De-boning a chicken, duck or other bird can be an arduous and unpleasant task — even Julia Child said it could take way too long "because of fright." Yet with patience and the right knife, any human can do it. But a robot?
Robots may be able to assist with surgery, but chicken butchering is, in some ways, more of a challenge, and one that engineers at Georgia Tech are hoping to solve.
Figuring out a good bone replacement for limbs has proved a problem since the days of the wooden peg leg. Yet scientists have now grown two small bones based on digital images and a 3-D scaffolding, the New York Times reports.
The screws used by doctors to repair broken bones and torn ligaments enable recovery from a wide range of injuries. Unfortunately, they also leave holes in bones, require secondary surgery for removal, and make going through airport security a real pain. But by crafting the screws from a special designed composite of polymer and mineral, researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute have managed to solve all those problems in one fell swoop.
This morning, scientists revealed an analysis of a female skeleton that seems to be the best example of early hominids around, about a million years older than the famous Lucy specimen that has been a prime example of early humanoids for about 40 years. New species Ardipithecus ramidus, which scientists nicknamed "Ardi," lived in the woodlands of present-day Ethiopia and had a blend of human and chimplike features.
There has been one beneficiary of flu madness: the elbow. Handily bendy, usefully pointy, the joint is seeing its moment in the sun. Rubbing elbows together in greeting has been suggested as a way to avoid spreading infection, but if that doesn't work for you, here are some other options.
Also in today's links: ringtones for cars, a beetle that better be funny, and more.