By Gregory MonePosted 12.01.2004 at 3:00 pm 0 Comments
There were no reported doping cases at the other major competition held
in Athens this summer, the 2004 International Mathematical Olympiad, but clean matchups between mathletes may soon be endangered. Anjan Chatterjee, a physician at the University of Pennsylvania, warns that we are entering the era of cosmetic neurology, when kids will swallow memory-boosting pills to cram for the SATs and pilots will regularly take drugs to make them more alert in emergency situations.
By Sarah GoforthPosted 12.01.2004 at 3:00 pm 1 Comment
For most scientists, a career in research is gamble enough. But Scottish physicist Jim Hough couldn’t resist when the British betting house Ladbrokes offered 500:1 odds against the possibility that scientists will directly detect gravity waves before 2010. As director of Geo 600, an observatory in Germany designed to do just that, Hough had to lay down some pounds sterling.
First predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, gravity waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime. When black holes collide or stars
A bizarre new fossil unearthed in China shakes up theories on long-necked creatures
By Pat Barnes-SvarneyPosted 12.01.2004 at 2:10 pm 0 Comments
Modern giraffes are boring compared with the exotic long-necked creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. Chun Li, a paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently discovered the newest addition to this mix, a marine reptile called Dinocephalosaurus orientalis (“terrible-headed lizard from the Orient”) that lived 230 million years ago. Previously, paleontologists believed that aquatic reptiles caught their prey by moving their necks around like slithering eels. Li’s lizard, with its expandable neck, may have had a hunting style all its own.
By Bob IvryPosted 12.01.2004 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments
For some of the 200,000 people each year who suffer pain severe enough to require lower-back surgery, a new solution has arrived. The Charit Artificial Disc is expected to receive FDA approval for degenerative disc disease by the end of 2004, making it the only artificial spinal disc available in the U.S. “This is the first major breakthrough in back surgery since the 1940s,” says orthopedic surgeon Richard Guyer of the Texas Back Institute in Plano.
Can a tiny silicon chip restore damaged signals in the eye?
By Aimee CunninghamPosted 12.01.2004 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
An ingenious new device could lead to an eye implant that restores sight to the blind.
This summer, physicist Mark Peterman and his Stanford University colleagues reported that they had constructed an artificial stand-in for photoreceptors, eye cells that register incoming light and dispatch chemical signals to relay that information to the brain. Their prototype is a one-square-
Holiday wish lists of 50 years ago looked a lot like today's: classic toys enhanced by cutting-edge tech
By Sarah GoforthPosted 11.29.2004 at 4:47 pm 0 Comments
By 1948 the bridge-and-skyscraper-style Erector Set had been around for 30 years. But the newest of the construction kits came with crank-powered motors and wheels, enabling kids to fashion walking robots like the one we featured on our cover. And somewhere in the ancestry of the Roombatoday's roaming, saucer-shaped robo-vacwas the Electrocar, which reversed direction when its spring-loaded bumper struck a wall. A child-size vacuum cleaner was also on our 1948 gift list.
By Gregory MonePosted 11.25.2004 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
At press time, no new launch date had been set, but if you’re following Swift closely or have an insatiable love for exotic astrophysical phenomena, you might enjoy a little tune written and performed by an a cappella group known as the Chromatics. Here’s an excerpt from the aptly titled “Swift Song,” concerning the function of the observatory:
Swift is the satellite that swings/ Onto those brightly bursting things/ To grab the multi-wavelength answer to what makes them glow.