Kelsey D. Atherton
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
Screenshot by author, from YouTube

We've seen robots designed to move inside bodies before. Carefully shaped magnetic objects, these miniature robots are moved by external magnetic forces, like those found in MRI machines. Last month, researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and the University of Houston demonstrated a system of small magnetic "millirobots" designed not only to swim through a person's bloodstream and spinal fluid, but assemble into an electromagnetic gun once inside.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
Science // 

Metal wires are so old school. Nowadays, most of our information (whether on the Internet, TV, or phone) is communicated over fiber optic cables, long strands of material that can transmit information as light over distances. And with a new discovery, fiber optic cables could become cheaper, more efficient, and could literally cover more ground.

Dave Gershgorn
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
Digital Nature Group
Tech // 

The halls of science fiction are well-decorated with dreams of holograms—Jules Verne introduced holography to literature in 1893 with The Castle of the Carpathians, and how else would we know that Obi-Wan was Leia's only hope?

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
Courtesy of Bounce Imaging
Gadgets // 

“Camera in the hole!" police officers soon shout, as they toss the new Explorer camera orb into a dangerous room before entering. Made by MIT alumnus at Bounce Imaging, the Explorer is a small, grenade-sized sphere full of cameras that first responders can throw into a space ahead of them, and when remotely activated, it assembles a panoramic image of what's inside said space. Now, there are plans to get 100 Explorers into police departments. See them in action below:

Katie Peek
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
Katie Peek
Space // 

The two brightest stars in the sky aren't actually stars. They're the planets Venus and Jupiter, and next week, they'll be snuggled up next to each other in the evening sky. The configuration, called a conjunction, isn't all that rare, but it does look cool.

Seung Lee
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
BlackSkyGlobal
Space // 

Just last year, three startups threw down the gauntlet in the race to dethrone Google Earth as the king of satellite imaging. In recent weeks, another startup entered the fray, offering more satellites in its toolbox than any competitor which preceded it.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
FastBrick Robotics
Robots // 

An engineer in Perth wants to mechanize one of humanity's oldest jobs. His robot is named “Hadrian,” after the Roman Emperor who built a wall in Northern Britain, and it can lay 1,000 bricks an hour. With a building plan programmed in, it calculates the location of each brick, then uses its 28-foot-long arm to them in place and secures them with mortar.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 13:03 PM Jun 27 2015
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Tech // 

Elon Musk's Hyperloop is an idea as ambitious as it is fantastical. A train that travels at 760 mph through a pressurized tube is a hard sell, even with it gracing the latest cover of *Popular Science magazine. So it's pretty cool to see a real, working version — albeit in miniature. Engineering students at the University of Illinois recently made their very own, tiny Hyperloop model (1:24 scale) as part of a senior design project, Motherboard reports.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:24 AM Jun 26 2015
U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia Commons

By treaty, outer space is a weapons-free zone. In the future that might not be the case. America's defense establishment, including the Department of Defense as well as intelligence agencies, are building a center to plan for war in space.

Alexandra Ossola
at 11:24 AM Jun 26 2015
Science // 

Since it made its courtroom debut in the mid-1980s, DNA evidence has been integral to thousands of cases (including, famously, the OJ Simpson murder trial). Juries and lawyers alike generally consider DNA evidence to be extremely reliable—a 2005 Gallup poll found that 58 percent of people considered it to be “very reliable.” But in reality, DNA evidence is much less reliable and objective than most people think. A story published yesterday by Frontline maps out just how DNA evidence works and how it can lead juries astray.

Dave Gershgorn
at 11:24 AM Jun 26 2015
Gavin Jones/ Flickr CC BY 2.0
Gadgets // 

Imagine a world where we don't have to plug anything in. Your phone, laptop, tablet and headphones are constantly being topped-up whenever they're placed on an inductive surface, so that when you take them out with you into the wider world, your devices are always brimming with battery. Step-by-step, it's what we might be moving toward, if the industry lobbying group The Wireless Power Consortium gets its way. The group's long-in-development wireless charging technology, Qi, is now getting a considerable power boost, which means it will be able to charge more smartphones faster, as well as tablets, which were previously too power hungry for it. While this a big step forward for Qi, and may lead to wider adoption for the fledgling charging standard, there are other barriers still standing in the way on the road to a wireless power utopia.

Chandra Clarke
at 11:24 AM Jun 26 2015
Photo Credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez
Mobile // 

Scientists from the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago have just released a smartphone app called the Great Lakes Fish Finder. The app will help Great Lakes visitors identify what they're seeing while holidaying, and meanwhile will help researchers learn more about what species are highly prevalent in the lakes in real time. The app is being powered by iNaturalist, and is completely free.

Michael Nuñez
at 11:24 AM Jun 26 2015
Amazon

Your home is about to get a whole lot smarter. On Monday, Amazon announced its artificially intelligent bluetooth speaker—the Amazon Echo—is being made publicly available for purchase. The Echo was first unveiled in November 2014, but it was sold on an invitation-only basis until this week. The device is one of the first always-on, voice controlled intelligent home appliances that connects to the Internet and controls third-party services. It can answer trivia questions, tell you the weather, add items to a shopping list, and much more.

Alexandra Ossola
at 11:24 AM Jun 26 2015
Mobile // 

You might have thought that BlackBerrys went out of style with the advent of the touch screen, but the company is making a bold move to put their devices back in the limelight. Well, in hospitals at least—BlackBerry announced that it might be in the market to make antimicrobial cell phones for health care workers, Bloomberg reports.

carlfranzen
at 11:17 AM Jun 26 2015
NASA

One of Microsoft's most ambitious projects of the last few decades is HoloLens, a prototype headset that displays holograms over the real world as you look around. Also known as augmented reality, the technology has so far-been used for mostly entertainment purposes, putting Minecraft on your tabletop, for example. But now Microsoft is teaming up with NASA to take HoloLens much further than its ever gone before: outer space, to be exact. NASA and Microsoft have already been testing HoloLens in weightless environments simulated on a plane:

 
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