Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans of up to two feet.
There are more than 5,000 known species of dragonflies, all of which (along with damselflies) belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the dragonfly’s serrated teeth.
In their larval stage, which can last up to two years, dragonflies are aquatic and eat just about anything—tadpoles, mosquitoes, fish, other insect larvae and even each other.At the end of its larval stage, the dragonfly crawls out of the water, then its exoskeleton cracks open and releases the insect’s abdomen, which had been packed in like a telescope. Its four wings come out, and they dry and harden over the next several hours to days.
Dragonflies are expert fliers. They can fly straight up and down, hover like a helicopter and even mate mid-air. If they can’t fly, they’ll starve because they only eat prey they catch while flying. Dragonflies catch their insect prey by grabbing it with their feet. They’re so efficient in their hunting that, in one Harvard University study, the dragonflies caught 90 to 95 percent of the prey released into their enclosure.
Nearly all of the dragonfly’s head is eye, so they have incredible vision that encompasses almost every angle except right behind them. Each compound eye contains as many as 30,000 lenses, or ommatidia.
Forced to follow the rains that replenish their breeding sites, the globe skimmer set a new insect world record when a biologist documented its 11,000 mile trip between India and Africa.
How Two Makers Built A Customizable New Prosthetic Hand For $150 And Changed A Boy's Life
With 10,000 miles separating them, two makers designed and built a customizable 3-D-printed prosthetic hand for a 5-year old boy named Liam in South Africa for $150 in parts. No power necessary.
The idea for Liam's hand started out as Rich Van As's nightmare accident. When Van As, an artisan carpenter, chopped off four of his fingers with a table saw, he vowed to get mechanical replacements. So Van As, in South Africa, researched for months. But only found the X-finger, which costs thousands of dollars. That's when Van As stumbled on a YouTube video of a velociraptor-like claw made by Ivan Owen, a mechanical special effects artist in Bellingham, WA. Van As tried to replicate the design, but soon realized he needed Owen to "lend me a hand." And the two swapped ideas over email, a blog, Skype sessions, and finally in person at Van As's workshop in South Africa over four days in November, 2012.
There are other open source prosthetic ideas, but none quite as developed. The result is a way to blend low-tech mechanics and fast prototyping with 46 parts — sixteen 3-D-printed pieces, 28 off the shelf (which included nylon cord, nuts and bolts, elastic, and rubber thimbles). The 3-D parts were made possible by Makerbot, which donated two 3-D printers, one each for Van As and Owen so they could swap CAD files as they refined the designs.
And that’s how Van As and Owen gave Liam, who was born without fingers on one side, a new right hand in January on Liam’s birthday. Liam can hold a basketball, and even pick up small things like coins by activating his new lightweight hand with a bend of his wrist. The duo wants to raise funds to further develop the Robohand. Owen said the strength of the plastic exceeds human exertion, which means Liam can grow into the Robohand, which in turn can scale larger.
Fold a Paper R2-D2 and Other Awesome Star Wars Origami
Martin Hunt was studying math at Southampton University when he decided to start designing origami Star Wars vessels. He became obsessed with the X-wing, and then quickly moved on to other ships and droids — lots of others. He's now got more than 20 creations from the franchise on his website, starwarigami.co.uk, and a list of 83 more for future designs. He attributes some of his proficiency to his math degree, saying origami isn't just art, it's also science.
"The rules of what you can do with a single square of paper are fixed," he says. "It's not just a case of putting brush to paper and letting your imagination run riot."
Hunt is taking his creations to the wider world. In October, he exhibited some large-scale versions at the London MCM Expo and Comic Con, and he's seeking a publisher for a book. But he's sharing some of his designs already, through his website and on YouTube. He's not the only one out there doing it — Chris Alexander of starwarsorigami.com just released a book — but Hunt's designs veer toward the more complicated and intricate. He recommends them for intermediate to advanced origami artists, but that didn't stop us from trying our inept hands at the Naboo Starfighter.
