Billionaire investor Peter Thiel's philanthropic foundation plans to announce today a six-figure grant for bioprinted meat, part of an ambitious plan to bring to the world's dinner tables a set of technologies originally developed for creating medical-grade tissues.
A cure for blindness could be brewing at a Cornell University laboratory.
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York say they've successfully decoded the brain signals that allow mice to see. Using this information with a new type of prosthetic retina, they were able to restore vision in mice.
Next up, the researchers say they've cracked the code of a monkey retina, which is nearly identical to that of a human. If the prosthesis works on monkeys too, the researchers think they may eventually be able to help people who've lost their eyesight.… Read more
Let's face it: How much sun is too much sun is, for most of us, one giant guessing game. We can use all the sunscreen we want and watch the clock like hawks, but the surest signs that we've had too much -- the pink burn, the blisters, the vomiting -- come well after the damage has been done.
Chemistry professors at the University of Strathclyde in Sweden hope to remove some of the guesswork with their UV-detecting wristband, which they plan to bring to market in 2013.
The device, which uses what is called UV dosimeter technology, relies on concepts that have been used in clinical research for years. An acid-release agent decomposes in sunlight, while a dye responds to pH levels, so that as sun exposure increases the color of the band gradually shifts from yellow to pink.… Read more
In 1971, the KH-9 Hexagon was the United States' most advanced spy device -- a brand-new photographic reconnaissance satellite as large as a school bus and carrying more than 60 miles of high-resolution photographic film for surveillance missions.
The 6-inch wide Hexagon film frame captured a field of view of about 370 miles, with a resolution of about 2 to 3 feet, according to the National Reconnaissance Office.
Before today's digital technology, the film images were sent back to Earth in recoverable return capsules. Having entered the Earth's atmosphere, the canisters deployed a parachute, and were then snagged … Read more
Imagine a robotic plane flying without a pilot -- or GPS. A team at MIT has just unveiled its latest prototype.
So, how does it work?
It's able to maneuver with the implementation of a new algorithm that can calculate its location, orientation, velocity, and acceleration.
And the implications are many. For example, your FedEx packages could be transported by autonomous planes, or autonomous helicopters could swoop down and rescue injured soldiers in battlefields. You might even find yourself on a commercial flight sans pilot -- well, maybe.
Google screws around with a lot of far out, even cockamamie projects -- well, because it can and it's fun. Two good reasons that few can fault.
And it's also a good way to push the proverbial tech envelope. So it is that Google's update about the company's self-driving car project suggests this is turning into something more than Sergey & Larry's homebrew experiment.
Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They've covered a wide range … Read more
NASA said today that its experimental X-48C hybrid wing-body airplane took flight for the first time.
A remotely powered prototype that's housed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert, the X-48C is thought to be the future of efficient, long-haul aviation.
The plane is known as a hybrid wing-body because it's essentially a cross between a flying-wing design and a conventional plane. NASA and its partners in the U.S. Air Force, Boeing, and Cranfield Aerospace are confident the aircraft will offer users long-term fuel efficiency, fuel capacity, … Read more
These days a lot of life is programmable. But as an avid gardener, I thought that surely nurturing seeds into little green shoots and then full-fledged fruits and flowers would require a nondigital green digit for years to come.
I was wrong. Plants, it turns out, can be activated.
A battery-powered planter pot called Click and Grow out of Estonia lets you grow real, living plants almost without lifting a finger. Even the vernacular around gardening comes fully updated -- sowing a seed can now be described as "inserting a cartridge," watering the soil is "refilling the … Read more
Imagine being able to navigate our own biological tissue much in the way Google Earth allows us to zoom in on our own backyards. Only instead of mailboxes and fences, you could spot, say, rogue cancer cells.
Researchers out of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands may be making such a future possible by stitching together molecular- and cellular-level images of biological tissues into truly gigantic composite images.
One such landscape -- of a zebrafish embryo -- consists of 26,000 images, is 281 gigapixels, and boasts a resolution of 16 million pixels per inch.
The researchers explain their … Read more
After its triumphant touchdown on Mars last night, it would be tempting to think that NASA's Curiosity rover is a complete success.
But while the part of the mission involving sending the one-ton rover on its 352 million journey to Mars ended in worldwide celebration, the real work hasn't even gotten started.
Over the coming weeks and months, NASA scientists have to ensure that everything on Curiosity is in working order, and only then will the rover take its first "baby steps," let alone begin to explore the many square kilometers of Martian terrain it was … Read more