makers spend countless dollars every year on market research that doesn't work. Focus groups generally to try to please their testers, research has found, and consumer surveys also tend to overestimate their interest in products. So several companies are cutting what consumers say out of the equation and instead going straight after what they are thinking.</p> 2020-07-13T03:03:00.0000000+10:00 A New Way to Keep Deep-Sea Creatures Alive at the Surface <p>The problem: Although scientists have been studying deep-sea animals since the 1860s, they still don't know much about them. That's in large part because the fish, octopuses and other creatures that thrive at the bottom of the ocean die quickly at the surface. In some cases, the lower pressure and higher temperature melt the lipids in their cell membranes. Even hardier animals, such as crabs, can survive at sea level for no more than a few weeks.<br /> <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-13T00:08:00.0000000+10:00 How 4K Resolution Will Bring Movie-Theatre Quality Into the Living Room <p>Since the first high-definition televisions came out in 1998, consumers have heard the same tired sales pitch: "It's like having a movie theatre in your living room!" Actually, no. An HD image does have nearly the same resolution as one projected in a theatre. But when viewed on a large screen in a tight living room, the image's quality degrades markedly. 4K, a resolution standard just beginning to reach consumer markets, promises to make possible the dream of any serious film fan-vast, perfectly crisp movies at home.<br /> <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-12T15:01:00.0000000+10:00 Astronomers Eye Dark Galaxies For the First Time <p>European scientists have zeroed in on 'dark galaxies' for the very first time using the Very Large Telescope in Chile, potentially plugging another gap in our knowledge of how galaxies like our own came to be.</p> 2020-07-12T12:09:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Man Strips Down Classic Sports Car Engine - In Stop Motion <p>If you've ever stripped a car engine, you know it takes a long time, a lot of effort, and invariably leaves you with a large and mysterious pile of 'extra' parts by the end of it. A UK man has upped the difficulty by taking a few thousand photos of the process in order to then make a stop motion video of it.</p> 2020-07-12T11:45:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Jet Engine Made From... Lego? <p>Over the years there’s been a long list of zany Lego creations - F1 cars, pianos, guitars, even whole houses. But until now, no-one’s ever seen fit to create a replica jet engine - let alone a jet engine that actually works. </p> 2020-07-12T11:38:00.0000000+10:00 Splicing a 500-Million-Year-Old Gene Into Modern Bacteria <p>We are still waiting with bated breath for the day scientists resurrect the <a href="" target="_blank">woolly mammoth</a>. Until then, we'll have to satisfy ourselves with resurrections of <a href="" target="_blank">ancient plants</a> and bacteria - which may be more amazing anyway, because they're even older. The dish in the above image holds a bacterium with a 500 million-year-old gene in it. That's an era just a little while after the Cambrian explosion, when life became complex.</p> 2020-07-12T09:50:00.0000000+10:00 In Simulation, Moon Dust Found to Be Toxic to Humans <p>Because we don't spend a large chunk of time up there, we haven't done too much research on the long-term health effects of living on the moon. But a paper titled "Toxicity of Lunar Dust," covering several aspects of the effects of moon dust on the human body, offers some insight: the moon is basically trying to kill you. </p> 2020-07-12T07:50:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Robot With More Lifelike Facial Expressions Tries to Escape the Uncanny Valley <p>The "uncanny valley" principle - the idea that when robots (or politicians) look human but not quite realistic enough, it makes real humans terribly uncomfortable - is a persistent problem for roboticists pursuing realistic humanoid robots. But research also shows that the uncanny valley effect can be somewhat mitigated by making the robotic more attractive and lifelike. To that end, Italian roboticists have created FACE, a realistic humanoid bust designed to closely mimic the many facial expressions our facial muscles are capable of.</p> 2020-07-12T07:05:00.0000000+10:00 Wind-Powered Car Travels At Twice the Speed of the Wind <p>A couple of years back, Rick Cavallaro and his wind-powered car - Blackbird - silenced an online debate about whether its possible for a wind-powered vehicle to move downwind faster than the speed of the wind itself by going out and outrunning the wind. Now, Cavallaro and company have reconfigured their car to travel upwind and proved that it's possible to travel upwind at more than twice the speed of the headwind, setting what has to be a record for upwind terrestrial sailing.</p> 2020-07-12T05:51:00.0000000+10:00 Virgin Galactic Unveils Its Satellite-Launching Rocket, Will Be Lofted Into Orbit By WhiteKnightTwo <p>Virgin Galactic officially entered the satellite launch business this morning at the Farnborough International Air Show when founder Sir Richard Branson unveiled LauncherOne, an expendable two-stage rocket designed to blast off at high altitude from Virgin's carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo - the same mothership that will launch space tourists on suborbital spaceflights. By circumventing both the weather and the high cost of a terrestrial rocket launch, Branson said he plans to create the lowest satellite launch cost in the space industry.</p> 2020-07-12T02:53:00.0000000+10:00 Torn Apart by Metal, Graphene Knits Itself Back Together Again <p>Once punctured by wayward metal atoms, the wonder material graphene can stitch itself back together, healing over with a new patch of two-dimensional carbon atoms. This new finding sheds more light on the strange properties of graphene, and it could even lead to new graphene creation strategies.</p> 2020-07-12T02:00:00.0000000+10:00 Nano-Device Accurately Moves Single Electrons at 1 Billion Per Second <p>For about 60 years, we've defined the amp - the power of an electrical current - by using mechanical processes, i.e., processes not defined in nature. And for the most part that works just fine. But now we're approaching a better way: scientists from the National Physical Laboratory and University of Cambridge have found a process to move 1 billion individual electrons per second, and measure them accurately. </p> 2020-07-12T01:12:00.0000000+10:00 A Stringless Guitar Simulator That Anyone Can Play <p>Miroslaw Sowa, an electronics hobbyist in Montreal who grew up playing the accordion, liked the guitar but found fingering chords on the fret board too difficult. So he teamed up with Toronto software developer Vsevolod Zagainov to develop the Tabstrummer, an electronic instrument that allows the user to play different guitar chords simply by pressing one of up to 12 preset memory buttons. </p> 2020-07-12T00:25:00.0000000+10:00 Single Core Computer Watches Board Games For 2 Minutes, Then Beats You Mercilessly <p>Computers have been beating humans at games for ages, that much is obvious. But a computer scientist from the Universite Paris Diderot in Paris, France has decided to change tack, moving away from complicated data sets, instead creating a vision-based system that can look at a game, learn it, and then play it by learning through "relational structures" instead of long formulae and a database of background knowledge. And it does it very, very well.</p> 2020-07-11T15:17:00.0000000+10:00 Parkinson's, Stroke Could Be Treated With Magnets: Trial <p>New Australian research has found that language disorders incurred by Parkinson's and stroke suffers could be treated by an electromagnetic coil that launches magnetic pulses towards the patient's brain.</p> 2020-07-11T10:49:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Will Climate Change Make it Too Hot Again? <p>It depends on who you are and where you live. Humans thrive in Kuwait City, where average highs top 43°C for several months a year. But extended runs of hot days and warm nights do lead to spikes in mortality, and climatologists expect an increasing number of heat waves in years to come.</p> 2020-07-11T07:31:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Mapping Inside Buildings By Tracking Earth's Magnetic Field <p>The kind of accurate geolocation offered by Global Positioning Systems has typically been difficult to apply indoors because metallic structures like buildings disrupt the Earth's magnetic field, rendering compasses like the one found in many smartphones useless when inside. So map- and app-maker IndoorAtlas decided to spin these magnetic disturbances into something useful. Via an upcoming smartphone app, the company has created a way for users to navigate indoors using those very magnetic disturbances as their guide.</p> 2020-07-11T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 New Telescope Optics Can Directly View Exoplanets By Hiding Interfering Starlight <p>For now, the thousands of potential exoplanets discovered in the past two years are little more than curvy dips on a graph. Astronomers using the Kepler Space Telescope pick them out by examining the way they blot out their own stars' light as they move through their orbits. But if astronomers could block out the stars themselves, they may be able to see the planets directly. A new adaptive optics system on the storied Palomar Observatory just started doing that - it's the first of its kind capable of spotting planets outside our solar system. </p> 2020-07-11T05:22:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Smartphone App, Accurate to One Foot, Helps the Visually Impaired Navigate Indoors <p>Using a smartphone and ultra wide band (UWB) transmission technology, Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Fujitsu have teamed to create a realtime positioning system for the blind that works indoors where GPS can't reach. Using base stations to triangulate a user's position, the system is accurate to within 30 centimetres.</p> 2020-07-11T04:27:00.0000000+10:00 MIT Energy Scavenger Harvests Power from Light, Vibrations, and Heat <p>Small power generators that can harvest energy from ambient sources like heat, vibrations, and light hold a lot of promise across a range of applications, particularly in things like remote monitoring. They can harvest the vibrations imparted by vehicles passing over a bridge to power sensors that monitor the bridge's structural integrity, for instance, or keep a network of wildfire-detecting sensors working in the remote wilderness, no batteries necessary. But these kinds of ambient power are often intermittent and unreliable - unless you can harvest several of them at the same time.</p> 2020-07-11T03:27:00.0000000+10:00 Cockpit Controls Now Available As A Wrist Tablet and Mega Helmet <p>Equipped with a huge helmet and a handy wrist-attached device, future fighter pilots will have maps, surround sound, radar and infrared vision all at their fingertips - even when they're outside the cockpit. Raytheon's new Aviation Warrior system, unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK, gives an airman or woman all the information a pilot might need, all in a wearable system. </p> 2020-07-11T02:34:00.0000000+10:00 This Laser Can Instantly, Remotely Scan You For Drugs or Explosives <p>That inconspicuous brown box above is reportedly a new kind of laser-based molecular scanner that can collect spectroscopic information from more than 45 metres away. It can instantly probe your clothing and luggage for chemical traces of anything - explosives, drugs, biological matter - and you will never even know it. </p> 2020-07-11T01:50:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Will Climate Change Make the Weather Too Extreme? <p>Unpredictable extremes of weather could be a huge problem. Simon N. Gosling, a geographer at the University of Nottingham in England, and Robert E. Davis of the University of Virginia agree that hotter weather on average isn't as dangerous as <em>unexpected</em> weather. </p> 2020-07-11T01:06:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Aussie Uni Student Builds Wirelessly Charged, Levitating Light <p>A University of Queensland student has built a lightbulb that does two things a little outside the lightbulb norm - first, it levitates. Secondly, it is powered without wires.</p> 2020-07-10T14:03:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: What's the Hottest the Earth Has Ever Gotten? <p>Hot enough to boil oceans and vaporize rock. The highest terrestrial temperatures occurred more than four billion years ago, when a Mars-size proto-planet smashed into the Earth. (The debris from this collision formed our moon.) Within a millennium, the surface air temperature had dropped from a high of about 2,038°C down to 1,649°C. Then the planet went into a period of slower cooling that lasted a few tens of millions of years. As the atmosphere thickened with heat-trapping water clouds and carbon dioxide and a shell of solid rock formed around the Earth's core, conditions stabilized at 227°C.</p> 2020-07-10T09:30:00.0000000+10:00 Strategies for a Changing Planet: Shelter <p>Climate change is already happening, and it's time to get ready. Here's how we could adjust our most basic needs - food, water, shelter - to survive. </p> 2020-07-10T09:00:00.0000000+10:00 For $10,000 on Kickstarter, Google Lunar X-Prize Contender Will Land Your DNA on the Moon <p>Kickstarter can be a great way for people to help out with projects they care about. Make a small donation, and maybe even get a little trinket for your time. But what about the rich eccentric with money to burn? For 10,000 bucks, they too can help out with a project - and in exchange get their DNA on the moon. </p> 2020-07-10T07:11:00.0000000+10:00 At the Imagine Cup 2012: A Real-Life Minesweeper App That Detects Buried Landmines <p>Using both the military and software sides of their education, a team of Polish military students studying computer engineering at Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna (Military University of Technology) presented at the Imagine Cup here in Sydney an app that uses the built-in magnetometer in a Windows phone to detect the magnetic signature of land mines buried in the ground.<br /> <!-- - break - --><br /> SAPER (Sensor Amplified Perception for Explosives Recognition) is Poland's entry in the software design category of the <a href="">2012 Imagine Cup</a>.</p> 2020-07-10T06:22:00.0000000+10:00 Jamming Device Prevents Driver's Phone From Working If Car Is In Motion <p>Texting while driving is enough of a problem that it's been pinned as more dangerous than <a href="">drunk driving</a>, so it was only a matter of time before we started to see technology better able to shut it down. Now on that list: researchers have found a way to detect when a phone is being used in a moving car, then jam it. </p> 2020-07-10T05:35:00.0000000+10:00 World's Fastest Camera Photographs Cells in Action to Catch Cancer <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">fastest camera ever made</a> can automatically count individual cells, processing millions of images continuously and doing it 100 times faster than existing light microscopes. This super-fast imaging system could potentially detect cancer cells lurking in millions of healthy cells, and could lead to speedier diagnosis of disease.</p> 2020-07-10T04:21:00.0000000+10:00 Physics Students Say A Gliding Batman Would Die Upon Landing <p>The feasibility of Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise has already taken some light hits here at <em>PopSci</em>, but <a href="">a study</a> from physics students at the University of Leiceister is trying to put another nail in the caped crusader's coffin, saying Bruce Wayne would hit the ground fatally if he were to glide the way he does in <em>Batman Begins</em>.</p> 2020-07-10T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Kicking Off the 2012 Microsoft Imagine Cup With Student-Made Kinect Projects <p>This year's Imagine Cup, a dream-of-the-future student competition in which "technology helps solve the world's toughest questions," was held in Sydney. The opening ceremonies were the mixture of ostentatious congratulation and childlike enthusiasm I have <a href="">come to expect from the Imagine Cup</a>. For a while, it was like Oprah's Favorite Things in there: "Everybody gets a new Nokia phone! Four of you get to go to a Microsoft developer's conference! Everybody gets Bill Gates's signature on a certificate!" The phrase "change the world" was used 10 times. I counted. And then four confetti cannons went off. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-10T03:19:00.0000000+10:00 Aussie Scientists Grab First Radio Waves From Intermediate Sized Black Hole <p>An international team including scientists from the University of Sydney have used the Australia Telescope Compact Array to successfully detect radio waves from an intermediate black hole. </p> 2020-07-09T15:04:00.0000000+10:00 A Carbon Chassis Electric Motorbike: The Roskva <p>It might not be a real, purchasable item just yet, but this carbon-chassis electric motorcycle from Norway already has our mouths watering.</p> 2020-07-09T10:59:00.0000000+10:00 Rough Sketch: "A Snail Could Be Used as a Battery" <p>Our biofuel cell generates power from glucose sugar in a snail's body. We drill holes through the shell and implant enzyme-coated electrodes in the hemolymph, or snail blood, that naturally collects between the snail's body and shell. Like any battery, ours is based on chemical reactions that create a flow of electrons. One electrode grabs electrons from glucose in the hemolymph. The electrons then travel through an external circuit-including any device we want to power-and end up at the opposing electrode. There, the electrons react with oxygen in the hemolymph to form water. The power output is small, in the range of microwatts, and runs out after a few minutes as the glucose is depleted. After harvesting energy, the snail eats and drinks, restoring glucose levels in its body, and it can then generate power again. The snails don't appear to be harmed by the biocell.</p> 2020-07-09T09:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Closest Robotic Legs Have Ever Gotten to Mimicking Human Gait <p>Getting a robot to walk is doable. Getting it to walk exactly like a human? Not so easy. But now we're getting there, with researchers from the University of Arizona unveiling a first-of-its-kind set of biologically accurate robot legs. </p> 2020-07-07T07:34:00.0000000+10:00 Space Helps Worms Live Longer--What About Humans? <p>Getting to space is a tough enough prospect, and even once you make it out of our atmosphere, there are still physical issues. Chief among them: a long flight can cause a loss of bone and muscle mass. To find ways to combat that process, researchers study <a href=""><em>C. elegans</em></a>, worms that have a surprising amount in common with humans. But a recent study noticed a strange side effect for space-bound worms: they lived longer.</p> 2020-07-07T06:45:00.0000000+10:00 Megapixels: Blowing Up a 483 Metre Bridge <p>The American 483-metre Fort Steuben Bridge spanned the Ohio River, linking Ohio to West Virginia for 84 years, but it took just seconds for it to drop in a controlled demolition in February. </p> 2020-07-07T03:03:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Build Your Own Food Helper Gadgets <p>Isn't it a pain when you forget to stir your soup and it scorches? Or when you're trying to play Madden whilst hungry, but you need both hands on the controller? Ben Heckendorn, game device modder extraordinaire, came up with some solutions. Watch the videos past the jump. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-07-07T02:10:00.0000000+10:00 Pretty Space Pics: WISE Captures a Nebula on Fire <p>NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer may be running out of coolant, but its infrared sensors are still capturing some amazing infrared views of the cosmos. Today in pretty space pics: the Flame nebula, a burning candle lighting up the larger Orion complex close to its well-known belt.</p> 2020-07-07T01:20:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Burning Mercury Thicyanide Equals ... Um? <p>What better way to round out a Friday afternoon that with an amazing, and slightly frightening, look at what happens when you set a highly toxic substance like mercury thiocyanide alight. If you haven't seen this before, be warned - it's the stuff nightmares are made of.</p> 2020-07-06T17:01:00.0000000+10:00 Melting Sea Ice, Atmospheric Warming Contributes To Four Times Global Average Heating In Arctic: Study <p>New Australian research as shown that Arctic temperatures are heating at a rate up to four times higher than the global average, and this extraordinary number is largely down to loss of sea ice and increased atmospheric circulation caused by global warming.</p> 2020-07-06T15:35:00.0000000+10:00 Japanese Inquiry Declares Fukushima Crisis "A Profoundly Man-Made Disaster" <p>The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, an independent (well, duh) committee set up by the Japanese parliament to look into last year's nuclear disaster, just released its official report - and it's pretty damning. In the introduction, the chairman of the commission says the nuclear accident "could and should have been foreseen and prevented."</p> 2020-07-06T13:11:00.0000000+10:00 Israeli Man Controls Robot Thousands of Miles Away With Just His Brain <p>We've seen telepresence take huge steps in recent years, broadcasting the sense of touch to operators and allowing us to attend a party across the country. But this is really some next-level stuff: this telepresence 'bot is controlled simply with its operator's thoughts. </p> 2020-07-06T07:32:00.0000000+10:00 Oscar Pistorius Will Be the First Amputee to Compete in the Olympic Games <p>Oscar Pistorius is a sprinter, sure, but he's also basically a professional world's-firster. Last year he became the world's first amputee to run in the World Championships, and today it was announced that Pistorius, whose legs were both amputated below the knee at less than a year old, will become the first amputee to run in the Olympic Games this summer in London. (He'll also be competing in the Paralympic Games - another world's first.)</p> 2020-07-06T06:13:00.0000000+10:00 Stanford's New Electrojelly Feels Like Living Tissue, But Acts Like a Semiconductor <p>Future electronic skin and bio-batteries could be etched onto surfaces with inkjet printers, conducting electricity while looking for all the world like spongy biological tissue. A new electrically conductive hydrogel, developed at Stanford University, can be printed or sprayed as a liquid and turned into a gel once it's in place.</p> 2020-07-06T05:39:00.0000000+10:00 Discovered: the First Major Botnet Living on Smartphones <p>We've all grown quite used to the idea of botnets stowing away on PCs out there on the Internet, spamming us from hacked inboxes in unknown places. Now, botnets are going mobile. Microsoft researcher Terry Zink says he's discovered evidence that an illegal botnet has hijacked smartphones running Google's Android operating system and used them to send spam from users' Yahoo email accounts.</p> 2020-07-06T01:39:00.0000000+10:00 Aussie Researchers Grab A Snapshot of A Single Atom's Shadow <p>There's no way to take a direct picture of something as small and fleeting as a Higgs boson. But physicists can photograph its relatives, directly imaging atomic structures and improving our understanding of atomic physics. Now comes this picture: The first-ever snapshot of a single atom's shadow.</p> 2020-07-06T00:35:00.0000000+10:00 The State of the Civilian UAV Industry in Australia <p>To quote a certain moustachioed British comedian, don’t mention the war. Just don’t. Specifically, don’t mention all those remote controlled, explosive-payload-carrying aerial drones, the ones that are as much a part of modern warfare as the guys on the ground. In much the same way that the internal combustion engine, planes, and even the internet came from military roots, Unmanned Aerial Systems (as civil industry prefers to call the peaceful variety) have to bear the burden of past lives as cutting edge military tech before coming into civilian use. In some ways, they’re in the position of the kid that always got picked on at school. Or Microsoft. Or all sides of Australian politics. Basically, UAVs have an image problem. </p> 2020-07-05T15:15:00.0000000+10:00 Commbank's Kaching Mobile Payment App Arrives For Android, But With No NFC Functionality <p>Imagine the joy when CommBank customers discovered the bank was today releasing its mobile payments app, Kaching, for Android eight months after the iOS version launched. Now imagine some of the disappointment when it arrives sporting a number of iOS interface holdovers and zero NFC/Paypass functionality.</p> 2020-07-05T12:48:00.0000000+10:00 The Coal Mining Boom: Blessing or Curse? <p>Following on from our discussion of fossil fuels in the latest issue of PopSci magazine, a pair of Sydney Uni professors have looked more closely at the real benefits versus the drawbacks of the coal industry.</p> 2020-07-05T11:32:00.0000000+10:00 Hello, Higgs Boson: New Particle The Real Thing? <p>"We have discovered a new particle," CERN director general Rolf Heuer said Wednesday morning. "A boson. Most probably a Higgs boson." Even the most anticipated news in science does not come without some caveats. </p> 2020-07-05T08:15:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Almost Entirely Certain They've Found The Higgs Boson <p>Late this afternoon, in both Melbourne and the home of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, CERN announced what probably qualifies as the biggest breakthrough in physics research this century - the discovery of what is almost certainly the Higg's Boson. 99.999 per cent certain, in fact.</p> 2020-07-04T18:10:00.0000000+10:00 Leaked Higg's Boson Video One Of Several Recorded In Advance <p>On the eve of an announcement by CERN on the existence, or indeed continuing non-existence, of the Higg's Boson or 'God Particle', a video has been leaked of an interview with a CERN scientist who says they have observed a particle that could fit the Higg's model. Interestingly, though, CERN have since said the video was one of several recorded in advance. What the?</p> 2020-07-04T11:45:00.0000000+10:00 Chemistry Finally Delivers Long-Promised Self-Cleaning Lawn Furniture <p>Just in time for that annual fourth of July cookout in which you drag all that filthy white lawn furniture from its molding, mildewing stack out behind the shed: a team from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute has created a titanium dioxide-doped polymer coating that kills germs and bacteria when exposed to sunlight. Self-cleaning lawn furniture surely can't be far behind.</p> 2020-07-04T05:15:00.0000000+10:00 Japanese Anesthesiologist Completely Faked 172 Papers <p>Scientific papers are faked sometimes. That's obviously dangerous, especially when the researcher works for the pharmaceutical industry or has a clear agenda. But we've never seen anything quite like this: a Japanese anesthesiologist named Yoshitaka Fujii has been found to have fabricated <em>a hundred and seventy-two papers</em> over the course of 19 years, more than even Joachim Boldt, who fabricated 90.</p> 2020-07-04T04:48:00.0000000+10:00 Headlights That See Through a Downpour by Tracking and Hiding Raindrops <p>Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have figured out how to thwart the weather when you're behind the wheel by looking straight through the rain drops or snow that create that white-out effect when headlights meet heavy precipitation at night. By detecting and tracking individual rain droplets or snow as they fall through a car's headlight beams, they've created a system that can "dis-illuminate" them by adjusting the headlight beams to only shine around them rather than on them.</p> 2020-07-04T04:02:00.0000000+10:00 Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Review: Fly Higher, Farther, and More Intuitively <p>After enthusiastically covering the debut of <a href="">Parrot</a> at the Consumer Electronics Show back in 2010, PopSci went on to honour the camera-equipped, remotely-piloted quadrotor with a Best of What's New distinction. And so with that in mind I unboxed the newest iteration - properly named AR.Drone 2.0 - prepared for some degree of disappointment. Second-generation products, as often as not, tend to correct flaws in the first generation and marginally refresh or update certain features (now with HD camera!) without drastically improving or reinventing the core product or experience. I approached Parrot's newest drone accordingly. </p> 2020-07-04T03:15:00.0000000+10:00 As Deadly White-Nose Syndrome Ravages Bat Population, Bats Change Social Strategy to Survive <p>Like germophobes who avoid the mall during flu season, North America's most common bat species is changing its social behaviour as a result of disease, new research says. Little brown bats, which have been decimated by a fungus known as white-nose, are turning into loners.</p> 2020-07-04T01:48:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists To Watch Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole Chow Down On Huge Gas Cloud <p>With black holes still being something of a mysterious entity in cosmos, scientists are looking forward to a rare event in astrophysical observation - the consumption of an entire dust cloud by the black hole at the heart of our galaxy.</p> 2020-07-03T17:30:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Create Stretchy 'Rubber Band' Electronics, Can Flick At People's Eyes <p>When we think of gadgets and electronics, we're not usually thinking of how bendy and rubbery we wish they were. Fortunately for us small minded folk, though, a research term has been thinking very hard about the problem, and have come up with a way to create the stretchiest electronics yet.</p> 2020-07-03T15:18:00.0000000+10:00 Video: MIT Alumni Bring Spacesuit Tech to Temperature-Regulating Dress Shirts It happens to the best of us: you slog through the summer heat on your morning commute and wind up a messy ball of sweat by the time you make it to the sweet comfort of your air-conditioned office. Now a team of MIT grads is trying to solve that problem by borrowing temperature-control technology from NASA. 2020-07-03T07:45:00.0000000+10:00 The Future of Game Consoles Will Be No Console Last night, Sony announced it's purchasing Gaikai, a service that lets you stream video games in a similar way to <a href="">OnLive</a> - servers stream video games to an electronic device as you send controller movements back to those servers. 2020-07-03T07:03:00.0000000+10:00 Physicists and Geneticists Team Up to Build a Galactic Dark-Matter Detector out of DNA <p>The hunt for dark matter is arguably the biggest scientific search ongoing right now - even as scientists close in on the elusive Higgs boson - but finding it is not proving easy, since physicists can't see or measure the stuff, or even be sure that it's there at all (it is, after all, theoretical at this point). To find it, a notable collaboration of astrophysicists and geneticists is gathering to build one of the most far-out particle detectors we've come across in recent memory: a dark matter detector made out of DNA.</p> 2020-07-03T06:07:00.0000000+10:00 A Topically Applied Skin Lotion That Modifies Your Genes Future genetic therapy could be as simple as applying a topical lotion, with nanoscale compounds soaking through your epidermis to tweak your DNA. This new class of nucleic acid structures could guard against some types of skin cancer, according to researchers at Northwestern University. 2020-07-03T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 IBM Tackles Boston Traffic, Merging Multiple Data Streams to Predict, Ease Congestion <p>By some estimates, Boston is one of the 10 worst cities for traffic congestion in the United States. To alleviate the problem, Boston tapped IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge and the technical expertise of that company's engineers to build an app that merges everything from cell phone accelerometer data to comments made via social media to paint an all-encompassing realtime picture of Boston's traffic situation.</p> 2020-07-03T04:29:00.0000000+10:00 "Acoustic Tweezers" Can Manipulate Tiny Organisms Using Sound Waves Tired of grabbing cells and roundworms with clumsy tools? This set of acoustic tweezers - a device the size of a dime - uses ultrasound to move objects and living material without physical contact.<!-- break --> 2020-07-03T03:41:00.0000000+10:00 You'll Soon Be Able to Buy a Firefox Phone <p>Mozilla has been making some small moves into mobile with the Firefox browser for Android, but today the company announced much bigger plans: Firefox OS, previously known as "Boot to Gecko," is an entirely new operating system for smartphones. The OS will be based on Linux, but all apps will be entirely browser-based, built on HTML5, like Google's Chrome OS.</p> 2020-07-03T02:34:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The World's Thinnest Transparent Display is a Soap Bubble <p>The world's thinnest transparent screen isn't really a screen at all, but something more like a soap bubble. An international team of researchers claims its display - which uses ultrasonic sound waves to change the properties of a soap-like film to display both flat and 3D images - is the world's thinnest transparent screen, and that using several of them together can even produce a holographic projection.</p> 2020-07-03T02:03:00.0000000+10:00 Young Fish Adapting To CO2-Heated Water Of Their Parents: Study <p>A new body of research conducted by Australian scientists has found that some species of fish may be able to adapt somewhat to increases in water temperature caused by rising CO2 levels.</p> 2020-07-02T15:27:00.0000000+10:00 Survive Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse, Make a Radar Out Of Coffee Tins <p>Coffee tins - great for string-based telephone construction, improvised percussion and, finally, for keeping things in. However, as it turns out they're good for another thing as well - cobbling together a radar system. We can see how this would be useful when we find ourselves against the wall when the zombies apocalypse comes.</p> 2020-07-02T13:46:00.0000000+10:00 What to Do With the Free Bonus Second We're All Getting This Weekend <p>The Earth's rotation doesn't line up perfectly with our calculation of it, so to keep things consistent, we have to adjust. That's why this weekend will have a leap second. This Saturday, just before midnight Greenwich Mean Time, clocks will count to 60 seconds, instead of 59. </p> 2020-06-30T07:03:00.0000000+10:00 Intel's New Processor Powers a Range of Ultra-Slim Laptops <p>Last October, Acer and Asus debuted the first ultrabooks, a class of laptops characterised by their super-thin chassis. The trim designs, however, left engineers little room to include graphics cards or large, fast processors.<br /> <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-30T05:15:00.0000000+10:00 Living in the Future: We Are All DJs <p><em>Living in the Future is a new column about those rare moments, as we go about our daily lives, when we realize that what we're doing is</em> amazing. <em>We have a tendency to assimilate new tech into our lives without giving it much thought, or even without much gratitude, as Louis C.K. reminds us. But every once in awhile, we get that visceral "whoomph" while doing something as mundane as listening to music or playing a video game, and think: "Holy shit. I can't believe this is possible."</em></p> 2020-06-30T03:46:00.0000000+10:00 Chinese Astronauts Return to Earth After 12-Day Mission <p>Chinese astronauts have returned to Earth in a re-entry broadcast live on Chinese television, landing safely in Inner Mongolia. We saw the historic launch and docking earlier this month, and now, after more than a week of running tests aboard the solar-powered Tiangong 1 space module, the crew of three is back. Needless to say, this is another big leap for the country.</p> 2020-06-30T03:11:00.0000000+10:00 How the Designer of Apple's Mouse is Helping 32 Million Americans Sign Up For Healthcare <p>It's official: the US Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, which, however you feel about it, means 32 million Americans will likely gain health care coverage. A part of the legislation dictates that all those people, by law, need somewhere to enroll, compare coverage, and purchase insurance. The design consultancy Ideo has spent more than a year putting together an open-source template to keep the potential paperwork from crushing everyone before they even have health insurance to cover the damage. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-30T01:05:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Steampunk-Style Cold Cathode Nixie Tube Chess Set <p>There are a billion beautiful work-of-art chess sets out there, but this one had us impressed thanks to its pure scientific elegance - this chess set is made out of old school <a href="" target="_blank">Nixie tubes</a>, that glow not because they are heated, but because they're lit by electrified gas under low pressure.</p> 2020-06-29T14:17:00.0000000+10:00 Texas Students Hijack a US Government Drone in Midair <p>The US government, understandably, doesn't want its drone technology to fall out of the sky and into other peoples' laps. But being able to hijack a drone and control it? That's even worse. And a team of researchers has done it for 1,000 bucks.</p> 2020-06-29T06:01:00.0000000+10:00 With New Nicotine Vaccine, Cigarettes Give You No Pleasure <p>Nicotine addiction is a hard habit to break. But what if you could never get hooked in the first place? Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York report in the journal Science Translational Medicine that they have developed a potential vaccine for nicotine addiction. In mice, the vaccine inhibits the effects of nicotine before they reach the heart or brain, making it seem as though the nicotine never entered the bloodstream.</p> 2020-06-29T03:55:00.0000000+10:00 Electric Spray Paint Could Turn Any Surface Into a Battery <p>Lithium-ion batteries work by stacking active ingredients in layers. In your laptop and phone, the layers are stacked into a block, but a new process could make that seem quaint: spray-paint the necessary layers onto any surface like paint, to make an instant battery anywhere. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-29T02:58:00.0000000+10:00 B612 Sentinel: The First Privately-Funded Deep Space Mission <p>This morning at the California Academy of Sciences, a team of former astronauts, space scientists, NASA alums, and other concerned citizens of the solar system announced an unprecedented initiative to place a solar-orbiting telescope in deep space. The B612 Foundation wants to map the inner solar system's asteroid inhabitants and chart their orbits over the next hundred years. And to do so, it will build, launch, and operate the first privately funded deep space mission in the history of human spaceflight.</p> 2020-06-29T02:15:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Dr. NakaMats, the World's Most Prolific Inventor <p>Japan has a storied history of technical wizardry, but even then Yoshiro Nakamatsu stands a cut above. Better known as Dr. NakaMats, he's a celebrity inventor who's claimed to hold over 4,000 patents, which would be a world record. He's known for his loopy, goofball demeanour, which makes him something of a cross between Nikola Tesla and Willy Wonka. Dr. NakaMats celebrated his 84th birthday on June 26. </p> 2020-06-29T01:01:00.0000000+10:00 Emulsifying Molecule Could Magnetise Oil Spills For Easy Cleanup <p>A lot of oil spill clean-up technology is focused on heavily mechanical solutions - gadgets and machines pumping the muck out of water. But some interesting solutions to the quandary come from other fields of science, and one team is looking to chemistry for a better way. They're using an emulsifier, a custom molecule that allows liquids, such as oil and water, to mix. And this particular emulsifier responds to magnets. </p> 2020-06-29T00:09:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Skateboard Designed To Navigate Spiral Staircases <p>A UK-based student decided one day to come up with the ultimate urban skateboard, designed specifically to deal with the stair-blocked dead ends through the city of London. He's finally finished it, and boy is it slick.</p> 2020-06-28T16:11:00.0000000+10:00 Australian Research Shows Cycling Use Locally In Decline <p>We like to think that we're becoming more environmentally conscious, that cycling use in our capital cities is on the upswing, but a new body of research from Sydney University has found that the reverse is true - the per capita levels of cycling in Australia are actually on the decline.</p> 2020-06-28T15:20:00.0000000+10:00 Discovering Telstra's NextG Browser Tracking <p>Yesterday saw a new battle on the online privacy front emerge after it was found Telstra was tracking web pages visited by mobile customers on their NextG network, and then delivering that data to a third party in the United States. We spoke to one of the people behind the discovery, Mark Newton, about how he found out about the tracking, and followed it back to its overseas source.</p> 2020-06-28T12:12:00.0000000+10:00 The World's First LED Lightbulb You Can Control With a Smartphone <p>There will come a time when our homes are completely automated, just like in several horror movies in which a house slowly murders its unsuspecting occupant. The Insteon is a pretty good step towards that inevitable murder - it's the first LED lightbulb that you can control with a smartphone app.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-28T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 DARPA's Satellite-Recycling Program is Looking For the Perfect Orbiting Sat to Dismantle <p>In late 2011, DARPA announced its intention to create an on-orbit capability to harvest dead satellites and recycle their parts into new orbiting communications outposts. In 2012, the research arm of the US Department of Defence is making good. Danger Room reports the agency has awarded its first contract ($2.5 million to a Northrop Grumman division for technology development), organised a summit on sustainable satellite servicing, and began seeking its first candidate satellite on which it hopes to demonstrate these technologies by 2015.