This month, as part of our special on the future of education, PopSci presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.Lab: Reed College
Career: Reactor physicist, nuclear engineer, medical physicist
The Reed Research Reactor is the only program in the country where undergraduate students oversee the day-to-day operations of a working nuclear reactor. In addition to learning about reactor safety and physics, students pursue independent research projects, such as irradiating plant seeds to induce genetic mutations.
By Michael MyserPosted 09.04.2012 at 5:52 pm 3 Comments
About 40 percent of U.S. trade—some $1.4 trillion a year—passes through the country's 360 ports and waterways. (The rest arrives via truck, rail or plane.) And despite increased protection since 9/11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security says that these ports remain especially vulnerable to attack from small vessels carrying improvised explosive devices, including radioactive dirty bombs.
This month, as part of our special on the future of education, PopSci presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.Lab: The Lightning Research Lab at the University of Florida
Career: Lightning-tolerant spacecraft designer, power utilities engineer
A lucky few engineering students at the University of Florida get to do something vaguely magical: conjure their own lightning.
This month, as part of our special on the future of education, PopSci presents 10 labs where students do serious research (and career training) by blowing stuff up.Lab: Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic at the University of California at Irvine
Career: Optics engineer, medical-device engineer
The lasers in Vasan Venugopalan's UC Irvine lab—eight in all—are a million times more powerful than TNT, and their beams are only one tenth the width of a human hair. Students use them to test the limits of living cells.
By Daniel EngberPosted 08.29.2012 at 5:08 pm 17 Comments
Scientists have isolated the brains of dogs, cats and monkeys and kept them alive for short periods in one way or another. But the most successful "whole-brain preparation" of a mammal was developed in the mid-1980s. A neuroscientist at NYU Langone Medical Center named Rodolfo Llinás came up with a way to keep the brain of a young guinea pig alive in a fluid-filled tank for the length of a standard workday.
By Page GrossmanPosted 08.28.2012 at 3:21 pm 12 Comments
Since 2009, Utah has used computers to grade essays on a state student-assessment test. And testing companies use essay-evaluating software as one of two graders on graduate-school admissions exams such as the GRE. But how well, really, can a computer grade an essay?
By Daniel EngberPosted 08.22.2012 at 3:09 pm 3 Comments
Short answer: Not really.
Long answer: All muscles are capable of cramping, but the ones farthest away from your spinal cord—in your feet and lower legs, for example—tend to be the most vulnerable to seizing up. The long, spindly nerve cells that run from the spinal cord to the toes are especially prone to damage. The prevalence of nerve damage increases with age, so the elderly are among the most common victims.
By Katharine GammonPosted 08.16.2012 at 11:15 am 7 Comments
A quarter of America's major metropolitan roads have stretches in substandard condition, and drivers pay the consequences—potholes alone cost car owners an average of $335 a year in tires, repair and maintenance. The standard method for fixing potholes is to send three workers and a hotbed truck to toss in an asphalt mix and give it a few thumps with a shovel or boot. The process can take as little as two minutes, but the fix is only temporary.
The days of leaning back to watch TV have ended. Eighty-eight percent of tablet owners say they use the device in front of the tube; they find tweets, news, video and other information related to the program they're watching. Afraid of losing eyeballs, networks have released dozens of one-off apps with additional programming content. But that means that viewers must hop from app to app, distracting themselves even further from the TV-viewing experience.