Latest Articles: Science-Technology
Cyborg Cockroach Company Sparks Ethics Debate
Post Date: 2013-10-08 19:04:52 by A K A Stone
At the TEDx conference in Detroit last week, RoboRoach #12 scuttled across the exhibition floor, pursued not by an exterminator but by a gaggle of fascinated onlookers. Wearing a tiny backpack of microelectronics on its shell, the cockroacha member of the Blaptica dubia specieszigzagged along the corridor in a twitchy fashion, its direction controlled by the brush of a finger against an iPhone touch screen (as seen in video above). RoboRoach #12 and its brethren are billed as a do-it-yourself neuroscience experiment that allows students to create their own cyborg insects. The roach was the main feature of the TEDx talk by Greg Gage and Tim Marzullo, co-founders of ...
This physics grad student made a mind-blowing Bohemian Rhapsody cover
Post Date: 2013-09-18 19:38:47 by A K A Stone
Question: What do you get when you mix a cappella, sock puppets, string theory and Queen? Answer: The geekiest (and astonishingly good, musically speaking) cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" EVAR. Easily the greatest physics-themed cover of the classic we've ever heard. Seriously. The thing's a masterpiece. To be fair, "Bohemian Gravity" may well be the only physics-themed version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" ever made, but that doesn't change the fact that it is very, very well done. The creation of McGill University Masters candidate Timothy Blaise (who posted this link to his recently submitted thesis, along with the video), the track does way more than ...
Quantum Cryptography – Possible Hope for Stopping NSA Snooping
Post Date: 2013-09-08 12:11:50 by A K A Stone
Now that Snowden has released docs indicting the NSA can crack most regular encryption (like TOR), and most likely can, or will soon, crack most everything, this may be our only hope of reclaiming our communication privacy. Eventually. It harnesses the bizarro-world properties of quantum physics to ensure that information sent from point A to point B isnt intercepted. The laws of physics dictate that nobodynot even the NSAcan measure a quantum system without disrupting it. [...] This kind of communication cannot be defeated by future advances in computing power, nor new mathematical algorithms, nor fancy new engineering, said co-author Andrew Shields, head of ...
Birds of the Gods
Post Date: 2013-08-24 23:10:54 by sneakypete
video.pbs.org/video/1743795692/ I can't post the video for some reason,but it's worth your time to click on the link. Really amusing and interesting.
The Future of the Automobile
Post Date: 2013-08-14 22:07:24 by jwpegler
Some good friends and I have been having a debate over plug-in electric cars vs. cars powered by fuel cells. They are both electric cars, which are likely the future. The difference is their source of power. Here is the bottom line for me: Yes, Tesla is a superior technology to any other electric car on the road today. Their approach to using a pack of more than 8,000 lithium-ion batteries with computer controlled fail-over instead of one big battery like the Chevy Volt should make GM very ashamed of themselves. Elon Musk and his team are true innovators. But not all innovations succeed. Let me give you an example... 15 years ago I was a big proponent of RFID, because it promised much ...
Zuckerberg’s Wealth Soars $3.8 Billion as Facebook Surges
Post Date: 2013-07-26 11:59:20 by We The People
Mark Zuckerbergs fortune soared $3.8 billion yesterday as shares of Facebook Inc. (FB), the worlds most-popular social-networking service, rallied 30 percent to the highest level since May 2012. Surging demand for mobile advertising helped profit and revenue top analysts estimates in the second quarter Wednesday. The earnings may quell concerns, voiced by analysts and investors since Facebooks initial public offering last year, that the rising popularity of smartphones and tablets is outpacing its ability to make money selling promotions to mobile users. Very few people saw the pace at which the entire activity of the planets Internet connectivity was ...
Alaska’s controversial HAARP facility closed -- will it come back online?
Post Date: 2013-07-23 21:16:00 by hondo68
Fringe thinkers have tenuously linked HAARP to everything from the 2011 Japanese Earthquake to mind control and hurricanes. But this almighty facility has been closed for weeks as the military hopes for a change between contractors to operate the facility.HAARP photo Alaskas High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) has drawn its fair share of conspiracy theories over the years, as it sits in Gakona, an array of antennas intended to heat the Earths ionosphere and study the effects. Fringe thinkers have tenuously linked HAARP to everything from the 2011 Japanese Earthquake to mind control and hurricanes. But if there are no major earthquakes or bizarre global ...
What Created These Mystery Radio Waves From Another Galaxy?
Post Date: 2013-07-07 02:02:12 by A K A Stone
CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope, which has been used to confirm a population of Fast Radio Bursts, is shown superimposed on an image showing the distribution of gas in our Galaxy. Credit: Swinburne Astronomy Production.
A single, gleaming flash of radio waves zooms toward us from halfway across the universe. Where it came from, nobody was sure, and it was gone in an instant.