</p> 2020-06-28T06:45:00.0000000+10:00 Developers Can Now Pre-Order A Pair of Smart Google Glasses <p>At Google I/O, the annual Google tech conference, corporate heads let everyone know they're further ahead on Google Glass - those neat virtual reality glasses you may have seen - than anyone thought. They're available now for pre-order, but for the time being will only be sold to US-based developers attending the I/O conference. They'll be let go to those select few for a cool US$1,500. No word yet on when the general public will be able to get their hands on one. </p> 2020-06-28T04:55:00.0000000+10:00 Five Reasons Why I'm Excited About Google's Nexus Q <p>Google (probably accidentally) leaked some details of the Nexus Q before today's I/O event even started. It's a streaming...I almost said box, but it's actually more like an orb. It's somewhere between a Sonos system, which streams music to stations in different parts of your house, and an Apple TV, which streams music and video to your TV. And I think it's very exciting. Here's why.<br /> <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-28T04:02:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Could Drugs Like "Bath Salts" Be Causing An Outbreak of Cannibalism? <p>Does the drug commonly known as "bath salts" make you particularly crave the taste of human flesh? There's no scientific evidence that it does. But it certainly could lead to a bit of cannibalism as a side effect.</p> 2020-06-28T03:01:00.0000000+10:00 Tesla Founder Says Most New Cars Will Be Electric Within 20 Years - But Will They? <p>Given that he launched the <a href="" target="_blank">Tesla Model S</a> earlier this week, it makes sense that Tesla founder Elon Musk would be in high spirits. So high, in fact, that he has said today that within 20 years, the majority of new cars sold will run entirely off of electric batteries.</p> 2020-06-27T16:18:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci #44 - July 2012 <p>Our Future of the Environment issue is here today, and it's environmentally friendly to the extreme. Traditional wisdom says buying magazines isn't a great thing to do in terms of environmentalism thanks to paper, but this issue is made out of 100 per cent recycled recycling. Ok, that may not be entirely true, but if you want to get up to speed on all the important environmental discussions and the best in green tech, this is a (tiny!) carbon footprint worth having.</p> 2020-06-27T15:33:00.0000000+10:00 New Aussie Program To Fast Track Civil UAV Tech For Widespread Use <p>A new public-private program in Queensland has been started to try and push the development and use of unmanned flight technology, particularly in environmental and emergency applications.</p> 2020-06-27T14:57:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Robot That Cannot Be Beaten At Scissors Paper Rock <p>A Japanese robot has essentially become the best scissor paper rock player Earth has to offer, being designed to be unbeatable at the game. If you ever have problems breaking a stalemate with your friends over who has to buy the next round of beers, this robot is your... man?</p> 2020-06-27T14:38:00.0000000+10:00 Project of the Month: An Autonomous Lawn Mower <p>It took Hubert Pissavin two weeks in his garage to build a machine that would do his least favorite chore for him: mowing the lawn. The retired electrical engineer started with a simple, boxy chassis made of wood. With four motorised wheels and a spinning blade, the battery-powered device moves in a straight line until it bumps into an obstacle, which activates a relay switch that backs the mower up about three feet. </p> 2020-06-27T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 China's "Human Sniffers" Tasked With Finding Potentially Hazardous Gas Emissions <p>Today in truly odd jobs: China is apparently hiring "human sniffers" to act as living, breathing sensors to detect potentially unhealthy gases around waste and sewage treatment plants. In fact, Beijing has been doing this for years. China's rapid urbanisation in recent decades has resulted in the construction of many new treatment facilities for waste and sewage that can emit unhealthy and offensive vapours into the air, and the state has dealt with this via a small army of human smell detectors.</p> 2020-06-27T06:33:00.0000000+10:00 Use a Mac? You Probably Want a More Expensive Hotel Reservation <p>Data mining by online merchants isn't just so can offer to sell you the same product you just purchased on Amazon. It has the power to make all our lives better! Orbitz, which makes online reservations for hotels and such, figured out that Mac and Windows users have different purchasing habits - and adjusted accordingly.</p> 2020-06-27T04:36:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Quadrotor Swarm Puts on a Seriously Psychedelic Light Show at Cannes <p>The Cannes Lions are generally characterised by lavish parties and ad industry people congratulating each other for, well, being ad industry people. But it's also a meeting of creative, forward-thinking media minds, so perhaps it's about time someone got wise to the robotics revolution unfolding across the globe right now. Front and centre at ad house Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity: a swarm of precisely-programmed quadrotor drones putting on a face-melting psychedelic light show soundtracked by Brooklyn's Oneohtrix Point Never.</p> 2020-06-27T03:23:00.0000000+10:00 Male Contraceptive Gel Could Be Applied Directly to the Skin <p>When it comes to taking charge of one's reproductive fate, women have had reliable birth control methods for decades now. For men the story is completely different. Though not for lack of trying, the medical establishment has failed to produce a consistently reliable method of contraception that is both non-permanent and healthy for men to take. But research coming out of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center could change that via a simple gel applied directly to the skin.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-27T02:32:00.0000000+10:00 Google's Simulated Brain Has Trained Itself to Recognise Cats on YouTube <p>As intelligent as computers continue to get, it's still a lot of work for them to perform tasks many humans do on a regular basis - like, say, enjoying cat videos on YouTube. In an attempt to bridge that gap, scientists from Google's X laboratory created a simulated human brain by putting 16,000 computer processors together and having them browse around the Internet, learning facts about the world as they went. And the simulated human brain successfully found YouTube's cats.</p> 2020-06-27T01:50:00.0000000+10:00 Simulated 13-Year-Old Boy "Eugene Goostman" Wins Largest-Ever Turing Test <p>Computer scientist Alan Turing's infamous Turing test - possibly the thing he's known best for out of a long resume - is a simple, solid bar for artificial intelligence that's held up since the 1950s. But this weekend that bar was nearly reached. Judges surveyed in the largest-ever Turing competition agreed 29 percent of the time that Eugene Goostman was a 13-year-old boy, and that was good enough for the chatbot to win.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-27T00:52:00.0000000+10:00 A Heatsink That Could Be 30 Times More Efficient Than Today's Setups <p>Computers get hot. Heat is bad for computers. To whisk it away, we use a combination of heatsinks and fans to snatch heat away from the internals and blast it out of the computer's case. But Sandia has a concept that combines the two in a way that, they claim, increases heat-removing efficiency by up to 30 times.</p> 2020-06-27T00:10:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Robotic Flower Looks Like a Pretty Daisy, Bites Like A Venus Flytrap <p>There's a dearth of pretty robots in the world today. We have powerful robots, creepy robots, weird robots - but there's just not enough pretty. One guy has decided to rectify that by building a moving large-sized lily robot, perfect for allergy sufferers or those with a taste for more than the regular plastic fakery. Watch out, though - not everything is as it seems.</p> 2020-06-26T14:08:00.0000000+10:00 Colombian Garbage Dump To Be Turned Into a Park Thanks To Its Own Colony Of Bacteria <p>The infamous El Merro municipal dump in north-western Colombia that once played home to 50,000 people has been a remediation nightmare for the country. However, the key to turning the 50 metre high dumping ground into something a little more palatable could be the very same bacteria that already live in its slightly-stinky depths.</p> 2020-06-26T12:47:00.0000000+10:00 Water Scarce After the Apocalypse? Install These Water-Conserving Cyborg Internal Organs <p>Handed an assignment to design a water bottle for the human race if it were on the brink of extinction, Japanese design studio Takram instead did something else: planned a set of robotic "organs" that could keep people alive on 32 millilitres of water a day. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-26T07:44:00.0000000+10:00 Sea Level Rising Rapidly on Both Coasts, Could Even Flood San Francisco Airport in a Decade <p>The Northeast US has been taking the brunt of rising sea levels not just in the country but in the world, with waters rising three to four times faster than the global average, according to new data. But that doesn't spare the West Coast; in a decade, rising sea levels could flood the San Francisco International Airport.</p> 2020-06-26T06:51:00.0000000+10:00 Amazing Video: Curiosity Rover's Mars Landing Will Be "Seven Minutes of Terror" <p>When NASA's Curiosity Rover reaches Mars this August, it'll takes seven minutes to get from the tip of the atmosphere to the surface of the planet. Those seven minutes are a little scary for engineers who've sunk a lot of time into this project, so the descent is called the "seven minutes of terror." Here it gets highlighted by an awesome, super-dramatic video. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-26T05:43:00.0000000+10:00 A Fingerprint Scanner That Can Capture Prints From Six Metres Away <p>Gaining access to your gym or office building could soon be as simple as waving a hand at the front door. A Hunsville, Alabama based company called IDair is developing a system that can scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly six metres away. Coupled with other biometrics, it could soon allow security systems to grant or deny access from a distance, without requiring users to stop and scan a fingerprint, swipe an ID card, or otherwise lose a moment dealing with technology.</p> 2020-06-26T04:18:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Human-Powered Gamera II Helicopter Hovers for a World-Record 50 Seconds <p>It hasn't nabbed the Sikorsky Prize yet, but it looks like a new world record: the Gamera II team at the University of Maryland flew, with power provided only by the arms and legs of Ph.D. candidate Kyle Gluesenkamp, for 50 seconds. </p> 2020-06-26T03:23:00.0000000+10:00 By Twisting Light Signals into a Vortex, Researchers Create Fastest Wireless Connection Ever <p>By twisting radio waves into a threaded vortex, an international team of researchers has beamed data through the air at 2.5 terabits per second, creating what has to be the fastest wireless network ever created. Moreover, the technique used to create this effect has no real theoretical ceiling, ExtremeTech reports. That means - in theory - that an infinite number of these vortex beams could be threaded together to add infinite capacity to conventional transmission protocols.</p> 2020-06-26T02:48:00.0000000+10:00 Ultrasound in a Pill Could Replace Daily Injections <p>A daily shot is still the most effective, if most uncomfortable, form of treatment for many people with a chronic illness. Most pills work too slowly to be of much use for, say, someone with diabetes. But one company is planning a solution: packing ultrasound tech into a pill to orally deliver drugs as efficiently as a shot.</p> 2020-06-26T02:03:00.0000000+10:00 Chinese Astronauts Complete Their First Manual Spacecraft Docking <p>Chinese astronauts aboard Shenzhou-9 continue to rack up milestones. The crew - which has been living and working aboard the Tiangong-1 orbiting module, China's first stab at a working space station, for a week now - returned to the Shenzhou spacecraft early Sunday, disconnected from Tiangong-1, and docked with it again manually (the spacecraft originally docked with the Tiangong module via remote control from a ground station in China).</p> 2020-06-26T01:22:00.0000000+10:00 At SETIcon 2012: Planetary Spit-Swapping, Dark Energy As a Singularity and Other Bizarro Space Science <p>I'm huddled outside the Hyatt hotel entrance in Santa Clara, California, shivering with a notepad in hand and half listening to the pop music coming from "Christia and Derick's wedding reception," when Erika Dunning breaks the news. "The International Space Station is passing overhead in four minutes," she says, reading her NASA iPhone app. "30 degrees above northwest, 66 degrees max elevation." </p> 2020-06-26T00:45:00.0000000+10:00 Can the All-Electric Ford Focus Get Traction? <p>Later this year, Ford will roll out the Focus Electric, Detroit's first direct competitor to the Nissan Leaf in the US. Like the Leaf, the Focus Electric is an all-electric five-door hatchback with a 275-plus-kilogram lithium-ion battery, a driving range of close to 160 kilometres on a charge, and a price tag north of US$35,000. Unlike the Leaf, the Focus Electric is not a purpose-built EV; it looks almost identical to the gas-powered Focus, which is manufactured on the same Michigan assembly line. How will the Focus Electric compare? We drove one of the first road-ready specimens to find out.</p> 2020-06-26T00:21:00.0000000+10:00 Tesla Model S Sedan Rolls Out In US <p>In what is hope by many (not least Tesla) to be a shot in the arm of the burgeoning electric car industry, the weekend saw the first premium electric sedan released to the American market, with it due to arrive on Australian shores mid next year.</p> 2020-06-25T14:16:00.0000000+10:00 Ford's Fastest Mustang Ever: A 325kph Muscle Car <p>Detroit automakers have recently been locked in a competition straight out of the 1960s: a race to create the fastest and most powerful muscle car. This summer, Ford takes the lead with the 485-kilowatt Mustang Shelby GT 500. To break the 320kph mark, engineers departed from the muscle-car tradition of throwing a truck engine under the hood and calling it a day. Instead they redesigned the engine with lightweight materials, refined the car's aerodynamics, and installed driver-assistance systems that allow anyone to drive the Shelby as it's designed to be driven-aggressively.</p> 2020-06-25T07:08:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, June 18-22, 2012 <p>Are the raging mice duking it out with the stressed grasshoppers to save the world, or destroy it? Either way, it doesn't take away from the magnificence of this illustration. </p> 2020-06-23T08:30:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Might Have a Lot More Water Than We Knew <p>Researchers have discovered evidence that there's a lot more water on Mars - at least on <em>parts</em> of Mars - than anyone previously thought. Using new technology, scientists examined the water content in meteorites from the planet, and it points to a lot of it in the Martian mantle. </p> 2020-06-23T07:00:00.0000000+10:00 Kepler Spots Two Planets Locked in Super-Close, Never-Before-Seen Orbit <p>Imagine crawling out of bed and seeing a gigantic red Mars instead of the Sun. That's basically the situation for two newly discovered planets. Astronomers working with NASA's Kepler Mission recently found them 1,200 light years away, and they're 30 times closer than any pair of planets in our solar system. Actually, the scientists aren't totally sure how that happened - just another sign that our solar system is not the only way planets can be arranged. </p> 2020-06-23T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 Test Drive: The 2012 Toyota Prius C <p>Recently Bloomberg ran a report stating that Toyota is on track to sell over 250,000 Prius-branded vehicles in the United States in 2012. If you live anywhere on the coasts or in any urban and/or quickly gentrifying area, you might think Toyota has hit that saturation point already. Toyota wants more from the Prius than the standard "Liftback" and the family cruiser Prius V (for versatility). Now, with the introduction of the Prius C - the C is for City - Toyota has created a smaller, less expensive, entry level Prius for the masses. Beware all other compact cars, hybrid or not: the gauntlet has been thrown down.</p> 2020-06-23T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Three Square Metre LED Wall You Can Control With Your iPad <p>A California man has made himself a large LED 'wall' , that displays different colours, words and patterns thanks to a customised software suite that responds to music and runs on your iPad.</p> 2020-06-22T12:18:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Adam Savage Show Off His "Rocketeer"-Inspired Rocket Engines <p>Today's the 21st anniversary of <em><a target="_blank" href="">The Rocketeer</a></em>, and Tested has a treat for fans of the Disney flick (or fans of <em>Mythbusters</em>): Adam Savage displaying the engines of his in-progress <em>Rocketeer</em> jet pack. </p> 2020-06-22T07:00:00.0000000+10:00 New 'Strain Paint' Glows Fluorescent When the Underlying Structure is Stressed <p>New kinds of coatings and sensors that can help engineers detect stress or deformation in structures abound, but most are limited by the scope of deformation they can detect and the need to be physically connected to an output device. Researchers at Rice University may have overcome these obstacles with a new kind of nanotube-packed "strain paint" that alerts engineers to compression and stress in an underlying structure by glowing under near-infrared light.</p> 2020-06-22T04:47:00.0000000+10:00 Those Nigerian Scam Emails Spin an Outrageous Yarn for a Reason <p>You know those completely implausible, unbelievably over-the-top scam emails spelling out some overwrought story about a deceased Nigerian prince, his massive fortune, and the lawyer (esquire, really) who needs your help to transfer the funds out of the country before they are seized by the government? One Microsoft researcher thinks these stories are unbelievable on purpose. Implausible stories drive away all but the most gullible recipients, he argues. The ones most susceptible to the scams self-select.</p> 2020-06-22T02:55:00.0000000+10:00 The Struggle to Image NFL Players' Brains While They're Still Alive <p>This morning, Deadspin took a deep look at new research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder caused by blunt head trauma that's affecting NFL players in big numbers. The problem is, up until now it's only been diagnosed post-mortem. But maybe not anymore.</p> 2020-06-22T01:25:00.0000000+10:00 Engineers Build Cabinet-Sized Gigapixel Camera <p>We thought the 41 megapixels in the <a href="" target="_blank">Nokia 808</a> were exorbitant, but a team of US engineers have one upped the Finns by building a one gigapixel camera that is only(!) the size of a bedside cabinet.</p> 2020-06-21T16:33:00.0000000+10:00 International Research Finds Diesel Exhaust Causes Lung Cancer <p>Diesel has been on international lists for years as a possible cause of cancer, but a new study by a World Health Organisation agency has definitively concluded that diesel exhaust is carcinogenic at a time when diesel consumption is increasing worldwide.</p> 2020-06-21T13:01:00.0000000+10:00 A Pollen Coating Could Help Identify Who Fired a Bullet <p>When a bullet is recovered at a crime scene, ballistic identification can help track the gun that fired it, but identifying the person who fired the gun is a lot harder. Now scientists have found an unlikely method to ID gunmen on the lam, using flower pollen. </p> 2020-06-21T09:22:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Grow Functioning Human Liver Tissue from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells <p>Japanese researchers working with induced pluripotent stem cells have coaxed a semi-functional, liver-like tissue from a petri dish in what could mark a significant step forward for regenerative medicine and the science of creating new, working organs from scratch. There's still a long way to go of course, but researchers are enthusiastic that the work could light the way forward for pluripotent stem cell research into organ generating technologies.</p> 2020-06-21T07:45:00.0000000+10:00 Study of Angry Mice Could Find Drugs to Prevent Pathological Rage <p>Shutting down a brain receptor in mice - a receptor that also exists in humans - can block pathological rage, a new study says. We didn't realise that mice could experience pathological rage. But stopping it, and the impulsive violence that could result, would be a way to treat the types of aggression that are common in some neurological and psychological disorders in people.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-21T06:03:00.0000000+10:00 You Built What?! A Flashing, Tilting Ping-Pong Table to Throw Off Opponents <p>Internships more often than not are mindless, coffee-fetching black holes of boredom. But not at Syyn Labs, a Los Angeles collective that creates unusual interactive art and science projects for commercials and music videos. Last summer, student interns Hoon Oh, Robb Godshaw and Jisu Choi took it upon themselves to reinvent the sport of table tennis. Their project could pass for an extra in <em>Transformers</em>: It's part ping-pong table, part machine, and so difficult to play that it reduces pros to the level of rank amateurs.</p> 2020-06-21T04:27:00.0000000+10:00 Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 8: New Start Screen, NFC, and More <p>Microsoft, in a big one-two punch of mobile, followed up <a href="" target="_blank">Monday's Surface tablet announcement</a> with today's unveiling of Windows Phone 8.</p> 2020-06-21T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Samsung Galaxy S III Review: A Phone in Need of an Editor <p>The Samsung Galaxy S III is going to be a wild smash hit, I'm sure. And it's a very good phone; a lot of people will be very happy with it. But stepping back to look at the current state of Android smartphones, it's interesting to look at the S III compared to last November's Samsung Galaxy Nexus-a slightly older but extremely similar phone, loaded with a pure install of Android 4.0 that Samsung wasn't allowed to mess with, on Google's orders.</p> 2020-06-21T03:15:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Magnificent Power of Earth's Magnetosphere Showcased in NASA Video <p>When the roused and active sun flings its energetic particles at Earth, we get to see beautiful aurorae, even in low latitudes of late. Pretty as they are, they don't give a full account of how hard the planet's magnetosphere is working to shield us from the sun's wrath. This new video from the animation whiz team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the US brings it home.</p> 2020-06-21T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 New Prenatal Blood Tests Can Identify Paternity of an Eight-Week Fetus <p>An interesting story in the New York Times today explores the ease with which noninvasive prenatal diagnostics can now determine paternity, even when the pregnancy is only eight or nine weeks old. Multiple companies are now offering such tests, which require only blood samples from the mother and from the potential father to determine paternity long before the pregnancy culminates.</p> 2020-06-21T02:00:00.0000000+10:00 Missile-Tracking Cameras Are Changing the NBA <p>For some morning tech reading, we're looking at an article from Fast Company on SportVU, a camera system used by NBA teams that plots a ton of statistics for every match-up, down to the shooting average versus number of dribbles on a play.</p> 2020-06-21T01:20:00.0000000+10:00 Watch It Live: Gamera Human-Powered Helicopter Attempts World Record Flight Today <p>Already demolishing the standing world record more than twice over, a massive human-powered quadrotor designed by students at the University of Maryland is poised to make aviation history today. The Gamera II helicopter is shooting for the Sikorsky Prize, one of aviation's last great challenges, by hovering for one full minute under human power only. Their first attempt Wednesday morning lasted 35 seconds!</p> 2020-06-21T00:45:00.0000000+10:00 Video: 3D Visualisation Software Makes Destructive Hack Attacks Look Beautiful <p>Clearly, we're not sufficiently advanced until every last piece of software looks neon and sophisticated, and causes things to spin slowly on screen in a hypnotically beautiful way. NICT in Japan has taken us a step closer to that goal, making a tool that will visualise cyber attacks in a way that can only be described as dazzling.</p> 2020-06-20T15:19:00.0000000+10:00 Local Research Finds Super Adaptive Mossie That Lives In Sewers, Reproduces Without First Sucking Blood <p>In a surprising example of species adaptation, Sydney scientists have discovered a species of mosquito that has learned to survive without one of the flying insect's most recognisable traits - it can lay eggs without first having to suck anyone's blood. Especially mine.</p> 2020-06-20T13:05:00.0000000+10:00 This Is What Your Brain Looks Like When You Lose Your Self-Control <p>You are not a bastion of self-control. Everyone has a set amount of the stuff, and when life saps it, people can break. Now fMRIs from a University of Iowa study show exactly what it looks like when that happens. </p> 2020-06-20T06:40:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Single-Seat Amphibious FlyNano Makes its Maiden Flight <p>This Finnish-built flying boat made its maiden flight a few days ago, taking off from a lake and soaring into the air. The FlyNano, made by a startup by the same name, is a recreational vehicle with no wheels - and it looks like fun.</p> 2020-06-20T05:42:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Introducing Burritobot, the 3D Printer that Fabricates With Frijoles and Queso <p>The beauty and promise of 3-D printing is really all tied to the end-user experience - if you can think of something, you can have it made specifically the way you want it to suit any specific need. And as NYU grad student Marko Manriquez says, "sometimes you really need a burrito." Enter <a href="">Burritobot</a>, which is exactly what it sounds like.</p> 2020-06-20T04:42:00.0000000+10:00 Liquid-Filled Robot Finger More Sensitive to Touch Than a Human's <p>Add to the list of things robots now do better than humans: feel. Researchers at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering have designed a robot finger that can outperform humans in the basic yet complex sensory task of touching. Their robot finger, equipped with a novel tactile sensor technology, is better at identifying and distinguishing between different materials and textures than human beings are.</p> 2020-06-20T03:44:00.0000000+10:00 Stressed-Out Grasshoppers Can Damage the Entire Ecosystem <p>In the same way humans might be tempted to binge on some junk food when they're under stress, grasshoppers head for the carbohydrate-rich foods when they get scared. The difference is the grasshoppers can leave behind some big-scale problems for the environment.</p> 2020-06-20T02:50:00.0000000+10:00 Oxygen-Monitoring Glasses Could Let You Read People's Moods Right Through Their Skin <p>The ability to read other people is largely perceived to be intuitive - some people just have a talent for "seeing" what other people are thinking or feeling. But what if you could augment yourself with such an ability, allowing you to perceive changes in other people's biologies as their biochemical state changes? A company called 2AI Labs has developed a pair of glasses - known as O2Amps - that supposedly can do just that.</p> 2020-06-20T01:51:00.0000000+10:00 Chinese Construction Company to Build World's New Tallest Building In a Three-Month Timeframe <p>The world's tallest building took five years to reach its 828-metre height, but a Chinese company wants to leave the Burj Khalifa in the dust. Broad Sustainable Building, which already built a hotel in two weeks, aims to erect the new Sky City skyscraper within three months.</p> 2020-06-20T01:08:00.0000000+10:00 Study Shows Overweight, Obese Lifestyles Are Ecologically Unsustainable Obesity is a hot button topic in many Western nations, including Australia, at the moment, but now we have some crazy statistics to throw into the equation, with a UK study cruching the numbers on the weight of humanity, finding that the combined weight of every human being on the planet is about 287 million tonnes. 2020-06-19T14:41:00.0000000+10:00 Microsoft Announces Its First Real Tablet: The Surface <p>Right now in Los Angeles, curiously late in the evening, Microsoft is showing off its very first modern (read: post-iPad) tablet. The family will be called the Surface, the same as its conceptually-cool-but-practically-impractical tabletop touch computer. It's actually a very interesting product - the capabilities of a full PC, but thanks to Microsoft's dual-natured, touch-focused Windows 8, it works like a regular tablet as well. Here's what we know.</p> 2020-06-19T09:35:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Lab-on-a-Chip Sorts Particles in Blood Using Pinball-Machine-Like Ramps <p>Like a coin machine sorting change according to size, a new lab-on-a-chip can sift cells according to their weight and other properties. Doctors could use it to tease out biological matter from the bloodstream and detect cancer or potentially other ailments.</p> 2020-06-19T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Soft, Floating Robots Connect to Form Larger Squishy 'Bot <p>The future of robotics is soft and modular, or at least that's they way some of the robotics gurus at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne envision things moving. Rigid robots are fine, but true versatility in the robotic medium will come from modular robots that are flexible enough in form that they can adapt to task and environment. So a team at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) there is developing connections for soft, floating robots that would allow many small, squishy robots to organize themselves into a larger softbot through electroadhesion.</p> 2020-06-19T05:39:00.0000000+10:00 Nano-Firefly Tech Could Make Lights That Need No Electricity <p>Fireflies light up summer lawns at dusk through chemical reactions, which take place between a light-emitting substance and its related enzyme. Luciferin and luciferase, respectively, could provide a natural, electricity-free glow for ambient lighting and other uses. But previous experiments to this end have not yielded very bright light. </p> 2020-06-19T04:36:00.0000000+10:00 Voyager 1, Moving Ever Closer to Solar System's Edge, Hit By Rapidly Increasing Amounts of Cosmic Rays <p>For at least a year now, NASA has been waiting with bated breath for Voyager 1 to pass through the boundary of our solar system and become our first emissary to the stars. It's been cruising the edge for some time, but when it finally leaves forever, it won't be a satisfyingly clear punch-through - so it's hard to say exactly when this will happen. Or happened. Now the spacecraft is in another strange new zone, where the influx of cosmic particles has been ramping up by the week.</p> 2020-06-19T03:50:00.0000000+10:00 The Air Force's X-37B Space Plane Returns to Earth After a 15-Month Secret Mission <p>The Air Force's X-37B - its secret robotic space plane that's been orbiting the Earth on a mission shrouded in mystery for more than a year - landed safely in the wee hours Saturday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Orbital Test Vehicle 2 (OTV-2) is the second X-37B test vehicle to successfully complete an orbital mission and autonomously return to Earth, following sister spacecraft OTV-1's 225-day mission in 2010.</p> 2020-06-19T03:06:00.0000000+10:00 Another Milestone for China's Space Program as Space Pod Docks With Orbital Lab <p>Chinese astronauts floated into an orbiting space lab Monday, another milestone for the country's space program that puts it on par with Russia and the U.S. An automatically controlled docking manoeuvre connected the Tiangong-1 space lab with a manned Shenzhou space capsule early Monday evening Australia time.</p> 2020-06-19T02:21:00.0000000+10:00 IBM's Sequoia Supercomputer is Now the World's Fastest Computing Machine <p>The latest TOP500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers is out this morning, and America is (finally) back on top. After nearly three years trailing supercomputers abroad - Japan's K computer reigned supreme for most of last year, with China's Tianhe-1A close behind - the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has stolen the top spot via Sequoia, a 16.32 petaflops (that's a quadrillion floating point operations per second) IBM machine built from 96 racks containing 98,304 computing nodes and 1.6 million cores.</p> 2020-06-19T01:34:00.0000000+10:00 Fuel Cells Of The Future To Be Powered By Brain Fluid <p>Forget about battery packs for powering medical implants or personal gadgetry - engineers have come up with a fuel cell that runs on glucose and could potentially be powered by the fluid inside your own brain.</p> 2020-06-18T14:33:00.0000000+10:00 Man Builds Working Version Of Invader Zim's Gir, Programs Him To Propose To Girlfriend <p>Out of all the many, many awesome robots out there in both real life and pop culture, there is one often held up as an example of what we love about our metal companions, and his name is Gir. Zany and technologically sophisticated in equal measure, it makes sense that someone would try to actually build one. What makes a teeny little bit less sense is that it was designed to be used in a marriage proposal.</p> 2020-06-18T13:10:00.0000000+10:00 2012 Invention Awards: A Recirculating Shower <p>Taking a shower draws more water and more energy than any other daily household activity. Low-flow showerheads save only a little of both, typically at the expense of comfort. That's because they let the hot water-and all the heat energy it contains-go down the drain.</p> 2020-06-18T00:26:00.0000000+10:00 How to Copy the Great Mineral Waters of Europe At Home <p>The mineral composition of water varies subtly, almost imperceptibly, from place to place. Variation in bedrock makes the effervescent springs at Vergeze, France, where Hannibal allegedly found a refreshing drink after crossing the Alps, different from the sulfuric liquid bubbling up out of the ground at Saratoga Springs, New York. Sulfates near Burton, England impart a distinctive minerality to the region's pale ales. And connoisseurs pay top dollar for these differences.</p> 2020-06-16T05:38:00.0000000+10:00 Industrial Food Machine Video of the Day: Toasting and Frying Taco Shells <p>Tacos are the best. Broken taco shells from the box (if I am too lazy to fry up some fresh ones) are not the best. Taco shells must be handled with care, from beginning to end. </p> 2020-06-16T05:05:00.0000000+10:00 How To Make Your Own Home Drink Carbonation System <p>If your friends and family are anything like mine, you've observed that home beverage carbonation is experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately. Perhaps you've seen the increasingly ubiquitous Sodastream machine on a countertop near you-or, more likely, heard its syncopated honk and pop-fizz release from across the room, announcing another fresh liter of water made bubbly. </p> 2020-06-16T03:54:00.0000000+10:00 This Is the Food We'll Eat on Mars <p>"Turn it just like this," the uniformed instructor tells the alert crew of trainee astronauts gathered around the workspace. "And then this next piece twists in the other direction." The first trainee approaches the table.</p> 2020-06-16T03:28:00.0000000+10:00 Inside The US's Other Most Innovative Kitchen <p>Grant Achatz's Alinea may get all the national (and international) press, but over at Moto in Chicago, chef Homaru Cantu and pastry chef Ben Roche are turning out delicious, ridiculously innovative meals - and they have a kitchen any scientist would envy. </p> 2020-06-16T02:00:00.0000000+10:00 "The Kitchen As Laboratory": Measuring the Texture of Egg Yolks <p>One of the most fascinating threads running through <em>The Kitchen As Laboratory,</em> a collection of essays edited by a trio of food scientists and published earlier this year, is the application of rigorous testing and measurement to a realm that has classically been very subjective. In the test pictured above, after egg yolks are poached at a constant temperature for a varying number of minutes, a rheometer is used to precisely measure the resulting texture, in pascal-seconds. <!-- - break - --> Cesar Vega, a culinary scientist at Mars Botanical, used the rheometer to debunk the contemporary received wisdom that the texture of a cooked egg is a function of temperature but not time. </p> 2020-06-16T00:55:00.0000000+10:00 April 1956: Preserve Your Meat and Produce With Atomic Radiation <p><em>This article originally appeared in the <a href="" target="_blank">April 1956 issue</a> of</em> Popular Science.</p> 2020-06-15T23:45:00.0000000+10:00 Prospero the Swarming Farmbot Wants to Show You the Future of Agriculture <p>Whether conducted by an industrial farming outfit or a small, independent farmer, agriculture is all about yield. Per-acre production makes or break the year, and taken at the macro level it impacts global markets and can lead to humanitarian crises. And while agriculture already happens at the field-by-field level, David Dorhout wants to make agriculture even more precise. Think: plant-by-plant farming, optimised on a seed-by-seed basis.</p> 2020-06-15T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 ANU, Fujitsu To Build Fastest Aussie Supercomputer <p>The Australian National University in Canberra has just signed an agreement with Japanese ICT and electronics manufacturer Fujitsu to build Australia's fastest supercomputer, performing at 1.2 petaflops. And believe us, that's actually a lot of flops.</p> 2020-06-15T15:07:00.0000000+10:00 Ebola Virus Cured in Monkeys a Full Day After Infection <p>The Ebola virus-one of the world's deadliest diseases-has a kill rate of 90 percent. That's largely because the best current treatment must be applied within one hour of infection. Which is an almost impossibly brief window, considering symptoms may take anywhere from two to 21 days to appear in humans. But a new treatment has shown success in curing the disease when administered 24 hours or more after infection-at least when tested in monkeys. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-15T11:30:00.0000000+10:00 April 1961: Popular Science Suggests Eating Hippopotamuses <p><em>This article originally appeared in the <a href="">April 1961 issue</a> of</em> Popular Science.</p> 2020-06-15T08:30:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Q&A: How the Rheon Machine Stuffs Any Food Into Any Other Food <p>Empanadas, Chinese dumplings and the deliciousness that is the fried risotto ball are all wonderful when they're homemade. But when stuffing by hand becomes tiresome, let a Rheon encrusting machine take over. </p> 2020-06-15T07:45:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: How Do Firefighters Tackle a Voracious, Out-of-Control Fire? <p>In Australia, we're no strangers to bushfires. But in the US summer underway now, they have their own fires to deal with.</p> 2020-06-15T07:00:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Why Does Scotch Smell Like Band-Aids? <p>A friend of mine has type 1 diabetes, for which she injects a synthetic insulin called Humalog. When she does, there's a quick but very powerful aroma of... Band-Aids. It's weird. I never thought much of it, until the last time I had a peaty glass of scotch, a drink I've never particularly loved. As I took my first sip, I thought, as I always do, that it smelled like... the same Band-Aids.</p> 2020-06-15T04:28:00.0000000+10:00 How a Lab of College Students Invented the World's Best Home Blast-Chiller <p>The Energy and Design Research Lab at The Cooper Union, an arts and engineering college in New York City, is probably best known for the Cooper Cooler, which in 1992 became the fastest machine to chill beer, wine, and other beverages: three minutes, from room temperature to frosty cold. It's every college student's dream. And that makes sense, because as it turns out, it was created by students. </p> 2020-06-15T03:15:00.0000000+10:00 A Star System 12.9 Billion Light Years Away is the New Most Distant Galaxy <p>The telescopes get bigger and more sophisticated, the light we can see comes in from deeper in the cosmos, and the most-distant visible objects keep getting further away. Last October astronomers using Hubble Space Telescope data reported sighting a possible galaxy some 13.2 billion light years away. That sighting is still awaiting confirmation as a galaxy, and in the meantime it has some competition in a galaxy discovered by scientists at the Subaru and Keck Telescopes that has, for the time being, seized the title of most distant known galaxy.</p> 2020-06-15T02:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Guillotine-Like Machines That Analyse Foods' Texture <p>In the sometimes strange world of food technology, one of the many aspects of food that gets measured is its texture, and accuracy is key. That's why your grocery-store cookies are always reliably chewy from one batch to the next, and that's why it's possible to while away an afternoon on YouTube in10-second increments gawking at texture analysis machines. Here's a look at a few of the best.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-15T01:45:00.0000000+10:00 Industrial Food Video of the Day: Japanese Robot Methodically Stuffs Fried Tofu Skin Rolls <p>When the need arises for a very specific type of robot, odds are pretty good it exists in Japan. A new Japanese robot can make 2,500 fried tofu rolls per hour, puffing little triangles of tofu with air and stuffing them with rice with precision and speed. </p> 2020-06-15T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Make Any Cheese Melt as Evenly and Perfectly as Unnatural American Cheese <p>We have a soft spot for American cheese, viewed in a hazy glow of nostalgia, but we wouldn't exactly call it "good" cheese. Or "cheese." Still, it has one major advantage over cheeses made from, like, dairy products: it melts <em>perfectly</em>.