Overfishing made the grey nurse shark endangered, but it's the animal's bizarre, cannibalistic embryos that are making it difficult for the species to rebound. The gestating shark pups need a "time out," says Nick Otway, a fisheries biologist at Port Stephens Fisheries Institute in Australia. As a last-ditch effort to keep the species from eating itself into extinction, he built an artificial uterus, a souped-up fish tank that will give each unborn baby its own womb.
What: Brain-Machine Interface by Honda, which lets you control a humanoid with your mind
Why: Disability affects one in five Americans.
Wow: Requires no surgical implants and boasts a 90 percent accuracy rate
What: An exoskeleton that dramatically speeds up recovery times from stroke
Where: Santa Cruz, Calif.
Why: An estimated 780,000 Americans will suffer a debilitating stroke this year.
Wow: The robot can simulate 95 percent of the motions of a healthy human arm.
What: Fluorescence-Assisted Resection and Exploration, a new technique that makes cancerous tissue glow during surgery, one cell at a time
Why: Of the 1.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed annually, nearly all of them require surgery.
Wow: Pinpoints the spread of cancer in seconds
The charred remains of a multi-million-dollar mansion crumbled under Randall Griffin's work boots. "The entire neighborhood was burned to ashes," he says. "There was literally one home left." Now, less than two years after Griffin surveyed the aftermath of the wildfires that destroyed more than 3,000 homes in Southern California, his group at the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is testing a deployable tent that could shield homes from the most ferocious fires.
Invention: Vascular Pathways
Inventor: Amir Belson
Time: 6 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
When Amir Belson flew from Israel for a pediatric fellowship at Stanford University in 1998, he carried a list of 64 ideas for medical inventions. Many of the concepts were influenced by the years he served as a flight surgeon in the Israeli air force, while others came from time spent in a neonatal intensive-care unit. One of them was an idea for a better intravenous catheter, one that wouldn't damage veins or kink inside of them. By 2005, he had made his first prototype.
Car accidents kill 115 people a day in the U.S. and cost an annual $230 billion. Cautious drivers can avoid only so much danger, especially when it's a car running a red light, or a truck that pops out of a blind spot. But commuting could get safer with new in-car technology that warns you of that vehicle just around the corner — and even hits the brakes for you.
With cop cars disappearing from his rearview mirror and an open road ahead, a fugitive thinks he's in the clear—until his car comes to a sudden halt. A sheriff, hiding in the bushes, has activated a road trap that sprung a ball of straps into the car's undercarriage, immobilizing its drive shaft and axles.
A Category 4 hurricane approaches New Orleans, yet “When the Saints Go Marching In” continues to spill out of clubs on Bourbon Street. No one’s worried, because two F4 Phantom fighter jets have just taken off from the nearby Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base to kill the storm before it hits land.
OBESITY IN AMERICA State Lines
Obesity, defined as a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, is not equally distributed across the U.S. Check out this map to find out which state is the fattest (hint: it's the namesake of mud pie), which is the thinnest (think Coors Light), and which spends the most money on obesity-related health care (its governor pumps iron).
Read on, after the break, for more of America's (and the world's) fat facts.