This Thursday marks twenty years since China's military ended the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democratic demonstrations by killing off hundreds of students, workers, and ordinary civilians. It's fitting, then, that in celebration of the anniversary, the government is once again curbing free speech. Censors have been at it for weeks, but now they've even begun cutting citizens off from Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, and Microsoft's live.com.
Researchers in Australia have come up with an outwardly simple but incredibly ingenious way of curing blindness caused by corneal damage: Take everyday contact lenses, already used by millions (including me), and infuse them with a patient's own stem cells. After wearing them for about 2 weeks, test subjects reported a seemingly miraculous restoration of sight. Is it that easy?
Of all the subatomic particles that make up matter, neutrinos are the smallest. So small, in fact, that a billion neutrinos pass through your body every second without hitting a single atom. However, a new study postulates that some ancient neutrinos, born shortly after the Big Bang, may now be as large as some galaxies.
Trapped on a high floor? Reach for today's featured Invention Award winner.
As the 9/11 inferno unfolded on television, one question kept dogging Kevin Stone: Why weren't the people trapped in the World Trade Center able to make their way to safety? "I said to myself, This is crazy," recalls Stone, an orthopedic surgeon and seasoned inventor in San Francisco. "There should be a better way to exit a skyscraper when something like this happens."
Generally, DNA is only good for preserving and passing on blueprints for making organisms. However, scientists at MIT and Boston University have altered E. coli DNA to perform another function within the cell, like basic computing. Essentially, they've taught E. coli to count.
Using an unbelievably powerful laser over an unbelievably short period of time, scientists have been able to alter the surface of metals to control the flow of water across their surfaces down to the individual molecule.
And when we say an unbelievable amount of energy, we're talking about the power of the entire grid of the United States at once. When we say an unbelievably short period of time, we're talking about a femtosecond, which is to a second what a second is to 32 million years. Think about both of those for a femtosecond.
A new material created by researchers can refocus sound around certain objects and effectively render them sonically invisible to sonar. No natural material can do this, so man-made “metamaterials” must be created in order to toy with the laws of physics to essentially bend sound back on itself. Mind blown yet?
A robot that can walk on water: such a miracle is one step closer to reality, thanks to some new research that learns from the work nature has done with water striders. Walking on water may seem like a superpower and the name scientists have give the property of the striders' legs is fitting: super-hydrophobia.
The foot-controlled "Luke" prosthetic arm may not win any lightsaber fights, but it could soon lend a helping hand to wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A three-year study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is slated to provide engineering feedback before widespread distribution to veterans, according to an announcement last week.
Today's featured Invention Award winner: ReWalk, the lightweight, affordable, powered smart exoskeleton.
After breaking his neck in a 1997 fall, Israeli engineer Amit Goffer learned that he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He soon concluded that this mode of transportation was outdated and began work on the ReWalk, the only wearable exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to stand, amble, and even climb stairs.