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Monthly Archives: September 2015

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See This Delicate Jellyfish 3D Printed in Self-Healing Gel

You can print wild designs using a 3D printer—shapes you couldn’t make any other way. But 3D printing is also still in thrall to the laws of physics. To date, 3D printed structures made in...

What Water on Mars Means for the Future of Space Exploration

Geomorphologist Lujendra Ojha of Georgia Tech first noticed strange streaks on Mars in 2011. They appeared on the walls of craters — dark, downhill smears that appeared and then disappeared. He and colleagues watched...

A Genomics Revolution: Evolution by Natural Selection to Evolution by Intelligent Direction

Humanity is moving from evolution by natural selection (Darwinism) to evolution by intelligent direction. For most of human history, our average age was only about 26 years old. We would procreate at age 13, live just...
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A Helper Robot Reveals the Near Future in This Beautiful Short Film

In Courtney Marsh’s short film ZARI a bullet-shaped helper robot trundles about doing chores. Its smooth white-on-black design is vaguely Apple-inspired; its interactions are Siri plus a few years. The film’s pace is deliberate and...

A Key Moment In Kenya: What Ed Tech Can Learn From the GMO Backlash

A trailblazing educational technology initiative backed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the World Bank has been stopped in its tracks by the government of Kenya. When it launched in 2009, Bridge International Academies served...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Sep 26)

ROBOTICS: Rethink Robotics' Sawyer Goes on Sale, Rodney Brooks Says 'There May Be More Robots' Erico Guizzo | IEEE Spectrum "Sawyer can perform tasks that require 0.1 millimeters of tolerance, much better than what Baxter can do. Both...

Brain-Controlling Sound Waves Used to Steer Genetically Modified Worms

Move over optogenetics, there’s a new cool mind-bending tool in town. A group of scientists, led by Dr. Sreekanth Chalasani at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, discovered a new way to control neurons using...

Learning to Speak Robot: The Mainstreaming of Robotics

Five years ago, industrial robotics was an elitist field. The hardware was expensive and often dangerous for humans to work around. Worse, the only folks who could really play with that hardware were the...

Watch These Drones Build a Rope Bridge—and Intrepid Researchers Walk Over It

Earlier this year, we wrote about a project to 3D print a bridge in Amsterdam. Said printer will move along a set of (self-printed) tracks, leaving a fully formed bridge in its wake. Now, machine...
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Watch: What Is Consciousness? We Now Have the Tools to Find Out

The question of consciousness is as old as philosophy. And while the exact nature of human consciousness is exceedingly difficult to pin down—that doesn’t stop us from trying. It's a puzzle that's preoccupied the world’s greatest...

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will...

Meet the Mind-Controlling Algae Protein That Could Cure Blindness

It sounds completely crazy: as early as next year, using gene therapy scientists hope to restore sight in the blind by giving their eyes additional “light sensors.” We’re not talking about bionic eyes: instead of...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Sep 19)

ROBOTICS: Seek-and-destroy robot to stop starfish killing the Great Barrier Reef Michelle Starr | CNET “Called the COTSbot (Crown-of-Thorns Starfish robot), it's designed to autonomously patrol and monitor the reefs without a tether, using robotic vision to find...
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Take a Deep Dive into the Brain with This Week’s Episode of Ask an Expert [Video]

When will we understand the brain? In an era of scientific progress and emerging technologies, one would think that we were on the cusp of finally answering this age-old question. Not so fast. Understanding the anatomical structures and physiological functions...

It’s On! Giant Robot Duel Kickstarted—Time to Build a Sweet Mecha

To call MegaBots audacious is a bit of an understatement. Not too long ago, the robotics company challenged Japan to a giant robot duel. Sure, it was cheeky to wear aviators and drape an American flag...

This Robotic Hand Wired to a Brain Implant Restored a Paralyzed Man’s Sense of Touch

In the last few years, experimental robotic limbs have made great advances, promising people who are paralyzed or have lost a limb the return of some sorely missed freedom. In 2012, a man with one...

How VR and AR Will Reinvent Consumer Electronics, Education, and Retail

We live in an age of disruption — industries will be transformed. This post (part 2 of 3) is a quick look at three multibillion-dollar industries (consumer electronics, education, retail) that are ripe for disruption this decade...

Why We Should Embrace — Not Fear — the Biohacker Uprising

Dr. Steve Kurtz was making arrangements for his wife Hope’s funeral when the FBI burst in. Kurtz, a professor of arts at the New York State University, was detained and interrogated for 22 hours as...

We Can Rebuild Him: Patient Receives 3D Printed Titanium Ribs and Sternum

It’s a bit like a Marvel superhero comic or a 70s sci-fi TV show—only it actually just happened. After having his sternum and several ribs surgically removed, a Spanish cancer patient took delivery of...
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What Will ‘Drag and Drop’ Gene Editing Do for You? Find Out on Ask an Expert [Video]

Biotechnology is moving blindingly fast: From $1,000 human genome sequencing to CRISPR gene editing, we're approaching an era when scientists can edit and rewrite the source code of life. Physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson...

Watch MIT’s Breakthrough 3D Printer Pour Molten Glass Like Honey

Glass and visions of the future go hand in hand. Towering skylines of glass and steel evoke a sense of progress like nothing else. And yet, the technology itself is ancient, and how we work...

Gene Editing Is Now Cheap and Easy—and No One Is Prepared for the Consequences

In April 2015, a paper by Chinese scientists about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo rocked the scientific world and set off a furious debate. Leading scientists warned that altering...

The 3 Major Industries AI and Big Data Will Reshape This Decade

We live in an age of disruption — and that's a good thing. Industries will be transformed. Major companies will fall. Old systems will collapse as entrepreneurs figure out how to optimize and reinvent inefficient businesses, products,...

Gene Therapy May Be Our Newest — and Most Effective — Weapon Against Alzheimer’s Disease

In 2001, a team of neurologists at UC San Diego began testing a highly experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The process sounds far more sci-fi than science: Using tiny pieces of skin taken from the...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Sep 5)

ROBOTICS: Let's Treat Robots Like Yo-Yo Ma's Cello -- as an Instrument for Human Intelligence Nicholas Agar | The World Post "Our own human complexity suggests that there is plenty of scope for humans assisted by digital...

Is Technology Unnatural—Or Is It ‘What Makes Us Human’?

Beavers dam rivers; birds build nests; chimpanzees use sticks to fish for ants or termites. Nature at its best. But when humans build dams or use tools to feed ourselves, our creations, though admittedly...
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Would You Take a One-Way Trip to Space? Anousheh Ansari Responds on Ask an Expert [Video]

Watch just about any science fiction movie and the allure of space is mesmerizing. It's open, seemingly infinite, and full of unknowns. It is the final frontier. But would you be willing to venture off to explore space...

What Has Science Ever Done for Us? ‘The Knowledge Wars’ Reviewed

The deadbeat boyfriend at the centre of Janet Jackson’s 1986 hit What Have You Done For Me Lately used to take Janet out to dinner almost every night. He used to do a lot...

Put Down the Textbook: How VR Is Reimagining Classroom Education

We’ve spent the last month investigating many angles within virtual reality—from its implications on the web, to how VR can create peak emotional experiences on demand, to discussing whether it is okay if we...

Question Everything: Your Company’s Biggest Problems Are Its Biggest Opportunities

The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities. This also holds true for you. This post is a fun formula for fixing your problems while at the same time creating incredibly powerful startups. Advice to CEOs...

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