Sean Kane
at 05:59 AM Nov 15 2011
New Scientist
Science // 

A new artificial material appropriately named SLIPS is one of the most slippery materials ever created. The new material, developed at Harvard, is self-cleaning and never gets dirty for a simple reason: nothing can stick to it.

Clay Dillow
at 04:04 AM Nov 15 2011
Space // 

After a string of space launch disasters that have pushed Roscosmos's morale into the gutter, the Russian space agency today launched three astronauts - two Russians and one American - into orbit aboard a Soyuz-FG rocket.

Stuart Fox
at 02:59 AM Nov 15 2011
Tech // 

When you control a budget that exceeds a trillion dollars, you don't have to wait until the start of December to start writing your holiday present wish list. The Department of Defense (DoD) has just released an early version of its small business programs for 2012, with every branch clamoring for futuristic technology that ranges from transforming robots to nanotech medicine to sensors that can figure out political beliefs through language analysis.

Dan Nosowitz
at 09:30 AM Nov 14 2011
EPFL
Robots // 

If you've suspected for some time now that Tony Grieg has been replaced by an iPod filled with generic cricket commentary, you might be excited to learn that Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has been working on an even more advanced commentary system. This one is equipped with artificial intelligence so it can actually see what's happening on the field and provide commentary.

Sean Kane
at 09:00 AM Nov 14 2011
Wikimedia Commons
Science // 

Researchers from University of Lausanne and EPFL University in Switzerland have developed genetically altered mice that have far greater physical endurance than regular mice. These "mighty mice" are able to run almost 50 percent further and for 20 minutes longer, while looking no different than their unaltered cousins, save for slightly larger muscles.

Sarah Fecht
at 03:08 AM Nov 12 2011
Craftsman
Gadgets // 

As telephone landlines become obsolete, so do the hardwired security systems that rely on them. Mobile modems and Wi-Fi receivers are now so affordable that manufacturers can install them in security devices for a nominal cost. Meanwhile, the proliferation of smartphones means that more people have the ability to receive texts, emails and live video from a home monitor.

Madhumita Venkataramanan
at 02:05 AM Nov 12 2011
Patricia D. Duncan
Science // 

As long as you aren't related, marrying someone who looks similar to you is advantageous, says Philippe Rushton, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario. We use physical likeness as a way to assess underlying genetic likeness, which can cause us to be subconsciously attracted to reflections of ourselves. In evolutionary biology, the phenomenon is called "assortative mating," or "self seeking like." By mating with people who are genetically similar, you ensure that "your own segment of the gene pool is safely maintained and transmitted to future generations."

Clay Dillow
at 12:32 PM Nov 11 2011
Csaba Segesvári via Wikimedia

What constitutes consciousness--not in the philosophical sense, but clinically speaking--has been a matter of great debate in scientific circles lately, particularly as new technological applications allow neuroscientists to peek deeper into the brains of those thought to be in vegetative states. Now, a cheap and portable EEG device has been developed that has detected signs of consciousness in three people previously thought to be in vegetative states.

Susannah F. Locke
at 12:03 PM Nov 11 2011
Susannah F. Locke
Tech // 

The great MIT Mood Metre claims to know all your hopes, dreams and fears. Well, perhaps not. But it can count the number of smiles in a given area, giving some kind of indicator of mood expression.

Clay Dillow
at 10:03 AM Nov 11 2011
john_a_ward via Flickr

In an international cyber sting that is being called the biggest cyber criminal takedown in history, the FBI has arrested six Estonians accused of running a botnet that controlled more than 4 million computers in 100 countries (keep in mind there are only about 200 countries in the world). But as nefarious and far-reaching as that sounds, the scheme itself brings the story to something of an anti-climax. The botnet was simply diverting browsers to sites that served up advertising and then collecting referral fees.

Dan Nosowitz
at 07:05 AM Nov 11 2011
NASA
Space // 

This is kind of a Friday video, in that it is silly and involves (read: consists entirely of) moments that could be soundtracked with a loud cartoony "BONK!", but this week has been a little bit long already and it feels like maybe by watching this video we can usher Friday in a little faster. So! This is a video of astronauts falling down, on the moon. Enjoy!

Rebecca Boyle
at 05:01 AM Nov 11 2011
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Science // 

The ability to make cells do our bidding would be a major advance in everything from drug production to biofuels, but it's difficult to hack into nature and make cells obey. A team of Swiss researchers have one way to do it: Create cyborg cells connected to, and controlled by, a computer.

Rebecca Boyle
at 04:59 AM Nov 11 2011
NASA
Science // 

Have you, like us, been missing the rumble and hiss of a good old-fashioned NASA launch? Since the space shuttle retired this summer, there have been a few space payload deliveries, sure - but it's just not the same when it's not a human launch system we're talking about. There was always something special about that guttural roar and plume of white steam streaming from the launchpad. Well here you go: NASA just released this video of their new rocket stage, designed to carry the agency's next generation spacecraft into deep space.

Clay Dillow
at 02:08 AM Nov 11 2011
Rama via Wikimedia

The thing about growing working organs in the lab is that the whole enterprise is completely mind-blowing. Yet we just keep doing it, and so we keep blowing minds. The latest: a team of researchers at Japan's RIKEN Center - the same group who earlier this year engineered a mouse retina that is the most complex tissue ever engineered - have now derived a working pituitary gland from mouse stem cells.

Rebecca Boyle
at 15:02 PM Nov 10 2011
NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre
Tech // 

Staring at distant, faint objects to study the origins of the universe requires several layers of engineering skill and design trickery. The people at NASA are no strangers to this, having invented all sorts of new materials to improve telescopes and other observational tools. A new design may be one of their best examples yet: A blacker-than-black nanomaterial that absorbs pretty much all of the light that hits it.

 
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