Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 389
US Army to begin testing 'Iron Man' armor this June
The US military is getting ready to test out its first prototype Iron Man armor, announced by the head of US Special Operations. Navy Adm. William McRaven stated that three unpowered prototypes of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, are currently being assembled, with an expected delivery date of June.
McRaven talked about the suit's potential to save lives during a special conference in Washington DC, where he said: "That suit, if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators".
TALOS should feature its on on-board computer, health monitors, and MIT-developed liquid armor that is capable of hardening itself in a matter of milliseconds. The end result should see TALOS being able to sustain gunfire, just like Tony Stark in Iron Man. Right now, the armor is being worked on by 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories.
Continue reading: US Army to begin testing 'Iron Man' armor this June (full post)
Dyson wants to see 'advanced household androids' in every home
You might have heard of the brand Dyson - which makes some of the best-engineered vacuum cleaners and hand dryers - with British entrepreneur, Sir James Dyson, outlining his latest vision for what he sees as the future of households: advanced household androids.
Dyson envisions a future where this autonomous robots will clean your house, guard your property, and as the technology improves, many more household tasks. Dyson has announced a new $8.2 million robotics center at Imperial College London, where the inventor says the technological revolution is coming, and he sees a future where every home in Britain is filled with "robots that understand the world around them".
Dyson's team of engineers are now working on the first multi-purpose household android with scientists in Japan, where researchers at Waseda University have just unveiled their Twendy-One robot, which is capable of obeying voice commands, cooking, and providing nursing care. Dyson employs close to 2,000 engineers and scientists, with his plans involving the new center to overcome the problem with robotic "vision", so that the androids could see, and react to everything around them.
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RumorTT: iOS8 to feature Healthbook, other health tracking features
The upcoming iOS 8, Apple's latest mobile operating system due to be delivered later this year, is rumored to be health-centric. The headlining feature of the new operating system is said to be "Healthbook", an app that will function similar to how Passbook functions, but will be all about tracking a user's health-related data.
It's likely that the Healthbook app is being designed to interface with the long-rumored iWatch that Apple is reportedly developing. The Healthbook app will reportedly be able to track numerous different aspects of a person's health, in addition to the usual steps walked and calories burned. The iWatch/Healthbook combo is rumored to be able to track blood pressure, hydration levels, heart rate, and possibly several other blood-related data points. Users can also enter information about medications and the software will remind users to take medication at appropriate times.
Of course, this is just a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt. The source also warns that health integration could be removed for the final cut of iOS8. However, it's fairly likely that the iWatch will make a debut sometime in 2014.
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Age reversing process in mice successful, next step is human trials
Scientists have been working for years on the age reversing process, but it looks like we're very close to it being a reality. Scientists have successfully reversed the aging process in mice, according to a new study.
The next step? Human trials, something that will begin possibly before 2014 wraps up. The study itself was published in the peer reviewed science journal, Cell, after US and Australian scientists made the breakthrough discovery. David Sinclair of the University of New South Wales, and lead researcher, says he's hopeful that the results can be duplicated in human trials.
Where this gets amazing, is that not only could the aging process be slowed down, but a measurable reversal. The study showed that after administering a certain compound to the mice, muscle degeneration and diseases caused by aging were reversed. Sinclair was amazed at the results, saying they had exceeded his expectations, he explained: "I've been studying aging at the molecular level now for nearly 20 years and I didn't think I'd see a day when ageing could be reversed. I thought we'd be lucky to slow it down a little bit. The mice had more energy, their muscles were as though they'd be exercising and it was able to mimic the benefits of diet and exercise just within a week. We think that should be able to keep people healthier for longer and keep them from getting diseases of ageing".
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Fight against veteran brain injury going high tech to change lives
Medical researchers and military veterans are increasingly teaming up to study traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that U.S. personnel are dealing with after returning home from the battlefield. An estimated 15 to 23 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer TBI, which equates to about 300,000 to 460,000 soldiers in need of various levels of medical treatment.
Researchers are developing new objective imaging testing methods that provide better insight of brain scans and cognitive testing - and while progress is accelerating - there are a large number of veterans that aren't receiving proper medical treatment. However, using a new diffusion tensor imaging helps indicate nerve track fiber damage and provides better guidance to detect mild-TBI episodes that can be more easily corrected if discovered quickly.
"Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress is a different kind of wound," noted Arnold Fisher, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund staff member. "It's unseen. Apparently, because it's unseen, very many people don't understand it."