</p> 2020-06-15T00:17:00.0000000+10:00 NBN To Switch On 1/3 of Aussie Economy by 2050 <p>A new report commissioned by IBM has projected that up to 35 per cent of Australia's $4 trillion revenue in 2050 will be in industry areas that will either be radically transformed by, or birthed within a super-fast, NBN-powered future.</p> 2020-06-14T15:27:00.0000000+10:00 Recipe: Sous Vide Ice Cream <p>One of our all-time favorite food hacks is the DIY sous vide setup - it takes a very trendy, seemingly complicated and intimidating device and brings it to your countertop with just a little bit of work. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-14T07:23:00.0000000+10:00 Myhrvold Shows off His Pantry: "All Food Is Made of Chemicals" <p>Nathan Myhrvold knows that the work he and his Modernist Cuisine team do can be a little intimidating or frightening, but he's not going to stand for misconceived reactions - like, "why does your food have so many chemicals in it?"</p> 2020-06-14T06:43:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Q&A: A Robot Masters the Art of Chicken Boning <p>De-boning a chicken, duck or other bird can be an arduous and unpleasant task - even Julia Child said it could take way too long "because of fright." Yet with patience and the right knife, any human can do it. But a robot? </p> 2020-06-14T06:10:00.0000000+10:00 Recipe: Ewe's Milk Ice Cream With Textured Herb Buds From Mugaritz <p>Last year, we saw chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of restaurant Mugaritz demonstrate a couple of his high-tech, artful, playful dishes: his fool-the-eye walnuts, his artificial eggs. This month he presents the world with the Mugaritz cookbook, a striking glossy tome that sets forth the holistic, highly experimental philosophy of the restaurant in the Basque countryside.</p> 2020-06-14T05:03:00.0000000+10:00 NASA's Black-Hole-Hunting NuSTAR Telescope Has Launched <p>At noon today, NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) was released from a companion aircraft and sent off into Earth's orbit. That's big news for black hole and space enthusiasts: The technology strapped to it will make the hunt for celestial objects significantly easier, both in the Milky Way and farther abroad. </p> 2020-06-14T04:31:00.0000000+10:00 Glucose-Powered Fuel Cell Could Use Your Body's Resources to Drive Neural Prosthetics <p>Future neural prosthetics could not only tap into brain signals, but also brain fluids, using the cerebrospinal medium to power a fuel cell. Researchers at MIT designed a new silicon wafer with several embedded fuel cells that generate power using glucose.</p> 2020-06-14T03:04:00.0000000+10:00 How The Human Nose Helps Chemists Analyse Flavour <p>Think you know the fresh, lemony taste of lemongrass, or the lush herbal taste of basil? Most of what we experience as "taste" actually comes from our sense of smell, not from our tastebuds. Volatile compounds - molecules light enough to produce a vapor or gas - play a key role in how we experience food and drink (as well as fragrances and scents). But the complex ways in which we perceive these molecules as flavour is not nearly as straightforward as pure chemistry, making understanding flavour partly, but not completely, a chemical question.<br /> <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-14T02:01:00.0000000+10:00 iFixit Takes CrazyPowerful New MacBook Pro Apart, Deems It Un-Repairable <p>Our friends over at iFixit, as is their wont, got their hands on one of the new, ridiculously powerful, ridiculously expensive MacBook Pros with Retina Display, and promptly tore it to pieces. For the good of all of us! </p> 2020-06-14T01:54:00.0000000+10:00 Industrial Food Machine of the Day: Robots Milk Cows <p>Dairy cows are pretty docile creatures, so as animals go, they're also pretty good candidates for handling via heavy machinery. And there may be no better task to automate than milking - it's repetitive, it's predictable, it's unpleasant. A pair of new robotic milk factories can do the job, using robotic teat washers, robot cups, instant milk analysers, and robot teat stimulators. </p> 2020-06-14T01:01:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Swiss Flying Torpedo Bot Crashes, Dusts Itself Off and Flies Again <p>Flying robots are adept aviators, flipping through small openings, building structures and playing tennis. But what goes up must come down, and sometimes it's not exactly as planned. A new flying robot can survive a crash, picking itself back up and taking flight again.</p> 2020-06-14T00:07:00.0000000+10:00 Video: 'Thumper' Blows Up Soft Drink Cans In Slow Mo - Because It Can <p>Thumper's day job involves testing cables and equipment for faults by generating high voltage electrical pulses. At night, though, it gets used to do much more entertaining things, like blowing up cans of soft drink. Like so.</p> 2020-06-13T13:23:00.0000000+10:00 Cane Toad Poison Is Cane Toad Bait For Cane Toad Tadpoles <p>Cane toads - probably the single greatest introduced threat to native plant and animal life. The biggest obstacle to getting rid of the suckers has been their phenomenal reproduction rate - 30,000 eggs from a single round of spawning from a single female means most attempts to catch and remove them are useless. Aussie scientists, however, have a new tactic - bait them literally with their own poison.</p> 2020-06-13T11:45:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: What Is Espresso? <p>Espresso is both widely drunk and widely misunderstood, and even though we're avid drinkers of the stuff here at PopSci, when asked precisely what the term means, we couldn't come up with a satisfying answer. That's because it turns out to be much easier to talk about what it is <em>not</em> than what it actually is. Surprisingly, there is no real definition of espresso - there are certainly elements that the experts agree on, but there are no codified guidelines, no explicit recipes. "The reality is there's no master bible," said Matt Lounsbury of Portland, OR's Stumptown Coffee Roasters.</p> 2020-06-13T05:51:00.0000000+10:00 Pop Review: V-Moda's VAMP Gives Your iPhone Audio Superpowers <p>Putting the V-Moda VAMP on your iPhone is like watching it change into its superhero audio costume. It's outrageously expensive, but there's also nothing quite like it.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-13T04:54:00.0000000+10:00 Original Paper Discussing "Uncanny Valley" Now Available in English <p>The uncanny valley appears pretty frequently in these pages, at least in presentation - like the disembodied baby head above, for instance, or the wonderfully horrible Telenoid. These robots and others represent the gulf in our robot affinity that gapes open when machines approach a certain level of human likeness. </p> 2020-06-13T04:02:00.0000000+10:00 A Scientist's Guide to Dining in 1950s Manhattan <p>Robert Browning Sosman, a physical chemist who died in 1967 at the age of 86, packed many careers into one lifetime. He wrote the definitive book on the chemical compound silica; was the seventh person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail; and, at home in New Jersey, kept a 3,500-strong map collection. </p> 2020-06-13T02:06:00.0000000+10:00 Industrial Food Machine of the Day: Slicing Your Breakfast Pastry With a Water Jet <p>Slicing a morning danish pastry can be a sticky, gloopy affair, sugary icing glomming onto the knife and plate, and currants falling everywhere. This machine cuts it with water!</p> 2020-06-13T00:54:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Habitat Competition Looks For Bioregenerative Space Greenhouses <p>Future astronauts en route to Mars or deep-space destinations will need specially designed living quarters and renewable sources of food - so this year's X-Hab Challenge includes a remotely operated, robotically controlled space garden. Students at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University are developing a workable prototype "bioregenerative food system," which they'll deliver to NASA next summer.</p> 2020-06-13T00:10:00.0000000+10:00 Canadians Working On Five Minute Electric Car Charger <p>When you can fill your car up with petrol AND pay for it in a couple of minutes, the half hour charge times common on many electric cars can get old pretty fast. A Canadian utility company with money to burn is already working on the problem, thankfully, by designing a system that can do the same job in five minutes.</p> 2020-06-12T12:42:00.0000000+10:00 Industrial Animal Processing Video: Automated Lamb Boning <p>Butchers are adept at making the ideal cuts in a side of meat, reducing waste while finding the right balance of fat, connective tissue and supple muscle that will eventually become a juicy steak or chop. But robots do not possess a human's knifely intuition, so they must be equipped with extra tools. This machine uses X-ray technology to find the best cut.</p> 2020-06-12T07:46:00.0000000+10:00 Ambitious Insect Catalogue Snaps 3D Images of Every Ant Species <p>A global effort to photograph every species of ant on this planet is embarking on an international tour, stopping by museums and scientific collections in the United Kingdom. With thousands of American ant species already accounted for, now Brian Fisher and colleagues at the California Academy of Sciences are taking AntWeb overseas.</p> 2020-06-12T06:43:00.0000000+10:00 The New iOS and Mac OS Features We Love <p>Apple went through, by our count, six hundred million billion new features that'll be present in the next versions of its operating systems, both Mac OS X Mountain Lion for computers and iOS 6 for iPhones, iPads, and iPods Touch. Some of them we don't care about. Some we do! Here's what we liked.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-12T05:43:00.0000000+10:00 The Kitchen Without Limits: Six Cutting-Edge Chefs' Fantasy Kitchen Tools <p>In many ways, we're already living in the future: Kitchen technology is finally at the point where a chef can, without too much effort, serve a levitating amuse-bouche or an exquisitely miniature dish comprised of 86 individual ingredients. But a creative chef can always dream bigger. We asked six chefs to defy the laws of time and space to develop their ultimate fantasy kitchen tool.</p> 2020-06-12T05:28:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Can Drinking Moonshine Really Make Me Go Blind? <p>The short answer: yes, it's possible to go blind from drinking moonshine. But it's also possible to go blind staring at the sun. When consuming alcoholic beverages of the DIY variety, the important thing is to let common sense be your guide.</p> 2020-06-12T05:01:00.0000000+10:00 Apple Updates MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lines, They Are Better <p>Apple's Tim Cook is in the middle of his keynote at WWDC 2012, this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference, and just flipped the sheet off the new line of Apple laptops. They are better than last year's! There's a much bigger separation in price and features between the two laptop lines, the Air and the Pro - the Air is Apple's laptop for everyone, now. The Pro is for, well, pros.</p> 2020-06-12T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Industrial Food Machine Video of the Day: Mushroom Mega-Sorter <p>Before becoming wrinkly brown pizza toppings or silken gold steak accompaniments, mushrooms take a ride through a scrubbing, sorting industrial processor that prepares them for their kitchen futures. Watch them bounce and fall in this oddly mesmerising video from mushroom machine-maker Havatec. </p> 2020-06-12T03:41:00.0000000+10:00 April 1968: Popular Science Tests the Brand-New Microwave Oven <p><em>This article originally appeared in the <a href="" target="_blank">April 1968 issue</a> of</em> Popular Science.</p> 2020-06-12T02:29:00.0000000+10:00 Kitchen Alchemy: The Frigid Power of the Blast Chiller <p>There's a piece of equipment that's slowly been making its way into restaurant kitchens: the blast chiller. It does exactly what it sounds like: cool things down quickly, using fast-moving cold air. This coming summer, LG is going to release a version of their refrigerator for home kitchens that incorporates a small blast chiller for quickly cooling down cans of soda and bottles of wine.<br /> <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-12T00:38:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, June 4-8, 2012 <p>In a tribute to the great Ray Bradbury, an image even he couldn't have envisioned: a dead stuffed cat given the power of flight. </p> 2020-06-09T07:45:00.0000000+10:00 Pop Review: The Logitech K760 Solar Keyboard <p>Logitech's new K760 keyboard has a solar charger and a fast-switching Bluetooth function that'll get you paired with multiple devices in a snap. It's great. Here's why.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-09T05:45:00.0000000+10:00 Hands-On: The Touchscreen-Equipped Canon T4i <p>Our friends over at Popular Photography got a hands-on look at the new Canon EOS Rebel T4i, the sequel to the fantastic entry-level T3i DSLR. </p> 2020-06-09T04:35:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Are There Traffic Laws in Space Yet? <p>Only a few. Right now, the roughly 20,000 man-made objects orbiting the Earth are less regulated than the cars on a morning commute. Satellites are usually on a fixed path, so the traffic control comes prelaunch. Most can move slightly to maintain orbit, but only a few can maneuver on short notice to avoid a collision. Satellite operators make sure they know where other space objects are so that none come close enough to collide.</p> 2020-06-09T01:30:00.0000000+10:00 Testing the Novara Gotham: A Bike With Infinite Gears <p>Summer's here and it's time to get back on the bike. We could have looked at a fancy new ultralight, but the NuVinci is the bike that's really going to shake things up. It answers a question you may not have thought to ask: what if you could pick up a new ride with a transmission that made sure you'll never be in the wrong gear?</p> 2020-06-08T07:46:00.0000000+10:00 Could Cops Scan Suspicious Web Search Terms for Pre-Crime Prevention? <p>Might the death of Juliana Mensch have been predicted, and perhaps prevented? The people accused of strangling the 19-year-old in Fort Lauderdale, USA this March apparently Googled how to do it. What if the police had been alerted to these searches, and the location of the cell phone used to conduct them? </p> 2020-06-08T06:21:00.0000000+10:00 There Are a Million Billion x Five More Billion New Drugs Awaiting Discovery <p>Think a trip to the pharmacy is overwhelming? Try this: One million billion billion billion billion billion billion. That's a 1 with 60 zeroes after it. That's the number of potential new medicines that could still be made, according to a new study. It may be more than the number of stars in the universe.</p> 2020-06-08T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 Ultra-Tough Mantis Shrimp Claws Could Lead to Better Body Armour <p>Perhaps no creature packs a more intimidating punch - especially relative to its size - than the peacock mantis shrimp. It feasts on snails, crabs and other molluscs and crustaceans by smashing through their shells with its front hammer-like claws, delivering 500 Newtons of force. This is powerful enough to punch through aquarium glass.</p> 2020-06-08T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Decipher Almost the Entire Genome of an Unborn Baby <p>In a new study fraught with some heady ethical questions, scientists have sequenced almost the complete genome of an unborn child, and done so without interrupting the fetus or the mother's womb. The team used the mother's blood and the father's saliva to determine their child's genetic sequence in the second trimester.</p> 2020-06-08T01:57:00.0000000+10:00 How Crows Recognize Individual Humans, Warn Others, and Are Basically Smarter Than You <p>The corvid family - a widespread group of birds made up most prominently of crows, ravens, and magpies - are no ordinary birds, with a brain-to-body-weight ratio and cognitive abilities equal to apes and dolphins. This excerpt, from the great new book <em>Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans</em>, by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell, details an experiment in which students and faculty at the University of Washington tried to discover if crows can recognize individual humans - and what they'd do with that information. Read on!<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-07T06:25:00.0000000+10:00 Video Device Reads American Sign Language and Translates It Into Audible English <p>Sign language can greatly improve the communication capability of hearing-impaired people, but there's still a major barrier in that most people don't understand it. New prototype gadgets could change that, by automatically translating hand motions into audible speech that a non-signing person can interpret.</p> 2020-06-07T04:52:00.0000000+10:00 Remembering Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012 <p>Web editor Paul Adams ruined my morning by walking over to my desk to inform me that Ray Bradbury had died at age 91. The news was unpleasant, but I appreciated the face-to-face exchange rather than getting an email. Bradbury, a writer oft-gripped by the talons of nostalgia who disliked modern technology such as computers, deserved a meatspace delivery of the news of his demise.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-07T03:44:00.0000000+10:00 Mars Colonisation Mission Will Happen Live on Reality TV <p>One of the primary obstacles to human colonisation of Mars is the funding - creating a habitable environment and sending humans across the gulf of space is a costly process, well beyond the exploration budgets of most nations. But Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerard Hooft and <em>Big Brother</em> co-creator Paul Romer have a brilliant solution that will put colonists on Mars by 2023. </p> 2020-06-07T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Venus Sweeps Across the Face of the Sun For the Last Time This Century <p>Watching the transit of Venus through telescopes at the local planetarium was impressive, but it was nothing compared to this view from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the most advanced spacecraft ever built to stare at the sun. SDO captured a high-res view of the event through a series of filters.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-07T01:03:00.0000000+10:00 Venus Transit Web Stream From Alice Springs Sunk By Damaged Telstra Cable <p>There's nothing worse than a Telstra outage. Now, granted, it's not strictly Telstra's fault this time, but when a once-in-a-lifetime view of a major astronomical event is stuffed by damage done to one of your cables, that's a big deal.</p> 2020-06-06T11:36:00.0000000+10:00 ANU's Science Circus - This is Work?! <p>Dr Will Grant is a scientist. He's a Lecturer and the Graduate Studies Convenor at ANU's Centre for the Public Awareness of Science. He also oversees their Science Circus program, and thinks that how we think about science in this country needs to become a lot messier. And no, he isn't just referring to making cool explosions (though it's probably part of it).</p> 2020-06-06T09:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: What We Saw at the World Science Festival's Innovation Square <p>MetroTech Plaza in Brooklyn was packed with science and technology enthusiasts on Saturday, eager to see the sights of the World Science Festival's Innovation Square. The day-long collection of exhibits, performances, lectures and games was designed to be a "technophile's adventureland," and didn't disappoint. We stopped by to check out the robot petting zoo, see some robots play soccer, and enjoy computer-based dance choreography.</p> 2020-06-06T07:51:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Adopts Two Spare Spy Telescopes, Each Maybe More Powerful Than Hubble <p>It almost sounds too good to be true. Twin Hubble-quality space telescopes currently collecting dust in upstate New York are getting a second chance at flight, and they could be the best thing to happen to NASA since the real Hubble's mirrors were fixed. The unused scopes are even the same size as the beloved space telescope, and nary a civilian knew they existed until yesterday.</p> 2020-06-06T04:01:00.0000000+10:00 With New Prediction Algorithm, a Patient's Past Foretells His Medical Future <p>An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the saying goes, and a new algorithm will test that formula by predicting what will be wrong with a patient in the future, based on his or her past - and that of everyone else.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-06T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Boeing's Corpulent Hydrogen-Powered Drone Makes Its First Flight <p>Eventually it will fly for four days straight, making only water as its waste product. But a journey of four days starts with a few minutes, so the chubby PhantomEye's first autonomous flight was under half an hour. </p> 2020-06-06T00:58:00.0000000+10:00 New Way To Clean Toxic Spills In Water - Chuck In Some Iron Nanoparticles <p>It's a little counter-intuitive, but bear with us - one scientist is working on a solution to toxic groundwater that involves injecting iron nanoparticles into the ground. </p> 2020-06-05T11:10:00.0000000+10:00 First Images From Complete Map of Mouse Brain <p>Despite plenty of advances in neuroscience, often what we know about the brain comes with gaps, and anything close to a full piece of knowledge always ends up lacking something - whether it's for the human brain or a mouse's. </p> 2020-06-05T07:02:00.0000000+10:00 How to Watch the Last Transit of Venus This Century <p>Observatories the world over will be watching on Wednesday as Venus crosses the face of the sun for the last time in any of our lifetimes. It will be a banner day for astronomers, providing ample opportunities for measuring Venus' characteristics, and for determining some rules that will help in the hunt for exoplanets. But it's also just an amazing thing to behold, and you can watch it, too - as long as you follow some safety precautions.</p> 2020-06-05T06:32:00.0000000+10:00 Swiss Scientists Program Mammalian Cells to Work As Logic Gates <p>A new biologic logic gate based on proteins can perform binary calculations, serving as the first "cellular calculator," researchers say. Various combinations of components can be arranged into circuit elements, leading to specific metabolic processes inside a cell. The setup can answer mathematical questions in a similar fashion to a computer.</p> 2020-06-05T05:30:00.0000000+10:00 Microsoft's Smart Glass Is Like Apple's AirPlay, But More So <p>Today at E3, the massive electronics expo that yesterday played host to Nintendo's announcement about the updated Wii U, Microsoft broke out an announcement that's really more about media - especially video - than games. Microsoft Smart Glass is a way to join all of your devices together: smartphone, tablet, and TV, all sharing media. </p> 2020-06-05T04:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Motivating Robot Follows You on Your Morning Run <p>Same old jogging routine got you bored? Can't move your leaden legs faster than 1 and a half kms in 15 minutes? Turn into a juggernaut with Joggobot, a hovercraft that will fly above your head and motivate you to run faster.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-05T03:54:00.0000000+10:00 How The Transit of Venus Helps Find Other Planets <p>Tomorrow, skywatchers the world over will look up to behold a strange sight witnessed just seven times in the past five centuries. The last transit of Venus until 2117 is an occasion for astronomical celebration and historic import - we'll be watching something the greatest astronomers of any age have traveled the world to see. </p> 2020-06-05T03:02:00.0000000+10:00 Nintendo Updates Wii U With NFC and Legit Online Connectivity <p>Yesterday at E3, the gaming industry's biggest American conference, Nintendo showed up with a 30-minute video updating their upcoming Wii U console - there have been some minor changes, like the move from touch-sensitive circle-pads to real joysticks, but the biggest change is that Nintendo seems to have finally heard of the internet.</p> 2020-06-05T00:59:00.0000000+10:00 Man Turns Dead Beloved Household Pet Into Cutting Edge Quadrocopter <p>People love cats. I don't personally understand it, but there you go. One particularly entrepreneurial Dutch artist <em>really</em> loved his cat. He loved his cat so much that when his cat was tragically run over by a car, he decided to show said love in the best way possible - by strapping on four propellers and gifting his dead friend the power of flight.</p> 2020-06-04T14:29:00.0000000+10:00 Prostate Cancer Trial Shut Down - Because The Medicine Was Too Good <p>Trials for a prostate cancer drug in the US has been shut down, after the first batch of results proved so promising it was deemed unfair to then not provide the drug to the rest of the participants in the trial.</p> 2020-06-04T12:37:00.0000000+10:00 Climate Change Affects Supply of Power Plant Cooling Water, Causes Increase In Power Shortages <p>We already know that our traditional thermoelectric power sources, namely coal, are having a negative impact on our planet's climate. But, as it turns out, the reverse is also true - research has found that worldwide warming is reducing the amount of cooling water that can be used in coal and nuclear plants, and this is already causing problems for electrical grids in the US and Europe.</p> 2020-06-04T10:41:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, May 28-June 1, 2020 <p>Is this week's Baarbarian illustration a <a href="" target="_blank">Robert Palmer reference</a>? Or just a horrifying singing tomato with rat backup dancers and a shiny grill? Either way it means one thing: it's time for the weekend.</p> 2020-06-02T08:00:00.0000000+10:00 Review: A Serious Speaker, Amp, and DAC in a 2.5-Inch Cube <p>Our buddies over at Sound+Vision just posted a review of a gadget we've been excited about: the NuForce Cube, an absolutely tiny (2.5 inches!) cube of audio power. </p> 2020-06-02T05:52:00.0000000+10:00 Make Your Mornings Explosive With a Defusable Alarm Clock <p>Inspired by the iconic look of time bombs in old movies, software engineer Michael Krumpus set out to build an alarm clock that would make his mornings more action-packed. When the alarm goes off in defuse mode, the clock starts a 10-second countdown; the correct wire, which is randomly assigned each day, has to be cut or pulled out to stop the detonation, or the clock will "explode" with noise and flashing LEDs.</p> 2020-06-02T04:08:00.0000000+10:00 Obama Ordered Stuxnet Virus, Part of Organised Cyberattacks Against Iran <p>According to a report today in the <a href="">New York Times</a>, President Obama secretly ordered accelerated cyberattacks against the computers running Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities.</p> 2020-06-02T03:01:00.0000000+10:00 Enter the Popular Science/InnoCentive Cementitious Challenge <p>One month from today - July 1st, 2012 - is the deadline for the <a href="">newest InnoCentive challenge</a>. InnoCentive is a US organisation (linked to "the mothership" - the US edition of Popular Science) that provides, well, incentives for inventors and innovators to come up with solutions to problems. The problem this time? New super-cement...</p> <p><!-- - break - --></p> 2020-06-02T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 Researchers Test Space Equipment For Five Days in Austrian Alps <p>In the ongoing hunt for Martian life, there's one place astronauts haven't yet explored deeply: caves. But to delve into Martian caves calls for some heavy-duty gear, and where do you test Martian caving gear on Earth? The Austrian Alps.</p> 2020-06-02T02:09:00.0000000+10:00 App of the Month: Transparent Screen for Android <p>It begins with a tweet and ends with a twisted ankle. Still, since everyone seems intent on continuing to stumble along looking down at their smartphones, Transparent Screen can help minimize accidents. </p> 2020-06-02T01:24:00.0000000+10:00 State of the Art: Australia's Synchrotron Unearthing Secret Histories <span style="font-size: 12pt;"> <p>A couple of months ago Australia's very own synchrotron - a machine that accelerates charged particles close to the speed of light - was given $100 million by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments, securing its survival for another four years.</p> </span> 2020-06-01T15:32:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Milky Way and Andromeda Crash Together <p>First, the bad news: In four billion years it's going to get a lot more crowded around here. The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are on a collision course. The good news is that a new video from NASA shows how it'll go down.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-06-01T06:42:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Brachiating 'Bot Swings Its Arm Like An Ape <p>Robot locomotion can take many forms, from crawling like snakes to rolling like tanks. This one swings like an android ape, using brachiating arm motion to grab onto a surface and forward momentum to keep going. </p> 2020-06-01T05:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: After Robot-Assisted Rehab and a Dose of Chemicals, Paralysed Rats Walk Again <p>With careful training using a robotic harness, and a special chemical cocktail designed to stimulate brain cells, rats with spinal cord injuries were able to re-learn how to walk. Scientists in Switzerland say the tests suggest humans with paralysis due to spinal cord injuries may regain some nerve activity.</p> 2020-06-01T04:19:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Astronaut Don Pettit Plays Space Station Vacuum Cleaner As Didgeridoo <p>When he's not busy with his full-time gig, NASA Astronaut Don Pettit takes the time to run some of his own <a href="" target="_blank">personal science experiments</a>. His latest? A zero-gravity didgeridoo performance - for science.</p> 2020-06-01T03:33:00.0000000+10:00 Finnish Scientists Announce a Possible Universal Allergy Vaccine <p>Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland say they hope to have an allergy vaccine on the market in five to seven years. For <em>everything</em>, from pollen to cat hair.</p> 2020-06-01T02:20:00.0000000+10:00 Watch It Live: SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Splashes Back Down on Earth This Morning <p><strong>Updated:</strong> One last major milestone achieved for SpaceX's Dragon capsule today: A successful splashdown and recovery. The privately built spacecraft unlatched from the International Space Station earlier this morning and returned to Earth, parachuting to an ocean landing.</p> 2020-06-01T00:35:00.0000000+10:00 Plonk Down a Couple Of Grand, Pick Up Your Genetically Engineered Stingray Boots <p>At PopSci, we're not that into exotic footwear. You have your casual shoes, your dress shoes, and maybe a couple of pairs of thongs. Having said that, even we were impressed/stunned by a pair of genetically engineered boots made almost entirely from stingray. For real.</p> 2020-05-31T14:07:00.0000000+10:00 In Capitalist Japan, Electric Cars Power You - Or At Least Your Building <p>In a neat twist, Japan is in the midst of an interesting energy trial that involves powering buildings from a rather unlikely source - the battery pack of a Nissan Leaf.</p> 2020-05-31T12:07:00.0000000+10:00 Be A Time Travelling Hero With Your Own Multifunction Wrist Brace <p>If today's sci-fi is anything to go by, everyone will eventually move from watches and mobile phones, and instead gravitates to slightly oversized, but extremely versatile wrist-mounted doodads. One particularly adventurous DIY-er has had a go at making their own working gadget bracer, with a hint of slightly-dystopic futurist flare.</p> 2020-05-31T11:26:00.0000000+10:00 Endless Cycle: Powering an Electric Bike With Renewable Energy <p>We all know the best way to reduce our carbon footprint is to drop the car keys and hop onto a bike, but so many of us prefer convenience over green-ience. But now the Solarbike, a solar-rechargeable, electric bicycle conversion kit, could revolutionise the way we ride. </p> 2020-05-31T11:06:00.0000000+10:00 Your Scent Tells People Your Age and Gender <p>Next time you’re catching the bus or train, play this little game. Before someone sits down next to you, close your eyes. Then when you hear someone take a seat beside you, breathe in deeply and take a smell of the air. Then guess the age and gender of the person. According to a new study, you should be able to get it right. </p> 2020-05-31T10:25:00.0000000+10:00 Aussie Researchers Increase Solar Cell Efficiency by 30 Per Cent <p>As we meander towards renewables, via other slightly more controversial energy sources like <a href="" target="_blank">gas</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">nuclear</a>, the recurring problem is usually one of energy efficiency, as well as cost. RMIT, thankfully, have done a little to whittle down the barriers presented by both, creating a variant on the dye-sensitised solar cell that boosts output by 30 per cent.</p> 2020-05-31T10:07:00.0000000+10:00 An Integrated Circuit Made of Ions Could Bring Computing Into Your Cells <p>The human body isn't a metal machine, but it's still plenty complicated, and regulating it like a machine is tough to pull off. That's why a new discovery by Klas Tybrandt, a doctoral student in Organic Electronics at Linköping University, Sweden, is exciting: he's developed the first integrated chemical chip, similar to silicon-based electronics, but for biologic material.</p> 2020-05-31T07:02:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Quadrotor Drone Flies Around To Your Devices And Charges Their Batteries <p>Even though we've been able to keep in touch for long stretches of time since the advent of cellphones, there's still heaps of trouble with keeping them alive long enough to be any good. But wireless everywhere is the way of the future, and roboticists from the NIMBUS Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have a very futuristic solution: a flying, wireless quadrotor inductive charger. </p> 2020-05-31T05:01:00.0000000+10:00 Tomato Genome Decoded, Will Seed Development of Tastier, Fleshier Fruits <p>A relatively small cluster of genetic information, some of it dating to 60 million years ago, endows the staple fruit of summer with its taste and texture. The secrets of the tomato, star of summer gardens, salads and gazpacho, is now laid out for plant breeders and horticulturists in exacting detail.</p> 2020-05-31T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Play-A-Grill Lets Playas Hear Music Through Their Teeth <p>Now, wearing grills is about more than a fashion statement. You can use it as an MP3 player, using bone conduction to play your block rockin' beats through your teeth. Because why not. </p> 2020-05-31T02:03:00.0000000+10:00 Physicists Store 'Atomic Movie' in a Cloud of Vapour, and Play It Back <p>As Moore's Law continues its march, there's the ever-present threat of stuff getting too small to get any smaller. It might be time to tally another one against Moore: Scientists are taking the next logical step and storing images in atomic vapour.</p> 2020-05-31T01:09:00.0000000+10:00 Video: First Autonomous Road Train Cruises Down Public Spanish Highway <p>Three cars and a truck successfully drove themselves 200 kilometres down a highway in Spain, using radar and laser tracking to follow each other closely while their human passengers read magazines. Project SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) tested the vehicles alongside actual human motorists, some of whom may have caused safety issues of their own by rubbernecking at the hands-free steering wheels.</p> 2020-05-31T00:02:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Sergey Brin Shows Off Google Glass <p>We all remember the demo video of Google Glass being used to navigate streets and find out a train was late, but many wrote that off as more fiction than fact. But a new demo from Sergey Brin shows the Glass technology may be further along than some thought. </p> 2020-05-30T12:43:00.0000000+10:00 The Light Fantastic: Coral-Keepers Turning on the LEDs To Light Up Animal Lives <p>Keeping a salt-water aquarium is a serious hobby, and requires investing in a whole host of clever technologies to maintain water quality and keep finicky tropical fish happy. But most finicky of all are live corals. </p> 2020-05-30T12:02:00.0000000+10:00 Images of New iPhone Leaked <p>Supposed images of the newest iPhone have been leaked, showing a device with a taller screen, a modified back plating, and a smaller dock connector. </p> 2020-05-30T11:18:00.0000000+10:00 Algorithm Can Tell If Your Smile is Happy or Born of Frustration <p>You may not notice it - at least not as much as you notice when you smile sarcastically - but you smile when you’re frustrated. It’s more like a surprised grimace than a happy grin, but the difference is subtle. So subtle that humans can hardly detect it, actually - but a computer can. </p> 2020-05-30T09:54:00.0000000+10:00 Scientists Create the Smallest Possible Five-Ringed Molecule, Photograph It, and Call It Olympicene <p>While most people end up crafting stick figures in boring meetings, Graham Richards of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) was doodling when he thought making "a molecular structure with three hexagonal rings above two others would make for an interesting synthetic challenge."</p> 2020-05-30T07:40:00.0000000+10:00 The Cosmic Alignment Known As 'Manhattanhenge' Begins Tonight <p>New Yorkers will be given an astronomical treat  as their sunset perfectly lines up across the borough of Manhattan, giving a luminescent flare to the south and north sides of every street in town. </p> 2020-05-30T07:01:00.0000000+10:00 Snake Robots Will Soon Crawl Around Inside Your Body Off-Leash <p>We've seen snake robots and, of course, tons of surgery robots, but Dr Michael Argenziano, the Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center in New York, says we'll soon have fully untethered snake-type robots that will crawl through the human body, assisting with all kinds of fixes and maintenance.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-30T06:08:00.0000000+10:00 The US Military May Blanket Afghanistan in Tiny Spy Sensors That Last for Two Decades <p>During the Cold War, both sides liberally used the "bug" - the remote listening device - to surreptitiously get wind of what the other side was up to by listening in on a room, a building, or, in the case of East Berlin, an entire city. But in America's cooling war in Afghanistan, US forces may undertake what could be the biggest bugging operation of all time, planting sensors all over the entire country that could feed the US military intelligence from inside that country for the next two decades.</p> 2020-05-30T04:14:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Japanese Dentist Invents Self-Stirring Whirlpool Pot <p>For some people, making soup is the height of tedium. Now, a Japanese dentist has created the easy chair of kitchen equipment: a specially sculpted pot that stirs itself. </p> 2020-05-30T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Smart Cubes Use Distributed Intelligence to Replicate Objects <p>There's nothing like a healthy dose of robots-that-share-intelligence-and-replicate news to get the day moving. MIT have gone ahead and created a set of smart cubes that can use their hive intelligence to create an internalised 3D map of another object, and then form a copy of that object. Hold onto your tin hats, people.</p> 2020-05-29T10:41:00.0000000+10:00 One Finite Loop: The Story of Sydney's Monorail <p>When you’re travelling inside one of Sydney’s monorail carriages, the views of the CBD and Darling Harbour are some of the best you can find in the city without travelling 100 storeys up a highrise. But from the streets below, some see the monorail as a blight on the overhead landscape which is used by nobody except tourists. </p> 2020-05-28T12:57:00.0000000+10:00 Australia's Greatest Radio Astronomer Remembered In Google Doodle <p>Australian astronomy owes a lot to Ruby Payne-Scott. As a veritable pioneer in the field of radio astronomy, most of our current studies of space, not to mention things like the Square Kilometre Array, have come from her work. Today would be her 100th birthday, and the Google homepage is today set up to commemorate it.</p> 2020-05-28T12:33:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci #43 - June 2012 <p>Get your mad scientist on with our invention special, where we walk you through the best in technological innovation, from energy sources to aircraft, from biotech to gadgets, while also giving you the tips you need to make your own awesome inventions!</p> 2020-05-28T12:06:00.0000000+10:00 SKA Will Be Split Between Australia and South Africa <p>It’s been up in the air for months, but the International Square Kilometre Array Organisation has finally decided the SKA will be split between Australia and South Africa, rather than based in one country only. </p> 2020-05-28T11:33:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, May 21-25, 2012 <p>No, angler fish! That's a robot, not whatever you usually eat! But maybe the oil slick on the surface of the angler's home is more dangerous than ingesting some gadgetry.</p> 2020-05-26T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Says: Please Don't Touch Our Stuff When You Go to the Moon <p>Dear intrepid lunar explorers: NASA politely asks that, when you travel to the moon, you refrain from messing with the American flag.</p> 2020-05-26T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 There Will Be Enough Giant Phones Sold in 2015 to Pave Monaco <p>A firm of analysts has just issued a report predicting that shipments of giant smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, will reach a completely bonkers 208 million in 2015, which, if our math is correct, is only a few years away.</p> 2020-05-26T01:12:00.0000000+10:00 SpaceX Dragon Successfully Captured by International Space Station <p>Just minutes ago, via the NASA TV stream, we learned that the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has successfully been attached to the International Space Station - the very first private spacecraft to do so.