As Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off this morning -- setting a record for the most women simultaneously in space -- three other women on the ground looked to break some ground of their own. An Arizona State U. Biodesign Institute research trio launched a first-of-its-kind experiment aboard Discovery that will offer insight into how cells react to infectious disease under the low-gravity conditions of space.
Bosch reinvents the common nailer, making a smaller tool with the nail-driving power of the big guns
By Max FischerPosted 04.05.2010 at 9:55 am 1 Comment
Pneumatic nailers can slash the time it takes to fasten everything from window trim to roof rafters. The basic guts of the tool haven't changed since the 1960s: Compressed air pushes a piston that drives a rod, forcing nails deep into wood, before the tool resets for the next nail. Now Bosch has figured out how to make a nailer that's 20 percent smaller while boosting power by 10 percent, so it can drive nails into hard woods like walnut with less pressure than other guns.
A new nanoprobe can slip stealthily into a cell and give researchers an opening to monitor the cell's insides for up to a week. That could make the tiny inorganic device the first to implant within a cell without damaging it.
Geoscience experts have developed a system of smart buoys that can predict the formation of self-reinforcing underwater waves, or solitons, 10 hours before they threaten the safety of oil rigs and divers. In 2008, Martin Goff and his colleagues at FUGROS, a geoscience consulting agency, successfully tested the system for three months in the Andaman Sea. Now, Global Ocean Associates have acknowledged the device as "the first deployed system with real-time warning capability."
Bill Gates and Paul Allen might stand astride the world, but they both paid homage last night to the passing of the man who booted up their careers. The Microsoft founders got their start in the computer biz writing software for the Altair 8800, a forerunner of home computing first created by Henry Edward Roberts, BBC reports.
Tapping into the wisdom of the crowds to forecast future trends has served prediction markets well for years, but Twitter might be even more effective than even the biggest and most widely used market, the Hollywood Stock Exchange.
In an effort to increase efficiency, cut carbon emissions, and reduce costs, Finland has begun a pilot program wherein snail-mail letters are converted into PDFs and made viewable online by their addressees, in advance or in lieu of physical delivery. So far, the effort is volunteer-only, but it has already sparked concerns in Finland about privacy and government overreach.
A massive floating laboratory is attempting to drill through four miles of seabed to take samples of the Earth’s mantle
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 04.01.2010 at 3:37 pm 21 Comments
The world's deepest drill is about to get taller—tall enough to dig into Earth's mantle. Already, the Chikyu research vessel is capable of fetching samples at depths of 23,000 feet below the seabed, two to four times that of any other drill. In 2007, off the coast of Japan, it became the first mission to study subduction zones, the area between tectonic plates that is the birthplace of many earthquakes. Over the next three years, scientists will tack on at least an extra mile of drill and attempt the most ambitious mission ever: piercing the Earth's mantle.
In a discovery sure to help the development of solar panel and display technology, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have engineered transistors that they can airbrush onto a surface like spray paint.
This laundry-folding robot may not find many fans at the local laundromat, but only because it takes so long in holding up each towel for scrutiny before folding. Still, its fussiness speaks to a special care for laundry -- or painstaking programming routines -- that has won our hearts. You see, folding isn't a chore for this robot. It's an art.