The chemistry of the ocean is changing. Most climate change discussion focuses on the warmth of the air, but around one-quarter of the carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean. Dissolved carbon dioxide makes seawater more acidic—a process called ocean acidification—and its effects have already been observed: the shells of sea butterflies, also known as pteropods, have begun dissolving in the Antarctic.
Tiny sea butterflies are related to snails, but use their muscular foot to swim in the water instead of creep along a surface. Many species have thin, hard shells made of calcium carbonate that are especially sensitive to changes in the ocean’s acidity. Their sensitivity and cosmopolitan nature make them an alluring study group for scientists who want to better understand how acidification will affect ocean organisms. But some pteropod species are proving to do just fine in more acidic water, while others have shells that dissolve quickly. So why do some species perish while others thrive?
It’s a hard question to answer when scientists can hardly tell pteropod species apart in the first place. The cone-shaped pteropod shown here is in a group of shelled sea butterflies called thecosomes, from the Greek for “encased body.” There are two other groups: the pseudothecosomes have gelatinous shells, and the gymnosomes (“naked body”) have none at all. Within these groups it can be hard to tell who’s who, especially when relying on looks alone. Scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are using genetics to uncover the differences among the species.
Move over farmers: soon a swarm of robots could take over all the hard labour. A new robot developed by David Dorhout and colleagues from Dorhout R&D is designed to plant seeds in a field while coordinating with a gang of other robotic farmhands.
In this video, you can see the prototype in action. The robot can walk in any direction while avoiding obstacles, using a sensor underneath its body to detect where seeds have already been planted. Once it finds an untouched patch, it drills a hole in the ground and releases a seed, triggering an electronic eye that guides the planting.
The robot's communication system is inspired by the way ants self-organise. When an ant finds a food source, it releases a pheromone that attracts other ants. In a similar way, a robot can beam out an infrared signal to recruit help, overriding the random movement of the swarm and directing them to areas that need to be farmed. "There's no long-term memory, there's no centralised command and control: robots just follow simple rules from which complex behaviour arises," says Dorhout.
Whereas other automated systems are designed to replace people with electronics - tractors that drive themselves, for example - Dorhout's approach is to improve the farming process. By providing assistance, a robot swarm allows farmers to focus on the science and business side of their operation. "The farmer is like the shepherd that gives the robot instructions," says Dorhout. Robots are also able to transcend the limitations of farm equipment to maximise efficiency, for example by planting in a grid instead of rows.
Floating Wind Turbines That Produce Power Even When There's No Wind
Critics of wind power keep coming back to the same old complaint: what happens when there’s no wind? A new design from researchers at MIT could finally offer a solution to this renewable energy conundrum. Engineers have conceived of an offshore wind turbine anchored by hollow concrete spheres that could also turn seawater into electricity. The turbine would allow offshore wind farm managers to store excess energy for a time when there’s no wind.
The design would use massive concrete orbs (think: the diameter of the dome on the U.S. Capitol building) to anchor floating wind turbines to the ocean floor. When it’s particularly windy and the turbines produce more power than is needed, some of the energy could be diverted to a pump that would remove the water from the hollow sphere. Then, if there comes a time when power produced by the turbines is insufficient, water would be allowed to flow back into the sphere through a turbine attached to a generator, and the resulting electricity would be sent back to shore.
“One such 25-meter sphere in 400-meter-deep water could store up to 6 megawatt-hours of power, the MIT researchers have calculated; that means that 1,000 such spheres could supply as much power as a nuclear plant for several hours—enough to make them a reliable source of power,” reports David Chandler for PhysOrg.
)According to the researchers, the trick is finding the correct concrete wall thickness to withstand the hydrostatic pressure while also providing enough ballast mass – this will depend on the strength of the concrete used. The concrete could incorporate significant amounts of fly ash from coal-fired power plants, and the spheres could double as artificial coral reefs._
Tiny New Compound Camera Is Built Like a Bug’s Eye
Scientists have built a digital camera inspired by the compound eyes of insects like bees and flies. The camera’s hemispherical array of 180 microlenses gives it a 160 degree field of view and the ability to focus simultaneously on objects at different depths.
