Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 394

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 394.

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Physicist wants 1,000 feet high walls to block tornadoes in the US

Anthony Garreffa | Feb 27, 2014 4:31 AM CST

Central America is home to some of the most ferocious tornadoes on the planet, but one scientist wants to see mother nature stopped, through the use of gigantic walls built across Tornado Alley.

Physicist wants 1,000 feet high walls to block tornadoes in the US | TweakTown.com

Rongjia Tao, a physicist with Temple University, says: "If we build three east-west great walls in the American Midwest .... one in North Dakota, one along the border between Kansas and Oklahoma to the east, and the third one in south Texas and Louisiana, we will diminish the tornado threats in the Tornado Alley forever".

Tao says that the walls would need to be 1,000 feet high, and around 150 feet wide. But at an estimated cost of $60 billion per 100 miles, and the engineering challenges, "it wouldn't work", according to tornado researcher Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. Brooks said that "If his hypothesis was true, we'd already have the thing he wants to build naturally. This is essentially a case of a physicist, who may be very good in his sub-discipline, talking about a subject about which he is abysmally ignorant".

Continue reading: Physicist wants 1,000 feet high walls to block tornadoes in the US (full post)

Resound LiNX is a made for iPhone hearing aid controlled with an app

Shane McGlaun | Feb 25, 2014 11:07 AM CST

There are alls sorts of gadgets and accessories that go along with the iPhone and iPad. You can find an accessory for just about anything you might need. If you are one of the many who have hearing loss, you can even get a made for iPhone hearing aid now.

Resound LiNX is a made for iPhone hearing aid controlled with an app | TweakTown.com

That hearing aid is the ReSound LiNX and it is now available to purchase. It is also offered as the Beltone First with the same exact features. The LiNX uses an app that runs on the iPhone or iPad and allows the user direct control lover the hearing aid and its settings.

Users can control the treble and bass settings as well as the volume from that app. One of the coolest features is that the app supports geotagging. With geotagging, you can choose settings that are specific to certain locations and they will change automatically when you get to that location.

Continue reading: Resound LiNX is a made for iPhone hearing aid controlled with an app (full post)

The biggest ever meteor to hit the Moon rammed it at 37,900 mph

Anthony Garreffa | Feb 25, 2014 5:24 AM CST

A gigantic 400kg meteor smashed into the Moon on September 11 last year, hitting the lunar surface at 37,900 mph. The meteor itself was ten times larger than the previously recorded hit, which left a 131-foot-wide crater.

The biggest ever meteor to hit the Moon rammed it at 37,900 mph | TweakTown.com

Jose Madiedo of the MIDAS project said he "couldn't imagine" such a collision before seeing it himself on the day, where he added: "This is the largest, brightest impact we have ever observed on the Moon". Scientists at MIDAS had been studying lunar collisions since 2009, said that the crash was quite explosive, releasing the equivalent energy of 15 tons of TNT.

The meteor hit the dark side of the Moon, which is unfortunate as the blast was big enough that it would've been visible with the naked eye here on Earth. Madiedo said: "Usually lunar impacts have a very short duration - just a fraction of a second. But the impact we detected lasted over eight seconds. It was almost as bright as the Pole Star, which makes it the brightest impact event that we have recorded from Earth".

Continue reading: The biggest ever meteor to hit the Moon rammed it at 37,900 mph (full post)

Oldest piece of Earth ever has been found, 4.375 billion years old

Charles Gantt | Feb 24, 2014 8:27 PM CST

For quite some time now, scientist have known that the earth is over 4 billion years old, but just how old exactly has been a mystery with little evidence to back up claims and theories. Today scientist announced that the oldest fragment of the Earth that has ever been found has been discovered in the Jack Hills mountain range in Western Australia.

Oldest piece of Earth ever has been found, 4.375 billion years old | TweakTown.com

The Gem is a fragment of Zircon that formed just 100 million years after the meteor impact that caused part of the earth to be ejected into space and formed the moon. This means that the zircon fragment pictured above is a mere 4.375 billion years old, making it the oldest piece of the earth ever uncovered. The age conformation came from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where John Valley and other researchers used atom-probe technology to count the individual lead atoms within the sample. This method allows scientist to accurately date geological samples with absolute confidence in the results.

Previously, a method involving counting lead isotopes was used to date the samples, but proved to be inaccurate as lead can migrate from part of the crystal to another over hundreds of millions of years causing the originating source to have an apparent older age than it actually is. The new atom-probe method is much more accurate and researchers say that it proves the chemical records inside these zircons are trustworthy.

Continue reading: Oldest piece of Earth ever has been found, 4.375 billion years old (full post)

Elon Musk unveils landing legs for SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket via Twitter

Charles Gantt | Feb 24, 2014 4:07 PM CST

Today Elon Musk unveiled the new landing leg attachments that have been fitted to Space X's Falcon 9 rocket. The legs are intended to make recovery of the rocket's lift stages easier and more efficient. Currently Space X glides the first stage of the rocket into the Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles from the launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida. As you would expect, this form of recovery is expensive, and time consuming.

Elon Musk unveils landing legs for SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket via Twitter | TweakTown.com

With the addition of the new landing legs, Space X hopes to eventually fly the rocket's first stage back to a landing site near the launch pad, and have it land itself vertically, making recovery and reuse much easier and far cheaper than current methods. The new landing legs are built out of a carbon fiber outer skin with a honeycomb inner layer comprised from high-alloy aluminum. The legs are planned to play on the Falcon 9's mission to the International Space Station on March 16th, but the first stage will be guided to the Atlantic for this first flight as Space X needs to test how the legs handle take off before attempting a vertical landing.

