When Dutch engineer Bas Lansdorp was a student, he saw an image of the surface of Mars sent back by NASA's Sojourner rover in 1997. That was a defining moment for Lansdorp, who knew immediately his life's ambition: to help send a human to the red planet one day. Sixteen years later, that dream is nearing reality, with more than 165,000 applicants from over 140 countries applying to join his Mars One venture to send the first humans to Mars.
The hard deadline to apply for the first mission is August 31, meaning those who have already … Read more
I confess: the first morning of my baby's life I woke up with a jolt, terrified that because I'd slept so soundly she was surely no longer breathing.
Irrational? Yes, but it's an all-too-common fear those first weeks of a newborn's life -- especially for those of us who have read the stats on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is the leading cause of death among babies in the US and claims the lives of almost seven infants every day.
The periodic table of the elements may be welcoming a new member to its elite group soon. A team of scientists led by researchers at Lund University in Sweden has confirmed the existence of a new element. The super-heavy element has atomic number 115.
The team built on earlier work by Russian research groups. The experiment used to confirm the new element took place at a lab in Germany. It involved taking a thin film of americium, a radioactive element with atomic number 95, and bombarding it with calcium ions. This allowed the scientists to measure the element's photons and confirm its atomic number.… Read more
The telepathic cyborg lives, sort of. University of Washington scientists Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco claim that they are the first to demonstrate human brain-to-brain communication. Rao sent a signal into a Stocco's brain via the Internet that caused him to move his right hand. Brain-to-brain communication has previously been demonstrated between rats and from humans to rats.
"The experiment is a proof in concept. We have tech to reverse engineer the brain signal and transmit it from one brain to another via computer," said Chantel Prat, an assistant professor of psychology who worked on the project. … Read more
Playing 40 hours or Starcraft, the real-time strategy game pitting humans and two alien species against each other, can make people think more flexibly.
So concludes a study this month that compared groups of people who played The Sims, StarCraft with easier conditions, and StarCraft with harder conditions that required players to keep track of a more complicated scenario.
"Real-time strategy gaming selectively promotes cognitive flexibility, particularly under conditions in which players must rapidly switch between contexts while maintaining memory for both contexts," concluded authors Brian D. Glass of the University of London, W. Todd Maddox of the … Read more
For many people living with Parkinson's disease, the mere act of chewing and swallowing can be a challenge. One way to deal with this is to blend foods up to minimize the need to chew. But what if it's difficult merely bringing the spoon to one's mouth without spilling its contents?
Enter the Liftware Spoon by Lift Labs in San Francisco -- poised to hit the market in September -- whose patented spoon technology actually helps stabilize tremors in people with Parkinson's, essential tremor, and related disorders.… Read more
While everyday Web users can load information onto a smartphone using a QR code, artist Anthony Antonellis simply holds his phone within 1 to 2 centimeters of his hand. Thanks to a tiny chip underneath his skin, Antonellis has created the world's first Net art implant.
"It's 1 to 2KB of storage, and I'm using that to store an animated GIF," he told the New York-based culture Web site Animal. "It works with mobile phones and card readers, and it's usually used for privacy, and I'm using it for a public purpose, … Read more
Those pondering suicide may not tell anyone for reasons including isolation, shame, or fear of stigma or hospitalization. But researchers from the University of Indiana say a blood test could one day reveal such thoughts.
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, scientists from the university's School of Medicine cite a series of RNA molecules, or biomarkers, that they observed at higher levels in a group of bipolar disorder patients with suicidal thoughts, as well as in people of the same age who had actually committed suicide and whose blood was tested shortly after they died. … Read more
With the the press of a button, Meta's CTO Raymond Lo overlaid a trailer for Pixar's "Toy Story 3" that perfectly fit inside the piece of white paper he was holding in front of him. Using what is right now a bulky, cerulean headset -- it's going to get smaller, and sexier, Meta says -- Lo was able to fix the video onto the piece of paper and move it back and forth. He even began bending the sheet, and the video bent too.
This is what Meta's CEO Meron Gribetz called the future of computing … Read more