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Mars

How Tiny Worms Could Help Humans Colonize Mars 101

Posted by samzenpus
from the send-in-the-worms dept.
Pierre Bezukhov writes "The roundworm has about 20,000 protein-coding genes — nearly as many as humans, who have about 23,000. Furthermore, there is a lot of overlap between our genome and theirs, with many genes performing roughly the same functions in both species. Launching C. elegans roundworms to Mars would allow scientists to see just how dangerous the high radiation levels found in deep space — and on the Red Planet's surface — are to animal life. 'Worms allow us to detect changes in growth, development, reproduction and behavior in response to environmental conditions such as toxins or in response to deep space missions,' said Nathaniel Szewczyk of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. 'Given the high failure rate of Mars missions, use of worms allows us to safely and relatively cheaply test spacecraft systems prior to manned missions,' he adds."
Earth

NASA Creates First Global Forest Map Using Lasers 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-a-tree-is-measured-and-nobody-is-around-to-see-it dept.
MikeCapone writes "Scientists, using three NASA satellites, have created a first-of-its-kind map that details the height of the world's forests. The data was collected from NASA's ICESat, Terra and Aqua satellites. The latter two satellites are responsible for most of NASA's Gulf spill imagery. The data collected will help scientists understand how the world's forests both store and process carbon. While there are many local and regional canopy maps, this is the very first global map using a uniform method for measure."
Firefox

Best Browser For Using Complex Web Applications? 347

Posted by timothy
from the fatal-error-encountered dept.
yanyan writes "I'm fairly new to the field of web application development. Currently I'm working on a big online ticketing system for passage and freight for a local shipping company. It's a one-man show and the system is written in Ruby and uses Rails. Aside from the requisite functionality of creating bookings the system must also print reports and tickets, and this is where I've discovered (the hard way) that most, if not all, browsers fall short. I've had to switch from Firefox 3.6.3 to Opera 10.53 because of a major printing bug in Firefox, but the latest stable Opera is also giving me its own share of problems. To complicate things, an earlier version of Opera (10.10) doesn't appear to have 10.53's printing problems, but I'm wary. What browsers and specific versions do you end up deploying for use with big, complex web apps that include printing? Also consider CSS accuracy and consistency."
Toys

Set Free Your Inner Jedi (Or Pyro) 463

Posted by Soulskill
from the sharks-sold-separately dept.
sirgoran writes "We've all thought about being the hero fighting off evil-doers and saving the day ever since we first saw Star Wars. The folks at Wicked Lasers have now brought that a little closer to reality with their latest release: a 1-Watt blue diode laser that can set skin and other things on fire. From an article at Daily Tech, where they talk about the dangers of such a powerful laser: 'And here's the best (or worst) part — it can set people (or things) on fire. Apparently the laser is so high-powered that shining it on fleshy parts will cause them to burst into flames. Of course it's equally capable of blinding people.' The thing that caught my eye was the price: $200. I wonder if they'll be able to meet the demand, since (if it works as advertised) this will be on every geek's Christmas list."
The Internet

When Will the Automotive Internet Arrive? 261

Posted by timothy
from the heavy-traffic-for-better-throughput dept.
DeviceGuru writes "European researchers are developing a cooperative traffic system, known CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems), comprised of vehicle-, roadside-, and central infrastructure-based communications hardware and software, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless. Among other capabilities, cars communicate with each other and with 'smart traffic signals' to smooth the flow of traffic and avoid accidents, or with 'smart traffic signs' to avoid dangerous driving conditions. The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audi has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project. The ambitious vision of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) includes goals such as reduced traffic congestion and fuel consumption, enhanced safety, and improved driver and passenger comfort. Ultimately, the developers envision a sort of Automotive Internet."
Canada

Bionic-Eyed Man Wants To Stream Eye Video Online 115

Posted by timothy
from the except-for-the-blackout-moments dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to this IEEE article, Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence, who calls himself Eyeborg because he replaced his false right eye with a bionic one, is showing off his latest prototype. The new bionic eye contains a battery-powered, wireless video camera that can transmit a low-res feed to a nearby receiver. Now Spence plans to share his 'vision' online, literally. According to the IEEE article, 'soon people will be able to log on to his video feed and view the world through his right eye.'"
HP

HP Gives Printers Email Addresses 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-the-spam dept.
Barence writes "HP is set to unveil a line of printers with their own email addresses, allowing people to print from devices such as smartphones and tablets. The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own — or someone else's — printer. It will also let people more easily share physical documents; rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend's printer. 'HP plans to offer a few of these new printers to consumers this month, and then a few more of the products to small businesses in September.'"
Medicine

