Artificial limbs have advanced quite a bit since the days of the pirate peg leg, but not nearly enough for DARPA. The Pentagon agency has kicked off a new phase of its "Revolutionizing Prosthetics" program that sets the hefty goal of creating a fully-functional human limb directly controlled by the brain within five years, according to Wired's Danger Room.
Johnny Cash can't have known about carbon nanotubes when he sang about that burning ring of fire, but MIT scientists have shown how the tiny tubes can channel a ring of heat that creates electrical current -- about 100 times as much energy per unit of weight when compared with a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
An explosion aboard Flight 253 on Christmas Day would not have crippled the Boeing 747, according to a recent test that simulated the success of would-be bomber Umar Abdulmutallab. Only the bomber and passenger next to him would have died, the BBC reports.
NASA's aptly-named Stardust spacecraft may have returned the first-ever samples of interstellar dust to Earth. Scientists hope to confirm their possible discovery of two dust grains, based upon the sharp eye of a citizen scientist, BBC reports.
Missile strikes by Predators, Reapers, or other aerial drones usually result in messy explosions on the ground. Now the never-ending but perhaps futile quest to attain zero collateral damage may take another step forward, with a small micro-drone missile that can kill individual targets from afar.
Obama's new cybersecurity czar doesn't much like the term "cyberwar," calling it a "terrible metaphor" and a "terrible concept." But just in case his dislike of the term didn't get through, Howard Schmidt flat-out stated that "there is no cyberwar" during a Wired interview at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco.
There's a new type of vigilante roaming across China. But unlike Batman or other caped superheroes, who work with a few sidekicks at most, this type of faceless vigilante draws power from legions of netizens who channel Internet crowd-sourcing to become "human-flesh search engines" that hunt down and punish wrongdoers in real life. The New York Times reports on the phenomenon.
Russian leaders have occasionally demonstrated a weakness for pseudoscience during the nation's history. Now Russian scientists have rallied to expose Viktor Petrik, a modern-day inventor whose supposed innovations -- realized under self-hypnosis -- have won over the Kremlin. Petrik's ideas include a way to produce silicon for computer chips from fertilizer and a filter that can turn radioactive waste into safe, drinkable water, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Apple aficionados and first-adopters will have to wait a bit longer than anticipated to get their hot hands on the iPad. The tablet computer's debut has been moved back to April 3 for the U.S., AP reports.
This is your brain. This is your brain's blood flow, courtesy of brain scan technologies. And this is dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays pivotal roles in learning, memory, addiction and movement. MIT and Caltech scientists have created new molecular sensors that allow them to track dopamine for the first time, and provide the most direct detection ever of brain activity.