Until now, as a POLST program coordinator explained to me, someone with chronic or terminal illness has had the option to go to a doctor's office and fill out a POLST form in the presence of a doctor or nurse, and then keep the document at home where, ideally, emergency medical personnel could find it (such as the refrigerator). If the paper is lost, determining the wishes of the patient … Read more
Have you ever worried that knuckle cracking will give you arthritis or wondered why pregnant women don't tip over? Me too.
Research into those topics--as well as studies finding that diamonds could be created from tequila and giant panda feces are good for composting--received Ig Nobel Prizes in a ceremony on Thursday night at Harvard University.
The prizes, awarded to scientific achievements that "cannot and should not be reproduced," are presented in the week before the real Nobel prizes are announced and are sponsored by the science humor magazine "Annals of Improbable Research."
A Thousand … Read more
Please raise your hand if you've spent a lot of time in a basement environment while attempting to master one computer-related art or another.
I'm referring to any room with a noisy ventilation system, windows that don't open, and dim fluorescents overhead. You know the one. It was either so sweltering that you ended up wearing shorts in January, or kept so cold for the sake of the servers that you wore a scarf and fingerless gloves year-round.
Well, that universal rite of passage for computer lovers seems to be over for Carnegie Mellon University students thanks … Read more
In the world of submicroscopic physics, things happen that really can't be observed. So when scientists at Johns Hopkins University need to see an example of interactions between various nanoparticles, they simply make blown-up versions of what they're studying--with Legos.
In the video above, Manuel Balvin demonstrates how different sized ball bearings move differently through a gravity-driven field of pegs. The same reaction can be assumed to work at the nano level, meaning the research can be done more practically.
And these aren't special science Legos, these are the same off-the-shelf toys that we've all loved for years. … Read more
IBM scientists have imaged the chemical structure of an individual molecule, increasing the possibility for creating electronic building blocks on the atomic and molecular scale.
Scientists In Zurich, Switzerland, have, for the first time, imaged the "anatomy," or chemical structure, of an individual molecule with "unprecedented" resolution, using noncontact atomic force microscopy (AFM), IBM said Thursday. Resolving individual atoms within a molecule has been a long-standing goal of surface microscopy, according to the computer company, which has a research and development program dating back to 1945.
This research will be essential for building computing elements at the atomic scale that are vastly smaller, faster and more energy-efficient than today's processors and memory devices, IBM said.
The research is reported in the August 28 issue of Science magazine.
Though in recent years progress has been made in research of nanostructures on the atomic scale with AFM, imaging the chemical structure of an entire molecule has never been achieved with atomic resolution, according to IBM.
The atomic force microscopy was done in an ultrahigh vacuum and at very low temperatures (5 Kelvin equals minus 268 degrees Centigrade or minus 451 Fahrenheit) to image the chemical structure of individual pentacene molecules. Pentacene has a crystal structure that gives it properties as an organic semiconductor.
Scientists were able "to look through the electron cloud and see the atomic backbone of an individual molecule for the first time." This is roughly analogous to X-rays that pass through soft tissue to enable clear images of bones, IBM said.
The Science magazine article follows another piece published two months ago in the June 12 issue of the magazine covering the "determination of atomic charge states." The results discussed in both of these articles will "open new possibilities for investigating how charge propagates through molecules or molecular networks," IBM said.
Understanding the charge distribution may lead to building computing elements… Read more
The Excalibur, a new turbine-electric hybrid propelled VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) unmanned attack drone, has successfully completed another test flight after taking on two new onboard computers last week.
Developed by Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. for the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate and the Office of Naval Research, the Excalibur is another radical robo-craft concept vying to fill the military's burgeoning demand for specialized UAVs.
The demonstrator model, weighing in at 700 pounds, can hit 520 mph, making it one of the fastest drones around, according to the Aurora. The nearly autonomous flight control system allows … Read more
Dell has partnered with Nickelodeon and Whyville.net to give life to its latest version of the Mini10v. According to Dell, the kids' Netbook has been designed with safe computing, education, and entertainment in mind. At a glance, Dell is only trying to reach another market (children), but if you look a little closer, the Netbook may represent a change in the way the next generation of preteens and children will learn to socialize and develop their decision-making skills.
The Netbook comes with desktop animations which link to Whyville.net, a virtual world where kids of all ages chat, shop, and visit places in town that engage them in science, nutrition, art, and business activities.
One of the most interesting locations is the cafeteria, where Whyvillians can pick a food item, view its nutritional facts, and select a meal based on an educated decision. If their character eats more fattening, high-calorie items, the cartoon character will see the effects as it becomes fatter and unhealthy. Likewise, if the character doesn't eat enough, he will become frail and sickly. A lack of vitamin C will cause scurvy sores, and a lack of calcium will cause weak bones and a bandaged head. As a result, the child may be advised that his Whyvillian should see the Whyville nutritionist.… Read more
I know science thinks it can do everything.
I know robots will soon be ordering us around like wait staff at the Ritz.
But I am gravely concerned about an experiment that has been going on up there in space.
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who returned to earth Friday, had been on the International Space Station since March. And, well, I don't know quite how I am to put this, but he didn't change his underwear for a month.
I know what you're thinking. We're both thinking the same thing.
Not even in the the darkest, … Read more
If changing the U.S. energy supply to be more secure and sustainable is like steering a massive ship, then the direction we set it on today won't be fully felt for 10 or 20 years.
The National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, on Monday released a report called "America's Energy Future" that seeks to focus the country's discussion on energy and draw attention to the most promising technologies.
One of the messages from the report is that long-term problems require sustained strategies and a break from … Read more
Science Data Reference System provides scientific minds with a quick reference sheet and a helpful hand with equations. With a simple layout and topics appropriate for young scientists and those in collegiate-level courses alike, this is a great tool.
The program's interface is a breeze to master thanks to its simplicity. Its scientific focus is divided among four tabs and within each of the tabs, users navigate with a menu along the left side. Each menu is managed differently, depending on what help it gives, but thankfully, all are simple enough to utilize independently, since there is no Help … Read more