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-26T00:15:00.0000000+10:00 Backpack Radar Can Detect Ambushers Within 60 Hectares <p>If you're a soldier suspecting an ambush, you probably don't have much time to spare, and you definitely can't afford to be carrying any unnecessary weight. That's why so much military tech involves shrinking whatever's portable, and why, now, a company has thrown its radar-in-a-backpack into the ring. </p> 2020-05-25T07:33:00.0000000+10:00 Take a Class on How to Design a Space Hotel <p>If you're wondering what new skills you should learn this year, and you live in or are comfortable moving to Milan, maybe you should check out Susmita Mohanty's class at Domas Academy entitled "Products and Microenvironments for Orbiting Hotels." Mohanty is an "aerospace entrepreneur" and has worked on the International Space Station and the Shuttle-Mir missions, so she seems like a good choice to teach a class on designing products to allow for a comfortable stay for orbiting tourists. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-25T07:01:00.0000000+10:00 Organic Carbon Found on Mars Rocks Is Not Life, New Study Says <p>Since the Viking landers' footpads touched down on Mars, scientists have been searching for complex carbon molecules there, which on this planet are the building blocks of all life. They've found some examples in meteorites purported to come from the Red Planet, but debate persists about the origin of those rocks, let alone the carbon signatures inside them, which some have (controversially) argued could indicate life. Now a new study says the rocks in question are from Mars, but the carbon molecules are not relics of extraterrestrial life. </p> 2020-05-25T04:30:00.0000000+10:00 Watch: Neil Armstrong Narrates His Moon Landing In a Rare TV Interview <p>The immortal first words on the moon, uttered so shakily by a man who has done his best to avoid the spotlight ever since, are even more impressive in hindsight. The Eagle lander nearly plunked Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in a boulder field, and Armstrong had to take over from autopilot to set the spacecraft down. This is according to very rare new commentary from Armstrong himself.</p> 2020-05-25T03:10:00.0000000+10:00 Today in Good Reads: A Q&A With a Military Bioethicist <p>Vice's Motherboard has a great Q&A up with Jonathan Moreno, author of Mind Wars and an expert on the topic of neuroscience in the military. And seeing as how the military is at the forefront of all kinds of crazy neuroscience - drones, implants, the relationships between machines and our own brains - studying the military's efforts gives a kind of sneak peak at what we'll be seeing in the future in the civilian world. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-25T02:14:00.0000000+10:00 Today in Good Reads: A Q&A With a Military Bioethicist <p>Vice's Motherboard has a great Q&A up with Jonathan Moreno, author of <a href="">Mind Wars</a> and an expert on the topic of neuroscience in the military. </p> 2020-05-25T02:14:00.0000000+10:00 Magnetic Jet Injection Device Can Shoot Any Drug Through the Skin, No Needle Required <p>Whether you're at the doctor's office or taking medicine at home, future injections could be a lot less painful with this new gadget developed at MIT. Instead of a sterile metal point penetrating your skin, it fires a jet of medicine through your skin at the speed of sound. </p> 2020-05-25T01:21:00.0000000+10:00 Aussie Researchers Create Computer System To Help Fight Fires in Buildings <p>A team from the University of New South Wales has created a computer modelling system to be used against dangerous and otherwise difficult-to-deal-with fire situations, by simulating a blaze right down to the levels of oxygen in specific locations within buildings, and also to possible secondary ignition locations.</p> 2020-05-24T14:28:00.0000000+10:00 Android-Based Mini PC Jumps On Raspberry Pi Bandwagon <p>Well, given that Raspberry Pis <a href="" target="_blank">are selling like hot cakes</a> (or maybe pies), its only to be expected that other all-in-one mini computing platforms would try and push themselves out onto market. This particular platform runs on Android, is about the size of a smartphone, and costs US$49 a pop.</p> 2020-05-24T12:14:00.0000000+10:00 Video: In Record-Breaking Parachuteless Skydive, Man Jumps 730 Metres Into a Pile of Boxes <p>Gary Connery broke the record today for skydiving sans parachute and also, presumably, took home a gold medal in being a badass. But that wasn't all: The 42-year-old father-stuntman-crazy-person gave Newton's First Law one more slap in the face by diving from 730 metres above Buckinghamshire, England, and straight into 18,600 cardboard boxes. </p> 2020-05-24T08:18:00.0000000+10:00 Pumping Well Water Out of the Ground May Be a Culprit in Rising Sea Levels <p>When we think of rising sea levels, we think of global climate change and melting ice caps. Yet there's a disparity in the raw data. During the second half of the last century, global sea levels rose 1.8 millimetres per year, according to tide gauges. But it's been determined that melting ice caps and glaciers have only contributed to 1.1 millimetres per year of that. So where did the other 0.7 millimetres come from? <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-24T07:33:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Paratrooping Roomba-Style Drone Concept Could Help Clean Oil Spills <p>Clearing the muck from an oil spill is tough enough without having to worry about collateral damage, but designer Hsu Sean is looking to create a Roomba-like Bio-Cleaner drone that degrades oil while keeping animals out of harm's way.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-24T06:08:00.0000000+10:00 Snazzy All-in-One "Vancouver Poles" to Replace Ugly Urban Forest of Cell Towers and Cables <p>Streetlamps, cell phone towers and parking meters lend a certain urban charm, but these unnatural forms can also get a little clunky, especially as they grow in number. To get rid of the clutter, the city of Vancouver is planning new all-purpose utility towers that will provide WiFi, cell phone service, parking, car charging and more - all wrapped up in a Candy Land-like stripey pole.</p> 2020-05-24T05:18:00.0000000+10:00 Would You Ride This Pencil-Shaped Capsule To Space? <p>The amateur rocketeers at Copenhagen Suborbitals are getting closer and closer to orbit, testing a new bi-liquid fuel combination for a hand-built, donation-funded, non-profit rocket. The group tested its alcohol- and liquid oxygen-powered TM65 rocket over the weekend, the largest amateur bi-liquid rocket in the world.</p> 2020-05-24T04:03:00.0000000+10:00 Russian Space Chief: 'We're Talking About Establishing Permanent Bases On the Moon <p>Yesterday, the heads of the space agencies for Europe, Canada, Russia, India, and Japan met in Washington DC (without NASA, which had all hands on deck for the SpaceX launch in Florida). The most interesting topic of conversation? The moon, which seems to be the destination on everyone's agenda except for NASA. And for Russia, it's less a destination and more a frontier for colonisation.</p> 2020-05-24T03:07:00.0000000+10:00 Oxford Launches New Hunt for Yeti DNA Samples <p>In the bizarre world of cryptozoology, the yeti looms large, its potential existence the stuff of legend since the days of the first Mt. Everest expeditions. Now a new effort could settle it for good, by studying DNA from hair samples stored at various institutions around the world. Maybe the samples do belong to a yeti or some type of beast unknown to science, or maybe it's as boring as a bear - a team of researchers at the University of Oxford and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology aim to find out.</p> 2020-05-24T01:13:00.0000000+10:00 New 'Mechanical Metamaterial' Expands When You Compress It, Shrinks When You Stretch It <p>Metamaterials research has generally focused on media with strange or unique electromagnetic properties, like the ability to bend light or sound in an unnatural way, but materials scientists at Northwestern University are experimenting with an entirely new kind of material with unique mechanical properties. </p> 2020-05-23T14:07:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Amazing Coating For Bottles' Interiors Lets Ketchup Flow Like Water <p>LiquiGlide, developed by a team at MIT's Varanasi Research Group, is a surface coating that liberates the notoriously non-Euclidean fluid ketchup from its glass- or plastic-walled prison. The research came in second in MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Challenge, and is almost certainly destined for a bottle near you. Watch its graceful performance below in a video from Fast Co.Exist. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-05-23T07:09:00.0000000+10:00 Celebrate Robert Moog's Birthday With a Google Synth <p>Robert Moog, the inventor of the seminal analogue audio synthesiser that bears his name, is celebrated by Google today, in one of the search giant's classic time-sucking doodles. </p> 2020-05-23T06:01:00.0000000+10:00 Are Cells Communicating With Each Other By Emitting Light? <p>Biophotons are optical or ultraviolet photons that are emitted by biological systems and there's long been a suspicion among some biologists that they are up to something we don't really understand.</p> 2020-05-23T05:22:00.0000000+10:00 Giant European Robofish Sniff Out Ocean Pollutants Autonomously <p>A fleet of robotic pollution predators splashed into service today in Spain, in a trial to determine how well robots can hunt down water contamination and report its location to ships or shore.</p> 2020-05-23T04:13:00.0000000+10:00 100-Year Starship Project Forges Ahead With First Round of Funding <p>An ambitious effort for an interstellar travel planning organisation officially kicked off this week, after DARPA awarded $500,000 to form the 100-Year Starship initiative. The organisation's goal is to ensure that the capability for human interstellar travel exists within the next 100 years.</p> 2020-05-23T03:16:00.0000000+10:00 DNA Inside Cells Can Serve As Rewritable Data Storage <p>DNA is the blueprint for life, and now it can serve as a computer to monitor life's processes. Bioengineers transformed DNA into a one-bit memory system that can record, store and erase data within living cells. A future DNA memory device could be used to track cell division and differentiation in cancer patients, perhaps, or to monitor what happens as cells get sick or age. </p> 2020-05-23T02:23:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Micro-Robots Made of Bubbles That Are Powered by Lasers <p>Roboticists make robots out of all kinds of things, but Aaron Ohta at the University of Hawaii at Manoa makes them out of thin air. While we usually think of robots as mechanical, Ohta's lab has devised a way to make robots out of bubbles of air powered by lasers, IEEE Spectrum reports.</p> 2020-05-23T01:13:00.0000000+10:00 SpaceX Successfully Launches the First Privately Built Spacecraft to the International Space Station <p>After a handful of delays and one abort on the launch pad, SpaceX began its historic journey toward the International Space Station on Tuesday morning in America, as its Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in a spectacular night time launch. </p> 2020-05-22T23:34:00.0000000+10:00 Hubble Peers Into the Constellation Andromeda to Capture a Spiral Galaxy in Profile <p>Today in pretty space pics: Hubble snaps the northern half of spiral galaxy NGC 981 in profile. The central galactic bulge is just out of frame to the lower left, leaving us with a close-up spanning roughly 100,000 light years that lets us look right through its plane of gas and dust.</p> 2020-05-22T06:25:00.0000000+10:00 Leap 3D System Offers Amazing Gesture-Based Control of Your Computer for Just $70 <p>The promise of Microsoft's Kinect was never simply to allow us to play games sans peripherals, but that one day an entirely new peripheral-free language would arise between us and our machines (many writers might pause here to mention the film Minority Report, but we're going to refrain). We're not all the way there yet, but a San Francisco startup is making a sub-US$100 attempt at throwing open the door. Leap Motion's Leap 3D system will allow users to control their computers with hundredth-of-a-millimetre accuracy using touch-free gestural cues.</p> 2020-05-22T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 Kepler Spots a Doomed Planet Slowly Evaporating into Space <p>Of all the ways planets can die - consumed by their host stars, for instance, or obliterated by a collision with another planet or asteroid - evaporation isn't one that had crossed many astronomer's minds. But data from the exoplanet-hunting Kepler observatory has revealed a nearby planet - just 1,500 light years from Earth - that appears to be evaporating before our very eyes. Over the next 100 million years, the planet will completely disintegrate.</p> 2020-05-22T02:51:00.0000000+10:00 Here's Why Apple's iPhone Chargers Are So Expensive <p>Here's the the question: you can charge an iPhone with any AC-to-USB adapter. So how does Apple get off charging $39 for theirs? <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-22T02:15:00.0000000+10:00 Equipped With a Hot Glue Gun, New Robot Builds Its Own Custom Tools <p>Most robots are designed to do a couple specific things, which is one reason why the adaptability requirements in DARPA's robotics challenge will be so interesting. But not everyone has the funds or know-how to build a robot that can do anything. Instead, the robotics whiz teams at ETH Zurich are giving robots the ability to build any new tool for itself, whenever the need might arise. It just comes with a hot glue gun, which the robot uses like a low-tech 3D printer.</p> 2020-05-22T01:30:00.0000000+10:00 Phoenix on the Hill: The Future of Australian Space Research <p>Despite funding cuts and a devastating fire in 2003, Australia's Mount Stromlo continues to punch above its weight when it comes to international astronomy.</p> 2020-05-21T16:58:00.0000000+10:00 As Earth's Underwater Carbon Sinks, Seagrass Could Save The World <p>While we're all fussing about with things up here, Aussie researchers have helped investigate marine ecosystems, finding that the meadows of seagrass in the deep blue yonder actually help to suck up vast amounts of carbon dioxide, potentially providing new ways to tackle climate change. The problem is, these seagrasses themselves are in decline.</p> 2020-05-21T15:43:00.0000000+10:00 Quantum Dot Technology Closer To Human Use After Successful Primate Medical Trial <p>Quantum dot technology is being eyeballed for a suite of applications, including LEDs, solar cells, quantum computing and mobile phone cameras. Another possible application is medical imaging, and this use has become more of a reality after a recent study with primates found no ill effects in primates after quantum dot injection.</p> 2020-05-21T12:56:00.0000000+10:00 Does Your Child Text Too Much? Don’t Blame Them - It’s In Your Genes <p>A common belief in gene theory and heritability is that all of our inheritable traits come from thousands of years ago when humans were hunter-gatherers or nomads roaming the Earth. But you can also inherit traits related to modern phenomena, like how much you use your mobile phone. </p> 2020-05-21T12:45:00.0000000+10:00 World's Largest Tidal Farm Launches in Scotland <p>Farming has been an integral part of Australia’s history since the arrival of the first European settlers in 1788, so you think we’d be the first to know about any new developments in the area. But no, Scotland have beaten us to the punch - though not in the type of farm you might expect. </p> 2020-05-21T11:31:00.0000000+10:00 SpaceX's Historic ISS Cargo Ferry Launch Aborted at the Last Second <p>Just half a second before liftoff, computers aborted the launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket early this morning, delaying the dawn of the commercial space age at least until Tuesday.</p> 2020-05-20T01:39:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, May 14-18, 2012 <p>A lot of people didn't agree with us that multitouch is magic. But we think those people are all doing it wrong, because this is literally what happens to us when we swipe. Our hands become instantly magnetic and we gain the power of telekinesis. </p> 2020-05-19T08:05:00.0000000+10:00 Your Very Own Cleaner, Faster Plane, Now on Kickstarter <p>The Synergy aircraft, propelled by a fan in back and buoyed by a boxy tail, promises to be cheaper, safer, quieter, and vastly more efficient than a jet airplane. The hitch is that it doesn't quite exist yet, but it's nearly halfway to its goal on <a href="" target="_blank">Kickstarter</a>, so now is your chance to invest. </p> 2020-05-19T06:29:00.0000000+10:00 Book Review: Why You Are the Future of Video Games <p>The internet revolution has changed the way we create and showcase work. Amateur videos recorded on cellphones are getting more eyes than the latest ABC midseason replacement. The blog has brought democracy to the written word. Cheap technology and digital distribution make it easier than ever before for your little brother's band to be heard around the world. Why hasn't this populist revolution happened to video games?</p> 2020-05-19T05:33:00.0000000+10:00 The Dawn of the Commercial Space Age is (Probably) Happening This Weekend <p>Tomorrow morning, whether they realize it or not, Americans will likely wake up to a new era. Though nothing will be outwardly different, a fundamental shift in the nature spaceflight will commence during the wee morning hours. Call it a defining moment, or a milestone, or simply call it what it is: the dawn of the private spaceflight industry's real presence in outer space.<br /> <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-05-19T02:25:00.0000000+10:00 Bioresorbable Heart Implant Clears Initial Clinical Trial <p>For those of you who can remember back to our medical tech issue of the magazine, you may remember that we tackled a bunch of new technologies being developed around the world and particular in Australia, including a stent, or heart implant, that would automatically be reabsorbed by the body after it had done its job. Well, that stent, developed by Australian-traded company Reva Medical has cleared its initial clinical trial, meaning its that much closer to becoming a reality.</p> 2020-05-18T13:42:00.0000000+10:00 In Order To Reduce 'Noise' in Quantum Computers, Scientists Add More Noise <p>In what is a twist we really all should have expected (this is quantum computing after all), Aussie researchers have discovered that the best way to reduce the noise problem in quantum computers, itself the biggest technical barrier to actual quantum computer use, is simply to add more noise. This is where we all nod our heads and smile.</p> 2020-05-18T11:33:00.0000000+10:00 Phineas Gage, Neurology's Most Interesting Case, Gets His Head Re-Examined With a New Neural Map <p>Scientists are getting another chance to get inside Phineas Gage's head. The 25-year-old Gage was a railroad supervisor back in 1848, using a six-kilo, 31.1 metre iron rod to pack blasting powder into a rock just moments before becoming history's most interesting neuroscience case. Gage somehow triggered an explosion that drove the rod straight through his left cheek and out the top of his head, taking a chunk of his left frontal lobe with it.</p> 2020-05-18T08:35:00.0000000+10:00 What Is Google's Semantic Search? <p>One of Google's stated goals is to index all of the world's information, the ever-changing mass of combined knowledge and snarky commentary that lives on the Internet. Today this index is getting some context, with billions of attributes and connections linking millions of individual nouns - a gigantic spider's web of data with Google at the centre.</p> 2020-05-18T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 Buried Since the Jurassic Era, Ocean Microbes Are Still 'Barely Alive' <p>With no meal for 86 million years, and barely enough oxygen to sustain metabolism, can a single-celled organism really be considered alive? Yes, but only just, according to a new study. A microbial community buried under the ocean floor since the mid-Jurassic era is still hanging on. Their tenacity could pose some interesting questions for the hunt for alien life.</p> 2020-05-18T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: MIT's Latest User Interface Employs Gravity-Defying, Levitating Metal Orbs <p>The future of user interfaces seems to be gesture-based, at least if one simply looks at where research dollars are flowing and what products - yes, like the Kinect - are coming to market. But the peripheral is not dead. Jinha Lee at the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab sees a different future, one that dispenses with gravity to create a much more tangible yet futuristic UI that lets users move and interact with floating, gravity-defying objects in 3D space.</p> 2020-05-18T06:07:00.0000000+10:00 iFixit Introduces Dozuki, Actually Makes Product Manuals Interesting and Exciting <p><a href="">iFixit</a>'s beautiful teardowns of products have long been misconstrued as simple gadget porn, when really they're more of an activist call to action: take care of your objects! Repair them, improve them, make them last. iFixit sprung up largely as a response to companies providing wholly inadequate documentation, leaving their customers stranded - and the site's new venture, <a href="">Dozuki</a>, aims to give those companies a second chance, by taking advantage of what iFixit has made - and in the process, revolutionise the whole idea of the manual.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-18T05:30:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Q&A: NASA Just Gave You A Telescope. What Will You Look At First? <p>If you follow NASA at all, you know the agency has had some funding troubles of late, forcing changes to its manned spaceflight and Mars exploration programs. Among more high-profile woes, the strapped budget almost doomed one of the agency's cheapest missions, the prolific Galaxy Evolution Explorer. But Chris Martin had another idea. </p> 2020-05-18T04:30:00.0000000+10:00 Astronaut Don Pettit Creates the First Mailing Address in Space <p>The International Space Station is in constant motion, whipping around the Earth at some 23,400 km/h. But according to current ISS inhabitant and NASA astronaut Don Pettit, there's no reason why a bullet-fast orbital space station with no fixed location shouldn't have a fixed mailing address - after all, Navy ships have mailing addresses, as do remote outposts like McMurdo Station in Antarctica - and he's devised just such a postal nomenclature to satisfy this need via his NASA blog.</p> 2020-05-18T03:32:00.0000000+10:00 Pretty Space Pics: Centaurus A Captured in a Whole New Way <p>Some 12 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Centaurus, the most prominent source of galactic radio emissions in the sky rests in the galaxy Centaurus A. Here, a truly gigantic black hole 100 million times more massive than our sun is (most likely) ejecting huge amounts of energy as it helps rip another galaxy apart, and the European Southern Observatory has snapped a <a href="">brand new image</a> of the elliptical galaxy in stunning new resolution.</p> 2020-05-18T00:15:58.0000000+10:00 Success For Brain-Controlled Robotic Arm <p>Two stroke-victims have successfully managed to move a robotic arm with their mind, building on research in brain-machine interfacing and proving it is possible even for those who cannot use their physical limbs. </p> 2020-05-17T12:48:00.0000000+10:00 New Australian IPCC Report Demonstrates, Again, That Warming Is Real <p>A new Australian submission to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reconstructed temperatures from before 1910, and shown the warming that has occurred in the Australasian region since 1950 is unprecedented in the last 1000 years of history in the Pacific.</p> 2020-05-17T12:46:00.0000000+10:00 FDA Panel Endorses an Over-the-Counter HIV Test that Diagnoses in Just 20 Minutes <p>It's no cure, but it could mark a significant victory in the fight against HIV. A 17-member advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration has endorsed an over-the-counter HIV test that would allow consumers to test themselves for the AIDS-causing virus in the privacy of their own homes in just 20 minutes. </p> 2020-05-17T08:00:00.0000000+10:00 ViviSat: An On-Call, Robotic Doctor for Ailing Satellites <p>Aside from a couple particularly nasty collisions, dead satellites comprise the bulk of our planet's space junk problem - as they die, get fried by radiation and become zombies, or are decommissioned, there's nowhere for them to go. ViviSat aims to change that by servicing satellites where they are, pushing them into new orbits and allowing them to live longer.</p> 2020-05-17T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 The Pentagon is Investing Millions to Advance the Future of 3D Printing Tech <p>President Obama's nationwide push for innovation in manufacturing reaches across agencies from the National Science Foundation to the Department of Energy, and now it's reaching all the way into the Pentagon where $60 million is being set aside for investment in 3D printing technologies. The DoD will fund a network of agencies, academic institutions, and companies to build on 3D printing tech with the overarching goal of building aerospace and weapons technology faster.</p> 2020-05-17T04:24:00.0000000+10:00 Virgin Atlantic Now Allows Cell Phone Calls on Transatlantic Flights <p>It was bound to happen and we can't say we're surprised that the forward-leaning Virgin Atlantic is the one doing it. As of yesterday passengers aboard Virgin's new Airbus A330-300 aircraft flying London-NYC routes can use their cell phones to make calls from 10,000 metres. Customers will also be able to send text messages and access the Web via GPRS. The only restrictions on usage will be during takeoff and landing or within 400 kilometres of US airspace.</p> 2020-05-17T01:20:00.0000000+10:00 Talking to Dolphins: New "Dolphin Speaker" Produces Full Range of Dolphinese Sounds <p>Communication with dolphins is getting better all the time - they've been using iPads, for one thing, and humans have been working on a type of Rosetta Stone-like two-way translation device. A new gadget could improve matters even further, by allowing humans to produce the full range of dolphin sounds. The acoustics researchers who developed it call it the Dolphin Speaker.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-17T00:15:00.0000000+10:00 Raspberry Pi Ripe For Picking In Australia, But Few On The Tree <p>The dirt cheap Raspberry Pi microcomputer has now officially launched here in Australia, but there's an extreme shortage of devices in Australia, given the demand. Not surprising for a teeny tiny AU$41 computer.</p> 2020-05-16T15:26:00.0000000+10:00 A 'Self-Replicating' Milling Machine <p>Milling machines are nothing new - objects have been cut out by such machines since the early nineteenth century. Also giving such a machine the ability to also create more of itself is another thing entirely - and that's exactly what one senior student at a US college did when he made a 'self-replicating' milling machine.</p> 2020-05-16T12:29:00.0000000+10:00 Organic Transport: The World's Subway Systems Are Evolving <p>The Sydney and Melbourne train systems might seem like a bit of a jumbled mess to you - crossed lines sprawling in all directions then converging into a complex centre. But a new study suggests there’s method in this madness, and it isn’t isolated to any one particular system - subways evolve along similar lines everywhere in the world. </p> 2020-05-16T12:25:00.0000000+10:00 Equip Robots with Bee Brains, Allow Them To Make Complex Decisions <p>Aussie researchers have been trying to get around one of the most fundamental problems of robotic artificial intelligence - namely, how to get robots to solve complex problems without a complicated, large, and organic human brain. The solution, it turns out, is decidedly simple - use bee brains instead.</p> 2020-05-16T10:53:00.0000000+10:00 Now Showing in NYC: A Rare Collection of Hollywood Futurist Syd Mead's Paintings <p>Getting around in the future is going to be something of a trip, at least to let classics of science fiction like <em>TRON</em>, <em>Blade Runner</em>, <em>Aliens</em>, and <em>Star Trek</em> tell the story. In a rare glimpse into the mind of the man that largely shaped Hollywood's sci-fi representation of the future of transport, a collection of visionary designer Syd Mead's paintings is currently on display in Manhattan.</p> 2020-05-16T07:35:00.0000000+10:00 "Map of Life" Shows the Location of All Organisms, Large and Small <p>Ever wonder exactly where grizzly bears live on this continent? Or where you might find <em>Myotis lucifungus</em>, the fuzzy, adorable little brown bat that is currently threatened with extinction because of white-nose syndrome? Now you can track them on Google Maps, thanks to a new program that aims to plot the location of every single living thing on Earth. It's kind of like the Gawker Stalker, only with lemurs instead of Malcolm Gladwell.</p> 2020-05-16T06:45:00.0000000+10:00 Test Drive: The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG <p>With the new sixth generation SL, Mercedes-Benz once again redefines the two-seater luxury roadster segment that it helped to create in 1954. For 2013, Mercedes-Benz started from the ground up on the SL, this time building upon a lightweight aluminum bodyshell similar to the top-of-the-range SLS. The platform is entirely new - its first in a decade.</p> 2020-05-16T05:35:00.0000000+10:00 Sorry, But Google Goggles Won't Provide The Terminator-Like Vision You Were Hoping For <p>Sorry wannabe Google Gogglers, but your Terminator-styled visual overlays are not going to be here as soon as you might have wanted. Google is still being quite dodgy with the details surrounding its much-anticipated augmented reality glasses, but CNET confirms after spending some time at Google HQ that informational overlays will be more restricted, displaying above the normal line of sight, "about where the edge of an umbrella might be."</p> 2020-05-16T04:35:00.0000000+10:00 Video: New Finger-Tap Power Generator Uses Viruses to Make Electricity <p>Piezoelectric devices promise to draw power from your footsteps or heartbeat, change the channel on your TV, and complete all sorts of helpful tasks - but they generally work in the nano-mechanical realm, requiring synthetic materials to function. Now for the first time, scientists have built a piezoelectric device using biological materials - in this case, viruses. Future sneakers may come with a customised viral mat on the bottom, with millions of would-be pathogens working together to power your music player.</p> 2020-05-16T03:39:00.0000000+10:00 NASA is Training Up an Astronaut Crew for a Potential Manned Asteroid Mission <p>We haven't heard much about if from NASA yet, but the Telegraph is reporting that the space agency will soon begin training up an international crew of astronauts for a potential manned mission to an asteroid slated for later in the next decade. Starting next month, six astronauts are headed to the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO), the underwater habitat off the Florida coast that will serve as a simulator for the long duration mission to an asteroid, the UK outlet reports.</p> 2020-05-16T02:40:00.0000000+10:00 Hands-On and In-Depth With Leica's Black & White Only M-Monochrom Digital <p>It may sound crazy to release a digital camera in 2012 that only shoots in black & white, but that's exactly what Leica has done with the US$8,000 M-Monochrom rangefinder.</p> 2020-05-16T01:40:00.0000000+10:00 Infographic: The New Planetary Habitability Index <p>Astronomers often estimate the habitability of extrasolar planets and moons based mostly on their temperatures and distance from the nearest star. A team of astrobiologists has now proposed a rubric that includes four groups of variables, each of which is weighted by its importance to sustaining life.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-15T07:24:00.0000000+10:00 A Series of Long Exposures Aboard the ISS Produces a Psychedelic Swirl of Stars <p>Hat tip to astronomer Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy for digging up this gem of an image snapped by astronaut Don Petit aboard the International Space Station. Culled from NASA's Flickr stream, the composite is a series of eighteen 30-second exposures stitched together to capture the motion of the ISS around the Earth, trailing the light from cities and auroras below as well as stars above.</p> 2020-05-15T06:22:00.0000000+10:00 Computer Interface Monitors Your Overworked Brain and Takes Over Tasks For You <p>Your office mates, whether they're people or pets, can probably tell when you're feeling stretched too thin - heavy sighs, hand-wringing and general signs of stress are fairly easy to spot. Yet your computer takes no notice, its beach ball of death spinning away incessantly and its processor failing utterly to work any faster. Now a new brain-computer interface could turn your computer into a more sympathetic partner, taking over some of your tasks when it senses you're overworked.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-15T05:22:00.0000000+10:00 Engineer Wants to Build a Real Starship Enterprise <p>The year 2245 is just too distant - we should build and commission a real USS Enterprise right now, cracking the champagne across her hull within 20 years, according to an enterprising engineer. The gigantic ship would use ion propulsion, powered by a 1.5-gigawatt nuclear reactor, and could reach Mars in three months and the moon in three days. Its 500-metre-diameter, magnetically suspended gravity wheel spinning at 2 RPM would provide 1G of gravity, and the thing looks just like the "Star Trek" ship of lore. </p> 2020-05-15T04:25:00.0000000+10:00 Electrical Engineer Can Feel Magnetic Fields Through Magnets Implanted in His Fingertips <p>Reddit's IAmA forums can be a regular source of BS, so when we came across this "Ask Me Anything" session in which a 24-year-old electrical engineer (and grad student) shares his experiences with having magnets implanted in his fingertips, we were skeptical. Then we read it, and it was kind of awesome. Moreover, it appears there are lots of people out there interested in the magnetic implant subculture - which apparently is a real thing.</p> 2020-05-15T03:25:00.0000000+10:00 Skywatchers Take Note: Sunday's Annular Solar Eclipse Will Leave a Ring of Fire in the Sky <p>A friendly reminder for skywatchers in East Asia and the American West: On Sunday May 20 (May 21st across the date line in Asia) the moon will blot out 94 per cent of our star's early evening light in an annular solar eclipse that should leave a dazzling ring of fire in the sky. </p> 2020-05-15T01:34:00.0000000+10:00 Living in the Future: Multitouch, or How I Learned to Love the Mac <p>Living in the Future is a new column about those rare moments, as we go about our daily lives, when we realize that what we're doing is amazing. We have a tendency to assimilate new tech into our lives without giving it much thought, or even without much gratitude, as <a href="">Louis C.K. reminds us</a>. But every once in awhile, we get that visceral "whoomph" while doing something as mundane as listening to music or playing a video game, and think: "I can't believe this is possible!"</p> 2020-05-15T00:20:00.0000000+10:00 Blind People Could One Day See With Goggles That Shoot Lasers Into Your Eyes <p>Ok, so it's not quite as cool as shooting lasers <em>out</em> of your eyes. But for the 39 million blind people alive around the world today, and the many more who will live in the future, a pair of goggles that allows you to see by shooting lasers <em>into</em> your eyes would no doubt sound like the best thing ever. Scientists from Stanford University in the States have put together a proof-of-concept demonstrating core system that could make such a device a future possibility.</p> 2020-05-14T15:22:00.0000000+10:00 Smart Mirror: Check The Weather While You Brush Your Teeth <p>We all know that your PC isn’t the only place you’re interacting with the internet any more - mobiles, gaming consoles, e-readers and tablets are all portals to the web. But those aren’t the only screens that will play host to the internet in the future. </p> 2020-05-14T13:27:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Robot Makes A Perfect Landing On Your Hand <p>There’s always something impressive about watching a bird soar twenty to thirty metres at speed before pulling up and landing perfectly on an outstretched branch. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois have replicated this sort of manoeuvre - with a robot. </p> 2020-05-14T12:31:00.0000000+10:00 Pretty Space Pics: Stunning Image of A Solar Flare Is Stunning <p>Given you can, by definition, see the Sun almost every single day, it takes a lot to truly impress us when it comes to solar photography. Well, this image by NASA depicting a solar flare (or alternatively some sort of galactic superhero) has done just that. Who said teal couldn't make things awesome?</p> 2020-05-14T10:36:00.0000000+10:00 Q&A: How NanoRacks sends Scotch, iPhones and school experiments into space <p>A small company called Nanoracks, which made headlines lately for its plans to send components of Ardbeg single-malt whisky to the ISS, will be the first commercial cargo to fly on SpaceX's Dragon capsule.</p> 2020-05-14T10:05:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, May 7-11, 2012 <p>This Baarbarian illustration is done in a particular paint-like style, but the prepared food? That is photo-realistic. Because it's disgusting.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-12T06:25:00.0000000+10:00 Even the Maya Didn't Think the World Would End in 2012 <p>National Geographic has a new feature up today in which they discuss the new finding of a cave in the midst of an unexplored Mayan megacity - a cave with very particular glyphs on the walls. Those writings include charts to predict lunar cycles and other calendrical workings - including a cyclical Mayan calendar that counts many thousands of years in the future. Which means, um, that stuff about the Maya predicting the end of the world is kind of... factually problematic. </p> 2020-05-12T04:30:00.0000000+10:00 Chinese Physicists Teleport Photons 100 Kilometres Away <p>Teleportation, sci-fi as it sounds, is actually not fictional or even new; two years ago, Chinese physicists broke the then-current record for quantum teleportation by teleporting photons over 16 km. But a new effort from that same team demolishes that record, beaming the photons over 97 kilometres.</p> 2020-05-12T01:45:00.0000000+10:00 New iPad App 123D Catch Turns Pictures Into Printable 3-D Renders <p>Autodesk, one of the premier 3D printing companies out there right now - they make AutoCAD, the pioneering software - has a new app out for iPad that aims to make 3D printing easier. Just snap a bunch of pictures of the object you want to reproduce from different angles, and the app, cleverly named 123D Catch, creates a 3D rendering automatically.</p> 2020-05-12T00:34:00.0000000+10:00 The 10 Best Quotes From the Study That Proves Cereal Tastes Better With Milk Than Water <p>At Pontificia University Católica in Santiago, Chile, important work is being done. Sick of people repeatedly insisting that corn flakes are delicious when swimming in a bowl of tap water (I guess?), a team of researchersembarked on a remarkably thorough examination of the effects of different liquids - 2% milk, skim milk, and water - on breakfast cereal (both corn flakes and quinoa flakes). This is a real study, and we at PopSci spent real money and real time to read it.</p> 2020-05-11T07:40:00.0000000+10:00 This US$8,000 Leica Camera Only Shoots in Black and White <p>The Leica M-Monochrom is in a lot of ways much like the Leica M9. It's beautiful, compact, exceedingly expensive, with great image quality - a Maserati of a camera. But there's an interesting catch...<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-11T06:46:00.0000000+10:00 Today's Pretty Space Pic: Cygnus-X, a Star Nursery in Action <p>Today in pretty space pics: The active star birthing region Cygnus-X, a chaotic complex of gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus, otherwise known as the Swan. Captured by the far infrared sensors of the ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, the image gives astronomers a unique view of massive star birth perviously unavailable at these wavelengths.</p> 2020-05-11T05:45:00.0000000+10:00 Golf-Ball-Inspired Nike Track Suit Has Speed Holes, for Speed <p>Nike's TurboSpeed, which sounds like the name of a Hot Wheels playset, is an ultra-lightweight track suit designed to help sprinters reach that extra height. Oddly, it's inspired by the golf ball, which is why it has all those odd little dimples. But we prefer to think of them as speed holes.</p> 2020-05-11T04:45:00.0000000+10:00 My Three Hours With the Most Violent Videogame I've Ever Seen <p>The creators of <em>Sniper Elite V2</em>, a third-person World War II shooter released this week, know that the success of a modern videogame comes down to the details. They worked closely with historians to nail the feel of 1945 Berlin, all the way down to the pattern of the wallpaper inside a typical German home. The typeface on the Nazi propaganda littering the crumbling virtual urban streets is Antiqua, the preferred font of the Reich. But there's an even more intense, maybe even disturbing, level of detail in this game.</p> 2020-05-11T03:29:00.0000000+10:00 Pentagon to Put Their Spin On Call of Duty's Ideas <p>Art imitates life they say, and every now and then life imitates art. Which is only slightly terrifying when the art being imitated is a <em>Call of Duty</em> title and the real-world entity doing the imitating is the Pentagon. A fictional drone from a videogame that hasn't even been released yet has inspired a US DoD office to consider pursuing the same drone in real life, Brookings Institute 21st Century Defense Initiative director and all-around drones guru Peter Singer tells Innovation News Daily.</p> 2020-05-11T02:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Bizarrely Realistic Japanese Robotic Buttocks Responds to Slaps <p>Here's how Nobuhiro Takahashi and the University of Electro-Communications describe this project: "'SHIRI' is a buttocks humanoid robot that expresses various emotions with organic movement of the artificial muscles." It's designed to respond to slaps, caresses, and finger-pokes. It is super weird. