Scientists have known that the huge Andromeda galaxy is headed on a collision course with our Milky Way some 4.5 billion years from now. But until then, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has taken the opportunity to snap a new mosaic image of the galaxy using all four of its infrared detectors.
Prosthetic users typically spend more energy walking on their artificial feet than most people, because the devices cannot replicate the force of a living ankle pushing off the ground. Now researchers have created a new prosthetic foot that recaptures the mechanical energy between steps.
Test subjects who used a conventional prosthetic foot spent 23 percent more metabolic energy, as opposed to when they walked on two normal feet. One engineer likened the experience to walking with an extra 30 pounds weighing him down.
Washington insiders recently sweated out a real-time war game where a cyberattack crippled cell phone service, Internet and even electrical grids across the U.S. The unscripted, dynamic simulation allowed former White House officials and the Bipartisan Policy Center to study the problems that might arise during a real cyberattack emergency, according to Aviation Week'sAres Defense Blog.
The Policy Center's vice-president reports ""The general consensus of the panel today was that we are not prepared to deal with these kinds of attacks."
Twitpics from space just got even more interesting with the addition of a brand new cupola window aboard the International Space Station. Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has accordingly updated his Twitter feed with a fresh Twitpic of the Sahara desert framed within the cupola.
Science fiction writers may have to rethink how their starship crews survive travel near or beyond the speed of light. Even the occasional hydrogen atom floating in the interstellar void would become a lethal radiation beam that would kill human crews in mere seconds and destroy a spacecraft's electronics, New Scientist reports.
Future guys and gals looking for a sweet-smelling bouquet for Valentine's Day might consider the root-beer-scented variety. Or they could opt for a fouler odor, if they want to send a different message. That's all in the coming future, according to Discovery News.
Someone at Google apparently took pity on the poor users who can only explore Google Earth on their laptops. Jason Holt used his 20 percent project time to create a wraparound view of a modified Google Earth engine, and splashed it across 8 LCD screens in an immersive viewing booth. The result provides a view not unlike that from a starship's bridge, and allows users to seamlessly explore a virtual environment of the Earth, moon, and Mars -- an experience that Google has dubbed "Liquid Galaxy."
A new generation of scientists hope to become genome hackers who redesign organisms to become living tools, capable of creating diesel fuel or producing anti-malarial drugs. That synthetic biology revolution has led to a can-do spirit of innovation that has fueled MIT's International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, known as iGEM for short. The New York Times has traced the route to iGEM by following a community-college team from the City College of San Francisco, as the group tries to build a bacteria-based battery powered entirely by the sun for iGEM. It's a great overview of one of the more exciting scientific fields today.
Putting a mobile Internet router on a yellow school bus has transformed a crowd of rowdy, bored teens into a quiet and well-behaved flock of studious students. That experiment at the Empire High School outside of Tucson, Arizona may soon replicate itself in school districts all across the nation, the New York Times reports.
Locksmiths and car thieves can both get excited over a new handheld device that electronically maps the inside of car locks and then provides the key code within seconds via USB cable connection to a computer. The key code, matched to the make of the car, allows key-cutting machines to churn out a replacement key. Popular Mechanics reports that the key replication only works for Ford vehicles so far -- news that may leave bemused expressions on the faces of Ford owners.