While IBM is primarily known for its information technology products, the company has recently begun expanding into the alternative energy market. So far, that change has mainly taken the form of a new ad campaign. But IBM is now backing those words up with action, by unveiling a groundbreaking solar cell, 40 percent more efficient than any similar cells.
It's easy to see how Apple might have overlooked this, what with their headquarters located in a place with 60 degree days in February, but anyone from colder climates knows that you can't operate an iPhone with gloves on. In South Korea, they have figured out a way around this problem using the best tool possible: encased pork products.
With the world facing an organ shortage so serious that the majority of potential transplant recipients die while on waiting lists, doctors have looked to similarly sized animal organs as a potential alternative to human donations. Unfortunately, the human body swiftly rejects animal organs. Animal lungs have proven especially problematic, as they stop functioning as soon as they com in contact with human blood.
Now, researchers at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, have used genetically modified pig lungs to successfully pump human blood. Since pig organs are essentially the same size and shape as human organs, this advance could drastically increase the number of lungs available for transplant.
By definition, one can't see a black hole itself, only its effect on the light of intervening stars. And without some serious equipment, even that's a tall order. Luckily for all us amateur astronomers, Thomas Müller and Daniel Weiskopf of the University of Stuttgart, Germany, have created a simulation that uses actual star data to calculate exactly what seeing the Schwarzschild black hole would look like.
Scientistsu, engineers, and doctors yearn for tiny sensors to record a vast array of events in the world's many hard-to-reach places. And so far, the tradeoff between battery life and size has prevented sensors from becoming small enough to fit unobtrusively in the human body, or inside very small machines. Now, University of Michigan researchers seem to have solved that puzzle by creating a chip that draws energy through solar power, heat, or movement.
Bark beetles plague the forests of Canada so furiously you'd think rivers of blood and the death of the firstborn would follow hot on their heels. So far, no one has stopped the beetle rampage that has destroyed 33 million acres of trees in British Columbia. However, scientists at Northern Arizona University (NAU) may have devised a way to turn back the beetle tide using sound recordings.
The male birth control pill has lingered for years tantalizingly just out of reach, in the realm where rumor meets science. Recently developed hormonal and mechanical contraceptives never found an audience, serving only to highlight the absence of a male pill. Now, an examination of how smoking pot lowers fertility may make the male pill more than a persistent rumor.
The difficulty of supplying remote outposts across rugged terrain has contributed to many of the deadliest moments in the Afghan War, by preventing the delivery of weapons and ammo to engaged soldiers, forcing supplies to travel over dangerous roads, or turning helicopters into vulnerable targets. Last June, the Marines put out a call for a helicopter UAV to solve those problems. Now, with a successful demonstration at Utah's Dugway Proving Grounds, the Marines might have found their robocopter.
The DIY miniature satellites known as CubeSats have a lot going for them. They're cheap, they're easy to program, and they're small. That last benefit also adds a downside, in that the CubeSats are too small to sport any propulsion systems. MIT is looking to change that by creating an ion propulsion system so small that it will take up less than 10 percent of the already tiny Cubes.