Remote-control jets have never performed particularly well. Their engines are less efficient than exposed propellers at an R/C plane's speed, which makes the toys sluggish and difficult to steer, leading to crashes. To compensate for the lack of power, engineers at toy manufacturer Great Planes reduced the weight of their F-86 craft to 2.35 ounces—30 percent lighter than any comparably sized R/C jet. With less mass to maneuver, the F-86 flies faster, turns quicker, and allows pilots to do loops and rolls.
Streptomyces coelicolor, a soil-dwelling bacterium, has one of the best-understood genomes in its genus. Even so, a computational analysis of its genome has led researchers to a surprise: a new antibiotic compound. By tinkering with the bacteria, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands were able to awaken an inactive gene group that produces large quantities of yellow coelicolor polyketide and a new compound with antimicrobial activity.
Volcanic eruptions aren’t just violent; they’re incredibly fast, often leaving people no time to flee. Here, a rescue worker walks among the dead in the white-gray ash of Argomulyo, a village in Indonesia. This eruption last November of Mt. Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, triggered a series of fast-moving pyroclastic flows, a combination of volcanic rock and gas that can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees. This material barreled down Merapi’s slopes at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour.
Therapist Brenda Bryan asks everyone in her anger-management group to teleport to a volcano. She explains that the volcano is a reminder that emotional eruptions have fallout. Bryan isn't your typical therapist. She's a virtual-world therapist practicing at Preferred Family Healthcare Center in Kirksville, Missouri. So-called avatar therapy transplants standard counseling into virtual settings, in this case, private scenes custom-built using code from Second Life, the online multiplayer game.
Since their introduction into hospitals, robots have sliced up and sponge-bathed humans across the globe. Now they’re set to automate emergency care. With about 40 percent of ER patients arriving with potentially life-threatening afflictions and others with minor grievances, automating the triage process could lead to more efficient and expeditious treatment.
This new Microsoft Kinect hack might have the most appeal for the DARPA set. Researchers at the Hybrid Systems Laboratory at UC Berkeley mounted a Kinect sensor atop their Ascending Technologies Pelican quadrotor UAV, mapping the copter’s surroundings so it can avoid obstacles while traveling along a predetermined, programmed path.