The Lorimer burst, named after the astronomer who discovered it in a stack of half-a-decade old records, has stumped scientists for the last six years. But today a team of astronomers has announced that they’ve found four more flares just like it.
"You have to look at the sky for a very long time to find ...
Too green to be true? Researchers develop highly effective method for converting CO2 into methanol Jun 20, 2013
Post Date: 2013-06-23 18:38:07 by A K A Stone
Université Laval researchers have developed a highly effective method for converting CO2 into methanol, which can be used as a low-emissions fuel for vehicles. The team led by Professor Frédéric-Georges Fontaine presents the details of this discovery in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Researchers have been looking for a way to convert carbon dioxide into methanol in a single step using energy-efficient processes for years. "In the presence of oxygen, methanol combustion produces CO2 and water," explained Professor Fontaine. "Chemists are looking for catalysts that would yield the opposite reaction. That would allow us to ...
Do you carry DNA of former lovers in your body?
Post Date: 2013-06-20 21:46:23 by A K A Stone
This bit of science arcanum is especially cringe-worthy. Many years ago, scientists first discovered that a large minority of women have Y-chromosome gene sequences in their blood. At first glance, this seems strange. Men are born with Y-chromosomes but most women are not. The male cells in these women mustve come from somewhere else. But where? The most obvious source is a fetus. Nearly every woman who has ever been pregnant or had a baby has cells from her fetus circulating in her bloodstream. These cells filter through the placenta and reside in the mothers bloodstream and/or organs including her heart and brain for the rest of her life. This condition is ...
How to Fold a Shirt in Under 2 Seconds
Post Date: 2013-06-19 21:27:08 by A K A Stone
Scientists Invent Oxygen Particle That If Injected, Allows You To Live Without Breathing
Post Date: 2013-05-08 22:29:49 by A K A Stone
New Medical Discovery A team of scientists at the Boston Childrens Hospital have invented what is being considered one the greatest medical breakthroughs in recent years. They have designed a microparticle that can be injected into a persons bloodstream that can quickly oxygenate their blood. This will even work if the ability to breathe has been restricted, or even cut off entirely. This finding has the potential to save millions of lives every year. The microparticles can keep an object alive for up to 30 min after respiratory failure. This is accomplished through an injection into the patients veins. Once injected, the microparticles can oxygenate the blood to near ...
Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown
Post Date: 2013-04-16 22:39:22 by jwpegler
Scientists are struggling to explain a slowdown in climate change that has exposed gaps in their understanding and defies a rise in global greenhouse gas emissions. Often focused on century-long trends, most climate models failed to predict that the temperature rise would slow, starting around 2000. Scientists are now intent on figuring out the causes and determining whether the respite will be brief or a more lasting phenomenon. Getting this right is essential for the short and long-term planning of governments and businesses ranging from energy to construction, from agriculture to insurance. Many scientists say they expect a revival of warming in coming years. Theories for the pause ...
Hydrogen Fuel Production Breakthrough Could Revolutionize Alternative Energy Market
Post Date: 2013-04-04 21:21:33 by jwpegler
New method is environmentally friendly and inexpensive A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world. Our new process could help end our dependence on fossil fuels, said Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering Hydrogen is one of the most important biofuels of the future. Zhang and his team have succeeded in using xylose, the most abundant simple plant sugar, to produce a large ...
Birds might be evolving to dodge vehicles
Post Date: 2013-03-18 12:50:54 by Ferret Mike
Fewer cliff swallows are being killed by moving vehicles. Does a new study offer a bird's-eye view into evolution? Fewer cliff swallows are being killed by moving vehicles because of evolution, suggests a study published online today in the journal Current Biology. "These birds have been exposed to vehicles and roads for 30-plus years," says Charles Brown, the study's lead author. "During that time, they have evolved to avoid being killed by traffic. Evolution can happen very rapidly, and some animals can adapt to urban environments very rapidly." The decrease in road deaths is likely because these birds have shorter wingspans, making them more agile fliers, ...
There Used To Be Freaking Camels In The Arctic
Post Date: 2013-03-06 20:00:18 by Ferret Mike
In the northernmost reaches of Canada, within the Arctic Circle, scientists have found fossils of...camels. Wait, what? North America was a crazy place a few million years ago. The megafauna alone would make the world's most awesome zoo collection: giant sloths! Mastodons! Nine-foot saber-toothed salmon! Dire wolves! And, believe it or not, camels. Yes, camels originally arose in North America 45 million years ago and lived there until human migrated into the area around 16,000 years ago. So, we might expect to find camels somewhere in North America, sure. But researchers just found fossils on Ellesmere Island, in the northern territory of Nunavut, Canada, far above the Arctic ...
