After 33 miners were discovered trapped alive deep within a collapsed Chilean gold and copper mine, authorities in Chile sought advice from NASA scientists on the best means to keep the men alive in such isolated circumstances. Now Chilean officials are getting something even better from NASA: a four-man team of physicians and scientists that is en route to Chile to advise on-site about the situation unfolding some 2,300 feet below ground.
Quantum cryptography is one of the most secure known means of transmitting data, due to the fact that even if a third party does intercept a quantum signal, that interference changes the encryption key, making the tampering apparent to parties at both ends. But a handful of quantum hackers at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim recently performed successful hacks of two commercial quantum cryptographic systems -- and they did so without leaving a trace.
Researchers at Yale's Grab Lab aren't about to let the nuances of rotary-wing flight restrict what unmanned aerial vehicles can do. A team there has developed a hand-like modular grasping and manipulation platform that can be fitted to the bellies of UAVs to provide them with extra functionality without overly taxing their flight capabilities.
You can't throw a rock in the realm of biotech right now without hitting some scheme or another for tapping the unique properties of nanoparticles to hunt tumors, target drug delivery, or monitor the body internally for specific biomarkers. But a perhaps unlikely field of scientific exploration is also tapping these nano-biotechnology applications to search for the elusive hydrocarbons that are its lifeblood: the oil industry.
Those long periods of lying completely still inside that intimidating MRI tube may soon be a thing of the past. Employing some tricky math and some heavy-duty computing power, researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen have developed a new MRI method that renders images in just one-fiftieth of a second, fast enough to capture organs and joints "live" for the first time.
A sharp-looking tabletop touchscreen can be used to command robots and combine data from various sources, potentially improving military planning, disaster response and search-and-rescue operations.
Mark Micire, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, proposes using Surface, Microsoft's interactive tabletop, to unite various types of data, robots and other smart technologies around a common goal.
Plenty of human-gadget interfaces can let you control a robot or a computer with your mind. But these communications are command-based -- your PR2 still can't tell whether you're asking it for a beer to celebrate, or to drink away your sorrows. An EEG-based affective computing system allows you to communicate your emotions, adding a new layer to human-computer interactions.
Based at a new multi-million-dollar energy research station, a Chinese deep-sea sub will search for new energy sources and rare-earth metals on the ocean floor, according to Chinese state-run media.
Chinese officials announced Thursday that the new Jiaolong sub made 17 dives in the South China Sea this summer, the deepest to 12,332 feet (3,759 meters). The feat makes China the fifth country to dive past the 3,500 meter mark.
It's been eight months since Boeing's 787 Dreamliner first took to the skies. Back then, Japan's ANA was expecting to have their first 787 roll into the hanger by the close of 2010. Now, thanks to a delay in production of the plane's Rolls-Royce engines, first deliveries are now slated for first quarter 2011 at the earliest.