On May 5th, Konan Michel Yao was arrested for smuggling vials from a Canadian ebola research center into the United States. However, Mr. Yao wasn't a terrorist attempting to commit a biological weapon attack. Instead, Mr. Yao was a government scientist, en route to his new job studying biodefense at the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, he didn't even have any ebola in his possession.
The phrase "missing link" first appeared in print only four years after the publication of The Origin of the Species. By the end of that year, legendary paleontologist Richard Owen published a description of the fossil Archaeopteryx, the first specimen to carry that moniker. And with that, the concept of a "missing link" embedded itself in the popular imagination.
With missing links again thrust hastily and breathlessly into the spotlight again with the History Channel's hyped-through-the-roof unveiling of Ida, "the most important find in 47 million years," a look at missing links throughout history may help put things in perspective.
Who isn't amused by the rare and impressive science-savvy party trick? One that involves the potential to risk death death by flinging yourself Superman-like at a bouncy training ball, only to have it pop you back up in an amazingly graceful backflip? Before you cry "Sir Isaac Newton!," here are the physics behind this seemingly impossible stunt.
The term "missing link" first appearing in its modern connotation in 1863, and unfortunately, 146 years later, it hasn't lost any of its power. Yesterday, amid massive media coverage, the American Museum of Natural History, a team of European paleontologists, and the History Channel unveiled a spectacularly preserved primate fossil that they dubbed "the eighth wonder of the world."
The Audeo captures electronic signals between the brain and vocal cords and synthesizes clear, spoken words
By Lisa KatayamaPosted 05.20.2009 at 10:53 am 8 Comments
Today's featured Invention Awards winner is the Audeo, a voice synthesizer that gives back the ability to speak to those with vocal cord or neurological damage. Be sure to check out the rest of 2009's Invention Award winners here.
When Michael Callahan was 17, he lost his short-term memory when he hit his head in a skateboarding accident. "The neural pathways were all wrong," he recalls. Within weeks, he was back to normal, but the incident left him thinking, how could he help people who had permanently lost abilities that most of us take for granted? Five years later, he came up with the Audeo, a tiny device that detects electrical activity between the brain and vocal cords and turns it into audible speech.
No hooch-addled human in a bar likes to hear that he or she is being cut off. But what if the news came from a bowtie-wearing panda bear robot? Fewer fights, more peace in the world? That's the concept behind SOBEaR, the panda bear bartender who lets you (even wants you to!) breathe in its face, and then pours you the drink you should have -- rather than the one you want.
A shock absorber that generates energy and increases fuel efficiency
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 05.19.2009 at 11:58 am 23 Comments
Inventor: Shakeel Avadhany, Zack Anderson, Zack Jackowski, Ryan Bavetta and Vladimir Tarasov
Time: 2 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
The idea for an energy-producing shock absorber started humbly enough, just another wild invention tossed out during a late-night dorm-room bull session. Only, the students involved were among MIT's best, and they actually went ahead and built it. Two years later, they've got a shiny Hummer H1, loaned by the manufacturer to use as a rolling testbed, and their GenShock may soon find its way into the military's fleet of Humvees.
Researchers can figure out who was the Flava Flav of ancient Mesoamerica by checking out skeletons' teeth. Dentists who lived up to 2500 years ago (who actually sound like they might be more talented than many tooth jockeys I've ever gone to) used to do an early version of grills -- drilling into teeth and implanting gems like jade. Be sure to check out the picture of a skull decorated in this way.
Also in today's links: baby flamingos never see the light of day, an EPA manhunt gets underway and more.
Sex for a female Lake Eyre dragon lizard is sometimes like going to bed with a man and a roaring chainsaw. The male lizard bites her neck before mounting her. If he sinks his teeth in with too much vigor, he can chomp her spinal cord and kill her.
So it's no wonder the lady lizards are choosy about sex.
While the streets of Mexico City once again host the packed crowds, dense traffic, and general activity familiar to capitolinos before the outbreak of swine flu, other cities have now moved to stop the spread of the disease.
Here in New York City, a school assistant principal who contracted the flu died from complications related to the disease. However, even though Mitchell Wiener had an existing condition that contributed significantly to his death, 11 New York City schools remain closed.