Artificial skin and livers promise to spare the lives of lab rats
By Dawn StoverPosted 06.25.2008 at 1:51 pm 2 Comments
Awww, how could anyone test experimental pharmaceuticals on that little face? A few new technologies -- substitute tissues, for instance -- aim to take the rat out of the equation, or at least provide other, gentler options for experimenters. Here's a look at three of the best new hopes for rodents.
Upcoming ways to foil hackers and catch computer thieves
By Matt SchneidermanPosted 06.25.2008 at 12:53 pm 1 Comment
Identity theft used to involve someone rifling through your garbage. But now more than half a million laptops—full of tax returns and love letters—are stolen every year, estimates computer insurer Safeware. And even if your computer never leaves your sight, hackers can weasel into it over the Internet. Here are three technologies that will safeguard your digital data, whether it's on an office desktop or a stolen laptop.
For wounded soldiers, the military's Institute of Regenerative Medicine offers dramatic new ways to heal
By Amanda SchupakPosted 06.24.2008 at 5:29 pm 15 Comments
Skin guns. Organ printers. Pig dust. Biochemist Alan Russell believes tools like these could one day be standard-issue for the battlefield medic. The skin gun would heal burns. The organ printer would replace badly wounded livers, kidneys, even hearts. And the pig dust?
The inside scoop on 10 crazy ideas that just may save our planet
By PopSci StaffPosted 06.23.2008 at 4:44 pm 1 Comment
Tiny nukes to power towns, a hair club for plants and gasoline that can be pulled from thin air. On this episode of Cocktail Party Science, host Chuck Cage sits down with the editors and writers of "10 Audacious Ideas to Save the Planet" and discusses how science's most outlandish ideas could prove to be our salvation.
A Turkish design team dreams up a self-sufficient craft for the eco-conscious yachting class
By Catherine PricePosted 06.20.2008 at 4:23 pm 3 Comments
Volitan may look more like an X-wing fighter than a boat, but the four-wing structure keeps it stable while maximizing maneuverability.
For most of history, sailboats were by definition pollution-free. Now, however, even purists use outboard motors to get their three-sheeters in and out of the harbor. Including conventional motorized boats, there are more than 10 million hydrocarbon-burning marine engines in the U.S. alone.
A new body scanner captures tumors, blood clots and leaky arteries in action
By Michael RosenwaldPosted 06.20.2008 at 2:45 pm 0 Comments
To grasp the power of Toshiba’s new Aquilion ONE computed-tomography (CT) scanner, imagine facing a picturesque beach. Your camera doesn’t have a panoramic function, so you take snapshots pointing to the left, the center, and the right. You tape the photographs together and it looks gorgeous, sure, but you’re missing the action of the waves crashing on the sand.
Explosive glass drops demonstrate why your car windshield is so strong and safe
By Theodore GrayPosted 06.19.2008 at 3:31 pm 6 Comments
Break the tail of a Prince Rupert's glass drop, and the whole thing explodes.
Mike Walker; special thanks to Glass Lake Studio
If you want a scientific display of the dangers of pent-up stress, Prince Rupert's drops are it. After the trauma of being dropped molten-hot into a bucket of cold water, these glass balls, named for a 17th-century amateur scientist, turn into bundles of high tension. They're impervious to even the strongest blows, until you find their hot button: Flick the tail, and they explode.
With HAARP, an antenna array located 200 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, scientists study the outer atmosphere by zapping it with radio waves generated by 3,600 kilowatts of electricity. Appropriately, it has a great view of the aurora borealis.
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
If the paranoid blogosphere is to be believed, every morning a group of plasma-physics grad students wakes up at a research facility in Gakona, Alaska, 200 miles north of Anchorage, and prepares for another day of playing God. It's cold, dark as a mineshaft in winter, and the day's work does little to cheer the mood. Depending on the unpredictable agendas of military scientists, this group of technicians must shoot radio waves into the upper reaches of our atmosphere to create missile shields, eviscerate enemy satellites, set off the occasional earthquake, or control the minds of millions of people.
To rescue the Earth, we need bold engineering ideas that go beyond simple recycling
By PopSci StaffPosted 06.13.2008 at 4:10 pm 29 Comments
Making a dent in the climate crisis is going to take more than solar panels and recycled toilet paper. Scientists are finding ever more creative ways (pig pee! DIY tornadoes! mini nuclear reactors!) to clean up the Earth
Powered by environmentally conscious energy sources, these DIY vehicles put traditional gas guzzlers to shame
By Andrew E. RosenblumPosted 06.13.2008 at 3:03 pm 11 Comments
Among his other unusual hobbies (he also builds sculptures featuring fire-spewing robots), 32-year-old Justin Gray makes custom electric motorcycles. To create his latest drag racer, the R144, Gray tore the motor and gasoline systems out of a 1999 Yamaha R1, a bike with a frame large enough to hold the extra parts he needed for the conversion. Since the gas engine had been an important structural element in the original bike, he built his own aluminum motor bracket to hold the modified bike together.