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-11T01:30:00.0000000+10:00 Wristband Sensors Can Detect, and Possibly Predict, Life-Threatening Seizures <p>Some seizures briefly incapacitate, while other seizures can be deadly. Knowing the difference is obviously of grave importance, but figuring out which is which is difficult. So a team of MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wristband that can tell the difference between the more benign breed of seizure and the one that might kill you, and may even be able to predict seizures before they strike.</p> 2020-05-10T07:40:00.0000000+10:00 Do You "Possess" What You View Online? <p>In a ruling yesterday, the New York Court of Appeals dismissed several counts of possession of child pornography charged to college professor James D. Kent, after a computer he brought to university IT for anti-virus service was found to contain child pornography in its browser cache. </p> 2020-05-10T06:25:00.0000000+10:00 Envisat, Now Quiet for Nearly a Month, Is Declared Dead by the ESA <p>PopSci reported almost a month ago that the European Space Agency had lost contact with its flagship Earth-observing satellite. Today, we must relay with heavy hearts that Envisat has been declared dead on orbit. The ESA will suspend recovery efforts today, the agency has said.</p> 2020-05-10T04:45:00.0000000+10:00 Anyone Can Build an Enormous Next-Generation Jet Engine (In Holographic 3-D) <p>Building a next-generation jet engine isn't easy, but from the cool confines of a blacked out holographic chamber in Brooklyn, it can at least be <em>easier</em>. Here, GE and its partners at BBDO New York have assembled ThrottleUp, an immersive 3-D holographic experience that lets users build one of GE's new energy efficient GEnx jet engines using a gesture controlled holographic interface.</p> 2020-05-10T03:59:00.0000000+10:00 Pretty Space Pics: The Dark, Artistic Centre of the Omega Nebula <p>Today's pretty space pic, of the dark, cloudy centre of the Omega Nebula, strikes our fancy due to its ominous scratchiness, like a beautiful cerulean and red painting marred by handfuls of dirt scraped across its surface. The nebula is about 5,000 light-years away, and is a famous star-forming region - those individual little dots glowing through the haze are young stars. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-10T02:30:00.0000000+10:00 Using Facial Recognition to Identify Unknown Subjects in History's Great Portraits <p>Agents in the war on terror attempt to identify unknown persons each and every day, but technology developed to battle criminality around the globe could soon be identifying persons of questionable identity going back centuries. </p> 2020-05-10T01:30:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Energy Fixers <p>VICE, in concert with GE, recently created a video called <em>ecomagination - The Energy Fixers</em>. The Energy Fixers focuses on eco-minded innovators working to change the energy game and re-envisioning our energy future.</p> 2020-05-09T08:34:00.0000000+10:00 Jeff Bezos's "Blue Origin" Space Company Reveals Spacecraft Design <p>We've covered Blue Origin, the semi-mysterious space company founded by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, in the past, but we never knew all that much about what they were working on. But they recently showed off their new space vehicle, which has completed wind tunnel testing and is named, in a fit of wild creativity, the "Space Vehicle," and a little bit of their plans for the future.</p> 2020-05-09T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 Using the Microsoft Kinect to Detect Autism <p>There are five Microsoft Kinects set up all around the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, but they're not for playing games (or any of the other stuff the Kinect can do with an Xbox). They're monitoring the students, looking for signs of unusual behaviour that might indicate a potential autism spectrum disorder.</p> 2020-05-09T06:26:00.0000000+10:00 Blueseed, the Floating City for Startups, Has More Than a Hundred Firms Ready to Ship Out <p>When startup Blueseed floated the idea to create a seaborne startup community in international waters off the coast of northern California, we were intrigued. We weren't the only ones. A new report released by the company says it has 133 tech startups on board to move their operations offshore when the ship launches next year.</p> 2020-05-09T05:12:00.0000000+10:00 Paralysed Woman Completes London Marathon in Bionic Suit After 16 Days <p>This is one of the most inspiring stories we've ever seen: Claire Lomas of the UK was paralysed from the chest down in a horse-riding accident five years ago. Yet today, she accomplished something difficult for anyone: she finished the London Marathon. It took 16 days and one impressive bionic exoskeleton, but she did it. Watch the video and try not to tear up a little, I dare you.</p> 2020-05-09T04:10:00.0000000+10:00 Microsoft's Newest Gestural Interface Captures Hand Motions By Listening to Them <p>WIth the Kinect, Microsoft opened up the world of gestural controls to the masses, allowing users to manipulate video games and otherwise control their devices with simple motion controls. Now Microsoft Research is doing it again, this time using inaudible sound waves to create the same kind of gestural interface, no cameras necessary.</p> 2020-05-09T03:07:00.0000000+10:00 The First Solar-Powered Ship to Circumnavigate the Globe Completes Its Trip <p>The MS <em>Tûranor PlanetSolar</em> pulled into Monaco's Hercule Harbor on Friday, completing its journey around the world - the very first solely solar-powered watercraft to do so. Of course, it's not an ordinary ship. It cost over $16 million, has over 500 square metres of solar panels, and can house 200 people.</p> 2020-05-09T02:08:00.0000000+10:00 Nevada Issues a Driver's License to Google's Self-Driving Car <p>The applicant had to drive flawlessly on highways, through neighbourhoods, and on the Strip, while Department of Motor Vehicles officials rode along sternly monitoring its skill. When it passed the test, it became the first autonomous vehicle officially licensed to drive on the nation's roads with no human intervention.</p> 2020-05-09T00:53:00.0000000+10:00 China Takes Off <p>When discussing any environmental issue in China, it's always a struggle to decide which deserves more emphasis: how dire the situation is, or how hard Chinese authorities are trying to cope with it. China's skies, waters and even sources of food are some of the most poisonously contaminated on Earth. Its efforts to curtail pollution and develop cleaner energy sources are some of the world's most ambitious. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-09T00:01:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Touch-Sensitive Doorknobs Could Lock or Unlock With the Curl of a Finger <p>Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research, which is the lab arm of the Disney Company that focuses on computer animation and interactivity, among other things, have worked out a new version of capacitive sensors - the same sensors used in modern smartphones and tablets. This version is able to detect touch in much more detail, like identifying which finger you've used to tap it.</p> 2020-05-08T07:13:00.0000000+10:00 We Asked Our Readers Why They Love the Samsung Galaxy Note <p>Nobody expected the enormous, 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note to be anything more than a joke. Many gadget reviewers <em>hate</em> big-screened phones. When I first saw it, all I could think was "cheese board." "Is that the Note? It looks absurd," said our US Web Editor John. Sam Biddle over at Gizmodo called the Note a "distended LED baking sheet," among lots of other creative things. </p> 2020-05-08T06:02:00.0000000+10:00 Nanocomposite Cavity Filler Reverses Decay, Killing Bacteria and Regenerating Tooth Structure <p>Dentists may soon be getting a potent new weapon with which to wage the global fight against cavities. The University of Maryland has developed a novel new nanocomposite material that can be used not only as filling for cavities, but that will also kill any remaining bacteria in the tooth and regenerate the actual structure lost to decay.</p> 2020-05-08T05:12:00.0000000+10:00 Video: FlexLeg Pseudo-Prosthesis Lets You Run When Your Leg Is Broken <p>A project from a couple of Masters students in mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University, FlexLegs is sort of like a cross between crutches and Oscar Pistorius's super-fast lower-leg prostheses. They promise to allow those with lower leg injuries to walk, run, tackle steps, and more. Say the creators: "If we can help a person with no legs to run, why can't we help a person with an injured leg to walk?"<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-08T04:11:00.0000000+10:00 NASA and SETI Rent a Giant Zeppelin to Hunt for Meteorite Over Nevada <p>Back on April 22, residents of California and Nevada had their day interrupted by a series of sonic booms and a huge daytime fireball in the sky, products of an incoming minivan-sized asteroid that came slamming into the atmosphere, breaking up on its way to the ground. The fireball ended its descent in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where some chunks of the asteroid have been recovered. But a joint SETI/NASA team thinks there's more asteroid to be found.</p> 2020-05-08T03:01:00.0000000+10:00 South Korea Targets Smuggled Capsules of Human Flesh <p>South Korea is saying this morning that its customs officials are stepping up their inspections targeting smuggled capsules that contain the <a href="">powdered flesh of dead human babies</a>. How's that for something to wash down with your third cup of coffee this morning?</p> 2020-05-08T02:01:00.0000000+10:00 Using Magnetic Bacteria to Construct the Biocomputer of the Future <p>As computer components grow smaller and smaller it becomes more difficult to manufacture them by conventional means, meaning the nano-hard-drives of the future are going to come at a cost. So researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology are enlisting the help of magnetic bacteria, which they say can be harnessed to build tiny computing components similar to those found in conventional PCs, or even to construct the biological computers of the future.</p> 2020-05-08T00:59:00.0000000+10:00 When Giant Koalas Roamed <p>A giant koala once thrived in the upper reaches of Queensland jungle, according to new Australian research. Scientists have called the the creature Nimbadon. We would rather refer to them as the original drop bears.</p> 2020-05-07T14:36:00.0000000+10:00 An Inspector Gadget Mobile-Phone-In-A-Glove: Impractical, but Awesome <p>An artist/gadget designer has come up with a novel take on the boring old mobile phone, embedding cell tech into a somewhat cyberpunk-styled glove that requires you to hold it to your face in order to use it. In other words, it's almost entirely impractical and useless, but that's kind of the point.</p> 2020-05-07T13:57:00.0000000+10:00 Testing the Long-Awaited Fisker Karma Plug-In Hybrid <p>At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the start-up Fisker Automotive unveiled its Karma concept , a high-end plug-in hybrid the company would use to challenge Tesla Motors. Cofounder Henrik Fisker said the Karma would go on sale in late 2009. Then the recession, a switch in battery suppliers and other delays kept Fisker from shipping the first trickle of cars until late last year. This spring, we got one of the first test drives.</p> 2020-05-07T11:48:00.0000000+10:00 Smartphones Will Become the Only Device Hardcore Gamers Need <p>When Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo introduces a new videogame console, its obsolescence within six years is more or less assumed. Nintendo is likely to release the new Wii U later this year, and other console makers are rumoured to be working on next-generation systems. But as early adopters line up to experience whatever new high-def graphics those systems may offer, the next-next generation of console is already gaining momentum. The device is the smartphone, and within a decade it could be powerful enough to replace conventional game systems for good.</p> 2020-05-05T05:33:00.0000000+10:00 Curious Things That Fall From The Sky <p>Rain and snow aren't the only things to fall from the sky. Throughout history rare occurrences have been recorded of other less expected and surprising forms of deluge. In 2001, parts of India were showered with mysterious red particles that were thought to contain alien microbes. <!-- - break - --> Here are some more examples of this bizarre phenomenon:</p> 2020-05-05T03:16:00.0000000+10:00 Kids These Days Are 3D Printing "Brass" Knuckles <p>BusinessWeek has a big story today on 3D printers and how great they are. Of course, we all are way ahead of them, having already examined the dream projects of 3D printing's brightest stars, among lots of other things. What we didn't know was that 3D printers could be used as a (totally legal!) supply shop for street toughs like these teenage ruffians in the back alleys of Santa Clara, CA. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-05-05T01:08:00.0000000+10:00 High-Speed Data Link Made from Laser Pointers Works Where Wi-Fi Won't <p>Wi-Fi isn't always practical - in places like hospitals or labs, for instance, where radio transmitters are prohibited - and physical USB cables can be slow and cumbersome as well. So engineers at National Taipei University of Technology have built a low-cost, easy to implement optical setup that can beam data across rooms twice as fast as USB 2.0 technology using conventional laser pointers.</p> 2020-05-04T07:22:00.0000000+10:00 A Personal Simulation of Your Blood Could Help Doctors Study Disease <p>Absent the creation of a personalised, <a href="" target="_blank">living avatar</a>, computer simulations will go a long way toward helping doctors figure out what to do about your health. Sophisticated models will be able to look at your heart and predict future coronary problems, for instance. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States are designing new simulations with virtual blood, improving the prospects for this type of tech.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-05-04T06:20:00.0000000+10:00 Fed Up With Sluggish Neutrinos, Scientists Force Light To Move Faster Than Its Own Speed Limit <p>America's official keepers of time and other standards are breaking one of the cardinal rules: They have figured out how to make superluminal light pulses. This paradoxical sentence - faster-than-light light - is from a new paper explaining how to make the sine wave of light hunch in on itself and arrive a few nanoseconds earlier than it would if it had moved at light speed.</p> 2020-05-04T05:07:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Baroque Music Composed and Performed by Robotic String Quintet <p>Well, "composes" might be a little bit of a stretch. Really it's more like a robotic cover band: the robotic system listens to a musician play a tune and then breaks it down into a five-part version that, while it differs from the original, still "retains the essence of the composition." The baroque music played here is nice enough, but we're left to wonder why nobody thought to play the robots some R. Kelly.</p> 2020-05-04T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 Omnivorous Black Holes Like This One Are Pretty Much the Sharks of Space <p>Scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Johns Hopkins University report seeing a phenomenon we've all imagined: a black hole devouring a star. </p> 2020-05-04T02:57:00.0000000+10:00 In Successful Test, Microsubmarines Help Clean Up Oil Spills <p>Tiny, self-propelled microsubmarines could pick up and tote droplets of oil away from contaminated waters, according to a new study. The cone-shaped objects are extremely water-repellent, improving their oil-grabbing capabilities, and could serve as simple helpers in oil spills.</p> 2020-05-04T02:00:00.0000000+10:00 How to Fold the Longest-Flying Paper Airplanes <p>There are lots of way to learn first-hand the principles of flight, but most of them require years of studying or a pilot's license. There is, however, an exception: folding paper airplanes. Da Vinci did it, as did the Wright Brothers and Jack Northrop, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us. So we enlisted two master paper-plane folders, Takuo Toda (current Guinness record holder for the longest timed paper aircraft flight of 27.9 seconds) and Ken Blackburn (a former record holder and engineer at Florida's Eglin Air Force Base), to show us their best cracks at making a long-flying plane out of a sheet of super-light magazine paper.</p> 2020-05-04T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Classic FYI: Is It Ever OK To Drink Your Own Urine? <p>Not really, but urine has been a faddish health drink for centuries nonetheless. Celts in the Iberian peninsula gargled it to whiten their teeth about 50 years before Christ; amaroli is a Sanskrit word that refers to urine therapy, which in ancient Ayurvedic practice meant imbibing urine in the morning, mid stream; Proverbs 5:15 is thought to be in support of the act ("Drink waters from thy own cistern, flowing water from thy own well"); and J.D. Salinger famously sipped his own, as did the former prime minister of India, Morarji Desai, who even appeared on 60 Minutes to defend his habit.</p> 2020-05-04T00:15:00.0000000+10:00 Morphable Concert Hall Ceiling Shape-Shifts For Superbly Customised Sound <p>Despite creative acoustic design, concert halls can't be one-size-fits-all places - all music is different, and some things may just sound better than others in a given location. But this new concept could change all that, morphing the shape and size of ceilings and walls to dynamically adapt to the sound of performers and individual performances.</p> 2020-05-03T13:20:00.0000000+10:00 The First Drug Made by Genetically Modified Plants is Approved for Humans in the US <p>Big news on the pharma front today: for the first time the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug for humans that was produced in a genetically engineered plant cell. The approval could open the door to a range of biological drugs that are generated in plant cells and then transferred to human patients.</p> 2020-05-03T13:01:00.0000000+10:00 Using Big Data and Genomics to Create the Ultimate Dairy Cow <p>What happens when you mash up Big Data, genomics, and a whole lot of Holstein dairy cows? You get the best bull in America. In The Atlantic today there's a great piece on Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie, the Holstein bull that science says is the best among America's 8 million dairy cows.</p> 2020-05-03T12:36:00.0000000+10:00 'Jetman' Yves Rossy Takes to the Skies Above Rio de Janeiro <p>This morning PopSci's favourite Jetman, Yves Rossy, strapped on his four-engine rigid wing, took a helicopter up into the skies above Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and once again let it rip. Leaping from the helicopter over Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Rossy zipped around the skies over Rio for more than 11 minutes, taking in some famous Rio landmarks along the way.</p> 2020-05-03T08:05:00.0000000+10:00 What Part of Our Brain Makes Us Human? <p><em>Brian Christian's book </em><a href="">The Most Human Human</a>,<em> newly out in paperback, tells the story of how the author, "a young poet with degrees in computer science and philosophy," set out to win the "Most Human Human" prize in a Turing test weighing natural against artificial intelligence. Along the way, as he prepares to prove to a panel of judges (via an anonymous teletype interface) that he is not a machine, the book provides a sharply reasoned investigation into the nature of thinking. Are we setting ourselves up for failure by competing with machines in their analytical, logical areas of prowess rather than nurturing our own human strengths? </em></p> 2020-05-03T06:05:00.0000000+10:00 Amid Controversy, Scientists Publish Recipe For Making More Potent Bird Flu <p>Just a handful of genetic mutations can turn bird flu into a highly infectious pathogen that could wreak havoc on humans, according to a new paper published today. It's the first of two controversial virus mutation papers to get its day in the sun, and it shows how the H5N1 flu could evolve to infect mammals. </p> 2020-05-03T04:02:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: A Circular Saw That Cuts Any Material Without Swapping Blades <p>To saw different materials, users often need to switch blades. A blade with big teeth, for example, cuts wood quickly because it scoops out a lot of material with each tooth. But those same big teeth make the saw kick back toward the user if applied to a harder substance such as steel. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-05-03T02:26:00.0000000+10:00 Mexican Electro-Receptacle Dispenses Free Wi-Fi in Exchange for Deposits of Dog Poo <p>You'd think the prospect of clean grass would be enough to induce good behaviour, but still, some dog owners neglect to pick up after their animals. A new concept gives people another incentive: Free WiFi in exchange for your dog's poop.</p> 2020-05-03T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Herb the Robot Butler Microwaves Your Dinner For You <p>They can fetch sandwiches just fine, but robots can have a hard time cooking meals, with proper pancake flipping a serious and daunting challenge. So why not have them take a decidedly human-like lazy tack and use the microwave instead? <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-05-03T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Bandages Made of Edible Starch Could Dissolve On Your Skin Once You're Healed <p>Finely spun starch fibres woven into a bandage could dissolve on your skin and be absorbed by your body, eliminating the sting and hassle of ripping it off in one fast motion. Starch fibres could also be used to produce toilet paper, napkins and other biodegradable products, according to researchers at Penn State.</p> 2020-05-02T07:29:00.0000000+10:00 Meet Silicene, Single-Atom-Thick Sheets of Silicon That Could Supersede Graphene <p>A team of European researchers claims to be the first to synthesise silicene, a new allotrope of element No. 14 that forms two-dimensional single-atom sheets rather than three-dimensional crystals. Excellent. But what does it mean for the future?</p> 2020-05-02T06:19:00.0000000+10:00 Who Is Buying Up More Drones Than Law Enforcement? Universities <p>Salon's interesting takeaway from last week's big reveal of the Federal Aviation Administration's list of certified drone operators cleared to fly unmanned aerial systems in US airspace: the biggest drone users in the US aren't law enforcement agencies, but universities. Twenty-five academic institutions have received certificates of authorisation (COAs), making up nearly half of the 60 entities with permission to fly unmanned systems.</p> 2020-05-02T05:11:00.0000000+10:00 We've Just Reclassified the Koala as a "Vulnerable" Species <p>Koalas have had a pretty rough go of it for the past couple centuries, from widespread hunting to the encroachment of settlements and suburbs to the elimination of eucalyptus forests (both the home and sole food source of the marsupials) to dog attacks to disease. The iconic koala, that most plush-like of animals, could now be in trouble, according to Australian officials. </p> 2020-05-02T04:07:00.0000000+10:00 Facebook Now Lets You Advertise Your Organs on Your Profile <p>There are currently 114,000 people waiting for organ transplants in the US, and roughly 7,000 of them die every year while awaiting a donor organ to become available. Meanwhile, there are 161 million Americans on Facebook. The maths must have seemed pretty simple to Mark Zuckerberg and company at Facebook HQ, where the team has just added organ donation status to its users' profiles.</p> 2020-05-02T03:03:00.0000000+10:00 Airplane-Mounted Laser Weapon Project May Be Resurrected to Defend Against North Korea <p>Like one of those James Bond villains that just won't die, the US Missile Defense Agency's missile hunting laser weapon is once again battling its way back from the boneyard thanks to the "emerging" missile threat on the Korean peninsula. </p> 2020-05-02T02:16:00.0000000+10:00 Head-Mounted 3-D Mapping Device, Developed for Robots, Can Help Blind People Navigate <p>A system first made for robot navigation could give blind people the equivalent of a Braille head-up display, according to French researchers. Two cameras mounted to a pair of glasses generate a three-dimensional image of a person's environment and their place in it, displaying the information on a handheld Braille device. </p> 2020-05-02T01:00:00.0000000+10:00 Jawbone Big Jambox Review: Triple the Size, Triple the Sound <p>Last year, we declared the Jambox by Jawbone the "best, tiniest wireless speaker" with good reason. The six-inch brick produces an unreal amount of high-quality sound for its size, went anywhere, and paired simply with any Bluetooth-ready device. It's great! So Imagine our glee at the first sight of the Big Jambox, which, as its extremely literal name states, is a bigger version of the Jambox. </p> 2020-05-01T14:01:00.0000000+10:00 Rough Sketch: "I Build Flying Robots" <p>If you want a robot to maneuver aggressively, it has to be small. As you scale things down, the "moment of inertia"-the resistance to angular motion-drops dramatically. Our nano-quadrotor robots are made to be as lightweight as possible: less than 90 grams and palm-sized. </p> 2020-05-01T07:12:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, April 23-27, 2012 <p>Did you know that pigeons soared with such grace, determination and (literal) magnetism? We were pleased to find the hidden nobility in the much-maligned avian. Other airborne news this week included sky-high wind turbines, drones, and free-falling humans. </p> 2020-04-28T07:50:00.0000000+10:00 Video: ISS Soars Above Beautiful Auroras, Lightning and Stormy Weather Back on Earth <p>For your morning viewing pleasure, we bring you another beautiful video of one of the rarest views in the universe - Earth lit up from below as the International Space Station soars 350 km above. </p> 2020-04-28T06:14:00.0000000+10:00 Space Shuttle Enterprise Makes Its Final Flight <p>The Space Shuttle Enterprise flew over New York today, piggyback-style, on its way to its retirement at the USS Intrepid Museum. PopPhoto's Dan Bracaglia, who lives in New Jersey, took these lovely photos as the shuttle and its 747 passed up the Hudson.</p> 2020-04-28T02:23:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A 3D Printed Exoskeletal Glove Gives Precision Control of a Super-Strong Robot Arm <p>German robot maker Festo is having a good week. After thoroughly impressing us with its oddly graceful robot that flies by turning itself inside out, now its robotic manipulator hand grabbed our attention. We've seen things like ExoHand before of course, but this exoskeletal control mechanism is unique in its dexterity and the fact that the controllers glove is 3D printed for precise fit, feel, and control.</p> 2020-04-28T02:10:00.0000000+10:00 Honda Car Warns You If Your Driving Style Is Likely to Cause Traffic Jams <p>While we wait for our <a href="">self-driving cars of the future</a> to autonomously deliver us from gridlock forever, Honda is working to help human drivers reduce traffic in realtime by analyzing the driving patterns of individual vehicles and determine if each one is likely to cause a traffic jam. By analyzing the acceleration and deceleration of individual cars, the technology prods the driver to take steps in realtime that will avoid traffic congestion among trailing vehicles.</p> 2020-04-28T01:11:00.0000000+10:00 NIST's Quantum Simulator Mimics Hundreds of Qubits Interacting <p>In a case that's somewhat chicken-and-egg, one of the many reasons computer scientists and physicists are pursuing a working quantum computer is to model quantum systems themselves. Modeling some quantum properties for systems even with a just a few dozen particles is impossible on even the biggest conventional supercomputers, and the pursuit of new materials and next-level science requires that we find a way to do so. So it's notable that physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have constructed a quantum simulator can simulate interaction between hundreds of quantum bits.</p> 2020-04-28T00:15:00.0000000+10:00 Video: 'Anti-Piracy Curtain' Makes Boarding Ships a Wet, Dangerous Mess for Pirates <p>It's perfectly understandable why commercial shipping vessels are prohibited from carrying arms in international waters. But when it comes to dealing with the threat of piracy, battles that pit water hoses against small arms and RPGs are decidedly one sided. So Japanese companies MTI and Yokoi have teamed to create what they call the "Anti-Piracy Curtain," a system that makes it difficult - and quite intimidating - for anyone to board a ship without the consent of a crew.</p> 2020-04-27T07:16:00.0000000+10:00 In a Medical First, Doctors Transplant the Same Kidney Twice in Two Weeks <p>Transplanting a kidney is a dicey enough proposition at first go, so the fact that Northwestern University doctors have transplanted the same kidney twice is nothing short of remarkable. Working under a set of extenuating circumstances, the surgeons transplanted the kidney twice in two weeks, and the final recipient - the third person to claim ownership of the organ - is reportedly doing well.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-04-27T06:05:00.0000000+10:00 Neurons in Bird Brains Encode Earth's Magnetic Field, Giving Pigeons Reliable Internal GPS <p>Neurons in the brains of pigeons encode the direction of Earth's magnetic field, endowing the birds with an innate internal GPS system, according to a new study. Scientists have long known internal magnetic field receptors exist in many animals - from birds to foxes and possibly even people - but this is the first time someone has tried to explain the brain wiring that can actually use these receptors and provide a sense of direction. They did it by putting some pigeons in the dark and monitoring their brains.</p> 2020-04-27T05:13:00.0000000+10:00 Espro Press Review: French Press Flavor, Hold the Mud <p>The French press is the simplest, cheapest way to make a legitimately good cup of coffee. Ground beans in pot, water in pot, wait four minutes, press plunger down, pour. But some coffee snobs decry the French press: the coarse screen that "presses" out the grinds allows the bean's delicious oils to make their way into your cup, but also grants passage to a dreaded interloper: fine sediments end up at the bottom of your mug, or, worse, in your mouth. The Espro press aims to deliver the taste of a French press without that silt, thanks to an ultra-fine double-filtering system.</p> 2020-04-27T04:10:00.0000000+10:00 The World's Biggest Digital Camera Begins Engineering Phase <p>The biggest digital camera in the world, both in terms of physical size and giga-capacity, just won an early approval from the US Department of Energy, which is funding the project. The camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will now proceed to a detailed engineering and design phase, another step toward the start of construction in two years.</p> 2020-04-27T03:09:00.0000000+10:00 Video: MIT Engineers Design Fog-Free, Water-Repellent, Anti-Glare Glass <p>A new type of <a href="" target="_blank">nano-structured glass</a> can bounce water and dirt off its surface, cleaning itself and preventing fogging, according to MIT researchers. It eliminates glare, too, allowing light to penetrate with pure clarity. It could be used for anything from solar panels to future car windshields to new gadget screens.</p> 2020-04-27T02:12:00.0000000+10:00 64 Speakers Aim to Make Dolby Atmos The Most Realistic/Terrifying Surround Sound <p>Dolby Laboratories announced a new audio system this week, called Dolby Atmos, that the company calls "an entirely new viewing experience for theatergoers." It's kind of a next-generation surround sound, blanketing the theatre with sound - instead of coming from typical left and right channels, sound will come from as many directions as there are speakers, including above and below. That means footsteps will emanate from the ground, and realistic raindrops will patter above your head - and since it supports 64 speakers, sound could come from anywhere.</p> 2020-04-27T01:19:00.0000000+10:00 Who Is To Blame When A Robotic Car Crashes? <p>Society must make two big leaps in order to enable truly self-driving cars. The first is technological. Engineers need to improve today's cars (which can warn a driver that he's drifting out of his lane) beyond current Google and DARPA prototypes (which maintain the lane on their own) to the point where automobiles can edge forward through a construction zone while their owners sleep inside.</p> 2020-04-27T00:09:00.0000000+10:00 After Decades of Mystery, Has the G-Spot Been Found? <p>For decades, researchers have argued over the existence of the G-spot, a supersensitive spongy organ on the front vaginal wall that many women report causes vaginal, rather than clitoral, orgasms. Now, a cosmetic surgeon in Florida says he's finally found the G-spot in a dissected cadaver, but rather than settling the question of the G-spot once and for all, the new findings are kicking off a new round of debate.</p> 2020-04-26T07:07:00.0000000+10:00 Who is Flying Drones in the US and Where Are They Flying? <p>A list of current entities permitted by the US Federal Aviation Administration to fly unmanned aerial vehicles in American airspace says one thing very clearly: if you fear the drones, stay the hell out of Texas. The Washington D.C. area as well, for that matter. The list of Certificates of Authorization, obtained by civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, shows that even as the FAA scrambles to open up US airspace to commercial drones over the next three years, there are already quite a few of them in the sky.</p> 2020-04-26T05:45:00.0000000+10:00 NASA's New Deep-Space J-2X Rocket Motor is Ready For More Tests <p>NASA's J-2X rocket engine is on the test stand and ready for its second round of tests, building on last year's successful test-firings that by some metrics were the most successful rocket engine firings NASA has ever undertaken. The J-2X will provide upper-stage power propelling NASA's next-gen Space Launch System (SLS) from the upper atmosphere out into deep space after the first stage is jettisoned.</p> 2020-04-26T05:44:00.0000000+10:00 Super Nano-Waterproof Coating Actively Shrugs Off Water, Grease and Would-Be Stains <p>A new multilayered nanocoating could make future clothes more than just stain-resistant - they'll be stain-offensive, actively sloughing off dirt and gunk to protect the fabric underneath. Instead of merely repelling water or grease, clothing will push them away.</p> 2020-04-26T04:52:00.0000000+10:00 Video: An Inflatable, Flying Turbine Goes Higher to Find Stronger Winds <p>Oil companies look for oil where they think it might be most abundant, so doesn't it make sense to seek wind power in the places where the wind is most abundant? An MIT spin out called Altaeros Energies seems to think so. Not content to harvest wind energy from atop a static tower just a few hundred feet tall, Altaeros has demonstrated an aerostat wind turbine that can be lofted up 1,000 feet from a trailer, no tower necessary.</p> 2020-04-26T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 New Study Finds Vast Galactic Network, No Sign of Dark Matter <p>Is dark matter in danger? A few days after scientists said there's no dark matter near our sun, a team of researchers in Germany now says there's no dark matter in our galactic neighborhood. The team found a vast structure of globular clusters and satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way in a smooth, evenly distributed pattern. Most models of galactic distribution and evolution require the gravitational effects of dark matter, but in this model, it doesn't seem to exist. </p> 2020-04-26T02:37:00.0000000+10:00 2012 Military Wishlist Features Smart Wound-Diagnosing Uniforms and Dogfighting Drones <p>Even though giant companies like Lockheed and General Dynamics produce the majority of US military hardware, the Department of Defense still turns to small businesses for some of its more speculative, futuristic programs. Uniforms that detect the exact place and type of wound, computer targeting for air-to-air machine guns and non-lethal mini-drone missiles are just some of the new technologies the DoD hopes to farm out this year to more boutique firms.</p> 2020-04-26T01:46:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Flying Objects Punch Through Saturnian Ring, Blazing Glittery Trails of Space Dust <p>Scientists scrutinising Cassini imagery have stumbled on a strange find - evidence of 0.8 kilometre-sized snowballs perforating one of Saturn's rings, creating miniature contrail-like streams in the ring's shape. The pictures answer a mysterious question about the F ring, Saturn's oddest ring.</p> 2020-04-26T01:08:00.0000000+10:00 "Fragile Earth" App Slides Time to Show the Ravages of Climate Change and Development <p><em>Fragile Earth</em>, new in the App Store this week, is a simple idea, and it's actually executed simply as well - two or more photos of the same place over time, with a slider so you can see how it looks in the past. But these are places that have been utterly changed by major, unstoppable forces: time, industrialisation, development, and climate change. </p> 2020-04-25T08:00:00.0000000+10:00 In New Quantum Experiment, Effect Happens Before Cause <p>A real-world demonstration of a thought experiment conducted at the University of Vienna, has produced a result that is somewhat befuddling to people with what the lead researcher calls a "naïve classical world view." Two pairs of particles are either quantum-entangled or not. One person makes the decision as to whether to entangle them or not, and another pair of people measure the particles to see whether they're entangled or not. </p> 2020-04-25T07:14:00.0000000+10:00 Why Mining an Asteroid for Water and Precious Metals Isn't as Crazy as it Sounds <p>Billionaire-backed space startup Planetary Resources has officially unveiled its business plan to much fanfare and with few surprises. The company's principals - which include X-Prize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis, Space Adventures co-founder Eric Anderson, and former NASA Flight Director Chris Lewicki - today pledged that Planetary Resources would make the abundant resources of space available here on Earth, and introduced a couple of the company's own spacecraft that will make such space prospecting possible. The rush for space resources is officially on.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-04-25T05:59:00.0000000+10:00 Will You Use Google Drive? <p>Google has been rumoured to be working on a cloud storage service for about as long as we've known what cloud storage is, and today the company finally unveiled it: Google Drive. It has a couple of nice features that competitors like Dropbox, MobileMe, SkyDrive and all the others don't, but the main selling point seems to be the same selling point as most other new Google services: hell, you're already using Google. Why not add this? So we're curious: will you?</p> 2020-04-25T03:55:00.0000000+10:00 How It Would Work: A Quantum Computer <p>Silicon semiconductors have taken us a dazzling distance along the computing road. But even if they continue unabated to get faster and more powerful (and it's growing more difficult to make that happen) there's a limit to what classical computing can do. </p> 2020-04-25T03:16:00.0000000+10:00 First Treatment for Prion-Based Brain Diseases Involves Glowing Polymers <p>Good news in the battle for the brain: Researchers in Sweden and Switzerland have found that toxic prions - diseased variants of naturally occurring neural proteins - can be both detected and treated with a novel kind of self-illuminating polymer. In tests, the researchers have shown that their molecules can render prions harmless, paving the way for treatments for degenerative and potentially fatal nervous system diseases, including Alzheimer's.</p> 2020-04-25T03:01:00.0000000+10:00 Today: Commercial Space Venture Sets Sights on Mining Asteroids for Minerals <p>Since the announcement last week that a team of high-profile backers - Eric Schmidt and Larry Page from Google, filmmaker James Cameron, Ross Perot Jr. (son of the former presidential candidate), space tourism pioneer Eric Anderson, and X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, among others - is launching a company that will "overlay two critical sectors-space exploration and natural resources-to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP," media speculation has generally centered on one thing: asteroid mining. And this morning, hours before the official press conference launching Planetary Resources Inc., that speculation appears to be confirmed. </p> 2020-04-25T01:04:00.0000000+10:00 Intel's New Ivy Bridge CPUs Will Give Your Next Laptop Legit Gaming Power <p>If you buy a cheapie laptop, you're going to get onboard graphics - historically underpowered, since they exist on the same die as the CPU, and thus historically crappy. To play serious games, or do any real video editing, you'd need to upgrade to a discrete graphics card. But that looks like a thing of the past: today, Intel unleashed its new generation of processors, which go by the name Ivy Bridge, and what had seemed like an incremental upgrade actually has a pretty interesting element: these processors have onboard graphics that basically outclass the entire market of entry-level graphics cards. That means your next computer will be able to run games you'd never be able to run now - with no necessary hardware upgrades.</p> 2020-04-24T08:22:00.0000000+10:00 GPS Satellites Could Improve Tsunami Advance Warning Time Tenfold <p>When the Tohoku earthquake struck Japan in March of last year, seismometer data allowed authorities to issue earthquake earnings within eight seconds of first realizing something was seismologically amiss. But their initial readings were not fully accurate, labeling the ‘quake a magnitude 7.1. It took authorities another 20 minutes to revise the magnitude to its real value of 9. Just ten minutes later, the tsunami hit.</p> 2020-04-24T07:20:00.0000000+10:00 Doors Unlock With Keyed Vibrations Sent From Your Smartphone Through Your Bones <p>It gives the term skeleton key a whole new meaning: a prototype system from AT&T Labs that beams a unique vibration through a user's bones to be picked up by a receiver in a door handle, automatically unlocking the door at the touch of the handle. Using piezoelectric transducers, the system could someday be embedded in smartphones or wristwatches to create doors that automatically unlock when the right person touches them and stay firmly dead-bolted when anyone else tries to gain entry.