"DNA Sudoku," a new genetic sequencing technique inspired by the popular puzzle, could reduce both time and costs in DNA sequencing in the near future, ultimately contributing to the prevention of diseases in whole populations.
The earliest modern humans in Europe carved this 8.5-inch flute from a vulture bone more than 35,000 years ago.
How's this for classic rock? German scientists have unearthed the oldest-known musical instrument fashioned by human hands. It's a delicate flute made from the wing bone of a vulture that dates to at least 35,000 years old—just after the first modern humans entered Europe. The team discovered the flute littered among a trove of early-human loot at a mountain cave in southwest Germany. It included a few other flute fragments and a female figurine carved from the ivory tusks of a mammoth with body proportions that are beyond Rubenesque.
3-D printing may soon expand beyond the small scale. In 2010, the world's largest 3-D printer will build the Radiolaria Pavilion, a 10-meter-tall structure in Pontedera, Italy. Made out of sandstone, the building will be printed one 5-10mm layered sheet at a time.
If you've ever worked on bikes or cars, you know how annoying it can be to work with both English/imperial and metric units at the same time; well, the same goes doubly with spacecraft, but NASA's theoretically modular and standards-adhering Constellation system is shaping up to be the odd one out in space, where the metric system rules.
Getting married in apparent weightlessness looks like fun; it's the next best thing to getting married in space.
Keep in mind that I use the terms "apparent" or "simulated" weightlessness, because, as discussed in a previous article, we're not talking about actual weightlessness in these situations. Actual weightlessness requires the absence of a gravitational force.
As firemen prepare for wildfire season this summer, they will reach for their trusty Pulaski ax, the century-old tool used to hack ditches between flames and the rest of the forest. But they will have some new, high-tech help as well. Mini tree-mounted weather stations and airborne infrared sensors will provide the clearest picture yet of where fires are and where they're headed.
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University, Brown University, and several other collaborators are building an underground science lab where, in a 300-kilogram tank filled with liquid xenon, they hope to find dark matter -- the material that scientists believe was instrumental in helping to form the universe.
If there's one thing the world doesn't need more of, it's rats. But try telling that to the researchers at France's Institute for Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISIR) who have thrown themselves into designing a realistic ratbot capable of scuttling around on tiny wheels, seeking food, avoiding dangers and presumably scaring the bejeezus out of innocent humans.
Overfishing made the grey nurse shark endangered, but it's the animal's bizarre, cannibalistic embryos that are making it difficult for the species to rebound. The gestating shark pups need a "time out," says Nick Otway, a fisheries biologist at Port Stephens Fisheries Institute in Australia. As a last-ditch effort to keep the species from eating itself into extinction, he built an artificial uterus, a souped-up fish tank that will give each unborn baby its own womb.