New Ebola Drug 100% Effective In Monkeys 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-somebody-call-hoffman dept.
TrisexualPuppy writes "A team of scientists at Boston University has created a cure for the Ebola virus, first discovered in 1976. After setting the correct dosages, all monkeys tested with the vaccine survived with only mild effects. No tests have been performed on humans yet, as outbreaks happen infrequently and are difficult to track. Quoting NPR: '[The drug] contains snippets of RNA derived from three of the virus's seven genes. That "payload" is packaged in protective packets of nucleic acid and fat molecules. These little stealth missiles attach to the Ebola virus's replication machinery, "silencing" the genes from which they were derived. That prevents the virus from making more viruses.'"
NASA

Voyager 2 Speaking In Tongues 260

Posted by kdawson
from the now-voyager dept.
dangle sends in an update from the borderland of Sol. "Voyager 2's flight data system, which formats information before beaming it back to Earth, has experienced a hiccup that has altered the pattern in which it sends updates home, preventing mission managers from decoding the science data beamed to Earth from Voyager 2. The spacecraft, which is currently 8.6 billion miles (13.8 billion km) from Earth, is apparently still in overall good health, according to the latest engineering data received on May 1. 'Voyager 2's initial mission was a four-year journey to Saturn, but it is still returning data 33 years later,' said Voyager project scientist Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. 'It has already given us remarkable views of Uranus and Neptune, planets we had never seen close-up before. We will know soon what it will take for it to continue its epic journey of discovery.' The space probe and its twin Voyager 1 are flying through the bubble-like heliosphere, created by the sun, which surrounds our solar system."
Earth

Permanent Undersea Homes Soon; Temporary Ones Now 122

Posted by timothy
from the meet-our-butcher-dexter dept.
MMBK writes "Dennis Chamberland is one of the world's preeminent aquanauts. He's worked with NASA to develop living habitats and underwater plant growth labs, among other cool things. His next goal is establishing the world's first permanent underwater colony. This video gets to the heart of his project, literally and figuratively, as most is shot in his underwater habitat, Atlantica, off the coast of Key Largo, FL. The coolest part might be the moon pool, the room you swim into underwater."
The Internet

Cisco Introduces a 322 Tbit/sec. Router 281

Posted by kdawson
from the one-loc-per-second dept.
CWmike writes "Today Cisco Systems introduced its next-generation Internet core router, the CRS-3, with about three times the capacity of its current platform. 'The Internet will scale faster than any of us anticipate,' Cisco's John Chambers said while announcing the product. At full scale, the CRS-3 has a capacity of 322Tbit/sec., roughly three times that of the CRS-1, introduced in 2004. It also has more than 12 times the capacity of its nearest competitor, Chambers said. The CRS-3 will help the Internet evolve from a messaging to an entertainment and media platform, with video emerging as the 'killer app,' Chambers said. Using a CRS-3, every person in China, which has a population just over 1.3 billion, could participate in a video phone call at the same time. (Or you could pump nearly one Library of Congress per second through the device, or give everyone in San Fransisco a 1Gbps internet connection.) AT&T said it has been using the CRS-3 to test 100Gbit/sec. data links in tests on a commercial fiber route in Florida and Louisiana."
NASA

NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the ain't-it-cool dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA said it will soon move some of the larger (46 lb) mirror segments of its future James Webb Space Telescope into a cryogenic test facility that will freeze the mirrors to -414 degrees Fahrenheit (~25 K). Specifically, NASA will freeze six of the 18 Webb telescope mirror segments at the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility, or XRCF, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in a test to ensure the critical mirrors can withstand the extreme space environments. All 18 segments will eventually be tested at the site. The test chamber takes approximately five days to cool a mirror segment to cryogenic temperatures."
Input Devices

Details On Natal's Motion Capture Technology 121

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the do-a-little-dance dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following yesterday's announcement of a late 2010 launch date for Natal, more details are emerging on exactly how Natal works. Alex Kipman, the project's lead developer, explains that Natal uses only 10-15% of the Xbox's resources to calibrate to a new player inside 160 milliseconds, track one or two players simultaneously, and use rudimentary knowledge of body anatomy to estimate where hands or other body parts are even when they can't be seen by Natal — for instance when they are held behind the back."
Transportation

World's First Production Hybrid Motorcycle To Hit Market In India 128

Posted by timothy
from the so-finish-shopping-quickly dept.
bluemanlines writes "The Indian company Eko Vehicles has announced the development of the world's first production hybrid motorcycle, called the ET-120. In a short time this motorcycle will run on the Indian streets, offering about 280 miles per gallon with a top speed of 40 miles per hour."

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