Keeping tabs on nuclear material is both increasingly important and increasingly difficult these days, but researchers at the University of Maryland have devised a mechanism that may make it a lot easier to ensure unchecked radioactive materials don’t make it illicitly ashore. A novel approach to gamma ray detection could make it easier for customs officials to test shipping containers for radioactive payloads without searching them one by one.
DARPA’s Transformer – sometimes referred to as the flying Humvee – seems to be moving right along, even if only on paper at this point. The DoD’s out-there tech incubator has awarded Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute $988,000 to develop an autonomous flight system for the vehicle, which would go a long way toward helping the proposed military vehicle get off the ground in both the literal and figurative senses.
Pills that only contain medicine are so very 20th century. Swiss pharma house Novartis thinks pills needn't merely deliver medicine to the bloodstream, but could also monitor its effects and transmit data to physicians. As such, the firm plans to bring a chip-in-a-pill technology before European regulators within 18 months that can both deliver drugs and transmit information from inside a patient's body to a patch worn on the patient's skin.
It's still hard to know just how big an Atlantic hurricane is going to get or where it might make landfall until just days before it strikes, but meteorologists have long been able to predict with fair certainty how many hurricanes will be spawned in the next hurricane season.
Last night the normally hazy sunset off the southern California coast was interrupted by a missile streaking upward and across the sky, captured by a local CBS News affiliate's helicopter camera. But no one from the Navy to the Air Force to the brass at the Pentagon is saying definitively what the object was or where it came from, outside of the fact that it originated from somewhere at sea about 35 miles west of Los Angeles and north of Catalina Island.
It’s long been regarded as pseudo-science or simple lore, but precognition – that is, the ability to not just predict but to actually perceive the future – is getting a fair shake in some scientific circles lately.
In Afghanistan, perhaps more so than in a small Polish town, it's important to know exactly where you're going. So you can imagine the frustration felt by Polish troops serving in Afghanistan when faulty GPS equipment told them that they weren't in Afghanistan, but in one of several African nations or back home in the small town of Zielona Gora in Western Poland.
When hypothesizing about life that may exist elsewhere in the universe, the tendency is to visualize something far different from life here on earth. But here in our galactic neighborhood, a team of MIT researchers argues, life it just as likely related to us. Following that line of thought, the team is developing a prototype alien DNA decoder that it hopes to send to Mars aboard a NASA-ESA mission slated for launch in 2018.
Global Positioning Systems work famously here on the home planet because we control all of the moving parts; put some satellites in the sky, equip a device with the proper hardware to communicate with them, and you can locate yourself just about anywhere. But how would we locate ourselves in deep space? For that kind of spatial location, a team of Italian researchers have devised a way to calculate one’s position in space using pulsars as interstellar navigation beacons.