Blasts from improvised explosives and RPGs can cause traumatic brain injuries among soldiers, which can leave permanent damage. Sounds like a challenge for the Pentagon's mad science lab DARPA, which has issued a call for a brain freeze device that could stop the after-effects of brain trauma in its tracks, Wired's Danger Room reports.
Physicists have been taking baby steps toward creating a full-fledged quantum computer faster and more powerful than any computer in existence, by making quantum processors capable of performing individual tasks. Now a group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed the world's first universal programmable quantum computer that can run any program that's possible under the rules of quantum mechanics.
We always knew that the National Security Agency collects a lot of surveillance data from satellites and by other means, but we never quite imagined it was this much: the NSA estimates it will have enough data by 2015 to fill a million datacenters spread across the equivalent combined area of Delaware and Rhode Island. The NSA wants to store yottabytes of data, and one yottabyte comes to 1,000,000,000,000,000 GB.
Worst-case planning never hurt anybody, and certainly not federal water projects that cost millions of dollars and could be easily undone by climate change and rising sea levels. A new policy now requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan for future climate change when designing plans for flood control or other projects.
Google has scarcely stopped for a breather since launching its cloud-based Chrome OS as an alternative to PC and Mac operating systems. Now its Chromium group has announced an effort to replace the traditional HTTP web browser language with a new protocol that supposedly boosts Internet browsing by up to 55 percent.
NASA's moon-smashing mission may not have provided a huge show for the folks on Earth, but now there's sweet vindication for scientists. The plume of lunar debris kicked up from ancient lunar crater kicked up 24 gallons of water, LCROSS mission staff reported today.
Berliners may soon get more to see on the horizon than just construction cranes, if a German architect realizes his massive vision. The world's largest artificial mountain could sit on the spot currently occupied by Tempelhof airport, and provide a natural getaway for Berliners and tourists alike. Did we also mention the fine skiing opportunities from September through March?
Architect Jakob Tigges has named his 1,000-meter-tall mountain "The Berg," which may conjure up images of some bygone World War II-era redoubt. But the idea supposedly has many supporters among Berlin residents, and we have to admit that it's a novel way of one-upping all those other cities focused on having the tallest buildings.
Spongebob may want to look into a nanotech upgrade that could permit him to walk on water. Chinese scientists have created carbon nanotube sponges that don't absorb water, leaving them plenty of room for absorbing oil or other icky organic goo.
The new sponges rely upon interconnected carbon nanotubes that naturally repel water, and can absorb 180 times their weight in organic matter. Current sponges used for oil spill cleanups and industrial applications can only absorb up to 20 times their own weight.
Cell phones have increasingly become mobile labs and tech tools for researchers, and now NASA has gotten in on the act. A postage-stamp-sized chemical sensor allows iPhones to sniff out low airborne concentrations of chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine gas and methane.
A puff from a "sample jet" helps sense any airborne chemicals. That information gets processed by a silicon chip consisting of 16 nanosensors, and then passes on to another phone or computer through any Wi-Fi or telecom network.
Life on Earth first came out of the oceans, but the water itself may have originated from extraterrestrial space rocks. A new study points to a turbulent period when the solar system's giant planets hurled chunks of icy rubble in Earth's direction.
This goes against the more favored scientific theory that Earth's oceans and atmosphere formed from elements within the planet interior, around 4.5 billion years ago. The Nature study argues that the primordial temperatures never dropped enough to condense both volatile elements and water alike, and that the waters of our blue planet must have arrived during a later period of planet building, about one hundred million years after Earth was formed.