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Earth

$1 Billion Mission To Reach the Earth's Mantle 267

black6host writes "Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet. This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth's mantle — a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet — and bring back the first ever fresh samples."
Medicine

FCC OKs On-Body Medical Networks 41

itwbennett writes "On Wednesday the FCC approved the use of medical micropower networks (MMNs) in four blocks of the 400MHz spectrum band despite opposition from broadcast engineers who say they are concerned about interference. MMNs can be used to bypass areas of the nervous system that have been impaired by strokes or spinal cord or brain injuries."
Medicine

Robot With Knives Used In Robotics Injury Study 132

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE Spectrum reports that German researchers, seeking to find out what would happen if a robot handling a sharp tool accidentally struck a human, set out to perform a series of cutting, stabbing, and puncturing tests. They used a robotic manipulator arm, fitted with various sharp tools (kitchen knife, scalpel, screwdriver) and performed striking tests at a block of silicone, a pig leg, and at one point, even the arm of a human volunteer. Volunteer, really?! The story includes video of the tests."
Biotech

Bacteria Found Alive In Ice 120,000 Years Old 326

FiReaNGeL notes research presented this morning at Penn State on the discovery of a new, ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. From the psu.edu announcement: "The microorganism's ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system. This new species is among the ubiquitous, yet mysterious, ultra-small bacteria, which are so tiny that they are able to pass through microbiological filters. Called Chryseobacterium greenlandensis, the species is related genetically to certain bacteria found in fish, marine mud, and the roots of some plants."

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