In a real-life use of Schrödinger's theoretical paradoxical cat, researchers report that they were able to quickly transfer a complex set of quantum information while preserving its integrity. The information, in the form of light, was manipulated in such a way that it existed in two states at the same time, and it was destroyed in one spot and recreated in another. The new teleportation breakthrough is a major step toward building safe, effective quantum computers.
We’ve already seen how magnets hovering close to a person’s head can affect speech, behavior and learning patterns. Now it appears zapping your brain with a 9-volt battery will make you better at video games, at least according to one researcher. Don’t try this yourself, though.
A new type of cloth can guard against noxious gases and odors by trapping their molecules inside its fibers, according to Cornell University. A Cornell undergrad fashioned the cloth into protective head gear, seen here in a summery shade of turquoise.
The cloth is made of cellulose fibers and metal-organic framework molecules, crystalline compounds that form a porous structure. The pores can trap and store molecules of gas, serving as wearable filtration systems.
A new study demonstrates how high hydrocarbons could be formed from methane deep within the Earth, aside from the compression and heating of ancient animal remains over the eons. Fused-methane oil would be far less common than your typical petroleum, of course, but the study shows abiogenic hydrocarbons could conceivably occur in some of the planet’s high-pressure and high-temperature zones.
Weaving wool into Kevlar improves the energy and water absorption of the synthetic textile, potentially making bulletproof vests more comfortable and more affordable, according to researchers in Australia.
Tightly woven wool reduces the number of Kevlar layers required to stop a bullet from 36 to 30, and wool's water-absorption qualities could make Kevlar more effective in wet situations.
Frida the two-armed robot would like to work with you. She wants you to know she would make a great assistant, with her dextrous arms and headless torso, incapable of inane small talk. She will not hurt you, she promises. But she might make you obsolete.
Future cities could include pancake-shaped buildings, power plants that harvest lightning and ocean-based skyscrapers that produce potable water and clean up trash. Those are some of the visions in the 2011 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, a forum for futuristic — and even fantastical — ideas for new architecture.
Click here to see the winning designs and some other interesting entries.
Humanity’s worst scourge, the smallpox virus, may finally wind up on death row in May if health officials decide to destroy the last known samples. The virus was eliminated in human populations more than 30 years ago, but several international groups want to kill any remaining virus samples stored in test tubes on two continents.
[Updated] After the final flight this summer, America's space shuttles will retire to four locations across the continent, from California to Florida. Houston, home of Mission Control, was snubbed — it will receive shuttle seats, with actual training simulators leaving the JSC grounds for other museums in the midwest.
Meet KMR-M6, a new arachnid-like robot from Japanese manufacturer Kondo Robot that you can own for just under $900. It scurries around like a curious spider, waving a leg when it encounters an obstacle and stepping gingerly to ensure even footing.