Cornell scientists use 3-D printer, living-cell injections to create new ears
Post Date: 2013-02-20 21:26:19 by Ferret Mike
An ear being made by a 3-D bio-printer at Cornell University, under the direction of Professor of Biomedical Engineering Lawrence Bonassar. / Associated Press WASHINGTON Printing out body parts? Cornell University researchers showed its possible by creating a replacement ear using a 3-D printer and injections of living cells. The work reported Wednesday is a first step toward one day growing customized new ears for children born with malformed ones, or people who lose one to accident or disease. Its part of the hot field of tissue regeneration, trying to regrow all kinds of body parts. Scientists hope using 3-D printing technology might offer a speedier method with ...
Time to save up your plastic junk for recyling: mini shredder and FilaMaker
Post Date: 2013-02-01 16:07:49 by A K A Stone
In 2012, Marcus Thymark of Germany introduced his mini DIY shredder that can be used to recycle all your failed prints or any other plastic scrap. A year later, Marcus has improved his system and also started a new open source project: FilaMaker. FilaMaker is a personal filament producing machine that grinds old plastic and make new filament for your 3D printer. You can produce standard 1.75 mm or 3 mm filament by changing only one nozzle. The FilaMaker is still in development. Marcus is currently making some test with extruders. FilaMaker uses high pressure system which can work with low temperature to prevent degradation of plastic. The high pressure system can be used for plastic ...
Can We Trust CBS or CNET Again After a Scandal This Shady?
Post Date: 2013-01-14 21:20:14 by A K A Stone
CNET, one of the Internet's first and most influential authorities on gadgets and tech news, watched its editorial integrity spiral out of control Monday, with staffers quitting and editors left to explain themselves in the wake of explosive new charges over its annual Consumer Electronics Show awards — a scandal, it would appear, that goes all the way to the top of its corporate umbrella, and could shake the entire ecosystem of online tech journalism.
RELATED: CBS Puts CNET in an Ethically Questionable Spot at CES
Contrary to an already controversial move first reported last Friday, CNET parent company CBS didn't just asked the site to remove Dish's Slingbox Hopper from ...
New thermoelectric material sucks electricity out of hot water
Post Date: 2013-01-01 17:36:36 by A K A Stone
When humans produce energy, we do it very inefficiently. Usually what happens is that we make something very hot (like a car engine), use a tiny bit of that energy to do work, and then spend even more energy getting rid of all the waste heat. Panasonic has developed a new thermoelectric material that can get a chunk of that energy back. A thermoelectric material is something that can convert heat directly into electricity. It's not a new thing, but generally it's so inefficient that anyone who's serious about capturing electricity through heat instead uses some sort of steam generator. Where thermoelectrics have potential is in microgenerators, where you're just looking ...
Unlocking New Talents in Nature: Protein Engineers Create New Biocatalysts
Post Date: 2012-12-30 16:45:09 by A K A Stone
Dec. 20, 2012 Protein engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have tapped into a hidden talent of one of nature's most versatile catalysts. The enzyme cytochrome P450 is nature's premier oxidation catalyst -- a protein that typically promotes reactions that add oxygen atoms to other chemicals. Now the Caltech researchers have engineered new versions of the enzyme, unlocking its ability to drive a completely different and synthetically useful reaction that does not take place in nature. The new biocatalysts can be used to make natural products -- such as hormones, pheromones, and insecticides -- as well as pharmaceutical drugs, like antibiotics, in a ...
Helium Reserves, Cutting Spending, and Prudence
Post Date: 2012-12-28 13:08:50 by Abcdefg
In the comments of James' excellent post on the imprudence of arbitrarily cutting Federal workers, a discussion arose about "wasteful" Federal spending. In that discussion, James said: It never ceases to amaze me how hard it is to muster the political backbone to make obvious cuts. Aren't we still subsiding helium for dirigibles? This caught my attention because it's a subject near and dear to my heart: the absolutely, positively stupid, shortsighted, and ignorant manner in which Congress decided to privatize the Federal Helium Reserves. In the name, of course, of cutting costs. A little background is in order. It's true that yes, the Federal Helium Reserves were ...
Powers of Ten
Post Date: 2012-12-22 23:09:26 by A K A Stone
The Vaccine Hoax is Over Freedom of Info Act Forces Release of Secret Documents that Reveal Shocking Truth: Vaccines Do Not Work – Cover Up…
Post Date: 2012-12-12 12:24:25 by Capitalist Eric
Summation of Paper: Deliberately concealing information from parents for the sole purpose of getting them to comply with an official vaccination schedule could be considered as a form of ethical violation or misconduct. Official documents obtained from the UK Department of Health (DH) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reveal that the British health authorities have been engaging in such practice for the last 30 years, apparently for the sole purpose of protecting the national vaccination program. The same vaccines that are MANDATED to American children. A Freedom of Information Act filed in the US with the CDC by a doctor with an ...
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