What do tiny smiling snowmen mean for science? Not much; these physicists just decided to show off their ability to make really small things.
This little guy measures just 10 micrometers across, or just 1/5th the width of a human hair. Scientists at the National Physics Laboratory in the UK built the snowman body from two tin beads, and milled the eyes and smile in the top bead using a focused ion beam. The snowman also has a platinum nose deposited by said ion beam, which probably beats a silly carrot any day.
Charles Lindbergh may have shown human fortitude by flying across the Atlantic in his "Spirit of St. Louis," but now he has robotic company when it comes to transatlantic records. An underwater robotic glider built by Rutgers University students and scientists has achieved the first underwater robot crossing, after traveling beneath the waves for 221 days.
President Obama lifted the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell lines last spring, but hundreds of cell lines have remained locked away undergoing review. Now the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finally deemed 13 embryonic lines ready for use, and could make a decision on 20 or more by Friday, the Associated Press reports.
Get ready for a firefighting vehicle that might have arrived from your old Saturday morning GI Joe cartoons. Yanko has showcased an ATV design by Liam Ferguson that can carry remotely-operated water cannons and a two-person crew into the heart of a raging blaze, and emerge unscathed.
Stars don't tend to go quietly, and the most massive of them all create a supernova explosion 50 to 100 times brighter than normal. Now astronomers have confirmed the existence of rare but huge stars that contain 200 times the mass of our sun, after spotting one unusually bright cosmic explosion in 2007.
Drugs can affect different patients in unexpected ways, because of each person's unique genetic makeup. Now a newly FDA-approved device that screens blood for genetic variations within hours could allow physicians to choose the drug that best suits a particular patient, according to Technology Review.
Spaceflight continues to represent one of the more extreme and hazardous undertakings for humans, even if it's just about getting off the ground. But the men and women of NASA's astronaut corps say that the U.S. space agency can improve on the odds that faced the doomed shuttle crews of Challenger and Columbia.
That economic recession has hardly slowed down the growing swarm of robots designed for almost every task imaginable.
Many of them showcased their skills at Japan's International Robot Exhibition 2009, along with a host of human handlers. Consumers in the market for a pair of robot skates need not hold their breath for much longer.
Time to shake off that post-Thanksgiving tryptophan daze and see what the other Turkey has been doing. Turns out those Turkish officials have begun working on two Internet projects: a Turkish search engine that aims to address Muslim sensitivities, and government-controlled e-mail accounts for all 70 million Turkish citizens.