Posts

October 24, 2014

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4:48 PM | How To Fast-Track An Ebola Vaccine
A Doctor Prepares a Measles Vaccine in Guinea, 2014 Photo by UNICEF Guinea on Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0 The World Health Organization said it will have Ebola vaccines ready to give to hundreds of thousands of West Africans by the middle of next year, Reuters reports. Right now, there's no approved vaccine for Ebola. Researchers worked on vaccines before, but trials stalled because the disease is rare and because it mostly afflicts poor countries, so companies haven't been […]
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3:45 PM | DIY: How To Light Up Your Bike Wheels [Video]
http://cf.c.ooyala.com/Rkdjd4cDq4DsP-PpgNX4-ZL4BdVibaeo/3Gduepif0T1UGY8H... Please enable Javascript to watch this video As the winter months approach, darkness is falling earlier and earlier. Do not bike gentle into that good night! By spending a few hours tinkering with LEDs, you can outfit your dull wheels with hypnotically glowing rings. Some kits on the market use customizable circuit boards to form animations as the wheel spins. Wiring your wheel to display a […]
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2:05 PM | Enter Popular Science's 2015 Invention Awards
With the rise of open-source software and hardware, 3-D printing, and crowdfunding, it’s easier than ever to be a maker. Over the past year, some inventors have created potentially world-changing projects. Popular Science wants to celebrate these amazing builders, tinkerers, and DIY enthusiasts. That’s why we’re featuring them in our annual Invention Awards issue. And to find the best of the best, we need you to submit your amazing creations. We want to know […]
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1:35 PM | Soon You Could Send A Text Or Call A Car With A Click Of Your Heels
Ruby slippers Alyssa L. Miller In the future, getting out of a sticky situation might be as easy as clicking your heels together. Design firm iStrategyLabs just unveiled a prototype system called Dorothy (yeah, that Dorothy) that will fasten to people’s shoes, allowing them to click their heels and end up safely back home in Kansas.  Well, kind of. Here's how it works: the Dorothy prototype is actually two parts, a small bluetooth capable gadget called […]
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1:09 PM | These Real-Life Alien Worlds Could Become Humanity's New Home In 'Interstellar'
Artist's conception of exoplanet Gliese 667 Cc's surface. ESO/L. Calçada In the upcoming film, Interstellar, a group of heroes blasts off from a dying Earth to search for a new home for humanity. For reasons that aren’t explained in the trailer, the solar system (including Mars) apparently cannot help. Instead, the extraplanetary explorers must seek out Earth 2.0 in another star system. “There are twelve potentially habitable worlds within our reach,” […]

October 23, 2014

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10:30 PM | Why Liberia Needs Help NOW To Prevent 98,000 Ebola Cases
Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria. CDC Global via Flickr CC By 2.0 The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is growing exponentially. The latest reports suggest that at least 9,915 people have been infected, and 4,555 have died. And this is just the beginning. Previously, the CDC estimated that a startling 1.4 million West Africans could be infected by January.   The outbreak is already considered to be out of control, and according to a paper published today in The Lancet […]
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8:30 PM | Can Robots Help Fight Ebola?
Helping Hand Takao Someya Group/University of Tokyo Engineers make disaster-response robots precisely because robots are able to work in situations that are too dangerous for humans. Now the humans have got a new idea: Perhaps robots could carry off waste from Ebola patients, or bury the bodies of people who have died from Ebola in West Africa. Roboticizing such tasks would keep people from having to touch bodies when they're most infectious. Working with the White […]
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7:23 PM | First Privately Funded Moon Mission Launched Today
To The Moon davejdoe vis Flickr CC by 2.0 The first privately funded lunar mission launched today. The mission involves sending a 31-pound spacecraft called 4M, fitted with an antenna, small computer, and radiation sensor, on a Chinese rocket to Earth's satellite. Funded by private company LuxSpace, the craft will fly by the moon transmitting a signal back to Earth that can be picked up by amateur radio enthusiasts. The project is hitchhiking on a Chinese […]
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6:01 PM | New Microscope Makes Gorgeous 3-D Movies Of Living Cells
Protist T. thermophila, Imaged with a Lattice Light-Sheet Microscope Click here to enlarge. Betzig Lab, HHMI There's a new microscope in town and the images it produces are stunning. An international team of engineers and biologists is announcing it's made a microscope that's able to see phenomena such as single proteins diffusing through thickly-packed cells, and the movement of the fibers that pull cells apart when they divide. Everything remains alive […]
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5:23 PM | Scientists Retract Research On Dr. Oz-Endorsed Weight Loss Pill
Mehmet Oz Screenshot from doctoroz.com The scientists who published sham research on a useless weight loss supplement once called a "miracle pill" on the Dr. Oz Show have retracted their study. Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the daytime medical show, is an Ivy League-trained heart surgeon who rocketed to fame through the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey. Oz is considered one of the most influential celebrities in America, according to Forbes, and he uses his […]
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4:00 PM | Autonomous Cars May Change Our Lives In Unexpected Ways
One of the test vehicles for Google's Self-Driving Car project.   In the future, we may not be dealing with the hassles and frustrations that come with driving cars everyday. Autonomous automobiles can make our lives better! But are cars that drive by themselves all that it's cracked up to be? The advertising agency Sparks & Honey has compiled a mess of data and research on autonomous cars into a report entitled "Driving Disrupted: Driverless Cars Change Everything." Besides the […]
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3:00 PM | Throwback Thursday: Phrenology, Forks, And How To Live Forever
October 1889 Header Popular Science As a magazine with 142 years of history, Popular Science sits on a treasure trove of vintage illustrations, perceptive predictions, obsolete technologies, essays by Nobel prize-winning scientists, and some seriously awkward advertisements. That's why we're using Throwback Thursdays as an excuse to dust off those back issues and share their stories with you. This week we dug way back, 125 years, to October 1889. Something Out Of Nothing […]
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2:00 PM | Seeking The Black Hole At The Center Of Our Galaxy
ALMA Probes The Sky courtesy Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution) The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) probes the sky for radio waves from the Milky Way (shown here) and beyond. But even ALMA can't see the supermassive black hole shrouded in ionized gas at our galaxy's center, Sagittarius A*. "Any images we make are fuzzy, as though you're looking at a small light through frosted glass," says Shep Doeleman of the Harvard-Smithsonian […]
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12:57 PM | The Surprising Science Behind The Movie 'Interstellar'
Interstellar Syncopy/Paramont Pictures Asking a team of journalists to rally around a science fiction movie might sound ludicrous. Yet some combination of boundless vision, relaxing of natural laws, and enthralling story can prompt even the most disciplined Popular Science employee to daydream at his or her desk. To us, science fiction is a lens through which we can explore our place and future in the universe. So when we found out director Christopher Nolan was […]

