The genetic tests our writer took to determine what kinds of illnesses he might have
By Meryl RothsteinPosted 08.03.2005 at 3:15 pm 0 Comments
We charged one worrywart writer, Michael Rosenwald, with getting as many different DNA tests as he could to find out what his future—or, more specifically, his genes—had in store for him. In a search for everything from cancer to narcolepsy, Rosenwald sent blood samples or cheek swabs to genetic-testing labs across the country. The DNA in the harvested cells was then extracted from the cells’ nuclei to undergo PCR amplification, essentially molecular photocopying.
In the first-ever public test of artificial muscle, in March a high-school girl arm-wrestled three devices powered by the material. See how well she fared
By Nate RalphPosted 08.03.2005 at 10:00 am 1 Comment
On March 7, 17-year-old high-school student Panna Felsen squared off against three stalwart competitors in the first-ever human-robot arm-wrestling match. Each of the robots was powered by a distinct variety of electroactive polymer, also known as artificial muscle. The contenders varied in size and shape, and their creators’ budgets ranged from $800 to roughly $250,000.
The competition was designed to promote the development of materials that could someday animate prosthetic limbs, shape-shifting airplane wings and a host of other devices.
Planet hunters get a new telescope to search for Earth-like orbs
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 08.03.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
This spring, a telescope designed to peer into our neighboring solar systems and detect unseen planets will see first light. Built atop Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, the Lick Observatory´s Rocky Planet Finder will be one of the biggest automated telescope on Earth-its eight-foot-diameter main mirror is the same size as Hubble´s-and the only one dedicated solely to the search for Earth-like planets.
Brain chips that enable us to control machines with our thoughts. Kidneys and lungs built to order in the lab. Pills to make you smarter and more creative. An implant that gives you a tan and protects against skin cancer. All these innovations are in development; some are already being tested on human subjects.
The next technological frontier will be our own bodies. Genetics, materials science, tissue engineering and nanotechnology are already yielding products to help the sick and injured, including a Band-Aid-like heart patch and the C-leg prosthesis for amputees.
High-tech health care isn’t just for hospitals. For some of the most innovative advances soon to come, check your bathroom
By Amos KenigsbergPosted 08.01.2005 at 4:40 pm 0 Comments
Your future medicine cabinet will integrate home, pharmacy and doctor's office into a digital health network. It will work with next-gen health-care productsdisease screeners, needle-less injectors, sunscreen pillsbut its most important product will be the information it can give you and your doctor about your health. Here's a look inside your future home-care center.
Advances in medical science may well lead to more-than-human abilities
By Siri Steiner, with additional reporting by Nicole Dyer, Jenny Everett and Martha HarbisonPosted 08.01.2005 at 3:00 pm 0 Comments
The pattern is familiar: Researchers develop a technology or drug to aid the ailing. Soon thereafter, healthy people co-opt it to make themselves stronger, faster or smarter. Follow this trend far enough, and we reach the augmented human. Popular Science has scoured the most promising research under way in bioengineering laboratories worldwide to take an informed look at how technology will enter and alter our bodies over the coming decades.
The newest in-car navigation units let you choose your own points of interest
By Suzanne Kantra Kirschner, Senior Technology EditorPosted 08.01.2005 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments
GPS maker Garmin recently announced two car-navigation products—the StreetPilot c340 and StreetPilot 2720—with one very special feature: points of interest (POIs) that will be updateable after purchase and open to third-party development. POIs are those little icons on the GPS maps that indicate the presence of museums, restaurants, stores, and so on. Why am I so excited about this feature?
Will we grow babies outside their mothers' bodies?
By Gretchen ReynoldsPosted 08.01.2005 at 2:00 pm 8 Comments
A fetus lives in a world of bubbles. In its earliest days, it’s shaped like one. Later, it floats in one-the squishy, enveloping amniotic sac. And eventually, if all goes well, the fetus releases one bubble of fluid, then another and another, like smoke signals, as it puckers and swallows and floats in the womb. It was the bubbles that first convinced Hung-Ching Liu two years ago that a baby might actually be grown outside its mother’s uterus.