Journalists have already spilled gallons of ink and hogged terabytes of bandwidth with stories about the implications of switching from the Space Shuttle to the new Constellation system. Of course, most of the reporting has focused on the impact to NASA, thus ignoring another somewhat unlikely victim of the gap between the two programs: the economy of Florida.
When most companies promote a new product, they follow a pretty standard formula. Write a press release, tape a demonstration of the device, and maybe send out some schwag. Yawn. To promote its new line of video projectors, Epson kicked it up to the next level, creating a PS3 gaming rig that let's the user play anywhere there's a flat surface.
More people have been to the Moon than to the deepest parts of the ocean, and scientists have more detailed maps of the surface of Mars than they do of much of the ocean floor. That glaring lack of knowledge about our own planet comes in part from the difficulty of communicating with robots and submarines traveling beneath the waves.
While some viruses attack the lungs, and others the blood, HIV attacks the only system that could put up a fight: the immune system itself. The immune system mounts some defense, but after HIV launches its surprise attack, the body simply can't produce enough killer T blood cells to take out the virus.
Now, thanks to researchers at UCLA, it's payback time for the blood cells. A team of scientists have plucked T-cells out of someone infected with HIV, and used them as a template for creating an army of HIV-fighting immune cells out of stem cells. Essentially a genetic vaccine, this technique could be used to copy T-cells designed to fight any virus, opening up the possibility of universal vaccination via stem cell implantation.
Most people use the video camera on their phone for bootlegging concert footage or recording drunken antics. But for the deaf, to whom cellphones' audio capability is moot, cellphone video offers a chance to expand beyond texting, and into the more expressive communication of American Sign Language. Unfortunately, low-bandwidth American cellphone lines can't carry video clear enough for sign language.
That's where MobileASL comes in. This multi-university project developed a special algorithm that selectively compresses the video, lowering the resolution on everything but the speakers hands. This lowers the size of the video to the point where it can pass over regular cellphone signals. And now, the MobileASL project has developed the first prototype phone that incorporates this technology.
For the past six years, the CDMS, the world's most sensitive dark matter detector, sat deep beneath the Minnesotan countryside, watching super-cooled Germanium crystals for evidence of material abundant in the Universe, but almost non-existent on Earth. Today, rumors are flying on the Web that the team has finally found the weakly interacting particles (WIMPs) that physicists have long searched for, which could be the key to understanding the fundamental makeup of the universe.
When attempting to evade biometric sensors, most go with the Tyler Durden or the John Doe from Se7en route, and simply cut or burn off their fingerprints. Unfortunately, that's a little obvious. So, for criminals looking to slip through fingerprinting in Japanese airports, fingerprint transplant surgery is all the rage.
Zoe Donaldson, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, via Science Daily
Man, those scientists just love their glowing lab subjects. First came mice, and then recently the first primates got some jellyfish genes implanted into their DNA. Now, scientists at Emory University have implanted the gene for jellyfish fluorescent protein in prairie voles.
With the conference in Copenhagen swiftly approaching, and the Senate analog to the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" struggling towards the floor, little doubt remains that fossil fuel-burning power plants will soon face either fines for, or mandatory reduction of, carbon emissions. Luckily, a team at MIT has devised a power plant set up that generates power from fossil fuels, but does so with almost none of the carbon emissions.