Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 373

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 373.

Scientists working on cyborgs made from half living cells, half electronics

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 29, 2012 1:28 AM CDT

Scientists at Harvard University are working on rat cardiomyocytes, but slightly different than most scientists. They're snaking them through wires and transistors that peer into each cell's electrical impulses. In the future, these wires might actually control their behavior, too.

Scientists working on cyborgs made from half living cells, half electronics | TweakTown.com

"Cyborg" tissues have been created for neurons, muscle and vessels, and could be used to test drugs, or used as the basis for biological versions of existing implants. If signals can eventually be sent to the cells, cyborg tissues could eventually be used to create tiny robots, or get used in prosthetics. Charles Lieber, who leads the cyborg tissue team, has said:

It allows one to effectively blur the boundary between electronic, inorganic systems and organic, biological ones.

Artificial cells can already be grown on three-dimensional scaffolds that are made up of biological materials, but are not electrically active. Electrical components need to be added to cultured tissue before, but not integrated into its structure, so they were only able to scrap information from the surface. Lieber's team combined these strands of work, and created an electrically active scaffold. 3D networks were then created using conductive nanowires studded with silicon sensors.

Continue reading: Scientists working on cyborgs made from half living cells, half electronics (full post)

NASA to launch Android-based tiny satellites into space

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 28, 2012 1:29 AM CDT

It looks as though NASA is wanting their Small Spacecraft Technology Program to see Android-powered devices go into space. The space agency wants to see if cheap consumer-based hardware can dependably survive a journey into space.

NASA to launch Android-based tiny satellites into space | TweakTown.com

NASA believes that sending tiny satellites into space will pave the way for a low-cost delivery system, they also hope to improve upon, or evolve new propulsion techniques by working with much smaller devices, like smartphones. The first-gen, smartphone-powered satellites will be baked into a modular, cube-based chassis named 'CubeSat'.

The first PhoneSat will measure just 10x10x10cm, or roughly double the size of a Rubik's Cube. NASA will throw in Samsung's Nexus One smartphone, one external battery, radio equipment, and a watchdog circuit that will be used to reboot the device in case of a problem. NASA have already run stress tests on the Nexus One, which it passed without any modifications required. These tests were run to see if the smartphone could handle the launch and orbit into the dark beyond of space.

Continue reading: NASA to launch Android-based tiny satellites into space (full post)

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on moon, dies at age 82

Trace Hagan | Aug 25, 2012 5:51 PM CDT

It's a sad day for the space community. Pioneer astronaut Neil Armstrong has passed away at age 82. For those of you who don't know who Neil Armstrong is, a little back-story is in order. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 mission, the first space mission of any country to land humans on the moon.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on moon, dies at age 82 | TweakTown.com

Once on the surface of the moon, he spoke the famous words that will forever be used to describe a great achievement that advances science for the better of the world: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong was one of only 12 Americans to ever set foot on the moon.

Continue reading: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on moon, dies at age 82 (full post)

New camouflage face paint that 'resists intense heat from bombs'

Trace Hagan | Aug 24, 2012 3:30 PM CDT

If you've ever been camping and sat around a campfire, you know how hot your face can get. While in war, many soldiers wear camouflage face paint. The issue with the current face paint is that it is a concoction of oil and wax which, when exposed to high temperatures such as a bomb blast, melts and burns the skin.

New camouflage face paint that 'resists intense heat from bombs' | TweakTown.com

Furthermore, any face paint is required to have Deet, an insect repellent, included in the formula so that soldiers don't get bitten to death in jungles and other settings. The problem with Deet is that it is highly flammable, not exactly something you want exposed to high heat. This is where the scientists come in.

Scientists have invented a new face paint which "resists intense heat from bombs" and can resist temperatures of up to 600*C for up to 15 seconds. Considering bomb blasts last just two or three seconds, this face paint can protect soldiers' skin from the heat produced by the blast.

The new paint is produced using silicone, something that reflects heat rather than absorbing it. The Deet problem was solved by mixing it with a water-rich hydrogel substance to keep it from catching fire. Scientists are now working on producing a clear version for firefighters so they don't have to wear warpaint when running into a burning building.

Continue reading: New camouflage face paint that 'resists intense heat from bombs' (full post)

120x faster charging for Lithium Ion batteries thanks to new research

Trace Hagan | Aug 17, 2012 2:33 PM CDT

Lithium Ion batteries are the best battery technology we currently have in mass production. It's used in everything from laptop computers to hybrid car batteries. Despite this wide spread use, it still has some major drawbacks. The biggest one that comes to mind is the fact that they take so darn long to charge.

120x faster charging for Lithium Ion batteries thanks to new research | TweakTown.com

Well, that could all be about to change. New research has shown that a modification in the way Lithium Ion batteries are constructed could reduce the charging time from hours to minutes. Current batteries charge from the outside in. This means the center part of the battery isn't receiving any current until the end of charging.

By putting "a dense network of conductors throughout the electrodes of the battery," researchers were able to charge the entire battery at once. This resulted in charging times that were 30 to 120 times faster than a standard Lithium Ion cell. The only issue is that filling the battery with conductors lowers the capacity or increases the size, albeit only slightly.

But if you can charge a cell phone in 5 minutes versus 2 hours, a slightly shorter battery life is not a problem.

Continue reading: 120x faster charging for Lithium Ion batteries thanks to new research (full post)

"The best meteor shower of the year" is this weekend--don't miss it!

Trace Hagan | Aug 10, 2012 5:33 PM CDT

Continuing with a theme of science and space Friday, we would like to give you something to do over the weekend. It's time for the yearly Perseid meteor shower in the northern hemisphere and it promises to be a good one. NASA has called it the "best meteor shower of the year" so you really don't want to miss it.

