Ordinary Earthbound cameras can use a nice low-tech method for setting white balance: hold up a white sheet of paper and shoot it. Now a team of British scientists are white-balancing satellite cameras that photograph the Earth for the first time, using an entire Turkish lake.
It's been a rough week troubleshooting the ISS, but the third time is a charm; today's emergency spacewalk to replace the faulty cooling system aboard the International Space Station went swimmingly, and Mission Control hopes to have the station running at full speed again by Thursday.
The U.S. army has enjoyed a long and incendiary relationship with TNT, but the explosive that has provided the pop in everything from artillery shells to demolition munitions could be on its way out. The Army has approved a safer, more stable alternative to replace the TNT in 155-millimeter artillery shells, and engineers at Picatinny Arsenal where it was tested say it could completely replace TNT in Army and Marine munitions within a decade.
DARPA has a thing for butterfly tech. Last week it was sensors based on butterfly wings. This week, it's a space junk capturing vehicle armed with 200 nets that gathers space garbage, much as a lepidopterist would net butterflies for a specimen collection. The technology was presented on Friday at the annual Space Elevator conference.
For the first time, scientists have used light pulses to control a living animal's heartbeat, in a breakthrough that could lead to a greater understanding of congenital heart defects and even optical pacemakers.
Researchers led by Michael Jenkins at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio placed a laser fiber a millimeter away from a two-day-old quail embryo's heart. Using laser pulses, they were able to pace the heart's contractions, with no apparent damage to the developing tissue.
A new nano-scale wiretap device could tell researchers about the inner workings of cells, according to a new Harvard study.
It involves a transistor that can take electrical readings, embedded inside a membrane that fits inconspicuously inside an individual living cell. The tiny probe, which is smaller than many viruses, is the first semiconductor device to take measurements of the inside of a cell.
He has been crated up and shipped to Kennedy Space Center. At the Space Station Processing Facility there, he is going to be carefully packed into his SLEEPR -- the Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut.
Tagging trees with embedded RFID tags not only helps logging companies keep track of the origin and destination of timber on the truck, but it helps keep companies honest and aids in the prosecution of illegal logging operations. But those RFID chips, unless they're expensively removed from each tree individually before processing, can end up adding impurities to high-quality wood pulp products and lumber further down the production line.
Researchers at GE Global Research are working with DARPA funding to tap butterfly tech to make a new breed of sensors that could detect everything from explosives, to chemical attacks, to disease biomarkers on a person's breath.
Social bike programs have launched in metropolitan areas around the world with mixed results (for instance, Paris's Vélib'' program has enjoyed decent ridership but thousands of bikes have been stolen). But a public bicycle program called SoBi (Social Bicycle) aims to drive down the public cost of bike sharing systems while making it much more convenient to pick up and drop off bikes, using clever technology.