Theoretical Physicist and Mathematician Stephen Hawking, undoubtedly
one of the brightest minds of our time, has been hospitalized and is,
according to media reports, very ill. Cambridge University said he has
been dealing with a chest infection and for a few weeks.
Most of us poor smokers like to think we'll be one of the lucky ones
who makes it to 100 unscathed. And now researchers think they may soon
be able to tell which of us will, through a simple urine test.
It's the oldest excuse in the book, and apparently there's some
truth in it - "beer goggles" do indeed lead men to think women are more
attractive, at least when they're adult and wearing lots of makeup.
Researchers from across the world have joined forces to discover nine new genes on the X chromosome that, when knocked out, lead to learning disabilities.
The human fetus spends the majority of its growth time after the seven
month mark asleep. Until now it was a mystery whether or not the brain
cycled during sleep or remained inactive. Now, scientists know the
Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon tells us that Earth has seen a reduced level of sunspot activity for the past 18 months, and is currently at the lowest levels seen in almost a century. Dr. Soon says "The sun is just slightly dimmer and has been for about the last 18 months. And that is because there are very few sunspots." He says when the sun has less sunspots, it gives off less energy, and the Earth tends to cool. He notes 2008 was a cold year for this very reason, and that 2009 may be cold for the same.
A new EDU channel on YouTube is being populated by more than 100 schools, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Yale and UC Berkeley. Most of them have partnered up to provide relevant school-specific information, such as virtual campus tours and promotional material. However, the channel is creating a buzz that maybe it's time for universities to begin offering digital copies of their classes online, so that those without money for college can still get an education.
It's being reported by the Associated Press that the president's new science advisor, John Holdren, just confirmed last month, is looking at extreme methods of cooling the Earth's air. The most extreme example mentioned involves shooting air-polluting particles into the Earth's upper atmosphere. These will reflect the sun's rays back into space, thereby cooling the Earth.
Researchers at the Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge have published information about an Artificial Intelligence-wielding robot named Adam. Adam has been able to operate much like a real scientist, though without boredom, fatigue, or in this case, even any help from the scientists. Adam is his own man, able to conceive of, conduct and report findings of scientific experiments, and in this case, a non-human analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae baker's yeast genome.
Scientists at MIT have managed to engineer a virus which could potentially form a battery to outlast and outpower those available today three times over. The battery would have the ability to power MP3 players, mobile phones and potentially even a car. The battery would be much more environmentally sound than battery technologies currently utilized.
Honda Motor Company has announced a new development in robotic control -- a brain machine interface (BMI). A computerized sensor-net reads subtle electrical impulses directly from a person's scalp, as well as related changes in cerebral blood flow. Each time a person thinks about various movements, such as right hand or left hand, the computer identifies the thought, which is then sent to a thought-controlled version of Asimo the robot, which responds to those thought-commands.
Researchers are beginning to identify the genes which makeup a person's physical traits, including facial structure, skin tone, hair and eye color and more. The technology could be employed in the future in a Gattaca-like way, allowing a genetic approximation of your true appearance merely from a DNA sample.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the aviation color code to red on Saturday March 21 at 10:38pm (its highest level) and is now reporting that on late Monday and early Tuesday of last week Mount Redoubt erupted in "four large explosions" launching ash an estimated distance of nine miles into the air.
Are human brains basically organic computers? If they are, then a recent publication by Dr. Paul Thompson, professor of neurology at UCLA's School of Medicine may make sense. The study finds that not only are smart people smarter, but they actually think faster.
Terrafugia Inc, a company which spun off from MIT, has confirmed that its flying car, deemed a "roadable aircraft" and named Transition, has successfully completed a 37 second test flight. On March 5, 2009, at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York the vehicle took flight. It was piloted by Phil Meteer, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who is the company's chief pilot.
A popular song once asked, "Does she walk? Does she talk? Does she come complete?" referring, of course, to an old high-school girlfriend. But the reality now being seen is an era where science fiction has change into hard reality. Boffins at the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have created an android-like robot with amazing life-like abilities. EXTRA: VIDEOS
On Sunday afternoon, Mount Redoubt began once again emitting steam and ash. Ashfall from the explosion was observed on the upper south flank of the volcano, but no airborne ash was discovered which could be deemed a hazard.
MIT engineers have developed a type of high-speed tunnel for transporting electrical energy through lithium iron phosphate, a well-known battery material. The discovery may yield lithium ion batteries that fully discharge and recharge in seconds, rather than hours, making batteries lighter, more powerful, and finally suitable for the all-electric vehicle that can be recharged in the same amount of time it takes to refuel the tank today.
At a major science event in London today called Pioneer 09, a new device under development called a Virtual Cocoon has been showcased. The kitchen-sized device encases the user in a sensory input room which virtual reality headsets alone cannot achieve. The potential level of virtual reality the device will deliver has caused the research team to coin a new phrase: Real Virtuality.
On Tuesday, Barack Obama restored protections for several endangered species reversing one of the last minute changes made during the Bush administration. "For more than three decades, the Endangered Species Act has successfully protected our nation's most threatened wildlife, and we should be looking for ways to improve it -- not weaken it," Obama said.