</p> 2020-04-24T06:02:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Flying Thing Propels Itself By Flipping Inside Out <p>Flying objects can achieve forward thrust in a few ways, but here's a unique new one: Flipping inside out to move forward. Designed by the people who brought us the amazing robot seagull, the SmartInversion flying object can move through the air indefinitely. </p> 2020-04-24T05:09:00.0000000+10:00 Today in Mind Reading: Brain Scans Can Predict If You're About to Make a Math Mistake <p>Along with predicting our future behaviours, brain scans can guess when we're about to make a cognitive error, mis-processing a math problem because we're thinking too hard. Like a dashboard widget watching your computer's RAM, brain wave patterns can be used to detect when the brain is approaching its limits of processing power, according to new research. </p> 2020-04-24T04:03:00.0000000+10:00 DARPA Hypersonic Craft Tore Itself Apart <p>After roughly eight months of crunching the data, DARPA has released its official report on exactly what happened to its Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), the Mach 20 test vehicle it launched into the atmosphere last summer only to lose contact with it nine minutes later. The conclusion: HTV-2 was moving so blisteringly fast that it tore right out of its own skin.</p> 2020-04-24T02:54:00.0000000+10:00 Cadillac's ‘Super Cruise' Mode Will Keep You In Your Lane Automatically <p>Though driverless cars are making plenty of inroads, it may be awhile yet before people are willing to hand over the keys and let their cars take over entirely. But a few autonomous functions may make the transition smoother. Cadillac is testing lane-detection and automatic braking technology for use on highways, according to General Motors. </p> 2020-04-24T01:56:00.0000000+10:00 Today in Pretty Space Pics: The Flowerlike Ring Nebula <p>Gaze into the center of the Ring Nebula, which appears from Earth's vantage to be a "barrel-shaped cloud of glowing gas." Let it take your mind away from Earthly concerns, from taxes and homework and bosses and bills and hangnails. Let it relax you like a spa treatment in which you are plunged into a bath of exotic foreign muds in a container made of exotic foreign woods. </p> 2020-04-24T00:53:00.0000000+10:00 Drones Won't Be Taking Over Our Wars Anytime Soon <p>Early in 2008 on the Black Sea coast, a Georgian drone flying over the separatist enclave of Abkhazia transmitted an instantaneous artifact from the age of human flight-the video record of its own destruction by an attacking fighter jet. What happened that day was born of incendiary post-Soviet politics. The Kremlin backed Abkhazia and was furious that Georgia had bought surveillance drones to watch over the disputed ground. Georgia's young government flaunted its new fleet, bullhorning to diplomats and to journalists like me what the drones were documenting of Russia's buildup to war. I remember the Georgian bravado. <em>We have drones. Ha! We have arrived.</em> Tensions led to action. Action came to this: A Russian MiG-29 intercepted one of Georgia's unmanned aircraft, an Israeli-made Hermes 450, which streamed live video of the fighter swinging into position. The jet pilot fired a heat-seeking missile. Viewed on the drone operator's screen down below, the missile grew larger and its exhaust plume grew longer as it rushed near. Then the screen went fuzzy. Georgia's drone was dead.</p> 2020-04-23T23:50:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Android Controlled Interactive Mirror, Mirror On the Wall <p>The evil Queen had this all sorted ages ago - pre-Internet, even - but there's just something about having your magic mirror work with Android. Check out the video below to watch how one guy managed to put together a Bluetooth-enabled mirror that changes functionality through a simple Android app.</p> 2020-04-23T12:09:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, April 16-20, 2012 <p>This week in news that definitely happened and is full of verifiable facts, a paper-swathed superman closed the lid on his CrabOS laptop to fight a gargantuan deformed flying shrimp and saved the world forever. Or something like that.</p> 2020-04-21T07:55:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci's Lunch: a Can of Surströmming With Harold McGee <p>When Popular Science was acquired by Sweden's Bonnier Corporation in 2007, some people thought we'd be eating surströmming, the legendary Scandinavian delicacy of fish left to ferment in cans till the cans almost burst, every day. But in fact, the famously putrid herring has been utterly absent from these shores - that is, until today.</p>ömming-with-harold-mcgee 2020-04-21T07:35:00.0000000+10:00 James Cameron, Charles Simonyi, and Ross Perot Jr to Unveil Space Project <p>Planetary Resources, a mysterious organisation whose investors include Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Microsoft alum and astronaut Charles Simonyi, director James Cameron, "space visionary" Peter Diamandis, and Ross Perot Jr, is planning to announce more details of a new space project this week. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-21T07:30:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Where Is The Centre of the Universe? <p>First, it's important to know that the big bang wasn't an explosion of matter into empty space - it was the rapid expansion of space itself. This means that every single point in the universe appears to be at the centre. Think of the universe as an empty balloon with dots on it. Those dots represent clusters of galaxies. As the balloon inflates, every dot moves farther away from every other dot. </p> 2020-04-21T03:19:00.0000000+10:00 New Report Urges Extreme Caution Against Infection When Landing on Alien Worlds <p>As humans begin to seriously consider sending missions to icy worlds like Europa and Enceladus, one of the necessary concerns has to be protection of the environment where such a mission would land. It would be a shame to arrive on a fascinating alien world only to immediately seed it with Earth microbes, carelessly infecting the local ecosystem, ruining the unique scientific opportunity and possibly incurring the wrath of the local alien ruler.</p> 2020-04-21T02:11:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Making a Stream of Water Flow Up, Using Trickery <p>If you only watch one optical illusion today in which a stream of water appears to have droplets freeze in mid-air or inch their way backwards into the tube from whence they came, make it this one.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-21T01:28:00.0000000+10:00 Pumping Gas Into Commercial Airliners <p>At London's Heathrow, which moves more international passengers than any other airport, the fuel jockeys of the Aircraft Service International Group oversee refueling. Filling an Airbus A380 can take two hours, at a rate of about 3,800 litres per minute. So much flow can generate static, which can create a deadly spark (jet fuel is kerosene-based, and much more flammable than gasoline). But the hose is semiconductive to prevent such a conflagration. Add too much fuel, and the extra weight renders the craft less efficient; too little can be disastrous. And placing the wrong amounts of fuel in the various tanks can throw the craft off-balance.</p> 2020-04-21T00:25:00.0000000+10:00 Turn Your Old Notebook Into A Touchscreen Tablet <p>Tablets are taking over the portable-computing market, but that doesn't mean the netbooks that they've replaced are useless. It's possible to jam the processing power and battery life of most netbook models into a smaller, touchscreen-equipped package. The project is very straightforward: Remove a few parts, add a touchscreen overlay (about $80; MyDigitalDiscount), reseal the device in its new tablet form, install a driver, and calibrate the screen. And if you use an old netbook you have lying around (or buy a used one), it costs a fraction of the price of a new tablet.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-04-20T07:27:00.0000000+10:00 This Is My Remote Control <p>A few weeks ago, a company called VooMote sent me a press kit that included two universal remotes. The first was a VooMote Zapper, a little infrared dongle that turns your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch into a customisable universal remote. The other was the QuantumFx REM-115, a sled-sized slab of blackish industrial plastic outfitted with buttons big enough to be operated with your forehead. The conceit: "look how far remotes have come!" </p> 2020-04-20T06:38:00.0000000+10:00 Self-Inflating Tubes Let You Control Your Bike's Tire Pressure While Riding <p>Whether you're tackling mountain trails or just trying to get through the Sydney CBD, rough terrain can put your bike's tubes at serious risk. It's not usually an option to hop off and adjust your tire pressure, but a company called Adaptrac has a system that mounts a toggle right on your handlebars and allows you to raise or lower your pressure even while riding. </p> 2020-04-20T05:28:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A DIY Flight Simulator Built in the Nose of a Real Boeing 737 <p>Some people golf. Some build miniature train sets. James Price tinkers with the full-blown flight simulator he's been building in the nose of a Boeing 737 jetliner in his garage for the past two decades. The air traffic controller and aviation enthusiast is now one of only a few people in the world who have built this kind of flight sim in an actual aircraft nose. And he's among only a handful of people in the world with a toy this cool.</p> 2020-04-20T04:43:00.0000000+10:00 For the First Time, Electrons are Observed Splitting into Smaller Quasi-Particles <p>We generally think of electrons as fundamental building blocks of atoms, elementary subatomic particles with no smaller components to speak of. But according to Swiss and German researchers reporting in Nature this week, we are wrong to think so. For the first time, the researchers have recorded an observation of an electron splitting into two different quasi-particles, each taking different characteristics of the original electron with it.</p> 2020-04-20T03:34:00.0000000+10:00 The World's First Transgenic, 'Handmade' Cloned Sheep is Alive and Well in China <p>The world's first transgenic sheep produced via a simplified cloning technique, known as handmade cloning (seriously), is here. Peng Peng, named for the two cloner sheep who happened to have identical names, was successfully delivered back on March 26 and is developing so well that researchers have deemed him ready for the spotlight.</p> 2020-04-20T02:25:00.0000000+10:00 Nikon's New Entry-Level DSLR Has 24.2 Megapixels, More Than the 5D Mark III <p>Our friends and office-mates over at Pop Photo just got themselves a look at the new Nikon D3200. It's Nikon's entry-level DSLR, but that's becoming less and less of a turn-off - the D3200 has a whopping 24.2-megapixel sensor (which is more than the Canon 5D Mark III!), a new processor that gives it a higher maximum ISO, and can shoot 1080p video at both 24 and 30 fps.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-20T01:45:00.0000000+10:00 Simple Project of the Month: Build A Rotating Time-Lapse Camera Stand <p>If you're into time-lapse photography here is a way to easily build yourself an affordable panning device using some simple tools and a kitchen timer.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-04-20T01:13:00.0000000+10:00 FYI: Is the Glass Really Half-Full? <p>No one is entirely sure. Water has high surface tension, yet the molecules at its surface are unstable, which makes the air-surface interface mysterious and difficult to describe. Satoshi Nihonyanagi, a researcher at a molecular-spectroscopy lab in Japan, studies water and its surface-"specifically probing the interface," he calls it-using isotopically diluted H<sub>2</sub>O, which doesn't vibrate and is easier to observe. He's found that some water molecules are bound to others by a single hydrogen bond. "Occasionally," he says, "this hydrogen bond can break, and the water at the surface escapes into the air." Hydrogen's breaking and re-forming happens trillions of times a second. The hydrogen atoms "point" to their neighbours, inching toward them. But water molecules don't pair up for long. They are swingers, constantly coupling and uncoupling. </p> 2020-04-20T00:07:00.0000000+10:00 Test Drive: The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth <p>Fiat says its catchphrase "small but wicked," applied frequently to the new 500 Abarth, was coined for the Abarths of the 1960s, and while we think that may be apocrypha, it definitely holds true for the 2012 model. This car is very fast, very fun to drive, and won't break the bank - even if it isn't for everyone.</p> 2020-04-19T07:33:00.0000000+10:00 Nanoparticle Coating Makes Paper Magnetic, Waterproof, and Antibacterial <p>A nanoparticle spray can turn regular paper into superpaper, rendering it waterproof, antimicrobial, magnetic and probably very expensive. Who said paper was an old technology? </p> 2020-04-19T06:28:00.0000000+10:00 Brain Scans Can Predict Future Behaviour, Including Eating and Sex <p>Brain scans can hear our thoughts, make us learn by osmosis and even predict our actions. Now a new study claims that functional MRI scans can reliably judge a person's most basic appetites, predicting future sexual behaviour or weight gain. </p> 2020-04-19T05:42:00.0000000+10:00 Intrepid Michigan Tween Restores Her Own Future Car <p>When I was a kid in Buffalo in the US, the route back to my parents' house passed a Pontiac dealership with a red Fiero displayed on the corner. I was years away from driving age, but I wanted this car. I was crushed when I learned Pontiac was discontinuing the model, and I told my dad we should just go get one and store it in the garage until I was 16. Get this! A 13-year-old Michigan girl <em>actually did this</em>. She bought a Fiero for the future, and she's restoring the car herself. This girl is my hero.</p> 2020-04-19T04:23:00.0000000+10:00 Deformities in Gulf Seafood Found After BP Oil Spill <p>Al Jazeera just published a thoroughly disturbing report on the deformed fish and shellfish that are being pulled from the Gulf in the wake of the BP oil spill. Shrimp without eyes or even eye sockets, snapper with large pink growths, undersized and misshapen crabs - the fishermen in the Gulf that Al Jazeera talked to have never seen anything like it.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-19T03:20:00.0000000+10:00 The Louvre Replaces Old Boring Audio Tours With Nintendo 3DSes <p>The Louvre Museum in Paris overhauled their digital tour guide system last week, replacing it with, surprisingly, a stock of Nintendo 3DS consoles. Now you can browse the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa in...3D! Or in real life, I guess, since you're already in the museum. (The resolution's better in real life.)</p> 2020-04-19T02:09:00.0000000+10:00 Terahertz-Band Mobile Phones Could See Through Walls <p>Terahertz scanners could potentially see through walls, inside pockets and into wallets, but they're either large and expensive, or contain high-powered nanolasers that limit their use. Now a Texas team has a new approach that could use everyday mobile phones, making terahertz-band scanners simple and ubiquitous.</p> 2020-04-19T01:09:00.0000000+10:00 Grey Matter: Want a Chemical Reaction Without Heat? Add a Catalyst <p>The copper earring you see above had already been glowing bright orange for half an hour when we took the photograph. There is no flame under it, no electric current through it. Underneath is a pool of volatile and highly flammable acetone, but the liquid is not on fire. So where is the heat coming from?</p> 2020-04-19T00:13:00.0000000+10:00 Cassini Flies Right By Saturn's Moon Enceladus, Snapping New Up-Close Pics <p>The Cassini spacecraft has been busy over this past week, making close flybys of both Enceladus and and Tethys, two of Saturn's moons. And we're not using "close" as a relative term here. Cassini skimmed Enceladus in such proximity that it was literally able to taste the plume of water ice, vapour, and other organic compounds spewing from the moon's south polar region.</p> 2020-04-18T05:43:00.0000000+10:00 Secret Cyber War Games Between U.S. and China Let Countries Role-Play Their Frustrations <p>China and the US are playing pretend war to vent their mutual frustrations and avoid a real one, according to a report by the Guardian. The State and Defense departments participated in two hypothetical-conflict sessions last year, and another round is planned for May. The war games were designed to prevent a "sudden military escalation" amid burgeoning anger in Washington over cyber attacks that the US says are originating in China. </p> 2020-04-18T04:32:00.0000000+10:00 Can Eating Buckyball-Infused Olive Oil Prolong Your Lifespan? <p>With their strange 60-atom structures, buckyballs could have potential as drug carriers, medical tracers, cancer fighters and other interesting applications in the human body, but studies examining their impact on the body have had mixed results. A group of French researchers set out to study its toxicity and other effects, and came up with a surprising find - not only are buckyballs safe, a buckyball diet doubled the lifespan of lab rats.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-04-18T02:43:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Massive Solar Eruption Expels a Beautiful Prominence <p>Yesterday - at least in the northeast US - was a picture-perfect, sun-shine day. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for much of the east coast of Australia. But as many Americans took a few extra minutes at lunch to soak up one of the first nice spring days of the season, the sun overhead was in the midst of some serious violence. At around 1:30pm in America yesterday (most Australians were fast asleep), a huge and beautiful eruption took place on the east limb of our local star, sending a massive prominence looping out into space.</p> 2020-04-18T01:45:00.0000000+10:00 A Model Disaster <p>The hundredth anniversary of the wreck of the Titanic on April 15 provides a welcome moment to celebrate the many great strides made by engineers. In 2012, people move around the world more quickly and more safely than ever before. But the fate of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of western Italy in January, reminds us that no matter how much progress we make, disasters still happen. It also presents a question: After a century of advances in naval engineering, why are we still unable to prevent deadly wrecks?</p> 2020-04-18T00:42:00.0000000+10:00 Hubble Snaps a Star Factory at the Centre of the Tarantula Nebula <p>Today in pretty space pics: Hubble captures the brightest star-forming region in the neighborhood, a particularly prolific segment of the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud that is home to the most massive stars ever observed from Earth. The image above, hemming in some 650 light-years of space (horizontally), contains one of the fastest rotating stars ever seen as well as the fastest runaway star. In other words, there is no lack of action here in 30 Doradus, at the center of the Tarantula Nebula.</p> 2020-04-17T23:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Mood-Sensing Robot Prison Guard Begins First Real-World Test in Korea <p>Back in November, South Korea <a href="" target="_blank">announced</a> that a project to create robot prison guards was underway. And just as predicted, the robo-guards are ready for their first tests. Check out video (complete with prisoner/robot interaction) after the jump.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-17T12:00:00.0000000+10:00 A Computer Constructed From a Consortium of Live Crabs <p>If biomimicry is the instance of technology emulating natural processes, then this must be something like the opposite: researchers at Kobe University have <a href="" target="_blank">built a computer out of crabs</a>. Placed within a geometrically constrained environment, swarms of soldier crabs can be effectively used to emulate logic gates. In other words, researchers have replicated the fundamental workings of a computer - with crabs.</p> 2020-04-17T11:53:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Tupac Shakur Resurrected Via Hologram to Perform at Coachella <p>In the future, we will all live forever - at least if our body of work is popular enough to warrant resurrection. Just ask Tupac Shakur - now deceased for nearly 15 years - who showed up in holographic form to perform alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella over the weekend.</p> 2020-04-17T11:30:00.0000000+10:00 Headphone Technology That Actually Helps Hearing Loss <p>Of the estimated 36 million Americans who report some level of hearing loss, as many as 20 million have mild to moderate conditions, in which they struggle to pick out voices in cacophonous settings. Although the condition is common, treatment is limited. Custom-fitted hearing aids, which can be adjusted according to an individual's needs, cost as much as $3,000. Users can instead opt for cheaper, over-the-counter amplifiers, but those simply increase the volume of all ambient sounds and do little to help in conversation. To address the needs of this group, the Colorado company Able Planet reconfigured the noise-canceling circuitry from its headphone line and created the first over-the-counter device that isolates and amplifies voices.</p> 2020-04-17T05:55:00.0000000+10:00 Video: 3D Printing Customised Chemistry Labware to Replace the Beaker <p>The latest area being changed by 3D printing: chemistry. A researcher at the University of Glasgow, frustrated with the inability to modify standardised labware to fit the requirements of his experiments, has created a new breed of easily customisable laboratory containers that can be printed in silicone-based bathroom sealant.</p> 2020-04-17T04:54:00.0000000+10:00 The Viking Mars Missions May Have Discovered Life in 1976 <p>Since the Viking Mars probes traveled to the red planet back in 1976, NASA has sent several more probes, landers, and rovers to the Martian surface to study the planet's geology and search for signs of microbial life. But the evidence for life may have been <a href="" target="_blank">hidden in Viking's data all along</a>. A new analysis of the data collected by probes Viking 1 and Viking 2 suggest the missions found evidence of microbial life more than three decades ago.</p> 2020-04-17T00:22:00.0000000+10:00 Making a Fractal Computer out of Wood <p>Fractals are cool. Computers are cool. Things made using laser cutting tech is also very cool. As it happens, one guy has put together a DIY project that takes all these elements and throws them together, adding a touch of steampunk sensibility to the mix.</p> 2020-04-16T13:38:00.0000000+10:00 This Week in the Future, April 9-13, 2012 <p>There's already Angry Birds in space - why not Fruit Ninja in space? At least, that's the thesis put forth (probably; I'm not an art critic) by Baarbarian in this week's This Week in the Future illustration. While you ponder the significance of the precise arrangement and variety of sliced fruit, we'll take this opportunity to wish you a good weekend. </p> 2020-04-14T07:26:00.0000000+10:00 The Thousand-Year-Old Viking Sunstone <p>A thousand years ago, Vikings navigated with a sunstone, which they used to locate the sun on cloudy days. The stone-a calcite crystal called Iceland spar-funnels light into two beams. When the beams appear equally bright, the rock is facing the light, even if it's obscured. Researchers now use calcite to funnel light around tiny objects for <a href="" target="_blank">"invisibility" cloaks</a>.</p> 2020-04-14T03:46:00.0000000+10:00 After Much Fanfare, North Korea Launches Rocket, Which Falls Apart <p>Early this morning, North Korea attempted to put a satellite into orbit - or, at least, that's what the DPRK claims, though hardly anybody actually believes that the aim was solely to launch a weather satellite. The rocket carrying the satellite failed to move into its second phase and exploded into dozens of pieces, which fell into the Yellow Sea in between the Korean peninsula and mainland China. </p> 2020-04-14T02:28:00.0000000+10:00 You Built What?!: A Street-Legal Three-Wheeler That Runs on Nearly 2,000 Batteries <p>Nap Pepin had been waiting on the side of the highway near his Alberta, Canada, home for more than hour when the tow truck finally pulled up. The driver looked at the stranded electronics technologist and his homebuilt electric trike and asked, "Ran out of juice, eh?"</p> 2020-04-14T00:13:00.0000000+10:00 Which Continent to Put the Square Kilometre Array On? Why Not Both <p>Splitting the world's largest radio telescope across half the Earth could resolve an international quarrel that is brewing between us and the South Africans, researchers say. Australia and South Africa are vying to host the Square Kilometre Array, which will peer back to the early universe, and now it's getting political. </p> 2020-04-13T07:26:00.0000000+10:00 Hands-On: Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight, Uh, Glows, With Light <p>Today, Barnes & Noble announced a new upgrade to the (pretty excellent) Nook Simple Touch ebook reader: illumination. The Simple Touch With GlowLight, as it'll be called, is in just about every way the same as the non-bright Simple Touch, except it has a little LED at the top of the screen so you can read it in the dark without an external light source. </p> 2020-04-13T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 Pentagon Announces New Strategy: Rapidly Develop Cyberweapons to Attack Specific Targets <p>The US Pentagon wants cyberweapons, and it wants them fast. Deftly recognizing that cyberweapons are nothing like the materiel of physical warfare, the US Department of Defence (DoD) is devising a means to fast-track and field certain cyberweapons, some of which will take only days to go from development to deployment.</p> 2020-04-13T05:57:00.0000000+10:00 Human Eggs Grown in the Lab Could Produce Unlimited Supply of Humans <p>The first human eggs grown from human stem cells could be fertilised with human sperm cells later this year, potentially revolutionising fertility treatment for women. This could be one more step on the path toward reproduction sans human interaction - in this case, a potential parent wouldn't even need to donate her eggs. But it could also turn stem cells into an infinite loop, of egg cells into embryos into stem cells, and on and on, in a fractal-like repetition of reproduction.</p> 2020-04-13T05:00:00.0000000+10:00 Video: DARPA's Updated Humanoid Hits the Treadmill, Climbs Stairs, Does Push-Ups <p>If you fear the robot apocalypse, perhaps your day would be much improved if you just moved on. Boston Dynamics' PETMAN robot, developed for DARPA, is getting more humanoid-like by the day it seems, and here we see it - legs, torso, arms, and all - negotiating staircases, running on a treadmill, and even hitting the floor for some pushups. All this strength training appears to be doing PETMAN some good.</p> 2020-04-13T03:49:00.0000000+10:00 Students Invent a Pothole Repair Patch Made from a Non-Newtonian Fluid <p>Sometime soon, when you spot a pothole in the street (and they're everywhere in Sydney) you won't have to swerve around it and curse when your wheel dips in. Instead, you would deliberately drive over it, so the pressure of your car tires will stiffen the little plastic baggie the city dropped in there as a temporary fix. A little non-Newtonian fluid pothole filler could spare your wheel alignment after a harsh winter, saving councils money and travelers troubles.</p> 2020-04-13T02:53:00.0000000+10:00 The ESA Has Lost Contact With Its Earth-Observing Envisat Satellite <p>The workhorse of the European Space Agency's earth observation initiative went silent over the weekend, and the agency admits today that it hasn't heard a beep from the aging satellite since Sunday. The nearly-nine-ton spacecraft is in a stable orbit, but if the problem persists the ESA may have to finally retire Envisat, which has been in orbit twice as long as it was designed to be.</p> 2020-04-13T01:50:00.0000000+10:00 Canada Launches Its Own Virtual Cash, Called MintChip <p>Next time you visit Canada, you might use digital currency to purchase your poutine, using something called MintChip backed by the Canadian government. The Royal Canadian Mint announced it's getting rid of the penny and starting a new e-currency instead, and it wants the software community to help develop it.</p> 2020-04-13T01:02:00.0000000+10:00 Six Ways Investments in Space are Paying Technology Dividends on Earth <p>Each time NASA gets a new budget from Congress in the United States, a recurring debate takes a spin through a media cycle or two. At its simplest this conflict of opinion is a split between people who think American taxpayers give their national space agency too much money and those who think it's not enough. There are the more nuanced arguments too, those that hinge on specific line items and whether or not a specific program or ambition is worth it (or not worth it). But all the noise can largely be distilled into a question that looms ever larger in the current age of austerity: is what we're getting out of NASA worth what we're putting in? Is space science a good investment?<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-13T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 The Fastest-Ever Random Number Generator Conjures Digits from Subatomic Noise in a Vacuum <p>It was once thought that vacuums - like the vacuum of space - contained nothing. No particles, no sound, just empty darkness. But it has since come to light, thanks to discoveries in quantum physics, that virtual sub-atomic particles constantly and spontaneously appear and disappear, even in the void. Which doesn't mean a whole lot unless you're trying to build the ultimate random number generator.</p> 2020-04-12T07:19:00.0000000+10:00 NASA Invests In Satellites That Beam Power Down to Earth <p>As spaceborne energy-harvesting schemes go, this one seems faintly possible - an array of curved mirrors directing sunlight toward solar cells, their energy production microwaved down to Earth. It's so realistic, actually, that NASA is providing funding for a proof-of-concept study.</p> 2020-04-12T06:05:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Introducing the Carkoon, a Child Car Seat that Wraps Your Child in Kevlar Upon Impact <p>Worried about the safety rating of that child car seat? Perhaps you should swaddle your progeny in a protective Kevlar cocoon. The Carkoon is a new child seat developed by British company Cool Technologies that wraps your child in protective Kevlar and a fireproof Nomex airbag upon impact. It even calls emergency services for you.</p> 2020-04-12T04:56:00.0000000+10:00 What Must a Humanoid Disaster-Response Robot Do to Win DARPA's Challenge? <p>DARPA has some details about its new Robotics Challenge, which we first told you about last week. Anyone have a robot that can drive a car for a $2 million prize?</p> 2020-04-12T04:01:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: A Laser-Powered Ear Implant to Boost Hearing <p>Hearing loss from weapons and explosive devices has been the No. 1 disability in this country's modern military conflicts, saddling thousands of veterans with anything from tinnitus to deafness. Now a new generation of laser-based implants promises to restore their hearing - and that of civilians, too - with higher resolution than existing technology.</p> 2020-04-12T02:12:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: Nerf's 20-Metre Gun <p>Since Nerf introduced its first dart gun, the Sharpshooter, two decades ago, the company's engineers have struggled to find ways to significantly advance their toys' range beyond the original 10 metres. Until now, that is.</p> 2020-04-12T01:31:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: A Futuristic Fire Truck Puts Out Airplane Fires <p>Aircraft fires pose unusual challenges for first responders. Extinguishing jet fuel requires tens of thousands of litres of flame-smothering foam, and the fuel burns so hot (up to 1,300°C) that firefighters typically have only three minutes to respond before passengers would be overcome by heat and smoke inhalation. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-12T00:25:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Real-Life Fruit Ninja at 1,200 Frames Per Second <p>You know that iPhone game Fruit Ninja? Where fruits are flying at you and you have to slice them in half with a finger? It's a good, mildly challenging diversion on the train. Translate it to the real world, though, and suddenly the air is full of slashing blades and squirting pulp, and it's not nearly as easy to cut a fruit in half as you thought it was. </p> 2020-04-11T23:30:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci #42 - May 2012 <p>Take to the skies with our flight tech issue. Strap yourself in as we take you on a high-speed tour through the latest in jet planes, gyrocopters, rockets and unmanned flight technology. </p> 2020-04-11T14:14:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Stem, A Citrus Spritzer That Stabs Directly Into Fruit <p>The Stem is a teeny little bit of plastic from, a sort of invention incubator and store, that looks like the top half of a spritzer bottle. Instead of having an actual bottle or vessel on the bottom, filled with the liquid to be spritzed, the Stem ends abruptly with a serrated edge. To use it, you take a whole citrus fruit and stab it with the Stem. Bam: Instant spritzer.</p> 2020-04-11T07:25:00.0000000+10:00 A Unicorn, A Fox, and a Christmas Tree Find Common Ground in a Star Nursery <p>Today in pretty space pics: the constellation Monoceros, also known as the unicorn. A solid 2,700 light-years from Earth, this cluster of gas and dust is more formally cataloged as NGC 2264, a star-forming region that shines with both emission nebulae excited by the high energy given off by newborn stars (red) and reflection nebulae, which is light simply bouncing off interstellar dust near young, hot stars (blue).</p> 2020-04-11T06:18:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: A Two-in-One Turbocharger <p>Carmakers are responding to high oil prices and strict fuel-economy standards by replacing large gasoline engines with smaller, more-efficient ones. And frequently, they are using turbochargers to make the switch without sacrificing power. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-11T05:21:00.0000000+10:00 How Well Does Scotch Age in Zero Gravity? A Distiller Launches Some to Find Out <p>Ardbeg, makers of extremely peaty Scotch whisky, has launched samples of its product into space. Not as a gift from Earth to extraterrestrial races, nor even as a refreshment for human astronauts - no, the idea is to study how whisky ages in zero-gravity conditions. </p> 2020-04-11T04:26:00.0000000+10:00 Dark Matter Collides With Human Tissue An Average of Once a Minute, Study Finds <p>A dark matter particle smacks into an average person's body <a href="" target="_blank">about once a minute</a>, and careens off oxygen and hydrogen nuclei in your cells, according to theoretical physicists. Dark matter is streaming through you as you read this, most of it unimpeded. </p> 2020-04-11T03:10:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Creepy Humanoid Robot Mimics Human Head Movements For Science <p>At a cocktail party, during a baseball game or in any other crowded, noisy place, your brain has to do some high-level filtering so you can separate important sounds from the clanking background. Turning your head helps with this, and researchers are studying how these head movements cause a shift in auditory perception. A team in Japan did the natural thing and used a humanoid robot to figure it out. Watch below as it affably mimics a headphone-wearing human.</p> 2020-04-11T02:56:00.0000000+10:00 Without Smarts, New York's 'Taxi of Tomorrow' is Really the Taxi of Yesterday <p>One of the more intriguing attractions on display at the New York International Auto Show was Nissan's NV200, the so-called "Taxi of Tomorrow" that the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will phase in as the exclusive taxi of NYC starting late next year.</p> 2020-04-11T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Video: This Octobot Walks Using Shape-Memory Alloy Tentacles <p>As IEEE Spectrum notes this morning, the octopus - with its near lack of bones, fine motor control, and dexterity - is the ideal biological model in the field of soft robotics. As such, building a robotic octopus analog is the primary goal of the European Commission-funded OCTOPUS Project, and if the videos below are any indication it's coming along nicely. The team's newest approach, an eight-tentacled ‘bot with a mix of shape-memory alloy and more traditional servo-cable manipulated appendages, has just surfaced on the Web.</p> 2020-04-11T01:02:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: Building a Kilometre Deep-Long Pipe Under the Sea <p>One possibility for future energy production involves harvesting the warmth of Earth's tropical oceans, using the natural heat differentials in the water to drive turbines. It would be relatively simple if you didn't need a ludicrously large piece of pipe, 10 metres in diametre and stretching a kilometre beneath the water. To put that in context, that's a New York subway tunnel wide and two and a half Empire State Buildings high. </p> 2020-04-11T00:00:00.0000000+10:00 Test Drive: the 2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan <p>When BMW rolls out an all-new 3 Series, it's big news, since these have been the benchmark of German sedans for the last 30 years or more. It also sets off a tectonic shift in the entry-level luxury market, with the Mercedes-Benz C Class, Audi A, not to mention the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G and the Lexus GS suddenly called upon to step up their game to follow along. </p> 2020-04-10T07:38:00.0000000+10:00 Genetic Bar Code Search Can Use RNA to Pick Out Individuals From Huge Gene Pools <p>DNA databases are highly protected resources, because they contain the most detailed fingerprint that can be used to identify a person - from genetic predisposition to cancer, to paternity tests, to criminal histories. But apparently RNA databases, derived from large genome studies, can also be used to pinpoint a person's identity, according to a new study. These databases are published in journals and are publicly available, and contain genetic information from thousands of people around the world. </p> 2020-04-10T06:36:00.0000000+10:00 Church Leaders Give Blessing to Gadgets in the Pews <p>Church pews nationwide were lit up this Easter weekend, and not just by the glow of so many churchgoers making their once-a-year appearances - iPads and smartphones were on plenty of parishioners' laps, helping people follow along with the ceremonies. Congregants are feeling increasingly comfortable with using gadgets in church, and priests and ministers are condoning it.</p> 2020-04-10T05:31:00.0000000+10:00 Breaking: Facebook Is Buying Instagram for a Billion Dollars <p>Mark Zuckerberg just announced that Facebook has agreed to buy mega-popular photo sharing service Instagram for $1 billion. Facebook's been on a buying spree of late, and has been beefing up its own already-ubiquitous photo sharing service lately as well. But it looks like it just landed a whale.</p> 2020-04-10T04:44:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: How Do You Track Wild Salmon? <p>At the turn of the 19th century, up to 16 million salmon and steelhead trout migrated up the waterways of the Columbia River Basin to spawn. Today, about one million salmon and an equal number of steelhead return, in large part because the rivers have been dammed. When fish swim from their hatching grounds to the ocean, they learn the route and return by the same course years later. If a dam blocks it, the run discontinues. </p> 2020-04-10T04:15:00.0000000+10:00 Navy's Robot Helicopters Are Getting New Onboard Brains That Will Help Them Fight Somali Pirates <p>It's tough being a pirate these days. Facing off with foreign navies and missile cruisers on their home turf of the high seas is tough enough for small-arms wielding pirates in diminutive watercraft. Now, the US Navy is bringing in the robots. The Office of Naval Research has plans to imbue its Fire Scout unmanned, ship-launched helicopters with electronic brains capable of identifying the small boats generally used by pirates.</p> 2020-04-10T03:21:00.0000000+10:00 How it Would Work: Destroying an Incoming Killer Asteroid With a Nuclear Blast <p>One way or another, it's on everyone's minds, living somewhere in the back of our collective consciousness. Hollywood knows it, and continues to plumb it for box office numbers. Sci-fi is rife with it. The fossil record shouts warnings across millennia about it. Even the dinosaurs developed a particular, albeit brief, loathing for it. The killer asteroid - the one that we might never even see coming - could end life on this planet and there would be nothing humans could do about it. <!-- - break - --> It creates a kind of helplessness that's difficult to even think about, and it's Robert Weaver's job to think about it all the time.</p> 2020-04-10T01:42:00.0000000+10:00 The Solar System With the Most Planets Is Now ... HD 10180 <p>It's a shame about Pluto. Now that the astronomical community has downgraded the once-furthest planet from the sun to non-planet status (technically it's now referred to as a protoplanet or dwarf planet), our solar system is at risk of being unseated as the largest known planetary system in the universe. An astronomer at the University of Hertfordshire has revisited data related to nearby star HD 10180 and discovered that it very likely has nine planets, making it the most populous known solar system.</p> 2020-04-10T01:08:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: Electric Blue, the 280 Km/h Electric Car <p>Before Electric Blue sped across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats at 280 kilometres an hour late last year, no one had made an official attempt to set a speed record for battery-powered racecars weighing less than 500 kilograms. Other groups have been racing on the Salt Flats for years in electric cars with heavier batteries and larger motors. But Perry Carter, a professor of manufacturing engineering technology at Brigham Young University, wanted a car that could hit high speeds without so much weight.