Here’s a video of an astronaut on the International Space Station demonstrating the chemical process that occurs when water is rapidly carbonated in zero-gravity. Really cool — can you guess what will happen?
Lowell Wood, an astrophysicist who in the 1980s came up with the ‘Star Wars’ plan to defend the United States against the threat of Soviet missiles, is having his idea implemented on a much smaller scale to combat a far deadlier threat– mosquitoes.
Malaria, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is estimated to cause around 1 million deaths each year. By creating a device which can detect the bugs by the flap of their wings, scientists hope they can deploy it to protect people in places where the disease is rampant and protection is sparse. Read More >
This image is a composite composed of several satellite images that accurately depicts the pattern that is visible from space.
Really interesting infographic, see it in full after the jump.
A man who had been blind in one eye has had his vision near-completely restored thanks to a breakthrough stem cell treatment.
Russell Thurnbull had ammonia sprayed in his eye after trying to break up a fight nearly 15 years ago. The attack damaged tissue in his right cornea, leaving him completely blind in that eye. Thanks to researchers at the North East England Stem Cell Institute, he can now see just as good in his right eye as he can in his left. Read More >
Scientists have successfully demonstrated a machine that has allowed a man with locked-in syndrome to ’speak’ by transmitting his thoughts to a synthesizer via a wireless brain-machine interface. The volunteer for the demonstration, a 26-year-old man, had electrodes implanted in his brain five years ago. The researchers waited for his brain to grow around the electrodes. The electrodes convert neural impulses to FM radio signals, which are picked up by two coils across his scalp which act as an antenna. The radio signals are then sent to a decoder, which converts the neural impulses to digital data, which is routed to a computer that synthesizes the data into speech. The whole process takes about 50-milliseconds, the same amount of time it takes a person without any neural deficiencies to verbalize their thoughts.
The wireless component of this type of system mitigates the risk of infection.
So far, the system has been able to verbalize a small set of vowels, but the researchers are confident they can increase that to a broad array of consonants. The volunteer’s speech was interpreted successfully about 70% of the time, with that rate increasing significantly after training sessions. The last reported session had a record 89% accuracy.
The face tracking in the “state-of-the-art” HP MediaSmart computer is unable to see Black Desi, but it picks up White Wanda just fine.
The Shit Box is a compact, portable cardboard toilet that allows for easy dumping anywhere. Great for outdoor use, it is assembled easily with just a few folds. It dons a reinforced frame, and comes with 10 biodegradable poo-bags for easy reuse. Yes, it is reusable.
The Shit Box is a very green product, and consumes much less resources than traditional toilets. It uses no water, and is made from recycled cardboard. Do the planet a favor — shit in a cardboard box.
The Shit Box is available for £15.67 from The Brown Corporation.
Aww, aren’t those puppies cute?
Those aren’t dogs. They’re foxes, believe it or not.
In the 1950s, Soviet scientist Dmitri Belyaev set out to breed a tamer fox that would be easier for their handlers in the Russian fur industry to work with. The foxes included in his breeding experiment were determined by their temperament. To select candidates to breed, Belyaev would stick out his hand in front of foxes, and rank them based on how they reacted. The foxes that snapped or bit at his hand would be disqualified from the experiment, and the foxes that cowered or exhibited curiosity without attacking his hand would be mated together. The best behaved of the selected foxes offspring would be mated again, etc. Read More >