Lasers can already track and hopefully shoot down missiles, so perhaps it was inevitable that humans would turn that power against the airborne bloodsucker threat. Scientists from the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory showed their lasers tracking mosquitoes live during the TED 2010 conference, and also unveiled the awesome laser pew-pew effect in a new video. See the smoking hot results for yourself.
Bacteria have deployed to Afghanistan to help the U.S. Army clean polluted wastewater. The microbes commonly appear in handfuls of dirt, but now form the main component of two new bioreactors made by scientists at Sam Houston State University in Texas.
Virginia legislators claimed victory today against implantable microchips by passing a bill that prevents employers or insurance companies from forcing patients to accept the devices. Privacy topped the reasons for concern, but the bill's sponsor also saw the microchips as the "mark of the beast," according to the Washington Post.
Amateur and professional astronomers alike know the Orion Nebula as one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky, and a new image from Europe's powerful VISTA telescope has captured it in a stunning new light. But rather than just seeing the visible cloud of gas enshrouding the stellar nursery, VISTA turned its infrared vision upon the young stars emerging in and around the nebula.
Graphene may brighten the future more literally than we had originally anticipated, besides merely revolutionizing electronics and Silicon Valley. Swedish and American researchers have transformed the one-atom-thick carbon material into a new, inexpensive lighting component that could give organic light diodes (OLEDs) a run for their money.
Looking for open parking spaces in the city is one of the more teeth-grinding rituals for drivers, but researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey may have hit upon a relatively low-cost solution. They combined ultrasonic sensors with GPS to create digital maps of available parking spaces for Web-based navigation systems, according to Technology Review.
Google's vision for a better world involves removing those pesky language barriers that keep people apart, and so the Internet search giant has begun development on a voice recognition and automatic translation system for cell phones. Such technology could either herald a new era of fruitful international collaboration or usher in new grievances and conflicts, depending on your viewpoint.
It's a sight captured by many a late-night stargazer: a shuttle streaking through the dark sky on its way to orbit. Last night, a gorgeous predawn launch of the space shuttle Endeavour marked the last scheduled night launch ever for the retiring NASA vehicle, even as NASA looks forward to a new age of commercial spaceflight. All four of the remaining shuttle flights are slated for the daytime, SPACE.com reports.
Humanity's search for the secrets to immortality has inspired Ray Kurzweil's Singularity vision and DARPA's hunt for ageless synthetic beings. Now scientists have discovered a single gene that appears to control how quickly individuals will biologically age, The Telegraph reports. The discovery could not only encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles earlier, but may eventually help people live longer if scientists can figure out how to manipulate the gene.
Silicon Valley may want to update its name, because IBM has created graphene transistors that blow away the silicon competition. The transistor prototypes were made from sheets of carbon just one atom thick that could switch on and off at 100 billion times per second. The 100-gigahertz speed is about 10 times faster than any silicon equivalents, Technology Review reports.