The shower will run from August 11 to 13, with the night of August 12 expected to be the best. NASA is predicting that at its peak rate people could be making 100 wishes an hour. In other words, NASA expects it to peak at 100 shooting stars an hour. "We expect to see meteor rates as high as a hundred per hour," NASA's Bill Cooke says.

Heading to the countryside away from city lights is usually advisable. According to NASA, "a visit to the countryside will typically triple the number of meteors you see." The best viewing time will be in the early morning darkness just before dawn. The show should start sometime after 10PM. I'll be heading to a remote location in the Northern California Sierra Nevadas to escape the Sacramento city light pollution.

Continue reading: "The best meteor shower of the year" is this weekend--don't miss it! (full post)

Chinese researchers achieve quantum teleportation, send data across a lake

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 10, 2012 1:21 AM CDT

Chinese researchers have achieved something quite grand, where they've overcome some challenges in regards to open-air quantum teleportation. The team developed a highly accurate laser pointing and tracking system, reports Ars Technica.

Chinese researchers achieve quantum teleportation, send data across a lake | TweakTown.com

The team of researchers teleported a qubit (which is a standard unit of data in quantum computing) 97 kilometers (!) across a lake, all using a small set of photons without fiberoptic cables, or other such technology. Juan Yin and his team developed the laser targeting device, and the team were necessary to counteract the minute seismic and atmosphere shifts that would usually break the link between the two locations.

Point-to-point accuracy problems are solved by fibreoptic cables, compared to open-air systems, where the cables are used to carry entangled photons, which carry the data required for quantum teleportation. But, this can cause what's referred to as "quantum decoherence", or the corruption of the proton's entanglement data. It's incredibly exciting, and while it's not teleporting people around yet, the aim of it is to transport data, which would require quantum repeater satellites to build the network required.

Continue reading: Chinese researchers achieve quantum teleportation, send data across a lake (full post)

Russian billionaire wants to make immortality a reality by 2045

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 5, 2012 11:33 PM CDT

Technology has done wonderful things for us, if you went back 200 years and thought we'd be here with smart devices, or even 30 years ago and told me quad-core processors would rule your smartphone, I wouldn't believe you. But, it hasn't really extended our lifespan all that much, yes health technology has improved, but not in the pure leaps and bounds that consumer-based electronics have.

Russian billionaire wants to make immortality a reality by 2045 | TweakTown.com

Well, a Russian billionaire wants to change that, who plans on making immortality a reality by 2045. Dmitry Itskov, a 31-year-old billionaire, has planned "The 2045 Initiative", and only needs a few billion to make it happen. Itskov's project has multiple phases, each bringing mankind closer to the dream of living forever. The first step in his plan is to create robotic humans that are controlled remotely. This step has a goal of 2020, or earlier.

By 2025, "Avatar B" happens, which is where the human brain is transferred into a robotic skeleton so that life can be enjoyed after death. By 2035 "Avatar C" begins, where the brain will be constructed separately, and your own personality will be "transferred" into the robot when you're ready to stop living life as a weak human being. By 2045, the fourth and final stage, "Avatar D" begins and gives us the option to walk around in holographic avatars, for eternity.

Continue reading: Russian billionaire wants to make immortality a reality by 2045 (full post)

China to land exploratory craft on the Moon in 2013

Anthony Garreffa | Jul 31, 2012 5:27 AM CDT

China are set to settle for infinity now, and not beyond, with plans to land an exploratory craft on one and only naturally orbiting satellite, the Moon, for the first time. China's third lunar probe, Chang'e-3, is set for take off in the second half of next year, the state Xinhua news agency reported late yesterday. Chang'e-3 is named after the Chinese goddess of the Moon.

China to land exploratory craft on the Moon in 2013 | TweakTown.com

Other reports have stated that it would land, and transmit back a survey of the Moon's surface. If China are successful in landing the craft on the Moon, it will mark a very large milestone for its space development. Xinhua have said it is part of a project to orbit, land and return from the Moon. China have said on its last white paper on space that they are working toward landing a man on the Moon, but no time frame has been given.

Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space program as a symbol of its rising global importance, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the one poverty-stricken nation. If China are successful, it will be quite the media event for 2013.

The one downside to all of this? The United States used to be at the bleeding edge of this type of space exploration, considering all the technological advances we've seen in the past 50 years, it's quite sad to see that China are now looking to land on the Moon for a look around.

Continue reading: China to land exploratory craft on the Moon in 2013 (full post)

Man designs and builds trashcan which moves to catch flying trash

Trace Hagan | Jul 23, 2012 12:32 PM CDT

A cool science project has brought something that every person on earth has been waiting for. Think back to all those Sci-Fi movies. What do they all have in common? If you said moving trashcans that adjust their position to catch the trash you have just thrown towards it, you'd be correct.

Man designs and builds trashcan which moves to catch flying trash | TweakTown.com

And one would think with all of the technology we have some researcher would have been able to build this some time ago. Well, it turns out that people who are too lazy to get up and place trash in the can are too lazy to work on inventing a trashcan like this. However, an inventor by the name of FRP has managed to design and build one for himself.

FRP built everything from scratch from the wheeled base to the circuit boards and programming. He used a Kinect sensor that monitors the entire room and watches for trash to become airborne. It then tracks the trash and directs the trashcan to move to where it is likely to land. The video makes it look pretty darn accurate, but FRP admits the accuracy wouldn't win an MVP award quite yet.

If he manages to improve the accuracy, it's likely this invention will one day make him a very rich man.

Continue reading: Man designs and builds trashcan which moves to catch flying trash (full post)

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