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-10T00:08:00.0000000+10:00 Interface The Music: An Introduction to Electronic Instrument Control <p>I'm no musician, but lately I've been experimenting with MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) in my projects. MIDI is a standard for controlling instruments that works by passing messages between pieces of connected equipment. The messages aren't actual music in the same way as, say, an MP3 is. Instead, they are commands for making music - "play middle C on an electric piano," for example. MIDI devices known as controllers create the messages, and MIDI synthesisers receive them, with the result usually being musical sounds (although I've also built projects that map notes to relays that control Christmas lights and fireballs).</p> 2020-04-07T05:31:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: The World's Fastest Elevator <p>The first commercial passenger elevator, installed by Otis Elevator Company in 1857, climbed 12 metres a minute. The elevators that Mitsubishi Electric are installing in China's 610-metres-tall Shanghai Tower travel 18 metres a second. When construction is complete in 2014, the elevators will whisk passengers straight from the basement-level entrance to the observation deck near the top of the tower, a 570 metres journey, in less than a minute. <a href=""></a><!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-07T01:19:00.0000000+10:00 At the New York Auto Show, a Street-Legal Airplane Steals the Spotlight <p>The biggest attraction at this year's New York International Auto Show isn't an automobile at all. Technically, it's a "roadable aircraft." Sometimes it's called a street-legal airplane. Whatever you call it, Terrafugia's Transition is a vehicle that lives in between strict definitions. And at an otherwise unremarkable showcase of the latest model year automobiles and newest concept cars, the Transition is the star of the show.</p> 2020-04-07T00:02:00.0000000+10:00 Photo Artists Use Filter "Normally Used by NASA" to Remove People From Crowded Urban Places <p>"Silent World," a photography project by Parisian artists Lucie & Simon, takes the most crowded parts of New York City, Paris, and Beijing, and alters them in a basic (but technically incredible difficult) way. We recognize Times Square, Columbus Circle, and more landmarks from our own hometown, but only barely - those usually people-clogged landmarks are now empty, totally bereft of the swarms of tourists and locals alike that give those areas their personality. Apparently the artist duo used a neutral filter "normally used by NASA for analyzing stars." The filter allows the photographers to take extra-long exposures, and then cut out any moving objects like people or cars. Check out video of the project below.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-06T07:19:00.0000000+10:00 MIT Predicts That World Economy Will Collapse By 2030 <p>Forty years after its initial publication, a study called The Limits to Growth is looking depressingly prescient. Commissioned by an international think tank called the Club of Rome, the 1972 report found that if civilization continued on its path toward increasing consumption, the global economy would collapse by 2030. Population losses would ensue, and things would generally fall apart.</p> 2020-04-06T06:30:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: The First Disposable, USB-Powered Genome Sequencer <p>The first human genome sequence took 13 years and cost $3 billion - now, less than a decade later, a new company promises to sequence a full genome in 15 minutes for a song. If this exponential increase in efficiency and drop in price sounds like something out of the computing industry, that's because it is. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-06T05:09:00.0000000+10:00 Video: An App That Gives Apes the Ability to Control Robots <p>Did you know that bonobos have a "fascination with computers"? No? Neither did we. But a new Kickstarter project from the Bonobo Hope Great Ape Trust Sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa needs funding to make every bonobo's technological dreams a reality - from operating vending machines to, improbably, controlling their own robots. </p> 2020-04-06T04:00:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: An Underground Robot Library <p>Engineers from Dematic, a firm that builds automated parts and storage-retrieval systems for Boeing, Ford and IBM, designed a five-story underground storage area managed by five robotic cranes. Dematic has built 17 automated library systems worldwide, but the University of Chicago's is the most complex. The company has three more libraries under construction.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-06T03:00:00.0000000+10:00 DARPA Wants Humanoid Robots That Can Drive Tractors, Open Doors and Save the Day <p>DARPA is poised to launch a new Grand Challenge for a humanoid robot, according to robotics insiders - and the result could be a souped-up metal soldier running alongside BigDog, driving an ATV, unlocking doors and clearing a path to safety for its human counterparts. There's no official agency announcement yet, but robotics companies heard all about it at a recent industry day.</p> 2020-04-06T02:12:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: A Recycled-Air Scuba System <p>Conventional scuba systems have some major limitations. Divers using them must carefully monitor the depth and time they stay underwater and endure a series of lengthy decompression steps during resurfacing. Rebreathers recycle air, allowing divers to go deeper and remain underwater for longer, with shorter decompression on ascent. The Navy has used the devices for decades, but they were very expensive, and difficult to maintain and operate. In 2008, VR Technology introduced the Sentinel, a $12,000 rebreather with automated safety systems and full manual backup. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-06T01:41:00.0000000+10:00 Q&A: The Surprising Phenomenon of Exercise-Induced Orgasms <p>According to a new study by sex researchers at the Indiana University, women having orgasms during exercise is a real phenomenon. As far as the researchers know, this is the first study that deals directly with exercise-induced orgasms (EIO), known colloquially as "coregasms" because they tend to occur during core-strengthening workouts, like sit-ups and crunches. </p> 2020-04-06T00:07:00.0000000+10:00 The One Millionth Photo Taken from the International Space Station <p>Today in pretty space pics: Behold, the one millionth photo taken from the orbiting International Space Station. Snapped from one of the lab's windows as it cruises some 240 miles above our planet, the image manages to capture two Russian spacecraft (a Soyuz and a Progress robotic vehicle) in the foreground, a band of emerald green aurora swathing the Earth, and below that the Tasman Sea - proof that half of photography is a good vantage point.</p> 2020-04-05T09:19:00.0000000+10:00 Minecraft Maker Promises a New Game Rooted in 'Hard Science Fiction' <p>The maker of Minecraft has a new project in the works, and the first details appear pretty tantalising: space-themed, set 281 billion years in the future, and rooted in "hard science fiction." Markus "Notch" Persson and his development company Mojang plan to allow the game to grow much the way Minecraft did, letting users have a heavy hand in its maturation.</p> 2020-04-05T07:14:00.0000000+10:00 Boeing's Space Capsule Undergoes First Drop Test <p>In a landing system test, Boeing just dropped its new space capsule from 11,000 feet above the Nevada desert, watching the Apollo-esque craft descend under three massive parachutes. The CST-100 (which really needs a catchier name) is now one step closer to flying to the International Space Station or a future space hotel. </p> 2020-04-05T05:13:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Google's Straight-Out-of-Sci-Fi Augmented Reality Glasses <p>Google announced just a month or two ago that they were in the advanced stages of work on <a href="" target="_blank">a pair of augmented reality glasses</a> - a concept we've been waiting for since some sci-fi writer thought of it in decades ago. The company was short on details or, importantly for our fantasies, imagery, until today, when it posted a concept video showing how these glasses might be used. And it's pretty amazing. Video after the jump.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-05T03:30:00.0000000+10:00 NASA's Flying Telescope Captures the Death Sighs of a Sun <p>NASA's plane-with-a-hole-in-it has been busy making infrared astronomy observations, and just captured a quiet, sad sight - the feeble last pulsations of a dying star. Astronomers say the images paint the most complete picture yet of how stellar material is recycled and reborn. </p> 2020-04-05T03:16:00.0000000+10:00 Why Turning Mercury Into a Dyson Sphere to Harvest Solar Energy Is Not Worth It <p>Rising energy prices usually spark some creative ideas for alternatives, but a new one from a futurist named George Dvorsky is pretty far-fetched: He envisions destroying Mercury and scavenging its rocky remains. The debris could be used to build an array of solar power collectors, a Dyson swarm, around the sun.</p> 2020-04-05T02:03:00.0000000+10:00 How It Works: Adding Power to a Bicycle's Gear Shifter <p>Bicycle shifting has been cable-driven since 1938 - until 2008, that is, when Shimano introduced the first electronic shifters. The company swapped mechanical derailleurs for motorised ones, cable for electrical wire, and levers for buttons. Last fall, Shimano launched Ultegra Di2, a version of the system that can be retrofit onto most road bikes. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-05T01:06:00.0000000+10:00 Video: A Robot With a Human Skeleton <p>Over at the BBC, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy has examined what he's calling the world's first anthropomimetic robot - a robot that mimics in extremely high anatomical detail the movements and construction of the human body. The robot, named ECCEROBOT, possesses artificial analogs of human bones, muscles, and tendons that endow it with human-like motions and - perhaps someday - will imbue it with human-like intelligence.</p> 2020-04-05T00:04:00.0000000+10:00 Nokia Lumia 900 Review: Bigger Is Not Always Better <p>If you want to buy a phone right now, and you're shopping based on quality rather than price, you have two choices in terms of size. You can get the iPhone, with its 3.5-inch screen, or you can choose from a handful of top-tier Android and Windows phones, all of which will have, at the bare minimum, a four-inch screen. Most of them will be bigger - 4.3 inches is much more common right now, and an increasing number are even larger, including the <a href="">Samsung Galaxy Nexus</a> (4.65 in), HTC Titan (4.7 in), and the <a href="">Samsung Galaxy Note</a> (which, at 5.3 inches, is more lunchtray than phone). </p> 2020-04-04T11:00:00.0000000+10:00 While the LHC Hunts Higgs, the Jefferson Accelerator Looks to Illuminate Mysterious 'Dark Photons' <p>While the Large Hadron Collider prepares to fire up its proton beams and get back to particle smashing, another accelerator is dialing up the search for another elusive particle. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia is turning up its electron beams in search of "dark" or "heavy" photons, and in doing so they hope to unlock the secrets of the so-called "dark sector" where things like dark matter are thought to live.</p> 2020-04-04T07:17:00.0000000+10:00 PopSci Q&A: How To Track Down International Jewel Thieves Via Facebook <p>Manuel Cebrian and his team just won the Tag Challenge, a State Department-sponsored competition to find five fake jewel thieves in five countries within 12 hours. Team Crowdscanner featured some of the same people who won DARPA's Network Challenge, a strange hunt for red balloons placed around the country. As with the balloon challenge, some team members thought Tag Challenge was an impossible task - and in some ways it might have been, because no one found all five "suspects." But three out of five isn't bad, especially given the complexity of the task.</p> 2020-04-04T06:12:00.0000000+10:00 Enviropig, the Genetically Engineered Eco-Friendly Pork, Is Off the Table <p>Genetically modified pigs that excrete less waste may be euthanised before they could be slaughtered for human consumption, according to a report out of Canada. The current herd of Enviropigs, which digest their feed more efficiently, just lost their funding. </p> 2020-04-04T05:06:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Design, Program, and Build a Customised Army of Robots In a Day <p>The robots I've personally used are just vacuum cleaners and toys, but even so, these creations took their designers years and countless sums of money to build. But a new project aims to let anyone design and create a custom automaton from the comfort of home.</p> 2020-04-04T03:58:00.0000000+10:00 Scrunchable Space Sieves Could Work as Tiny Foldable Satellite-Borne Telescopes <p>A perforated plastic sheet carried into space in a microsatellite could serve as a cheap alternative space telescope, according to researchers at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The devices would sift photons like spaceborne cheesecloths.</p> 2020-04-04T03:04:00.0000000+10:00 Video: The Navy's 'Shoulder-to-Shoulder' Firefighting Robot's First Trial By Fire <p>A couple of weeks back we first heard about Octavia, the American Naval Research Lab's (NRL) and Office of Naval Research's (ONR) new firefighting robot designed to perform "shoulder-to-shoulder" firefighting operations with humans aboard Navy vessels. Today we get to see Octavia in action, fighting a simulated fire in a demonstration video that is somewhat less-than-confidence-inspiring.</p> 2020-04-04T02:08:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Controlling Your Kinect By Waggling Your Tongue <p>A new Kinect-driven device can follow the creepy, lizardy flicking motion of a person's tongue moving from side to side, and translate the movement into a video game. The tongue is the gun, as it were, and you can shoot circular objects on the screen like some trippy version of Asteroids. The bullet's trajectory is determined by the position of the tongue.</p> 2020-04-04T00:57:00.0000000+10:00 The Internet Goes Local <p>When the soon-to-be-defunct government of president Hosni Mubarak shut off Egypt's Internet early on the morning of January 28, 2020, it proved the US State Department's working theory: that the arc of history bends toward democracy, but it needs Internet access to get there. One project meant to ensure what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls "the freedom to connect" is an "Internet-in-a-suitcase," a kit of wireless routers and software that could be smuggled into an authoritarian country and allow revolutionaries to set up their own local area network (LAN) on the fly. Its developers at the public policy institute the New America Foundation call the concept "device as infrastructure," a platform that operates on its own, without requiring a connection to the broader Internet. By avoiding the traditional phone-company cables-and, in the process, a connection to the backbone of the Internet-this ad hoc network would be extremely difficult to monitor or shut down.</p> 2020-04-04T00:07:00.0000000+10:00 Google Maps Re-Launches Its Traffic Mapping, Incorporating Real-Time Data From Drivers With Phones <p>Google Maps is bringing traffic estimates back to its estimated travel time feature, and this time it's relying on realtime data obtained from third party reports and drivers voluntarily running Google's "My Location" feature on their Android phones. The reboot hopes to stifle user frustration with the old traffic estimate feature and, hopefully, to make Google Maps a more accurate predictor of transit times in urban areas around the globe.</p> 2020-04-03T09:36:00.0000000+10:00 Video: Flying Car (or Driving Autogyro) Completes First Flight Tests <p>So this video was uploaded on April 1st (*danger! danger!*) but we've known of the Pal-V for a few years and we'll assume for the moment that the Dutch company was not aware of the risk in uploading a video of a flying car on April Fool's Day. The Pal-V, which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle, is actually more of a driving autogyro than a flying car, but it can drive like a car, and it can also fly, so we are definitively on board.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-03T07:45:00.0000000+10:00 The World's Most Sensitive Scale Can Weigh Single Protons <p>A group of scientists at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology have created a new scale (and process for weighing) that increases the accuracy of small-scale, um, scales to new heights. </p> 2020-04-03T06:35:00.0000000+10:00 Invention of The Month: Conductive Ink <p>Don't wire a circuit-doodle it. To connect batteries to devices such as resistors and LEDs, a newly developed ballpoint pen uses silver-based ink that conducts electricity through lines drawn over paper, wood, plastic and even some textiles. Jennifer Lewis, the materials scientist who led the pen's design at the University of Illinois in the US, says she is now looking for business partners and hopes to have products that integrate the pen and ink on the market within a few months. Check out video of the ink below!<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-04-03T05:50:00.0000000+10:00 Tattooing Teeth With Graphene Could Warn of Bacteria and Dental Decay <p>Electronic tattoos promise to help people monitor health in all kinds of ways, from heart rates to blood sugar and more. Now here's one that can monitor your tooth-brushing skills. A tooth-based sensor can detect different types bacteria in your saliva that can cause a variety of health problems. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-04-03T05:43:00.0000000+10:00 Free-Market Fans Encourage Rush for Off-Planet Real Estate <p>Getting to the moon is a noble and ambitious goal for any country, and other nations will probably follow in the footsteps of America pretty soon. But private companies won't go without the promise of profit, and until they do, space will be left unsettled, advocates say. The latest in a drumbeat of pro-colonisation comes from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is advocating the recognition of property rights on the moon or other celestial bodies.</p> 2020-04-03T04:35:00.0000000+10:00 Video: 'Smart Sand' Could Self-Sculpt into Any Shape, Duplicating Objects Automatically <p>It sounds like something out of a fantasy film: a vat of sand into which you plunge a small object only to watch the sand bind together to form larger copies of the same object. Such "smart sand" isn't exactly a reality just yet, but a team at MIT's Distributed Robotics Laboratory (DRL) has a vision for tiny granules - "smart pebbles" - imbued with a small amount of computing power and covered in magnets on the outside. Piled together in a heap, the small amount of computing power in each grain would become a single distributed computing platform capable of shaping itself into objects, with the unneeded grains falling away to leave behind the finished product.</p> 2020-04-03T02:38:00.0000000+10:00 Mitt Romney Campaigns According to the Rules of Quantum Mechanics, Says Times Op-Ed <p>Much the same way that light is both a particle and a wave, Mitt Romney is both a moderate and a conservative, all at the same time. And just as the act of observing a particle's state cannot be untangled from the outcome of the observation, Mitt Romney holds all political positions at once, until such time as he is asked to state an opinion. This is from a superb op-ed in the Sunday New York Times: "A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney."</p> 2020-04-03T02:02:00.0000000+10:00 Rec-Room Cockpit: How One Reader Built His Own Flight Simulator <p>Clint Fishburne, a regional-airline pilot based in Atlanta, wanted to help his children develop the body movement and muscle memory necessary to fly and land a plane. With the cost of commercial flight simulators starting at $2,800, though, Fishburne, a longtime PopSci reader, decided to make one from scratch. <!-- - break - --> Building the plywood-and-PVC plane, frame and control stick was relatively easy. The challenge was making a platform that could mimic a plane's motion and that was strong enough to support and move a 34-kilo child. </p> 2020-04-03T00:16:00.0000000+10:00 Video: VICE Goes to SOFEX, a Massive Jordanian Weapons Convention <p>Weapons conventions, basically the military equivalent of the <a href="">Consumer Electronics Show</a> that we attend every year, are massive events in which generals and representatives from countries around the world come to gawk at and buy that year's crop of weaponry. A lot of the <a href="">military tech</a> that we write about will pop up in some form at these events, and <a href="">VICE went out to SOFEX</a>, a major convention in Jordan, to see (and be a bit disturbed by) how it all works. Check out the video below - it's a really interesting 20 minutes.<! - break - ></p> 2020-03-31T07:14:40.0000000+11:00 Scientist Behind Earth-Shaking Neutrino Finding Resigns Due to Slowness of Subatomic Particles <p>Professor Antonio Ereditato, the man who found neutrinos traveling <a href="">faster than light</a> late last year, has resigned from his job at the Gran Sasso physics laboratory in Italy. Attempts to reproduce the amazing superluminal result were not successful, and the finding was eventually blamed on a <a href="">loose cable</a>.<! - break - > </p> 2020-03-31T06:32:10.0000000+11:00 (Wildly) Guesses Your Age and Mood From Your Photo <p>The next creepy step in facial recognition comes from - a little bit of software that purports to not only identify you with a photo of your face, but also deduce your age, gender, and mood. We'd be more creeped out if it wasn't sort of...not accurate. The above photo of <a href="">Pop Photo's</a> Dan Bracaglia, a 24-year-old who we'd describe as "smiling sardonically," was identified as a non-smiling 33-year-old man in a "happy" mood. Try it for yourself <a href="">here</a>. [via <a href="">Gizmodo</a>]<! - break - ></p> 2020-03-31T05:45:21.0000000+11:00 Ten Dollars Is Not a Lot to Pay for All of the Music Ever <p>According to the RIAA's <a href="">yearly sales report</a>, which was released this week, this year for the first time Americans are buying as much digital as physical music. Great! </p> 2020-03-31T04:35:00.0000000+11:00 Simple Project of the Month: Build Your Own Hoverpuck <p>Love air hockey, but find the tabletop version a little confining? How about busting out the concept of a fan-powered hockey puck into a full-sized version? Here's how to make your own.<! - break - ></p> 2020-03-31T03:35:00.0000000+11:00 How Activist Data Mining Is Penetrating the Veil Around Syria's Bloody Conflict <p>It's been nearly a year since the beginning of a bloody uprising in Syria that has taken thousands of lives, both military and civilian. Just how many? Depends on whom you ask. </p> 2020-03-31T01:14:00.0000000+11:00 'Cyberplasm,' a Micro-Robot Modeled After the Sea Lamprey, Could Swim Around Inside You <p>Tiny microelectromechanical machines running Magic Schoolbus-style through our bodies are the pursuit of nano labs across the globe, but a team of researchers jointly backed by the American National Science Foundation and the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council wants something more: a tiny biomimicking robot that functions like a living creature loaded with sensors derived from animal cells.</p> 2020-03-30T08:13:00.0000000+11:00 Video: French Electronic Musical Jelly <p>The creators of this video and project describe it as a "game," which it isn't, really, but it is really, really cool: you make a sort of extra-firm jelly-like product by mixing water, agar agar, and some food colouring (optional, but why wouldn't you want your final product to be blue or pink?) in a mould. Then, you make it sing.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-30T07:07:00.0000000+11:00 Investigation: Despite Repeated Failures, DARPA Bought Director's Family's Lousy Bomb Tech <p>Generally when PopSci writes about DARPA in the US, we do so with enthusiasm, as the Pentagon's far-out research arm tends to prod at the edges of what seems possible, even when it fails spectacularly. But when it fails institutionally, we have to acknowledge that even the storied Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is at a fundamental level a bureaucracy prone to the same problems and inefficiencies as any other bureaucracy. With that, point you toward a piece by the crew over at Danger Room, who today tell the tale of a seemingly huge DARPA fail.</p> 2020-03-30T06:10:00.0000000+11:00 "Wonders of the Universe" App Is Your Space Textbook of the Future <p>The potential of tablets to transform the way we learn is pretty extraordinary. The first really "wow" app we saw for the iPad was a re-imagining of the periodic table. <em>Wonders of the Universe</em>, a new app from the BBC, HarperCollins, and Professor Brian Cox, takes you zooming through our universe, from a broad view at multiple galaxies all the way down to a look at subatomic particles - with more than a film's worth of videos, a staggering amount of gorgeous space photos, and hundreds of interesting articles as well. It takes the idea of an interactive textbook far beyond what we've seen before.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-30T05:14:00.0000000+11:00 Video: With This Camera, Your Fingers Frame the Shot <p>Sometimes when framing a photo, you might draw a little box with your fingers, visualizing the field of view before looking through the viewfinder. Now there's a device that turns your little hand-rectangle into an actual camera. You frame the shot with your fingers, and you determine the view by moving your hands closer to or further from your face.</p> 2020-03-30T04:07:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Blind Driver Takes Google's Autonomous Car for a Spin <p>Future self-driving cars could make traffic smoother and safer, among plenty of other potential benefits, but one thing you don't hear much about - and should - is their utility for people with physical limitations. For example, Steve Mahan, who has lost 95 per cent of his vision. He becomes Google Autonomous Car Driver #1 in the video past the jump.</p> 2020-03-30T03:09:00.0000000+11:00 Jeff Bezos Finds Apollo 11 Rocket Engines on Seafloor, Plans to Go Get Them <p>Renowned space fan and would-be space explorer Jeff Bezos is the latest billionaire with his head in the deep ocean. This time it's not to reach the seafloor, but to dredge up the massive Saturn V engines that powered Apollo 11 to the moon.</p> 2020-03-30T02:05:00.0000000+11:00 What Can a Videogame Tell Us About How Economies Work? <p>On October 3, 2020, President George W. Bush signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program bill into law, delivering $450 billion to failing banks on the premise that it would prevent their collapse and stimulate a faltering economy. Like millions of Americans, Dmitri Williams, an associate professor of communications at the University of Southern California, found TARP troubling-not because the bill provided too much or (as many economists argued) too little, but because it was unscientific. "We did a half-a-trillion-dollar experiment with the economy and had no control group," he says. Setting up a test bed for a program as complex as TARP might be difficult, but it wasn't impossible. Williams had found just such a petri dish in videogames.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-30T01:13:00.0000000+11:00 Telepresence Robots Will Join Doctors on Their Rounds in Singapore Next Month <p>Deploying telepresence robots in a medical setting <a href="" target="_blank">isn't exactly a new notion</a>, but a Singapore-based startup is easing the technology into the clinical setting in a clever way. While other telepresence platforms have largely focused on allowing doctors to examine patients and oversee care remotely, CtrlWorks envisions its Puppet as more of a remotely piloted assistant that will reduce doctor workloads, dutifully taking down case notes and filing them in the proper places as a doctor makes his rounds. And next month at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore it will get a chance to prove its value.</p> 2020-03-29T08:20:00.0000000+11:00 Fossilised Raindrop Dimples Add to Mystery of Ancient Earth's Warmth <p>Pumice-like cratery indents formed by ancient raindrop splats are adding to the mystery of why the adolescent Earth was warm enough to host rivers and oceans, despite the dim sun of the day. Thanks to fossilised impressions from rains that fell down on Africa 2.7 billion years ago, the "Faint Young Sun" paradox is getting curiouser and curiouser. That's right, 2.7 billion-year-old raindrops. And you thought spring showers were ephemeral. </p> 2020-03-29T06:50:00.0000000+11:00 100-Year-Old Lightbulb Unearthed From Time Capsule Still Works <p>Modern lightbulbs may be getting slightly more environmentally conscious (or at least having <a href="" target="_blank">unexpected things stuffed into them</a>), but it's still equal parts impressive and depressing that a 100-year-old lightbulb discovered by GE in a time capsule still works perfectly well when plugged into a circa-2012 socket. This one's a tungsten filament bulb, which was slowly brought up to 60 volts (plugging it into a regular 120-volt socket would probably not have been good) and gave off a healthy, century-old glow. Somehow though, we bet people in 1912 would have expected 2012 to be lit by something like bacteria, not a slightly brighter and rounder version of their own bulb. Video after the jump.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-29T05:55:00.0000000+11:00 Is It Snowing Microbes on Enceladus? <p>Aside from ancient Mars, the moons of Saturn might be one of the best places to look for life outside this planet. The methane lakes of Titan are promising places, but so are the spewing plumes of ice on Enceladus - and the latter would be an easy one to check, as it turns out. The Cassini orbiter just flew through them, and Cassini scientists want to go back and take a longer look.</p> 2020-03-29T05:30:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Former DARPA Chief Regina Dugan Talks Hypersonic Gilders and Hummingbirds at TED <p>PopSci's favorite DARPA head turned Google exec has done her turn at TED, and the video has just hit the wires. Titled "From Mach-20 Glider to Hummingbird Drone," Dugan's theme of discouraging the fear of failure is a retrospective on DARPA's technological milestones and how the nerds at DARPA reached them by believing in impossible things.</p> 2020-03-29T04:25:00.0000000+11:00 US Zoo's Poo-Powered Rickshaw Turns Animal Waste into Energy <p>Teddy Roosevelt famously said "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." The folks at the Denver Zoo must have thought he was talking crap. The zoo happens to have a lot of animal dung on hand where it is, and via its own patent-pending gasification tech it is doing what it can, introducing a poo-powered rickshaw that turns animal waste and human trash into mobility.</p> 2020-03-29T03:13:00.0000000+11:00 PopSci Q&A: The Quest for a Male Contraceptive <p>John Amory, a doctor at the University of Washington, has been developing a male contraceptive for 15 years. Turns out, it's harder than it sounds. We spoke with him to find out why.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-29T03:13:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Little Sand Flea Robot Makes Prodigious Leaps <p>This little robot may not look like much, but its standing jump two stories high is one of the most incredible robotic feats I have ever seen. Boston Dynamics, creator of the BigDog, Petman and other awesome military robots, is sending it off for testing by the Army. Click past the jump to see video of it in action.</p> 2020-03-29T02:04:00.0000000+11:00 Australia Needs To Reintroduce Top Predators <p>A new study shows Australia’s biodiversity is diminishing as native species are threatened by introduced animals, and suggests the reintroduction of “apex predators” including dingoes and the Tasmanian tiger across the country could help restore order. But will this solve problems? Or cause more? </p> 2020-03-28T10:18:00.0000000+11:00 Video: A Swirling Visualisation of the Ocean's Currents <p>For whatever reason things grow popular, this NASA animation - titled "Perpetual Ocean" - has been making the rounds over the past 24 hours, mesmerising all who dare click "play." Compiled from data produced by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Earth, Phase II (ECCO2 for short), the animation is a high-res model of global ocean and sea ice movements from June 2005 through December 2007. And it's strangely therapeutic to watch.</p> 2020-03-28T07:20:00.0000000+11:00 Electric Animals That Aren't Eels <p>Eels aren't the only creatures that can deliver a painful zap of electricity. In fact, not all of them are even marine animals. Here are some others.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-28T06:47:00.0000000+11:00 High Court Rejects Patents on Genes, Sending Breast Cancer Gene Case Back to Square One <p>Over in the old US of A, the high court has rejected an appeals court ruling allowing genes to be patented. The case involves two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, patented by Myriad Genetics Inc, which obviously has implications for future issues surrounding patent law and commercial gene therapy.</p> 2020-03-28T06:15:00.0000000+11:00 Meet 'Buckliball,' a New Class of Engineered Structure Inspired By a Toy <p>This squishy ball, inspired by an equally cute kid's toy, is a breakthrough in a new class of three-dimensional structures that can buckle reversibly. It starts out as an inflated sphere, and if you suck the air out of it, it buckles down along its dimples into a smaller ball 46 per cent its original size. It looks sort of like a buckyball, so its creators at MIT nicknamed it a "buckliball." </p> 2020-03-28T05:15:00.0000000+11:00 Video: NASA Launches a Rapid Fire Five-Rocket Barrage to the Very Edge of Space <p>After a couple of delays, NASA finally launched its five-rocket barrage into the upper atmosphere this morning in an attempt to study the winds at the very edge of space. The ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment) mission successfully lobbed all five rockets into space from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia with 80 seconds of separation between each rocket, creating a dazzling display of fireworks for anyone who happened to be awake and watching on the East Coast at 4:58 a.m.</p> 2020-03-28T04:15:00.0000000+11:00 LG's 55-Inch OLED TV Will Be Available (to Extremely Rich People) <p>OLED TVs are as much a tradition at the annual CES electronics conference as anything else: you see, you drool, you shake your head and remember that OLEDs are still several years away. Or are they? CES 2012 seemed to suggest they're right on the horizon, with a couple of big manufacturers, now including LG, seemingly lining up models for the coming year.</p> 2020-03-28T03:10:00.0000000+11:00 Video: The First Footage from James Cameron's Record-Setting Dive to Challenger Deep <p>The first video footage is surfacing from James Cameron's record-setting dive to the deepest known point in Earth's oceans over the weekend, and the landscape down there is about what one might expect when you're 11,000 metres below the surface: desolate, dark, and vaguely reminiscent of the moon. "I really feel like literally in the space of one day I've been to another planet and come back," Cameron says in the video.</p> 2020-03-28T03:07:00.0000000+11:00 Swimming On The Hot Side <p>I first heard about nuclear diving while I was getting my hair cut in downtown Manhattan. My stylist seemed out of place in an East Village salon, so I asked her where she lived. Brooklyn? Queens? Uptown? "Well, my husband has kind of a weird job," she said. "He'd rather not live around other people."</p> 2020-03-28T02:10:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Why Does Some Food Taste Bad To Some People And Good To Others? <p>People who have a lot of papillae-the bumps on our tongue, most of which house our taste buds-often find flavors overwhelming. They're "supertasters," and as such they add cream to their coffee and order food mild instead of spicy. Subtasters, on the other hand, have low papillae density and prefer their chicken wings "atomic."</p> 2020-03-28T01:19:00.0000000+11:00 Watch the Planets Line Up With Crescent Moon in Rare Conjunction <p>If people in the Northern Hemisphere look toward the west tonight, they'll see Jupiter and Venus together, lining up with the crescent moon in a rare and beautiful conjunction. Venus is so bright you can see it during the day today, a few degrees above the sun, just like Abraham Lincoln famously did during his second inauguration. In the Southern Hemisphere? No problem - check here for a live feed of this event. </p> 2020-03-27T11:20:00.0000000+11:00 Video: At 360 Kilograms and 14 Metres Long, The Largest-Ever Paper Aeroplane Takes Flight <p>Arturo Valdenegro, 12-year-old Tucson resident, made paper aviators everywhere look minuscule by comparison last week. In the skies over the Sonora desert in Arizona, the Pima Air & Space Museum launched the <a href=",0,7676956.story?track=rss" target="_blank">biggest paper aeroplane ever constructed</a> - a paper airplane based on Valdenegro's design - into the sky, accelerating it to speeds topping 160 kilometres per hour before it came crashing down (as paper aeroplanes do).</p> 2020-03-27T11:16:00.0000000+11:00 Petite Particle Accelerator: A Proton Gun For Killing Tumours <p>Since 1990, doctors have been regularly treating cancer patients using proton beams, which work similarly to radiation. Proton therapy is more precise, however, causing less harm to healthy surrounding tissues. Unfortunately, generating a proton beam requires a particle-accelerator facility that's the size of an aeroplane hangar and costs more than $100 million to build. Thus, proton-beam therapy remains a rarity, with only 37 working facilities worldwide, 10 of which are located in the US. Just 10,000 people were treated last year, less than 5 per cent of suitable patients.</p> 2020-03-27T11:00:00.0000000+11:00 James Cameron Has Completed the Deepest Solo Dive Ever <p>Sorry, <a href="" target="_blank">Virgin</a>. The first successful solo dive back to the bottom of the Mariana Trench was completed yesterday by none other than filmmaker James Cameron. </p> 2020-03-27T10:50:00.0000000+11:00 "Jarno Smeets" and the Physics of True Human Flight <p>The notion of a person flying like a bird has universal and enduring appeal, so it's not surprising that the "Human Bird Wings" video from "Jarno Smeets" went viral within a few days. However, now that it has been revealed to be an elaborate hoax, eight months in the making, and now that our dreams have been thusly dashed, let's examine a scientific red flag in the video, one that when pursued bursts the entire fantastical premise: the problem of speed.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-27T10:31:00.0000000+11:00 New Plastic Bleeds Red When Scratched, Then Heals Itself Like Skin <p>Self-healing materials will eventually fix anything from cell phone screens to car fenders, enabling surfaces to heal on their own in the presence of different types of light. But none of the earlier prototypes we've seen work quite like this new plastic: It bleeds red at the site of injury. Then it heals itself, inspired by the properties of tree trunks and human skin.</p> 2020-03-27T07:30:00.0000000+11:00 Nikon D800 Sample Gallery: "Seriously Satisfying" <p>Our friends and office-mates over at <a href="">Pop Photo</a> just put up a sample image gallery of shots taken by the brand-new Nikon D800, and they are <em>very</em> impressed by its performance. </p> 2020-03-27T07:00:00.0000000+11:00 San Francisco Startup Wants to Deliver Tacos Via Unmanned Quadcopter (Maybe) <p>It's the kind of tech startup that we could really get excited about if we weren't fairly certain it's some kind of hoax. A Web site has popped up at that offers a unique service: tacos airlifted directly to your doorstep via unmanned quadcopter drone. The rise of the machines never sounded so scrumptious.</p> 2020-03-27T03:49:00.0000000+11:00 Scientists Hijack Mouse Neurons to Take Control of Their Memories <p>In a new study with powerful implications for mental health, scientists hijacked the memories of lab mice, inducing them to form synthetic "hybrid memories" that were a combination of real experience and confused context. The work could eventually pave the way for false-memory or real memory manipulation in people with schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress disorder.</p> 2020-03-27T02:52:00.0000000+11:00 At Arm's Length: Robot Motion Simulator <p>Somewhere, deep in the bowels of Victoria's Deakin University, a gigantic robot arm is shaking a man to death. Or at least, that's how it might look to the untrained eye: a slim human figure strapped to the end of this great mass of steel and hydraulics. But really, this is a new kind of motion simulator, flexible enough to train fixed-wing pilots, helicopter aces, racing drivers and even kayakers.</p> 2020-03-26T13:09:00.0000000+11:00 Increasing Freak Weather Incidents Caused By Climate Change, New Study Finds <p>Scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany claim the increasing number of freak weather incidents around the world are linked, and are caused by human-created climate change. </p> 2020-03-26T12:56:00.0000000+11:00 No More GPS Voice: Haptic Steering Wheel Buzzes to Give You Directions <p>GPS devices are great, but sometimes I want to throw mine out the window. There's something so obnoxious about the Garmin voice, especially when you disregard its navigation choice and it tells you it's "reCALCulating" in that disapproving tone. A new haptic steering wheel concept would be so much friendlier! Instead of smarmy commentary, the wheel simply vibrates to tell you which way to turn.</p> 2020-03-25T22:30:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Face-Recognition System Can Sort Through 36 Million Faces Per Second <p>Diginfo brings us news of this Hitachi Kokusai system that can monitor video feeds from around the world in real time, scanning for a particular face. When it finds what it's looking for, it closes in to provide footage of what the person has been doing previously and what he or she is doing next.