This will be Space X's second attempted Atlantic Ocean recovery of the Falcon 9 first stage, and the company says that "Given all the things that would have to go right, the probability of recovering the first stage is low," SpaceX spokesperson Emily Shanklin wrote in an email to website SpaceFlightNow. "There was maybe a 10 percent chance of recovery on the first flight of v1.1; this time there's maybe a 30 percent to 40 percent chance. Given that, it probably won't work, but we are getting closer."

Continue reading: Elon Musk unveils landing legs for SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket via Twitter (full post)

US Navy creates the five-pound 'smallest guided missile' in the world

Michael Hatamoto | Feb 24, 2014 8:17 AM CST

The US Navy has developed a five-pound Spike mini-missile, a precision device that is reportedly the "world's smallest guided missile" available. The speed and missile range are classified, but Spike can be launched from the ground using a stationary launcher or from unmanned aerial vehicles - and a shoulder-launched version is in development.

US Navy creates the five-pound 'smallest guided missile' in the world | TweakTown.com

The Spike missile costs about $50,000 to manufacture and measures only 2.5 inches in diameter, being built as part of the NAVAIR project at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif. Using a small camera mounted on the missile, operators are able to accurately modify Spike's trajectory before it detonates.

"Most of our weapons are fairly large because they're taking out very big targets," said Scott O'Neill, project developer, said in a media statement. "We've started looking at, with miniaturization of electronics, what does that mean to weaponry? How small can we make weapons and keep them effective against the targets that we're talking about?"

Continue reading: US Navy creates the five-pound 'smallest guided missile' in the world (full post)

MakerBot Replicator 2X 3D-printed heart saves 14-month old boy's life

Anthony Garreffa | Feb 22, 2014 5:26 PM CST

3D printers are really going to change the world, with the technology being used more and more in the healthcare industry. 3D printed human tissue, prosthetics and much more are being printed, but now 3D printers have saved a young boy's life.

MakerBot Replicator 2X 3D-printed heart saves 14-month old boy's life 01

14-month-old Roland Lian Cung Bawi, son of two Burmese immigrants living in Owensboro, Kentucky, had major defects to his heart. The defects included a hole in his heart, as well as misaligned aorta and pulmonary arteries, and if left untreated, he would have died not long after. Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Erle Austin, stepped in, taking 2D images of Roland's heart, which he then showed to his fellow surgeons, as he attempted to correct Roland's young heart.

The 2D scans were not precise enough, which left surgeons offering alternative solutions on how to fix his heart. Austin turned to the School of Engineering at Louisville, where they used a Makerbot Replicator 2X to create a 3D-printed model of Roland's heart, with all of the defects. The 3D-printed heart was printed in three separate pieces so that the surgeons could take it apart and look inside.

Continue reading: MakerBot Replicator 2X 3D-printed heart saves 14-month old boy's life (full post)

Humanoid robonaut 2 learning how to handle medical space emergencies

Michael Hatamoto | Feb 21, 2014 4:30 PM CST

NASA researchers are developing a humanoid robonaut, called Robonaut 2, which could be able to one day work with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). The Robonaut 2 is a $2.5-million device that will also be able to contribute to general tasks as well.

Humanoid robonaut 2 learning how to handle medical space emergencies | TweakTown.com

Robonaut research for medical purposes is still in its early stages, so don't expect the humanoids to be in space providing health support immediately. The R2's camera-equipped head lets controllers on Earth see a medical process, and the robonaut has extremely good dexterity so the appropriate amount of pressure could be used during treatment.

"I would say that within an hour I trained him more than with other students I'm working for a week, so I think that he's learning really fast," said Dr. Zsolt Garami, from the Houston Methodist Research Institute, in a recent interview with Space.com.

Continue reading: Humanoid robonaut 2 learning how to handle medical space emergencies (full post)

Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush syncs with smartphone app

Shane McGlaun | Feb 21, 2014 10:06 AM CST

Many people out there are still using normal toothbrushes to keep their teeth clean. There are also a number of folks that have adopted high-tech toothbrushes to help keep their mouths even cleaner. Oral-B is one of the biggest names in electric toothbrushes and the company has announced that it will be showing off its most tech packed toothbrush yet at MWC 2014.

Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush syncs with smartphone app 567463

The toothbrush is the first to feature Bluetooth 4.0 technology inside. The Bluetooth tech inside the toothbrush interfaces with an app that runs on your smartphone. The idea is that the app can be programmed with the help of a dentist to help you concentrate on part so the mouth that need it.

The app also gives you feedback on how well you brush. That feedback includes how long you brushed and if you used too much pressure among other things. The toothbrush can be programmed with personal brush settings for target session length and preferred brushing modes.

Continue reading: Oral-B Bluetooth toothbrush syncs with smartphone app (full post)

US Navy embraces lasers and electric guns on ships

Michael Hatamoto | Feb 18, 2014 2:00 PM CST

The United States Navy is ready to begin rolling out next-generation futuristic weapons that sound like something out of your favorite Sci-Fi movie - but will play an important role in the development of modern warfare.

US Navy embraces lasers and electric guns on ships | TweakTown.com

The new laser system will be deployed on the USS Ponce later this year, and can be controlled by a single person. The laser will be used with a focus on defense against aerial drones, speed boats, and any type of threat to allied warships. Although it's cheaper than missiles or traditional smart bombs, and can fire continuously at targets, it won't be as effective in poor weather conditions.

In addition to the laser, Navy officials want to deploy an electromagnetic rail gun by 2016, which could one day replace regular firearms - and include the ability to launch projectiles almost seven times the speed of sound, according to military sources.

Continue reading: US Navy embraces lasers and electric guns on ships (full post)

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