About a year ago, Popular Science introduced a robot into the office (the fancy Park Ave New York office, that is - Australian Ed). One of the many virtues of working at a magazine such as ours is that we’re free to test all sorts of cool stuff. So we called the guys at Suitable Technologies and asked them to send us a BeamPro, the telepresence robot made famous by Edward Snowden (no doubt, he got the idea from us).
In a paper in Physical Biology, scientists have published the first mathematical model of how human nails grow. The researchers have found that nail health is a delicate balance between the adhesive forces that hold the nail securely in the finger, versus the nail’s movement as it slides forever forward toward the fingertip. Other factors, like thickness, biomechanical stress, and the way you trim your nails can influence whether you develop nail problems.
The magnetic poles of the earth have switched back and forth many, many times during the 4.54 billion years that the Earth has been around. Previous research suggested that the process of reversing the poles took place over a long time period, potentially over a few thousand years. But new research shows that the reversal could actually happen much faster than that, with the magnetic North Pole migrating to the South Pole in a time span as short as a century.
More than 30 people who have been paralyzed by spinal-cord injuries could soon get an experimental treatment that involves sending electric currents to their spines. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is raising funds to add volunteers to an ongoing study of the treatment.