Plastics are great. They can take any shape and serve an endless variety of roles. But... the beginning and end of a plastic’s life are problematic. While some plastics are made from renewable agricultural products, most are derived from petroleum. Plastics are not as easy to recycle as we'd like, and a huge percentage ends up in landfills (or the ocean), where they can be virtually immortal.
Getting an organ transplant isn't simple. There simply aren't enough organs available to accommodate everyone who needs one. In the US alone, there are over 121,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list, and an average of 22 people die every day due to lack of available transplant organs.
For heart patients, an amazing new technology has just been proven able to keep patients alive until that crucial organ becomes available. Stan Larkin, now 25, has just received a heart transplant after living for 17 months on an external total artificial heart.
A chunk of meat that bursts open once eaten and unleashes a robot that crawls around inside of your stomach sounds like something from a horror movie. But the real-life stomach-roaming meat robot actually means no harm—on the contrary, it was designed to doctor your stomach troubles from the inside.
NASA has released 56 of its previously patented technologies to the public domain for unrestricted commercial use. The released patents are completely free to use and don't require any licensing agreements with the US space agency.
"These technologies were developed to advance NASA missions but may have non-aerospace applications and be used by commercial space ventures and other companies free of charge, eliminating the time, expense and paperwork often associated with licensing intellectual property," NASA's Gina Anderson said in a statement.
It is one thing to observe the periodic dimming of a star’s light, as NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has done for thousands of planet “candidates” since its launch in 2009. However, to confirm that such dimmings are in fact due to a planet passing in front of a star, as opposed to any number of false positives such as a binary star companion, requires intensive follow-up work with ground-based instruments, most often a measurement of radial velocity to determine the object’s mass.
Imagine a battery that could be recharged for decades. No more getting rid of cell phones because of waning battery life. No more landfills filled with lithium ion batteries.
This is one step closer to reality, thanks to work by researchers from the University of California at Irvine.
Since Galileo first discovered the moons of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, telescopes have gotten larger, more accurate, and more powerful. They're now installed all around the world from mountaintop observatories to suburban backyards. And over those 350 years, all of them have battled the same enemy: our Earth’s atmosphere.
Two mathematicians have uncovered a simple, previously unnoticed property of prime numbers—those numbers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves. Prime numbers, it seems, have decided preferences about the final digits of the primes that immediately follow them.
Several evenings a week, after a day’s work at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, Sergey Brin drives up the road to a local pool. There, he changes into swim trunks, steps out on a 3-meter springboard, looks at the water below, and dives.
Huddled in a coffee shop one drizzly Seattle morning six years ago, the astrobiologist Shawn Domagal-Goldman stared blankly at his laptop screen, paralyzed. He had been running a simulation of an evolving planet, when suddenly oxygen started accumulating in the virtual planet’s atmosphere. Up the concentration ticked, from 0 to 5 to 10 percent.
“Is something wrong?” his wife asked.
The rise of oxygen was bad news for the search for extraterrestrial life.