Famed billionaire and wannabe space cadet Elon Musk took to Reddit to do a surprise AMA yesterday. It was supposed to be a follow-up to SpaceX’s recent announcement about how it plans to return Elon Musk to his place of birth, and also create a permanent Mars colony along the way.
Million of years in the past, a comet or an asteroid might have slammed into the Earth at an important time in its climatic history, scientists report in a new study.
The extraterrestrial impact that scientists report evidence of occurred about 56 million years ago, approximately 10 million years after the well-known blast from space that killed off all the non-avian dinosaurs. The scientists behind the new discovery based it on clues that they found serendipitously in core samples:microtektites, which are spherical or teardrop-shaped objects that indicate an impact.
Computerized modeling of Mars’ moon Phobos has a connection with keeping the Earth safe from asteroids, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced on Wednesday.
Phobos has a huge crater, more than five miles across, and a new computer model out of the LLNL in California simulates the dramatic impact that could have caused that distinctive crater. The research is part of a planetary defence program at LLNL— in other words, studying how to protect Earth from a devastating impact.
A company called Waverly Labs is working on a wearable translation device that has captured people’s imaginations, generated plenty of buzz, andraised over $3 million on Indiegogo.
Its promise? That two people wearing earpieces made by the company could speak in different languages, and with the earpieces working in conjunction with a smartphone app, each person could hear a translation in their preferred language in their ear. For example, one person could speak Spanish, and the other would hear it as English in his ear, and vice versa.
Most people read books by opening them.
Scientists, however, have devised a new method to see what’s inside a volume while its cover remains closed.
A flatworm that infects freshwater turtles in Malaysia has been given a presidential name: Baracktrema obamai.
The newly-discovered worm, or blood fluke, inhabits the lungs of turtles that live in three Malaysian states, according a study describing the new species that waspublished in the Journal of Parasitology in August. (Flukes are part of the flatworms phylum, in terms of taxonomy.)
Some 37 years after the deadliest known release of anthrax spores in history in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk, American scientists have sequenced the genome of anthrax DNA from the bodies of two people who died in the 1979 accident.
The study by scientists at Northern Arizona University and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) used deep DNA sequencing methods to recreate the genome of the anthrax spores that infected 77 people living near the Soviet anthrax production facility, 66 of whom died when a tiny amount of anthrax spores — between a few milligrams and a gram, or one-thirtieth of an ounce — escaped from a military facility known as Military Compound 19.
Gardening at home can be tricky. If you’re growing things indoors, there’s all sorts of pitfalls to consider: lighting, nutrients, space, the cops busting down your door. The last one is kinda hard to deal with, but a new product wants to try and take care of everything else for you.
Grobo is a large cabinet that’s meant to handle every aspect of growing virtually any kind of plant. The founders of the Canadian startup describe it as “Keurig for plants,” only this uses seeds instead of coffee pods. Also, the results take months not minutes.
I’ll just say it: a wall-climbing “spiderbot” that spins incredibly strong webs from carbon fiber strands is not the kind of thing I want to be fighting when the robots rise up. But death-by-robotic-web aside, these wall-climbing swarm construction robots mark a breakthrough in robotic construction and bots working together.
The proper name for the spiderbots is the “Mobile Robotic Fabrication System for Filament Structures,” and it’s designed by the Institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart. As Dezeen explains, the system relies on multiple Roomba-esque robots, which climb up walls, passing around a spool of carbon fiber to weave an intricate structure.
Harvard researchers have created a penny–sized stingray robot that can swim using genetically-modified rat heart cells activated by LED light.
It’s the latest in a new line of robotics that combines silicone with living cells. Prior to the stingray, the team, led by Kit Parker, professor of bioengineering and applied physics at Harvard University, built a robot jellyfish out of similar material back in 2012. When the robot’s heart cells were electrically stimulated, the jellyfish swam around… aimlessly. There was no way to steer it.
This is the final design for NASA’s newest Mars rover, which should be romping around the surface of our red neighbor. It’s packed full of technology, with bigger wheels to get around, and better cameras to look at things.
But in my highly uneducated, non-rocket-scientist opinion, it also looks like the engineers got 90% of the way there and said fuck it.
Okay, so the container in the following video isn’t sitting in a perfectly straight position, but the liquid in it still shouldn’t be able to pour itself. However, that’s not your regular liquid inside that jar…
I don’t need a 1,000-core processor. You don’t need a 1,000-core processor. The NSA doesn’t need a 1,000-core processor. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting one.
My pointless dream is one step closer to reality thanks to the work of researchers at UC Davis, who have created a chip called “KiloCore,” a processor with 1,000 independent cores capable of computing 1.78 trillion instructions per second. Damn.