Human eyes, and virtually all cameras, use a single lens to focus light onto a light-sensitive tissue or material. That arrangement can produce high-resolution images, but compound eyes offer different advantages. They can provide a more panoramic view, for example, and remarkable depth perception.
The new artificial version, created by by John Rogers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and described today in Nature, could potentially be developed for use in security cameras or surgical endoscopes.
“The resolution is roughly equivalent to that of a fire ant or a bark beetle,” Rogers wrote in an email to Wired. “With manufacturing systems more like those in industry, and less like the academic, research setups that we are currently using, we feel that it is possible to get to the level of a dragonfly or beyond.”
Artificial Island Skyscraper to fight global warming
Ever wondered where would humans live if the ice stored in the various glaciers and in the Polar Regions melt due to global warming and vast land areas get submerged under water? Architect Aleksander Krasinski surely has. He has designed a floating habitable structure keeping the danger of global warming and climate change in mind.
The idea is to create an artificial island with adequate infrastructure to sustain human living. The structure would be 1000 meters in height and diameter. The building would be able to house 52,096 people in its 48 floors. It will have its own sea ports, an airport with the capability to land helicopters, office spaces, public areas, gardens, etc. The island would also establish itself as an independent nation with its own set of laws and its own government. That is why the tower would also house governmental and administrative centers. An inner atrium will act as the core for the center where most of the commercial and recreational areas will be located.
The airport will be located at a height of 100 meters and it would only be capable of handling only choppers. The average height of the residential floors would be around 6m. Visualized for the Persian Gulf in the United Arab Emirates, this tower could be ideal for Japan, Netherlands and the United States as well. According to the architect, the concept is an answer to rising sea water as well as high taxes. That’s why it would function as an independent state with a different set of rules and regulation for its people.
NASA buys blow-up habitat for space station astronauts
The US space agency has signed a $17.8-million contract with Bigelow Aerospace of Nevada to build an inflatable crew habitat for the ISS.
According to details released today at a press briefing , the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, will launch in 2015. Astronauts on the ISS will test the module for safety and comfort.
BEAM will fly uninflated inside the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon capsule. Once docked and fully expanded, the module will be 4 metres long and 3 metres wide. For two years astronauts will monitor conditions inside, such as temperature and radiation levels.
The company has made progress, developing shielding that resists punctures from space debris and micrometeorites. BEAM's skin, for instance, is made from layers of material like Kevlar to protect occupants from high-speed impacts. The craft's skin has been tested in the lab alongside shielding used right now on the rest of the ISS, says Bigelow director Mike Gold.
"Our envelope will not only equal but be superior to what is flying on the ISS today. We have a strong and absolute focus on safety," he says.
It's news chocolate lovers have been craving: raw cocoa may be packed with brain-boosting compounds. Researchers at the University of L'Aquila in Italy, with scientists from Mars, Inc., and their colleagues published findings last September that suggest cognitive function in the elderly is improved by ingesting high levels of natural compounds found in cocoa called flavanols.
Don't Binge on chocolate yet
A food's origin, processing, storage and preparation can each alter its chemical composition. As a result, it is nearly impossible to predict which flavanols—and how many—remain in your bonbon or cup of tea. Tragically for chocoholics, most methods of processing cocoa remove many of the flavanols found in the raw plant. Even dark chocolate, touted as the “healthy” option, can be treated such that the cocoa darkens while flavanols are stripped.
The Kuna Indians who live on the San Blas Islands off Panama drink an average of five cups of high-flavanol cocoa daily. The island population is also remarkable for extremely low rates of hypertension, unlike the Kuna on the mainland, who consume processed cocoa mix low in flavanols. Researchers, suspecting the island Kuna's staggering cocoa consumption might account for their superior health, began investigating the health effects of cocoa's raw compounds. This investigation led to the finding that (-)-epicatechin, one particularly abundant cocoa compound, supports circulation.
Aging giant sequoia trees are growing faster than ever, with some of the oldest and tallest trees producing more wood, on average, in old age than they did when they were younger. (Read about giant sequoias in National Geographic magazine.)
A 2,000-year-old giant sequoia is just cranking out wood, said Steve Sillett, a professor at Humboldt State University in California who has conducted recent research on the big trees.