October 22, 2014

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10:00 PM | Sandia Labs Reveals New Sniper Sight [Video]
U.S. Special Forces Demonstrate RAZAR Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories In the tense moments of a long-range gun battle, unnecessary movements can give away a combatant's position, cause them to lose sight of the enemy, and possibly lead to fatalities. For America’s special forces, Sandia National Laboratories has developed a new sniper scope that, with the press of a button, adjusts focus. Called Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR), the lens has […]
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9:15 PM | Coming Soon To A Coast Near You: Vertical Tsunami Shelters
TCF Architecture via GSA What do you do in a tsunami? For people living in areas prone to tsunamis, the advice is simple: get to higher ground as fast as possible. But for one town in Washington, safety will soon be as close as the local elementary school. The artist rendering above might look like an average school building, but it has a second purpose. When it is finished next year, the building in Grays Harbor County, Washington, will be the first vertical tsunami evacuation […]
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8:30 PM | Audi Claims Self-Driving Car Set Speed Record At 149 MPH
A 2014 Audi RS7 According to Audi, a driverless version of this car set a driverless speed record. Sarah Larson, via Wikimedia Commons A major selling point of self-driving cars is what they remove from the road: human error, driver exhaustion, distracted driving because someone has to keep reminding the urchins in the backseat that "No, we’re not there yet, and if you keep asking I'm pulling the car over right now." Less attention has been paid to the new […]
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7:30 PM | New Fabric Softener Tech Promises Clothes That Never Stain
A Sofft Marketing Image Sofft Detergent, prepare to be disrupted. The makers of a new fabric softener, Sofft, say they want our clothes to join us in the fight against stink and stains. While mixing with your clothes in the washing machine, Sofft coats organic and plastic fibers in a thin protective layer of hydrophobic molecules. These chemicals cause common stains like oil and juice to slide right off clothes (at least, that's how it seems in their […]
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6:48 PM | Two Families Of Exocomets Found Circling A Nearby Star
Exocomets Around Beta Pictoris An artist's impression of the two families of exocomets surrounding Beta Pictoris ESO/L. Calçada About 63 light years from our Sun, you’ll find a relatively young star called Beta Pictoris. A mere 20 million years old, Beta Pictoris is surrounded by a very active and eclectic mix of objects – including clouds of gas and dust, as well as a plethora of orbiting comets. Now researchers are learning a little bit more […]
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5:24 PM | Sorry, Cat Haters, Science Isn't On Your Side
"Unfeeling" Cats Jetske via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Some people just don't like cats. That's okay. Some people don't like pizza. Or dogs. Or Harry Potter. But some cat-haters aren't satisfied with not owning cats themselves. They need to drag the rest of us down with them. "Those who hate the cat hate him with a malignity which, I think, only snakes in the animal kingdom provoke to an equal degree." The first thing you notice when you dig around in the seedy underworld of […]
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4:00 PM | Stegosauruses Were Champion Fighters With Their Spiked Tails
Kabacchi via Flickr With it’s teeny-tiny head and massive spiked tail, the Stegosaurus is instantly identifiable to dinosaur fans. But to predators like the Allosaurus, the Stegosaurus would have been identifiable as lunch.  Unfortunately for the Allosaurus, it turns out that those spikes on the Stegosaurus tail weren’t just for show. Even with a powerful tail, Stegosauruses were assumed to be fairly slow and lumbering, and none too bright, with a brain the […]
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3:00 PM | With Xbox One, You'll Never Watch TV Alone
Live stream Xbox One users will be able to see tweets with hashtags related to the shows they’re watching. Microsoft. We've all done it: you watch the star of your favorite television show do something stupid in the new episode and you can't stop yourself from shouting at the screen, "Come on! She wouldn't do that!" Well, Microsoft is providing an easy way to really get that message out there. In Xbox One’s newest software updates, which roll out in […]
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2:00 PM | Moon Robot Will Broadcast In Virtual-Reality Video
Virtual Rover Andy will send 3-D video back to Earth, which will be experienced through the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Astrobotic A team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon have built a robot that will send video from the moon to the Earth. And the robot will be controlled by the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, with the 3-D camera on the robot turning to match the head movements of the user. "The vision was simple -- let anyone on Earth experience the […]