</p> 2020-03-25T10:29:00.0000000+11:00 This Week in the Future, March 19-23, 2012 <p>It's been a great week in the future. Apparently we've spent the whole week up in the sky? There was that human bird wing hoax, and the search for Amelia Earhart, and the FAA deciding to make their damn planes Gameboy-safe 20 years after everyone forgot what a Gameboy even is. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-24T08:45:00.0000000+11:00 When, Why, and How You Should Harpoon a Comet <p>How do you get a core sample from a comet? There's so little gravity that if you used a scoop or a drill, you'd push yourself right off the surface. To solve this problem, we came up with a harpoon that collects samples. The concept is that the spacecraft flies next to the moving comet and fires from about 30 feet away, we would use a dampening system and propulsion to counteract the recoil. Our prototype harpoon is stainless steel, about one foot long, two inches wide and four pounds. We don't want it to be too lightweight, because it needs momentum to cut through the comet's surface. The harpoon hits the comet with its tip open, the material fills an internal cartridge, and a garage-door-like mechanism shuts behind it.</p> 2020-03-24T06:50:00.0000000+11:00 The 2012 Heat Wave: "Almost Like Science Fiction" <p>Today is World Meteorological Day, and across the North American continent, records have been smashed: from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic, a heat wave like nothing we've ever seen before is hitting the US and Canada, while out west, Oregon has gotten a new record for snowfall. Just what is going on here?</p> 2020-03-24T05:50:00.0000000+11:00 Yes, Deepwater Horizon Oil Did Enter the Food Chain <p>Along with the death of scores of marine animals and seabirds, one of the main concerns during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the impact on the food chain. A new study clarifies that impact: hydrocarbons from the Macondo well trickled into the ocean food chain via its tiniest members, zooplankton. </p> 2020-03-24T03:26:00.0000000+11:00 'Hypervelocity Planets' Zoom Through the Galaxy at 50 Million Kilometres Per Hour <p>Astronomers have long known that when binary star systems wander too close to a supermassive black hole under the right conditions, they can be torn apart in such a way that one star is pulled into orbit around the black hole and the other is violently ejected outward, sending it speeding out of the galaxy and into interstellar space. Now it turns out individual planets can suffer a similar fate - and when they do, they can do so at up to 50 million kilometres per hour, making them some of the fastest-moving objects in our galaxy.</p> 2020-03-24T01:10:00.0000000+11:00 Humans Likely Responsible For Extinction of Australian Prehistoric Animals <p>A new study conducted by a number of Australian universities has found that many of our prehistoric animals, including the giant marsupial known as the diprotodon, began to die off in large numbers about 40,000 years ago, a little after the first Aboriginal peoples arrived on the scene. </p> 2020-03-23T12:54:00.0000000+11:00 Your Guide to the Best Superconducting Wines <p>Red wine can efficiently turn iron compounds into superconductors, a finding Japanese researchers stumbled upon at a boozy party last year. Now they have figured out how. Tartaric acid in the wine - especially in a French Beaujolais, from the gamay grape - seems to be the culprit.</p> 2020-03-23T08:04:00.0000000+11:00 Mercury Has a Liquid Core, and Other New Surprises From the Innermost Planet <p>NASA's Messenger spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury one year ago this week, and the spacecraft has been hard at work. It has captured nearly 100,000 images, mapped Mercury's gravity field, and taken sensitive altimetry measurements that are shedding light on the planet's surface features like never before. This week, scientists on the Messenger mission published another round of new findings about the innermost planet, which turns out to be an altogether weirder world than we'd thought.</p> 2020-03-23T06:49:00.0000000+11:00 Self-Powered Flying Dutchman Is Fake, Right Down to His Name <p>On a Dutch TV show named, with utter Dutchness, De Wereld Draait Door, the man previously known as Jarno Smeets - of the Human Bird Wing video, in which he flies under mostly his own power - confessed to faking the whole thing. </p> 2020-03-23T06:38:00.0000000+11:00 Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Invests $300 Million Into Mapping the Brain <p>Paul Allen's commitment to tackling big questions in neuroscience grows larger still. The Microsoft co-founder has already contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to brain science, much of it to the establishment of the <a href="">Allen Brain Institute</a>, a nonprofit charged with building a massive database of information about the brain. Now, seemingly from a frustration with the slow pace of discovery elsewhere in the field, Allen has committed another $300 million over the next decade to expanding his institute to include it's own lab for neuroscience investigation.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-23T05:56:00.0000000+11:00 Opportunity Snaps a Self-Portrait As It Preps for the Martian Winter <p>Now entering its ninth year of operation on Mars, NASA's Opportunity rover is proving that there's not much it can't do. It's even getting into self-portraiture to pass the time. The image above was stitched together from pictures snapped by Opportunity's panoramic camera (or Pancam) back in December, showing the accumulation of dust on the rover's solar panels as it prepares for its fifth Martian winter.</p> 2020-03-23T04:51:00.0000000+11:00 Video: A Giant Scientific Graphing Calculator, Built Out of Minecraft Blocks By a 16-Year-Old <p>This is extremely impressive. It can multiply, divide, trigonometrize, figure roots, graph quadratic functions, and everything else you always need to do when you're playing a video game. All the calculations are done by blocks. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-23T04:10:00.0000000+11:00 Slow-Motion Video: We Slice Through Bottles and Cans <p>Master knifemaker Bob Kramer has visited the PopSci offices before in a mission to slice apart every type of can and bottle he could find. Great fun! But how we wished we had had an ultra-slow-motion camera like the Phantom on hand that day. Guess what - now we do. Hit the jump for the slow motion video.</p> 2020-03-23T02:59:00.0000000+11:00 A Single Dose of Targeted X-Rays When You're Young Could Provide Lifelong Protection From Glaucoma <p>Glaucoma affects more than 400,000 Australians, and over 4 million Americans, many of whom don't even realize they are affected by it. It's a leading cause of blindness with no known cure. But researchers at the non-profit Jackson Laboratory have found that a single, targeted X-ray treatment of a single mouse eye is enough to provide complete and lifelong protection from glaucoma, even in mice who are prone to the disease.</p> 2020-03-23T02:18:00.0000000+11:00 Adobe Photoshop CS6 Beta Is Now Available <p>Our buddies over at Pop Photo just posted their first impressions of the newest beta version of Photoshop, CS6.</p> 2020-03-23T01:42:00.0000000+11:00 Python Truck Fixes Potholes in Two Minutes Flat <p>Our buddies over at Gizmodo found a "Monster Machine" that's of particular interest to me, given that I was viciously attacked by a pothole once already this year (yes, to be fair, I started the fight by stepping into it, but it wildly overreacted by spraining my ankle). The Python 5000 takes what used to be a six-step job requiring a multiple-man team that could take hours and completes it in two minutes with a single operator. </p> 2020-03-23T01:01:00.0000000+11:00 Get a Keyboard Case for that New iPad, And Basically Turn it Into an Ultrabook <p>For all our complaining about carrying netbooks and ultrabooks around with us, deep down we know that if we're actually going to do anything constructive with our personal electronics, we probably will at some stage need a keyboard. Thankfully, CruxCase are ready to launch their newest case for the new super-HD iPad, so you can wrap your tablet in some good ol' fashioned typeset loving.</p> 2020-03-22T15:12:00.0000000+11:00 New Photos Show Bright Spots on Asteroid Vesta <p>A series of photos taken by NASA's Dawn space explorer have shown in depth for the first time the features of the asteroid Vesta, including a series of bright spots dotting its service, made by a material a few billion years old.</p> 2020-03-22T12:21:00.0000000+11:00 Video: How MIT's Laser Camera Can See Around Corners <p>Back in late 2010, MIT Media Lab announced that it was working on technology that would allow a camera to see around corners and image objects that were never in its direct line of sight. Now, the lab has released a video explaining exactly how they do this and showing the technology in action.</p> 2020-03-22T07:09:00.0000000+11:00 A Mouse Made Just For You Will Model Your Medical Problems <p>When you check in to a hospital in the future, along with checking your vitals and ordering a blood panel, your doctors may assign you a personal mouse. The immune-deficient creature will receive a transplant of your tissue, which will allow it to mimic your immune system, or maybe your specific type of cancer. Then doctors can try out a cocktail of drugs or gene therapies to see what might work on you. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-22T06:03:00.0000000+11:00 Meet Robojelly, the Hydrogen-Powered Jellyfish-Shaped Immortal Underwater Surveillance Robot <p>A new robotic jellyfish is powered by hydrogen, and could theoretically never run out of energy as it pulses through the sea. It's designed to work as a search and rescue or surveillance ‘bot for the US Navy.</p> 2020-03-22T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Book Review: Can Science Determine Which Foods Taste Best Together? <p>The idea that Canadian sommellier François Chartier presents in his book <em>Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor</em> is a very intriguing one. Look at the aroma molecules that give foods and wines their characters, he says, and use that as a basis for pairing foods with wines and with each other. Instead of years of tastings and trial and error, a few simple principles and charts can guarantee exquisite pairings every time.</p> 2020-03-22T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 National Ignition Facility Fires Record-Setting 2-Megajoule Laser <p>The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Lab designed its super laser to fire powerful laser shots at intensities up to 1.8 megajoules, but researchers aren't stopping there. This week the NIF combined 192 lasers to fire a single 1.875-megajoule shot into a test chamber, and by the time it passed through its final focusing lens the shot had reached 2.03 megajoules, setting a new record for ultraviolet lasers.</p> 2020-03-22T02:54:00.0000000+11:00 Personal Monitoring Tech: Invasion of the Body Trackers <p>Personal fitness monitors designed to encourage healthy habits typically involve uncomfortable gear, such as chest straps and armbands, that can discourage people from wearing them. As sensors shrink and software improves, health-tracking systems are becoming less intrusive and capable of collecting more biometric data. One day, users may not have to don any equipment at all.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-22T02:08:00.0000000+11:00 How to Build the World's Biggest Indoor Ski Run <p>Stockholm, Sweden, has plenty of cold, but not much in the way of snow or hills. So the members of a Stockholm ski club convinced architecture firm Berg/C.F. Møller to construct the most energy-efficient indoor ski park in the world. Skipark 360° will be powered by sun, wind, water and heat from the earth.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-22T01:11:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Dutchman Flaps His Arms And Flies - Right? <p>Jarno Smeets has been working for several months on his Human Bird Wings project - assembling long nylon wings powered by outrunner motors, rigging up a complicated Android + Arduino + Wii arm-waving control system - and now - according to the breathtaking video he's just published - they work! Man can fly! <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-21T11:40:00.0000000+11:00 The New iPad Review: Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) <p>The new iPad is an uncomplicated update. It's a spec bump year, not a redesign year: what's different, aside from the stunning high-res Retina display, is mostly inside. Internal specifications are important, but what matters most is how it feels to actually use. We've been using the new iPad since Friday, chatting with you guys <a href="" target="_blank">on Twitter</a> all the while, and here we've pulled together our review as a list of frequently asked questions and answers aimed to help you make that all-important decision: to buy or not to buy? </p> 2020-03-21T09:40:00.0000000+11:00 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Begins New Search for Amelia Earhart <p>An aviation history society plans to launch a new search for Amelia Earhart's lost airplane, and it's apparently piqued the interest of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was set to meet today with historians and scientists from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which is starting a new search in June, according to the AP. <!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-21T06:16:00.0000000+11:00 Nokia Patents a Tattoo That Vibrates When Someone Calls You <p>Sometimes, when I'm occupied or just don't feel like answering it, I ignore my phone. Sorry, but I don't always have time for a telemarketer or whatever. Now Nokia wants to make this physically impossible by patenting an electronic tattoo that would vibrate, on your body, whenever someone calls. It would work like a body-based caller ID system, vibrating in a specific pattern according to the caller or the type of message. Talk about a rude interruption.</p> 2020-03-21T04:19:00.0000000+11:00 Longest-Ever Fiber-Optic Link Will Run Through Thawing Arctic, Between UK and Japan <p>Diminishing sea ice in the Arctic could be a boon for international trade - both for heavy ships using the Northwest Passage, and now for speedier telecommunications via new fiber-optic cables. In August, companies will start construction on the first deep sea cables to cross the Arctic Ocean.</p> 2020-03-21T02:15:00.0000000+11:00 The First Truly Smart Headphones <p>Despite the landslide of smart devices in recent years, headphones have remained decidedly dumb, lacking the multitude of sensors found in everything from phones to watches. The ZIK Parrot - which was one of our favorite gadgets at this year's CES - is the first pair of headphones with the intelligence of a smartphone.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-21T01:06:00.0000000+11:00 Local Scientists Help Find Square, Emerald-cut Galaxy <p>An international team, with a smattering of Aussie scientists, has discovered a rarity in stellar body research - a galaxy cut into the shape of a rectangle.</p> 2020-03-20T11:07:00.0000000+11:00 Catalyst Helps Store Hydrogen In Liquid Form for Simple, Safe Future Fuel Use <p>A future powered by hydrogen fuel, whose only byproduct is water, has long been an eco-friendly dream too difficult to realise. Storing and transporting hydrogen can be difficult and dangerous, and hydrogen production methods can also produce unwanted carbon dioxide. A new catalyst promises to solve these problems, using CO<sub>2</sub> and hydrogen to store energy in liquid form. The only thing you need to worry about is pH.</p> 2020-03-20T08:07:00.0000000+11:00 The Navy's New Autonomous Research Lab is a 'Hunger Games' Arena for Robots <p>The US Navy gets around, and its technology has to be versatile, with the ability to deploy in all kinds of terrains, climates, and ecosystems. So the Navy Research Laboratory (or the NRL, but not that NRL) has constructed what Innovation News Daily is describing as the real-life robotic equivalent of the arenas depicted in the sci-fi literary trilogy <em>The Hunger Games</em>: a configurable series of arenas resembling arid deserts, hostile jungle environments, and even oceans in which up to 50 battlefield robots, human soldiers, and other unmanned systems can test their mettle. May the odds be ever in their favour.</p> 2020-03-20T07:09:00.0000000+11:00 US Flight Regulator Reconsidering Its Stance on Gadgets Aboard Airplanes <p>Amid all the discussion about iPads in the cockpits of commercial and military airplanes, one question has remained unclear - what about during takeoff and landing? Passengers are supposed to turn these devices off, lest they interfere with aircraft avionics - at least, that's the line the American FAA's been giving its passengers, despite evidence to the contrary. Now the FAA is planning to investigate itself whether iPads, Kindles and other electronic devices really can harm a plane during crucial flight phases. Let's hope it makes the jump over to here as well.</p> 2020-03-20T06:00:00.0000000+11:00 A Taste of Exotic Meats at the Explorers Club Annual Dinner <p>This past Saturday, March 17, was the 108th Explorers Club Annual Dinner. It was held, as ever, at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, because that's traditional and also because the Waldorf has a very liberal attitude toward allowing camels and kangaroos to mill around in its ballroom.</p> 2020-03-20T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 Pirate Bay Wants to Put Unassailable Servers in the Sky, Aboard Small Aerial Drones <p>In an effort to outmanoeuvre the law enforcement entities that have pursued its swashbuckling operation across the land, the Pirate Bay is looking to the skies. In a blog post yesterday, the Bay's MrSpock said that in an effort to keep its front machines - the ones that redirect your illicit traffic to servers in a secret location - one step ahead of the law, the organisation is going to try to build a network of traffic-relaying aerial drones.</p> 2020-03-20T04:06:00.0000000+11:00 The Supersonic Jet of the Future Will Be a Biplane <p>When supersonic travel inevitably returns to the skies, the airplanes are going to look a lot different. At least one design harks back to the early days of aviation with a biplane design, rather than a sleek delta-winged jet like the Concorde. This shape can apparently produce much less drag and therefore much less noise at supersonic speeds, MIT engineers say.</p> 2020-03-20T03:12:00.0000000+11:00 Too Much Monkey Business Leads to Monkey Vasectomies <p>A rhesus macaque awaits a vasectomy at a wildlife rescue facility in Himachal Pradesh, India. The state's estimated 319,000 monkeys frequently ransack garbage cans and harass citizens. Last year, the state government announced a bounty of 500 rupees (US$9.50) to anyone who captured and transported a monkey to a sterilisation centre, and program administrators estimate that they will neuter 200,000 monkeys, at 25 sterilisation centers statewide, by June. </p> 2020-03-20T02:06:00.0000000+11:00 Breaking Blades: The Engineering Lab Where Wind-Power Propellers Get Built To Be Snapped <p>To demonstrate what the Advanced Structures and Composites Center's new lab will do to wind blades, Larry Parent, an engineer at the University of Maine, takes out his bifocals and begins bending them. The 70-metre-long fibreglass composite blades will suffer greater strain; most will be bent until they begin to break. The Offshore Wind Laboratory is busting blades to design the toughest ones possible, capable of handling the extreme weather conditions 20 miles off the coast, in the Gulf of Maine. Habib Dagher, the facility's director, says that the Gulf is the future of offshore energy in the US-it opens up to the stormy North Atlantic Ocean and endures consistent class-7 winds (32 to 42 kph). Wind turbines there could generate more energy than those inland, in the wind corridor between Kansas and Texas. The Gulf, Dagher says, is "the Saudi Arabia of wind power."</p> 2020-03-20T01:12:00.0000000+11:00 The Future Whisperer: Aussie Futurist Mark Pesce <p>PopSci chats with one of Australia’s most well-known futurists about how today’s innovations are going to change everything – including the way we think and feel.</p> 2020-03-19T14:51:00.0000000+11:00 Aussie Research Finds Better Ways To Track Proteins Behind Alzheimer's Using Lasers <p>A team of Melbourne researchers has developed a new way to use a flow cytometer to track and identify dysfunctional proteins inside human cells, a technique which could go some way to helping find and ultimately defeatbrain diseases like Alzheimer's.</p> 2020-03-19T11:44:00.0000000+11:00 KFC via NFC - Fast Food Without Leaving Your Seat <p>Lining up behind shopping bag-laden customers, balancing a burger, drink and fries on a flimsy plastic tray, searching endlessly for a vacant seat - these are just some of the first-world problems we encounter at the local food court. But, like with everything else, technology is here to make us just that little bit lazier. </p> 2020-03-19T10:50:00.0000000+11:00 Video: See (and Hear) the Space Shuttle Launch Like Never Before <p>Michael Interbartolo, a staffer on the Space Shuttle Program, has posted this video of a shuttle launch, with the cameras attached to the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB). Apparently this video will be a bonus feature on the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release of Ascent: Commemorating Shuttle. The big deal here is the sound - there was some assistance from Skywalker Sound, the company that provides the sound for George Lucas's movies. Watch (and listen) for the splash into the Atlantic in the video, embedded after the jump.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-17T06:52:00.0000000+11:00 The New iPad's Screen, Under a Microscope <p>The new iPad's screen is apparently so amazing it can't be described in words (though we're certainly going to try; look for our review early next week). But images can sometimes tell the story more effectively, anyway. Lukas Mathis over at Ignore the Code stuck the new iPad, as well as about a dozen other gadgets, under a microscope to check out what the pixels look like way up close, at 80x magnification.<!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-17T03:32:00.0000000+11:00 The Electric-Car Movement Enters A Quiet, Crucial Phase <p>Early this year, when it became clear that the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf had missed their 2011 sales targets, critics declared the electric-car revolution over. Yet at Detroit's annual North American International Auto Show in January, plug-in cars abounded. BMW displayed its forthcoming i3 electric city car, along with its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Acura unwrapped a hybrid concept version of the NSX supercar. Tesla Motors brought its all-electric Model S sedan. But the most important car on the show floor might have been one that, on the surface, seemed much less exciting: the new Ford Fusion, which will be available in gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.</p> 2020-03-17T02:43:00.0000000+11:00 Wheel Wars: Can The Scooter Be Improved? <p>Since the Razor came out in the US in the late ‘90s, inventors have tried, with varying success, to create the next generation of kick-powered conveyance. Now a Nevada start-up aims to beat the Razor in both maneuverability and stability. The Sbyke is a BMX bike mixed with a skateboard. The company claims that the fixed 50 centimetre wheel allows its scooter to negotiate uneven surfaces better than a Razor. It also says its novel rear-axle mount, which uses ball bearings that let the axle turn up to 50 degrees in either direction, makes the Sbyke the nimblest scooter yet - one that can purportedly execute tight one-metre turns.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-17T01:28:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Robot Tells Time By Drawing It <p>Need a timepiece that's a little more out of left-field than a regular everyday clock? Make an Arduino-based robot arm, equip it with a marker and an eraser, and set it to work.</p> 2020-03-16T10:51:00.0000000+11:00 THX's New Audio Engine Makes Every Seat The Best One In The Room <p>An audiophile can spend thousands of dollars on one speaker-a multi-driver tower that can produce a broad range of frequencies clearly at high decibel levels. But even the best speaker, or an entire home theater full of them, will typically sound its best in only one spot: the sweet spot. THX has designed a speaker, the Steerable Line Array, that produces up to eight sweet spots. No matter where a person sits, he'll hear near-perfect audio. THX expects to sell the Array as part of custom installations soon and will eventually license it for other companies to use in their own TVs and audio systems.</p> 2020-03-16T08:15:00.0000000+11:00 Crime-Reporting App Lets You Officially Rat Out Your Neighbours Right From Your Smartphone <p>West Virginia has launched a smartphone app that's one part clever crowdsourcing and community engagement and one part sinister report-on-your-neighbor Big Brotherism. The Suspicious Activity Reporting Application is exactly what it sounds like. See something that looks like a violation of the law, no matter how insignificant? Snap a pic, tag it with GPS, and anonymously report it to the state. <!-- - break - --> Parking illegally will never be the same.</p> 2020-03-16T07:04:00.0000000+11:00 Video: The First Living Animal Ever Imaged With a Scanning Electron Microscope <p>You didn't wake up this morning thinking that a tick under a scanning electron microscope was going to be the coolest thing you saw all day, and yet here you are. After discovering some ticks alive inside a vacuum drying chamber, Yasuhito Ishigaki of Kanazawa Medical University decided to see if the hardy little bloodsuckers could stand up to the electron bombardment and vacuum conditions inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM). They could, and he's got the video to prove it. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-16T06:07:00.0000000+11:00 During Two-Year Personal Study, Doctor Watches Himself Get Diabetes In Close Detail <p>For more than two years, Stanford University geneticist Michael Snyder donated his living body to science. He and fellow researchers examined his DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, creating an incredibly detailed profile of his personal "omics." They watched in real time and at the molecular level as viruses attacked his cells, and they figured out, to their shock, that he was prone to developing type 2 diabetes. And then they watched him develop it. </p> 2020-03-16T05:01:00.0000000+11:00 Birds Might Have a Built-In Heads-Up Display Overlaying Navigation Data Onto Their Vision <p>It's long been known that birds have a sense for the Earth's magnetic field and can use it to aid in navigating their long migratory routes across the continents, but researchers at Oxford University and the National University of Singapore think their innate navigation tools are even cooler than once supposed. A new study shows that birds may actually see that magnetic field. In other words, birds have a natural head-up display akin to that used in fighter jets and other aircraft that overlays information on their fields of vision.</p> 2020-03-16T04:00:00.0000000+11:00 For the First Time, a Message Sent With Neutrinos <p>In a major step for truly wireless communications, scientists have figured out how to send a message with neutrinos, transmitting a single word through 780 feet of bedrock and translating it at the other end. It's just a first step, but the message suggests that someday, submarine crews and maybe average civilians will communicate by sending chargeless, ghostly particles through any obstacle. The message? "Neutrino."</p> 2020-03-16T03:02:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Sledgehammer Meets Television, in Ultra Slow Motion <p>If we were still in high school, this would be our video art project about the dehumanising, isolating effect of mass media, and how it's everyone's obligation to take arms against the mind-controlling one-eyed machines. </p> 2020-03-16T01:11:00.0000000+11:00 Video: The Evolution of the Moon Involved a Lot of Big Explosions <p>That big, serene looking orb sitting amongst the stars on a clear night often does the rounds as a symbol of peace and elegant serenity in many cultures. But NASA in their wisdom have set out to show that, as with most things, the Moon's beginnings were anything but peaceful.</p> 2020-03-15T14:22:00.0000000+11:00 A Deep Voice Is The Sign of a Leader <p>Back when humans killed the meat they ate themselves, moved from place to place, and slept in caves, making the right decisions was an everyday matter of life or death - and people paid close attention to signs of leadership. A deep voice was one of these - and a new study suggests a relationship between a deeper voice and leadership has endured into the 21st century. </p> 2020-03-15T12:12:00.0000000+11:00 Video: To Kill Predators, Japanese Honeybees Surround Them in a 'Hot Defensive Bee Ball' <p>How would you like to be literally cooked to death by bees? Bees are biologically interesting little creatures for a variety of reasons- and now, thanks to Japanese researchers at the University of Tokyo and Tamagawa University, we are learning that bees can cook. Presenting: the "hot defensive bee ball."</p> 2020-03-15T08:00:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Robot Squirrel Confuses a Snake <p>When studying animal behaviours, biologists generally have to wait for something to happen - either for an animal to do something, or for one animal to provoke another. Alternatively, they could use robot animals, tempting them with sexy fembots, mama-bots or tasty prey. Meet RoboSquirrel, an example of the latter.</p> 2020-03-15T07:05:00.0000000+11:00 Russian and Korean Researchers Will Inject Mammoth DNA Into Elephant Eggs, Resurrecting 10,000-Year-Old Beast <p>Researchers in Russia and South Korea are moving forward with a plan to resurrect the Ice Age woolly mammoth. Scientists in both countries inked a deal Tuesday to share technology and research that could lead to the birth of a mammoth clone, gestated in a surrogate Indian elephant mother.<!-- - break - --> </p> 2020-03-15T06:03:00.0000000+11:00 "Designer Electrons" Can Be Custom-Made for Future Devices <p>Researchers at Stanford and the DOE's SLAC National Accelerator Lab have created a new kind of graphene that promises the first-ever "designer electrons" that can be custom tuned to exhibit exotic properties. This "molecular graphene" could lead to whole new types of materials with new electrical properties, which in turn could spawn whole new kinds of devices.</p> 2020-03-15T05:00:00.0000000+11:00 First Humanoid Robot in Space Inspires a Grip-Enhancing Robotic Glove For Humans <p>If you've been following the Twitter account of our favourite robot (and the only humanoid) in space, then you know Robonaut 2 is out of the box and getting to work aboard the International Space Station (this morning it is using a tool to take air velocity measurements). But R2's technological contributions extend further than the ISS. Using technology developed for R2's hands, a partnership between NASA and General Motors has unveiled a new robotic glove that gives humans a stronger grip.</p> 2020-03-15T04:23:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Aircraft Carrier Crews Guide In Robot Planes With Visible Hand Gestures <p>Landing airplanes on moving ships is no mean feat, but this will be especially true when the airplanes are unmanned. Along with making decisions, autonomous airplanes will have to heed their human counterparts during aircraft carrier takeoff and landing - but can a robot read and understand arm-waving signals? </p> 2020-03-15T03:06:00.0000000+11:00 Ocean-Crossing Robots Reach Hawaii, Setting a New Distance Record <p>The four Wave Glider robots that set out from San Francisco in November on an unprecedented robotic crossing of the Pacific have arrived at the big island of Hawaii for a quick systems check-up. Their arrival marks the shattering of the world distance record for unmanned wave powered vehicles, as the PacX Wave Gliders, built by California-based Liquid Robotics, have now travelled 6,000 kilometres - and that's just a third of the total 16,500 kilometres they will cover in their total journey.</p> 2020-03-15T02:41:00.0000000+11:00 An Ocean of Data: Looking for Sunken Treasure in a New Way <p>Early last October, Brendan Foley found himself on a small, inflatable boat making rings in the middle of the Aegean Sea. The 43-year-old maritime archaeologist was waiting on three divers, who were searching for ancient shipwrecks 30 metres below. <!-- - break - --></p> 2020-03-15T01:00:00.0000000+11:00 PopSciAU Webcast: Shell Fuel, Formula One, Ferrari, and the Future of Racing <p>Ah, the thrill of the race. There's almost nothing as terrifying, yet at the same time so exhilarating, as speeding towards a tight corner at a couple of hundred kilometres an hour, only to break hard and turn hard, lining up the next straight in order to put the pedal to the metal once again. For this sport, high performance fuel is literally its lifeblood, and today we spoke to one of its life-givers, Shell technology manager Cara Tredget.</p> 2020-03-14T15:11:00.0000000+11:00 Mercedes EV to use F1 Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems <p>Mercedes has loosed a few more details about its upcoming E-Cell vehicle, pilfering drive train materials and lithium-ion tech from its F1 designs in order to incorporate the materials into the new EV.</p> 2020-03-14T15:02:00.0000000+11:00 Galaxy Note Launches in Australia For People With Giant Hands <p>Let's face it - some of us just have big hands. Even something the size of an HTC Desire HD (which is still fairly big) is still puny enough for some to crave more. For others, a smartphone isn't large enough to draw with, or to efficiently browse with, and they don't want to spend money on, or alternatively carry around, a tablet. It's presumably for these two kinds of people that Samsung have now released the super-sized Galaxy Note right here in Australia.</p> 2020-03-14T14:02:00.0000000+11:00 The Creepiest Looking Artificial Muscle Motor Ever <p>It takes a lot to creep us out. Most of us here at PopSci, and a lot of you as well, and seen all sorts of weird, uncanny robots and bizarre biological specimens, but the simple sight of this New Zealand-made artificial muscle - and now high-torque motor - seemed to touch a nerve. Thankfully, it will also turn out to be incredibly useful in a variety of applications.</p> 2020-03-14T12:04:00.0000000+11:00 The Future of Skyscrapers: Green Edition <p>Even from the outside, 1 Bligh St Sydney looks obviously different to the buildings around it. Their square, stubby designs contrast the sleek glass which coats the outside of the skyscraper as it rises over 120 metres into the air.</p> 2020-03-14T11:24:00.0000000+11:00 New Health Risks Discovered For Astronauts Spending Long Periods in Space <p>The problems surrounding sending the first humans into space were mainly technical - how to build a rocket that could shoot through the atmosphere while protecting its passengers. But now that we’ve got people up there, and for increasingly longer amounts of time, a whole new host of issues present themselves - including the effect living in space has on the bodies of our astronauts.</p> 2020-03-14T10:46:00.0000000+11:00 FYI: Why Do Kids Hate Brussels Sprouts? <p>Because Brussels sprouts are bitter, and kids generally don't like bitter tastes. It's not their fault. Researchers say that an aversion to bitter and sour (generally a heightened gag reflex) is a survival instinct, since most toxins taste that way too. On the other hand, sweetness typically indicates that something is safe to eat, so children are born with a preference for sweets.</p> 2020-03-14T07:23:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Cambridge Researchers Use Lego to Build Artificial Bone in the Lab <p>Researchers at Cambridge University are building artificial bone in the lab, and they're doing so with what might be considered an unorthodox partner: Lego. The tedious process of building up a sample of artificial bone requires a lot of repetitive dipping of samples into various substances, rinsing, and repeating. So to automate sample creation, the researchers built a couple of inexpensive laboratory robots using Lego Mindstorms.</p> 2020-03-14T05:24:00.0000000+11:00 Lasers Can Be Used to Steer Lightning In Mid-Strike <p>Laser light can not only trigger lightning but redirect it, causing it to strike in the same place over and over, according to new research. This means lasers could serve as lightning rods. Because that would be awesome. </p> 2020-03-14T04:13:00.0000000+11:00 DARPA Chief Departs Defense Department to Work for Google <p>From the agency that created the Internet to the company that arguably controls it - there's some nice symmetry in the news that DARPA chief Regina Dugan is heading over to Google. She is leaving the defense agency to assume a senior executive position at the web giant, according to DARPA.</p> 2020-03-14T03:14:00.0000000+11:00 Aussie Scientists Find Flying Faster Than the Speed of Light Could Create Deadly Explosions on Arrival <p>Imagine: you've travelled all the way across the galaxy to some faraway, potentially life-embracing planet orbiting a faraway star, only to obliterate your destination upon arrival. It's a very real threat according to a group of physicists from the University of Sydney. It turns out that a spacecraft emerging from a so-called Alcubierre warp drive does so quite violently, releasing an accumulation of high energy particles that would annihilate anything in their path.</p> 2020-03-14T02:18:00.0000000+11:00 The Mars Experiment <p>On August 5, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory will reach the outer edge of the Martian atmosphere. The 3,900-kilogram craft will have traveled 566 million kilometres at speeds of up to 21,200 km/h, but its real work will have only just begun. Over the next seven minutes it will plummet through 130 kilometres of atmosphere, withstanding temperatures of up to 2,000°C, and guide itself to a sudden halt in the massive Gale Crater.</p> 2020-03-13T11:08:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Super High-Res 3D Laser Printer Prints at Five Metres Per Second <p>What's the point of 3D printing an Indy car if it's not ultra-fast? Using a high-resolution 3D printing technology known as "two-photon lithography" - a technique that is normally quite slow - researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have made a huge breakthrough in printing speed, setting a new high-speed record by <a href="">printing orders of magnitude faster</a> than was previously possible.</p> 2020-03-13T10:21:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Slime Mould Inspires Autonomous Brainless Undulating Robot <p>A creepy new pulsating robot can ooze across a surface and pick its own path autonomously, using feedback from its ooze controls without requiring a smart command center. It's modeled after slime mould, which can also make decisions without any sort of neural network.</p> 2020-03-13T09:38:00.0000000+11:00 A Train to Space: All Aboard the 32,000-Kilometre-Per-Hour Low-Earth-Orbit Express <p>Today in grandiose space ambitions that would make even Newt Gingrich balk: a $60 billion, 1600-kilometres long, 19-kilometres high, 32,000-kilometres-per-hour maglev train that starts on the ground and arrives in low Earth orbit. The minds behind the Startram project think it could reduce the cost per kilo for cargo from roughly $10,000 to just $50.</p> 2020-03-13T08:32:00.0000000+11:00 Is It Possible to "Brooklynise" Floridian Tap Water? Bagelmaker Says Yes, Lawsuit Says No <p>A water war has broken out in Florida in the US, and New York is being dragged into the fray. A Palm Beach County bagel purveyor called The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. claims it has devised a novel water treatment system that reproduces an exact chemical replica of New York City's famously pure tap water, allowing it to reproduce bagels with that unique NYC flavor. A Boca Raton franchisee claims the treatment process is a fraud. Chemistry - and the future of breakfast in South Florida - is going to court.</p> 2020-03-13T08:15:00.0000000+11:00 Microsoft's 'Universal Translator' Lets You Speak Foreign Languages In Your Own Voice <p>Siri's ability to speak and recognise various languages is impressive, but Microsoft is not to be outdone. Microsoft Research labs has demoed a new prototype software that could be the next big step toward a so-called "universal translator" device, one that can instantly flip one language into another and back again so a conversation can be carried on between two people even when neither can understand the other's language.</p> 2020-03-13T05:32:00.0000000+11:00 Feature: Water, Water Everywhere <p>Australia is the world’s largest island (or smallest continent!), and it’s also one of the driest. Droughts and water shortages have been a regular part of the local climate for millennia, but a highly competitive agriculture industry and expanding urban populations mean that dry spells affect far more people in far more different ways than ever before in the country’s history. Managing the relatively scarce water in Australia is, quite literally for some, a matter of life and death.</p> 2020-03-12T12:33:00.0000000+11:00 Study: Some Varieties of Coral Adapting to Global Warming <p>A new Australian study has found that, while many types of coral react to temperature increases by dying off in large quantities, some types of coral seem to do the reverse, becoming healthier and more colourful in the warmer water. In other words, they appear to be adapting.</p> 2020-03-12T11:43:00.0000000+11:00 Video: Newest US Non-Lethal Weapon Is A Long-Range Heat Ray <p>According to those unfortunate enough to find themselves blasted by the US military’s newest non-lethal crowd control weapon, the sensation is one of intense discomfort and heat. </p> 2020-03-12T11:34:00.0000000+11:00 Australia's SKA Bid Falters, New Report Favours South Africa <p>Australia’s chances of hosting the Square Kilometre Array have been plunged into doubt by a report from the SKA Site Advisory Committee which recommends South Africa be chosen as