Up, Up and Away?

Sending a hot-air balloon to Titan

Balloons
chicadecasa (CC Licensed)

Also: Big bling, the cost of smog, and more, in the links.

This plan to send a hot-air balloon to Saturn's largest moon sounds right out of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

We wish there were more info here than just an interview with one person and no word on just what team she's assisting.

* Scientists used [light-activated nerves](http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12592264) to help partially paralyzed rats regain the ability to fully breathe. Because, as the article mentions, there are no ventilators for rats. 
* Get ready for a whole new level of tacky: [artificial diamonds](http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16036) now have no size limit. 
* In the areas with the worst levels of air pollution in the country, [smog](http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1858750,00.html) kills more people than car accidents. 
* Researchers offer an explanation for how natural selection prevents the evolution of [a single dominant personality](http://www.physorg.com/news145793087.html). Which is a relief, because that's where we thought the country was going with the rise of the reality TV contestant.