Fret no longer, citizens of Japan, about Google's camera vans exposing the awkward moments of your private lives to millions via Street View. Because here, see? All that's behind its scary secrets is an impossibly adorable anthropomorphic camera truck in a wonderland of children's toys. Dawww, its bobbing camera head just snapped a photo of your car! It's so cute!
A good bullet-resistant ride can do the trick for most VIPs, leaving aside physics-defying assassins and impossible curving bullets. But the U.S. Department of Defense also wants controllable protection against the sun's vicious ultraviolet rays, not to mention prying eyes and sniper scopes.
Capsules holding carbon nanotubes can put the zazz back in broken circuits
J. Mat. Chem./RSC Publishing
Many people know the familiar wince when a cell phone or laptop hits the floor. But electronic devices of the future may self-repair tiny cracks or breaks in their circuitry with the help of nanotubes.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created capsules that hold conductive nanotubes and can sit on circuit boards. Mechanical stress that causes a crack in the circuit would also split open some capsules and release the nanotubes to help bridge the gap.
Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem, not to mention an economic drain, for doctors and pharmaceutical makers trying to fight bacterial infections. Many antibiotics in our arsenal are becoming practically useless, as bacteria breed resistance to them. But researchers at Texas Tech University and Baylor University have developed a chemical additive that could make old drugs useful again.
Nanotechnology, lasers, genetics, and cancer? If there was also something about space, this story might have been a PopSci full house. Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), have figured out a way to deliver cancer-stopping RNA directly into the nucleus of a diseased cell. To get into the nucleus, the RNA is wrapped in special gold nanoshells which are then selectively opened by a laser.
The problem of people who take more than their fair share of public services is as old as public services themselves. On a small scale, the problem merely blends into all the other inefficiencies in the system. But if freeloading becomes too pervasive, it can imperil the entire society. This may seem like an abstract economics or social sciences problem, but the tendency of people to request social services without demanding that they pay a fair amount for those services led directly to California bankrupting itself.
Unless you are this woman, you probably have a long mental list of moments and facts you wish you could remember -- but for the life of you, you can't. To use a personal example, I periodically Google the words "yellow house Berlin," hoping to produce the name of that one hostel I lived in for a summer in college; alas, no success yet.
Scrubbing sites of radiation is no easy task, not to mention costly. Aside from all the technical hurdles, the potential health hazards drive up the cost further, making it feasible in only the most necessary of cases. But researchers at the University of Missouri have found a work force that may be willing to clean up our radioactive messes on the cheap.
Hoping that many hands will make lighter work, German energy company Lichtblick has teamed up with Volkswagen on a project to install 100,000 miniature gas power plants in people's homes over the next year.
According to the companies, using more, smaller plants, instead of fewer, larger plants, will allow Germany to move away from nuclear power, and reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent. Together, the 100,000 mini-plants would produce 2,000 megawatts, or as much as two nuclear power plants.
Scientists working on behalf of NASA have successfully levitated a mouse using a strong magnetic field. I pay taxes so that stuff like this can happen. I don't hate animals. It's for understanding microgravity better, ok?