For months, the financial news channels have put on the air self-styled experts warning that Tesla was a house of cards -- no Netflix pun intended -- fated to collapse.
Even though Tesla's stock price quadrupled in 2013, shares pulled back on worries about the potential flammability of the Model S' batteries. Separately, Tesla announced a recall of charging equipment for a software … Read more
When looking to examine the heart and blood vessels, the images scientists get from techniques like cross-sectional ultrasounds can provide limited information.
"If you're a doctor, you want to see what is going on inside the arteries and inside the heart, but most of the devices being used for this today provide only cross-sectional images," explained F. Levent Degertekin, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. "If you have an artery that is totally blocked, for example, you need a system that tells you what's in front of you. You need to see the front, back, and sidewalls altogether."
Such a system may now be on the horizon, thanks to Degertekin and a team of researchers at Georgia Tech. They've developed a minuscule sensor that could travel through the bloodstream to send highly detailed 3D images back to an external sensor. … Read more
MAUNA KEA, Hawaii -- I was recently having lunch at a lovely and only slightly overpriced cafe overlooking the Pacific in the historic resort region of Kailua-Kona on the dry side of Hawaii's "Big Island" (the island itself is also named Hawaii). I hopped in a rental car and traveled 60 miles by road, ascending nearly 3 miles in elevation from the dry, breezy coast through thick clouds shedding rain and hail onto my windshield, and finally reemerged into sunshine in the last few miles of the journey as I approached the Mauna Kea observatory complex, a collection of more than a dozen advanced telescopes that arguably serve as the eyes of mankind.
As technology has advanced over the centuries, we've been able to look exponentially farther into the depths of the universe with each new generation of super-sophisticated telescopes and supporting stargazing instruments. But somewhat ironically, getting top performance out of this equipment has meant locating it in increasingly isolated and even extreme spots around the globe, like Spain's Canary Islands, Chile's Atacama Desert, or here, on top of a 13,800-foot dormant volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that last erupted about 4,500 years ago. … Read more
Amanda Boxtel's doctors told her she'd never walk again. But her new 3D-printed exoskeleton says otherwise.
In 1992, Boxtel was paralyzed from the waist down in a catastrophic skiing accident. But 22 years later, thanks to a groundbreaking 3D-printed robotic suit developed by 3D Systems and EksoBionics, she's able to stand up and move around on her own. … Read more
There's a lot of talk at the Olympics about history as athletes try to outdo their predecessors on the slopes, ice, and luge tracks in Sochi. It seems that Mother Nature herself wants to get in the game too, because She's hurling a huge asteroid at our planet almost a year to the day a space rock, measuring 65 feet in diameter, slammed into Russia. The incident released the energy equivalent to 20-plus atomic bombs.
No life was lost in the February 15, 2013, ordeal, but it did cause injuries and significant property damage in the area.
This latest Earth-bound asteroid, named 2000 EM26 and known as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), is due to be at its closest to Earth tonight.… Read more
Brain tumors known as Glioblastoma multiform cancer (GBM) are a particularly insidious form of the disease because they just don't stay still. They travel through the brain by sliding along blood vessels and nerve passageways. This means that sometimes they move to parts of the brain where surgery is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- or that even if the bulk of a tumor can be removed, chances are good its tendrils would still exist throughout the brain.
Scientists at Georgia Tech may have come up with a novel solution for this problem; though, it may be years before the technique can be used on humans. It involves creating artificial pathways along which cancer can travel. These pathways could route cancer to a more easily operable area, or even to a deadly drug located in a gel outside the body. … Read more
Have you ever seen a termite mound? Those little bugs are amazing engineers, constructing giant (compared with their own size) structures, working relentlessly even though individual insects die.
It was this system of self-organization that inspired Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University scientists and engineers in building a team of autonomous construction-bots.… Read more
There are obviously a number of things that soldiers deployed overseas miss about home, but there's one request Jeremy Whitsitt of the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center has heard over and over again.
"Since the dawn of time... pizza has been one of the most requested and sought-after components in an MRE," Whitsitt told Military Times. "We're finally cracking the code in getting the crust and the cheese and the meat to all live happily in a pouch for three years, without refrigeration."… Read more
A mystery rock which seemed to appear out of nowhere on Mars last month stirred up much speculation among alien enthusiasts, but it appears the mystery is solved. The answer is more simple than sci-fi.
NASA said Friday that the mysterious rock, which resembled a jelly doughnut, is actually just a piece of a larger rock that the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove over in January. … Read more
In a room at Oxford University in England, children between the ages of 8 and 10 are working on math problems on computers while being administered electric shocks by senior research fellow Roi Cohen Kadosh.
OK, they're not really getting shocked, but they are getting a steady stream of low-current electricity delivered to their brains.
The procedure they're undergoing is known as Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), and it's one of the most recent brain stimulation techniques to come about in a long history of electrical currents used to manipulate the brain. Unlike earlier electroshock treatment programs, which tended to placate people with mental disturbances, the goal of this work is to help people with learning disorders overcome their difficulties, and to help others learn better generally. … Read more