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Smartphone usage at night can tire you out the next day, study says
A smartphone "hangover" plaguing people that check their smartphones after 9:00 p.m. revealed users tend to be more exhausted the next day, according to a new study from Michigan State University. The drop in energy and productivity level is similar to a drinking hangover suffered the morning after partaking too much at the local pub.
"It can be a double-edged sword," said Russell Johnson, MSU assistant professor of management, in a statement. "The night-time use of smartphones appears to have both psychological and physiological effects on people's ability to sleep and on sleep's essential recovery functions."
How everyone feels each day is strongly correlated to healthy sleeping habits, with sleep quality - and quantity - impacting personal health. As more people begin to look for ways to improve sleep, a custom sensor-based inference algorithm is being tested to help educate sleepers and help develop better habits. There also are a growing collection of wearables and accessories that help study - and improve - sleep habits.
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Scientists develop 'space cops', satellites that patrol Earth's orbit
US researchers and scientists have developed the Space-Based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris, or STARE, which is basically a bunch of small satellites that orbit the Earth, helping satellites avoid collisions with space junk - so, really, space cops.
These 'space cops' have the researchers seeing a future of deploying countless satellites into Earth's orbit, with the space cops then relaying information about potential collisions between satellites and space debris back to Earth, which would then send alternative coordinates to the satellites that are in trouble.
A ground-based satellite was used to refine the orbit of the NORAD 27006 satellite, which was based on the first four observations made within 24 hours. The team managed to predict NORAD's satellite trajectory to within 50m, in under 36 hours. Considering that current technology is only capable of working out the pace of a space object within a 1km range, which gives ground operators the hard time of weeding through thousands of false alarms, for that one rock that might cause trouble.
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HIV vaccine could happen thanks to a free, crowdfunded project
A research team completely crowdfunded, is using a machine learning algorithm to examine the cells of rare individuals who are immune to HIV, and are looking to make a vaccine from their efforts.
The team is known as The Immunity Project, which promises a revolutionary method to reach its goals, vowing to revolutionize how we look at vaccines in general, too. Pharmaceutical companies projects can, and do cost billions of dollars - but this project could solve a very large problem, and is simply crowdfunded.
The Immunity Project is run by researchers out of Harvard, Stanford and MIT, with some big names on the roster: the creators of the Internet's first spam filter, an artificial intelligence and machine learning specialist at Microsoft, and the founder of Flow Pharma and drug delivery system specialist.
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Bright super nova appears in M82, 12 million light years from earth
The past few days have been quite exciting for scientist and astronomers world wide due to a very bright super nova appearing in the galaxy M82. While a super nova appearing is not a rare event, one happening in a galaxy as close as M82 is quite the rarity indeed.
M82 is just 12 million light years away making this one of the closest nova events recorded by modern science. Furthermore, this event is quite special for amateur astronomers as well as causal star gazers as the super nova is bright enough for viewing with binoculars and is quite spectacular in even the most modest amateur telescopes. The super nova is expected to brighten to about the 8th magnitude which would last for a few days.
In the image above you can see the super nova appear in the bottom image. Nothing is known about the star that exploded, but one thing is for sure... anything orbiting the star pre-nova was vaporized in the blink of an eye. With the galaxy being roughly 12 million light-years away, the star actually went super nova about 12 million years ago, and we are just now begging to see the photons emitted from the explosion. Some scientist say that with a super nova this close, we could even see neutrinos from the event making their way to Earth.
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US Army invests in Linux-powered, Wi-Fi capable 'smart rifles'
It seems that the United States military is investing in some next-gen firearms, which feature an internal computer, sensors that gauge environmental factors to help soldiers aim, and more, according to tech startup, Tracking Point.
Tracking Point has announced that the US military purchased six of its "smart" rifles, which are priced at between $10,000 and $27,000 each. The smart rifles feature technology so advanced that the initial investment should pay itself off over and over again in the future. A soldier equipped with a smart rifle would simply need to tag a target viewable on a screen, which is found on the gun's scope. The internal computer will then tell the shooter exactly how to hold the gun, and when to press the trigger.
Oren Schauble, a Marketing Official for the company: "Rifles can communicate with each other. We can enable a more information-driven combat in the sense that you can tag targets. You can pass off those targets to someone else with a scope. There's a whole layer of communication that comes with having a rifle that can designate and track targets."
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