Perhaps the most unsettling thing about a planet-killing asteroid is that we might never see it coming. But this infographic by Mechanicsville, Md.-based designer Zachary Vabolis helpfully visualizes which candidate near-earth objects will be swinging through Earth’s neighborhood and when they’ll be closest.
The objections surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells in organ and tissue reconstruction could be silenced if clinical trials for a new strain of stem cells derived from liposuctioned fat get a nod of approval from the FDA. And if they do, their first order of business will probably be growing bigger breasts.
Researchers at Fermilab are building a “holometer” so they can disprove everything you thought you knew about the universe. More specifically, they are trying to either prove or disprove the somewhat mind-bending notion that the third dimension doesn’t exist at all, and that the 3-D universe we think we live in is nothing more than a hologram. To do so, they are building the most precise clock ever created.
On a rural spread of acreage in South Carolina, insurance companies are looking to cover themselves against losses by knocking down houses. That might sound counterintuitive, but from an engineering standpoint it makes perfect sense. The industry-funded Institute for Business & Home Safety yesterday opened a $40 million, 2,300-square-foot disaster lab yesterday that is among the best in the world, with the ability to subject entire homes to tornado-strength winds or Category 3 hurricanes.
Greenpeace is known for its controversial "actions." Take, for example, their action late last month against oil giant Chevron, in which two activists dangled from the anchor chain of a drill ship to keep it from reaching its destination off the Shetland Islands. Perhaps lesser known is the organization's support of independent scientific research, like its current campaign to investigate the marine impact of the BP oil spill—which occurred six months ago today—and the use of toxic dispersant to clean it up.
If NASA ever gets a clear directive for interplanetary exploration, a new Hundred-Year Starship could be their version of the Mayflower. And like the first pilgrims, Martian explorers might set sail with the knowledge they would never return home.
Surfing big breakers is cool and all, but wouldn’t catching lazy rollers be more fun at speeds topping Mach One? A CalTech researcher and a few colleagues put together a few videos showing that it is indeed possible to shred shock waves. Well, in theory anyhow. Using nylon balls, one larger than the other, the researchers demonstrated how one object can ride on the shock waves given off by another.
Barack Obama, the country's first nerd president, is scheduled to appear on the TV show "Mythbusters," he said at the White House today. We are thrilled that in this difficult time, the president would put petty politics aside and exercise his inner geek.
Scottish researchers may have found a key to preventing senior moments, by blocking a stress hormone that interferes with memory. The treatment works surprisingly fast in mice, improving their memory within a few days, and the researchers say it might be a good treatment for elderly people who want to stay sharp. They want to start human trials soon.
Tom Kunz has been studying bats throughout New England for more than four decades. In annual treks to remote caves, he and other researchers from Boston University capture bats, banding them to track their migration patterns and movement over the years. During trips to bat hibernacula—the bats' winter hideouts—he grew accustomed to cave walls covered in huddled masses of bats, tens of thousands strong. Aeolus Cave in Vermont, the largest bat hibernaculum in the northeast, has long been a winter home for more than 100,000 bats. Kunz regards them fondly, like old friends. What he sees today brings him to tears.