NASA Plans Europa Mission To Search For Life

Image

As we wrote two years ago, Jupiter’s moon Europa may actually be the best place in our solar system to seek out extraterrestrial life. It’s largely believed that the moon has an entire underwater ecosystem, ripe with the sort of conditions needed to support life, even if only on a bacterial level. A mission several years ago had been denied due to under funding, but renewed pushes seem to have been effective in swaying the minds that hold the money. So why should we detour money from the planned Mars mission and funnel it into this pipe-dream? For starters, it’s… read more

Stronger Than Metal — Spider Silk Nears Debut

image

There aren’t a ton of elements with properties stronger than metal, so prepare to meet an unlikely competitor in the market — spider silk. You probably wouldn’t expect to see spider silk on the list of future replacements for metal, and you wouldn’t be alone in your disbelief. It’s a relatively new concept, but one that has many lasting and important meanings for the manufacturing world. Spider silk is naturally resilient, and 25 times stronger than steel. It’s extremely difficult to farm spiders, though, which is why it’s taken researchers so long to reach this milestone in their journey to… read more

3D Printing Gets Even More Intricate

3D Printing Gets Even More Intricate

The world of 3D printing has taken off, and one area that has seen an increase in the details and variety is with furniture and even larger products. One newer 3D printer allows plastic materials to be printed however; a process called fused deposition modeling (FDM) also makes it capable of utilizing blends of wood fibers, nylons and even polymers. Called the BigRep One, it is making quite a buzz in the ever developing printing arena. First shown at a 3D print showing in New York, it is now available on the consumer market. For a suggested retail price tag… read more

Transforming Skin Cells Into Liver Cells

Image

The technology has existed for a while now to grow certain organs in a lab to be used as replacements for organs in which finding a donor may be difficult. Those organs, however, were never complete copies — they were merely close replicas. Now, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco had announced that they’ve discovered a way to create fully mature liver cells. The organs have only been tested in lab animals whose bodies have been modified to imitate liver failure, but the tests showed that the liver cells were able to thrive on their own without… read more

A Paper Strip That Detects Cancer In Urine Samples

Image

The field of modern medicine is a constantly evolving machine — from the “Dark Ages” of healthcare practices just a century ago (where the flu killed way more humans than it ever should have), to the pedestal we currently stand on today. We’ve finally become rationally concerned with the health status of our bodies. Sure, obesity is a major topic for many nations across the world, but despite what you hear on CNN, obesity rates are actually in decline. A new tool in the fight against misdiagnosing illnesses is the Scanadu Scout, also known as a “Real-Life Tricorder“. Developed and… read more

People Power, Literally

Unplugged Desk

Have you ever wondered what your workspace will look like in the future? The electronic devices at your desk may not be powered by solar energy or other technology. You may become the source of power for your workspace. The thesis project of a Swedish student Eddi Törnberg, titled “Unplugged”, is looking at how to make use of the energy generated by millions of people as they sit and work in the office. It is inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowes quote “Human nature is above all things lazy” so Tornberg has looked at how to ensure all your movements and daily activities are not going to waste,… read more

Scientists Create A Trap For Cancer Cells

Image

Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a sort of “Pied Piper” for cancerous cells. Rather than rely on modern means of killing cancer cells (all of which rarely guarantee results), this method lures cancer cells to their death site. The treatment creates artificial pathways for the cancer cells to travel, which routes them to an easy-to-access area of the body for surgery, or perhaps to a cancer-killing drug. The researchers stress that it will likely be years before this treatment becomes widely available, though this is a major first step in creating a breakthrough cancer treatment. Ravi Bellamkonda, lead investigator… read more

Beatrix*JAR Mixes Music, Recycling and Good Vibes

Beatrix*JAR Mixes Music, Recycling and Good Vibes

Capturing and creating sounds, Beatrix*JAR is a band comprised of 2 interesting musical artists. Bianca Pettis, also known as Beatrix, and Jacob Aaron Roske, or JAR, have combined music and recycling to come up with an inventive collection of sounds turned into songs. The sound performance artists collect and customize recycled children’s toys and musical instruments and turn them into circuit bent mechanisms that produce unique sounds. Circuit bending is the process of altering the circuit board system of a battery operated instrument or keyboard, causing it to emit various experimental sounds. In addition to live concerts, they offer workshops… read more

What’s Next For Sochi?

Image

The Olympics are finally over. Maybe your countries athletes performed admirably, or perhaps they didn’t quite live up to expectations. Whatever the case, Russia now has some major cleaning up to do. You may have heard about their trashing of villages near the construction of the Olympic Stadium. Nobody really reacted to this news like they did upon hearing how China was displacing homeless people in anticipation of the 2008 Summer Olympics. This should concern you. While “politics as usual” is nothing new, especially when it comes to environmental politics, this is a clear cut example of letting things slip… read more

Five Technologies We’ll See In The Next 10 Years

Image

Step aside, solar power and 3D-printing — there are a few technologies who want a say in what the future might look like. Many researchers don’t expect 3D-printing to reach its full potential for the next 15 – 20 years, but we’ve started making major progress on how we manufacture things, and solar power has been around for decades. So what are the “next big things” you haven’t heard of yet? Here are five amazing technologies that’ll soon become as common as smartphones: 1. 4D-Printing It’s not 2D…it’s not even 3D…it’s the ultra amazing, super cool 4D! You’re probably thinking… read more