Other long-lived trees like coast redwoods and Australia's Eucalyptus regnans also show an increase in wood production during old age, according to an article Sillett published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.
That may be because a tree's leaf area increases as its crown expands over a long life span. The leaves produce more sugars through photosynthesis, Sillett said, and these sugars build wood across a growing cambium, or the living surface separating bark and wood in trees.
"What we're finding," Sillett said, "is that the rate of wood production in some species doesn't slow down until a tree gets to the end of its lifetime."
Seahorse's Armor Gives Engineers Insight Into Robotics Design
The tail of a seahorse can be compressed to about half its size before permanent damage occurs, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found. The tail's exceptional flexibility is due to its structure, made up of bony, armored plates, which slide past each other. Researchers are hoping to use a similar structure to create a flexible robotic arm equipped with muscles made out of polymer, which could be used in medical devices, underwater exploration and unmanned bomb detection and detonation. UC San Diego engineers, led by materials science professors Joanna McKittrick and Marc Meyers, detailed their findings in the March 2013 issue of the journal Acta Biomaterialia.
McKittrick and Meyers had sought bioinsipiration by examining the armor of many other animals, including armadillo, alligators and the scales of various fish. This time, they were specifically looking for an animal that was flexible enough to develop a design for a robotic arm.
"The tail is the seahorse's lifeline," because it allows the animal to anchor itself to corals or seaweed and hide from predators, said Michael Porter, a Ph.D. student in materials science at the Jacobs School of Engineering. "But no one has looked at the seahorse's tail and bones as a source of armor."
The seahorse's tail is typically made up of 36 square-like segments, each composed of four L-shaped corner plates that progressively decrease in size along the length of the tail. Plates are free to glide or pivot. Gliding joints allow the bony plates to glide past one another. Pivoting joints are similar to a ball-and-socket joint, with three degrees of rotational freedom. The plates are connected to the vertebrae by thick collagen layers of connective tissue. The joints between plates and vertebrae are extremely flexible with nearly six degrees of freedom.
Article by Lisa Grossman Earth is constantly crashing through huge walls of dark matter, and we already have the tools to detect them. That's the conclusion of physicists who say the universe may be filled with a patchwork quilt of force fields created shortly after the big bang.
Observations of how mass clumps in space suggest that about 86 per cent of all matter is invisible dark matter, which interacts with ordinary matter mainly through gravity. The most popular theory is that dark matter is made of weakly interacting massive particles.
WIMPs should also interact with ordinary matter via the weak nuclear force, and their presence should have slight but measurable effects. However, years of searches for WIMPs have been coming up empty.
Pospelov and colleagues have been examining a theory that at least some of the universe's dark matter is tied up in structures called domain walls, akin to the boundaries between tightly packed bubbles. The idea is that the hot early universe was full of an exotic force field that varied randomly. As the universe expanded and cooled, the field froze, leaving a patchwork of domains, each with its own distinct value for the field.
Picture courtesy : hermenaut.org - An artist's rendition of the heliosphere and magnetic fields; On the right - A dark matter map was created by the Hubble Telescope by measuring light from distant stars thought to have been deflected by dark matter. The map of half the Universe reveals dark matter filaments, collapsing under the relentless pull of gravity and growing clumpier over time...dailymail.co.uk
1. I have found that posting quality does not get you followers - not really, which is counter intuitive and surprising.
2. What gives you more people circling you? Circle shares... astonishingly. I circle shared aggressively in the past, and people hooping me jumped. I stopped sharing, and the numbers dropped by 90%. Some will say now I'm getting the more relevant people circling me. I seriously don't know.
3. Over time, the very people who pointed out that me sharing circles just creates followers with no relevance, have themselves moved to the SUL and they seem to also get random adds, but somehow this does not bother them.
4. My core group of people who follow me for my posts have gotten smaller and more topical. They are pretty awesome people, and I am honored to now start Notification circles for them (18 people in total).
5. Actually I'm quite at a loss - what am I doing right, what am I doing wrong.... Yes in one way it has not been about numbers, in another it is about numbers. I've tried to reinvent myself, but with limited success!