October 21, 2014

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9:31 PM | Smart Ice Skate Measures Force Of Intense Triple Axels
Ryosuke Yagi via Flickr Of sports played on ice, hockey tends to get the most attention when it comes to injuries. But figure skaters are also pretty injury-prone, and because of the aesthetic nature of their sport, most figure skaters eschew pads and protective gear while on the ice. This means avoiding injuries can be difficult for practitioners of the sport, in which skaters can exert forces of more than six times their body weight during a […]
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8:19 PM | A Genetic Mutation Renders One Family Unable To Sweat
The Importance Of Sweat Flickr CC by 2.0 In Pakistan, there lives a family of five with a unique – and tragic – condition. Several of their children cannot sweat. It’s an extremely rare disorder called anhidrosis, and while it may seem like a nice trait to have, the ability to sweat is crucial for regulating body temperature. In order to remain cool, the kids spend their days in their house’s cellar, because in daylight, they’d overheat and go […]
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6:50 PM | Does Slacktivism Really Drive Science Forward?
Copper DK Images/Getty Images Social media has spawned the slacker-activist, someone who supports a cause through an audacious public display that actually requires very little effort. This summer, the #IceBucketChallenge clogged newsfeeds with videos of folks dumping ice water on their heads instead of (or often in addition to) donating to the ALS Association. In a single month, the nonprofit collected more than $100 million--36 times what it had raised the previous August--to […]
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5:40 PM | Injection Of Brain Nerve Cells Into Spine Help Paralyzed Man Walk Again
David Nicholls (left) and his son Dan, who is paralyzed. The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation provided funding for the research. Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif) Four years ago, Darek Fidyka was stabbed in the back , leaving his spinal cord severed, and his body from the chest down paralyzed. Now, after an experimental treatment, Fidyka has regained some feeling in his lower body and is learning to walk again.  The treatment, developed by researchers in the UK […]
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4:55 PM | Man In Japan Arrested For 3-D Printing Revolvers
ZigZag Revolver Unassembled Screenshot, "3D Printed Guns First in the world 3D Zig Zag Revolver Made in Japan" When the first working gun was 3-D printed in the United States, the government responded not through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, but instead through the State Department. Guns, it turns out, aren’t terribly hard to get in the United States, so a 3-D printed gun doesn’t radically change gun access here. In countries with stricter gun […]
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3:00 PM | Jet Lagged Gut Bacteria Could Contribute to Obesity
tiegeltuf via Flickr After crossing multiple time zones it can feel like your entire body is worn out. And it turns out, that’s true, even down to the bacteria in your gut. In a study published last week in the journal Cell, researchers found that in both humans and mice, the gut microbiome was affected by changes to the test subjects' biological clocks.  The human subjects went on a trip from the U.S. to Israel -- an eight- to ten-hour time zone […]
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2:00 PM | Will Your Next Best Friend Be A Robot?
Pepper Pepper, Japan's first affordable social robot, goes on sale in February. It can read emotions and will be a platform for new apps. Courtesy Softbank The Japanese crowd sits hushed and somber as the character on stage turns away from his co-star, an actress seated on the floor in front of a small table. He lowers his head, then turns to face the audience with a look that is both blank and inscrutable, yet somehow conveys a profound sense of alarm. […]
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