With the launch Thursday of the X-37B spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket, the U.S. Air Force is taking a page from NASA's space shuttle program.
Looking somewhat like a traditional shuttle but at roughly one-quarter the size, the unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle took off for its maiden space voyage from Cape Canaveral in Florida and reached a low earth orbit late in the day. The X-37B is intended to serve as a platform for experiments and to offer insights on transporting satellite sensors and other equipment to and from space.
The first particle has been detected in a Large Hadron Collider experiment that hopes to shed light on the nature of interactions between matter and antimatter.
LHCb--an experiment set up to explore what happened in the moments immediately after the Big Bang--on Wednesday found a particle called a beauty or bottom quark. CERN scientists have a wish list of particles they want to measure in the experiment, and the beauty quark is the first on the list that they have found.
The detection is a step on the road to the possible discovery of new particles or interactions between particles, … Read more
Specifically, In-Q-Tel, the CIA-based organization that invests in technology companies, has funded the Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up, said LensVector Chief Executive Derek Proudian. In addition, LensVector also is being paid to develop specific products through the deal with IQT.
Proudian declined to reveal exactly how much money is involved in the new investment and development contract. However, he did … Read more
If you were hoping that the right software could make you smarter, you may be out of luck.
Brain training software, such as Nintendo's Brain Age, are often touted as a way to improve your smarts. But 11,430 people who played such games for several weeks didn't seem to be any brighter at the end, according to the results of a study conducted by the BBC and released Tuesday.
The investigation launched by the BBC last September challenged viewers of the BBC One science TV show "Bang Goes the Theory" to use a series of … Read more
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Rebecca Lynn's bio below.
Let's say you have an ingenious new business idea, and you're ready to seek venture capital. Knowing what venture capital investors look for in a pitch could mean the difference between a term sheet and a rejection.
As a VC, I've seen hundreds of pitches. And I can tell you that in today's environment, the best PowerPoint slide decks--whether delivered by first-time entrepreneurs or veteran company builders--share similar structure, content, and zing.
First, what's changed? I recently hosted a panel called "… Read more
Silk is not only flexible, it is also transparent and strong, and the rate at which it dissolves can be manipulated. So researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana; Tufts in Boston; and the University of Pennsylvania decided to build silk-based brain implants, using electrode arrays with silk proteins and thin metal electrodes.
Since silk is biocompatible and water-soluble, it dissolved in the brains of the cats they studied, leaving the mesh-like electrodes, which are about 1/40 the thickness of a standard sheet of paper, literally hugging the brains' contours.
The cats were anesthetized, but their eyes still functioned, … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--The shuttle Discovery, delayed a day by cloudy Florida weather, glided to a pinpoint landing here on Tuesday morning to close out an extended space station assembly mission.
"We're glad the International Space Station is stocked up again," Commander Alan Poindexter told mission control after the 9:08 a.m. EDT landing.
The 131st shuttle mission covered 238 complete orbits and 6.2 million miles since blastoff on April 5 for a mission duration of 15 days.
Already running a day late because of low clouds here Monday, the astronauts were aiming for … Read more
A new technology early in clinical trials could make it possible for doctors to use specialized 3D printers to fabricate new human tissue based on a patient's own cells.
Known as commercial bioprinting, the technology from San Diego start-up Organovo starts with cells from adipose tissue--essentially body fat--or bone marrow and is intended to use those cells as the basis for making new tissue.
As of right now, the benefit for humans is still years away, perhaps as many as four, said Organovo CEO Keith Murphy. And when and if the company's technology gets certified and hits the market, it will probably have limited application: most likely, the technology could be used at first mainly for crafting very small areas of tissue or new blood vessels.
But even those limited applications could mean, for example, that doctors may eventually have the ability to intervene in cases where, for example, a patient has a blocked or damaged blood vessel, and potentially prevent what might otherwise result in a forced amputation. Similarly, someone with damaged nerves could have a gap in a nerve bridged using regenerated cells printed by Organovo's machine.
Doing something like making a new liver is still a long way off. … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--The Discovery astronauts bid their station counterparts farewell early Saturday, sharing a final round of hugs and handshakes before moving back aboard the shuttle and undocking from the lab complex. Separation occurred at 8:52 a.m. EDT as the two spacecraft sailed 220 miles above Papua New Guinea.
"Houston and station, Discovery, physical separation," shuttle commander Alan Poindexter radioed as the docking systems disengaged.
"Discovery, departing," Expedition 23 flight engineer Soichi Noguchi called out, ringing the ship's bell in the lab's Harmony module.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--President Barack Obama flew to the Kennedy Space Center Thursday to sell his new space policy, a radical change of course for NASA that would cancel the Constellation moon program and shift manned launches to private industry while NASA studies options for future deep space exploration.
For the first time, the president laid out a rough timeline for expeditions beyond low-Earth orbit and even the moon, calling for manned missions to nearby asteroids by the mid-2020s, flights to orbit Mars by the mid-2030s, and manned landings shortly after.