DNA is structured like a ladder, opens and closes like a zip, codes data like Morse code and coils tightly
_DNA is the molecule that contains and passes on our genetic information. The publication of its structure on the 25th of April 1953 was vital to understanding how it achieves this task with such startling efficiency. In fact, it's hard to think of another molecule that performs so many intelligent functions so effortlessly._
For such a huge molecule, DNA is very stable so if it's kept in cold, dry and dark conditions, it can last for a very, very long time. This is why we have been able to extract and analyse DNA taken from species that have been extinct for thousands of years.DNA's structure is a bit like a twisted ladder. The twisted 'rails' are made of sugar-phosphate, which give DNA its shape and protect the information carrying 'rungs' inside. Each sugar-phosphate unit is joined to the next by a tough covalent bond, which needs a lot of energy to break.
Our cells need to divide so we can grow and re-build, but every cell needs to have the instructions to know 'how to be' a cell. DNA provides those instructions - so a new copy of itself must be made before a cell divides. One side of the double-stranded DNA helix can be used as a template to produce a new side that perfectly complements it. A bit like making a new coat zip, but by using half of the old zip as a template.
DNA is one of the longest molecules in the natural world. You possess enough DNA, stretched out in a line, to reach from here to the sun and back more than 300 times. Yet each cell nucleus must contain two metres of DNA, so it has to be very flexible. It coils - much like a telephone cord - into tight complex structures called chromatins without corrupting the vital information within.
Just one gram of DNA can hold about two petabytes of data - the equivalent of about three million CDs. That's pretty smart, especially when you compare it to other information-storing molecules. Using the same amount of space, DNA can store 140,000 times more data than iron (III) oxide molecules, which stores information on computer hard drives.
Computers Made Out of DNA, Slime and Other Strange Stuff
Everybody knows a computer is a machine made of metal and plastic, with microchip cores turning streams of electrons into digital reality. A century from now, though, computers could look quite different. They might be made from neurons and chemical baths, from bacterial colonies and pure light, unrecognizable to our old-fashioned 21st century eyes.
Far-fetched? A little bit. But a computer is just a tool for manipulating information. That's not a task wedded to some particular material form. After all, the first computers were people, and many people alive today knew a time when fingernail-sized transistors, each representing a single bit of information, were a great improvement on unreliable vacuum tubes.
Pic on Left: Slime Computation "The great appeal of non-traditional computing is that I can connect the un-connectable and link the un-linkable," said Andy Adamatzky, director of the Unconventional Computing Center at the University of the West of England. He's made computers from electrified liquid crystals, chemical goo and colliding particles, but is best known for his work with Physarum, the lowly slime mold.
Pic on right: Sea Slug Neuron It's easy to think of minds as computers, and accurate in the sense that brains are information-processing systems. They are also, however, exponentially more complex and sophisticated than any engineered device. Even as quantum computing remains a far-off dream, some scientists think quantum physics underlies our thoughts. The question is far from settled, but quantum processes have been observed in a variety of non-human cells, raising the alluring possibility of a role in thought..
Smarter, safer robots could be the first step for expanding automation to new areas of production and help manufacturers gain a competitive edge against competition which uses low-cost labor.
Designed to work side by side with technicians and researchers without safety cages, the Baxter Research Robot is available for $22,000, which includes a service plan plus built in sensors such as cameras, force, sonar and rangefinder. The Research Robot’s extremely low price point will allow Baxter to become an integral part of robotics labs in higher education institutions and manufacturers’ research centers.
_ One robot methodically moves widget after widget onto a conveyor belt, the animated face on its LCD screen displaying an expression of quiet concentration. The task is mundane, but the robot is not: This is Baxter, the culmination of nearly five years of secretive development, based on the vision of Rodney Brooks, possibly the world’s most celebrated roboticist. Now founder, chairman, and CTO of Rethink Robotics, the company that built Baxter, Brooks has his sights set characteristically high: to unleash a revolution in manufacturing with a friendly faced factory robot. _
With US $62 million in funding from top-tier investors such as Bezos Expeditions and Charles River Ventures, Rethink Robotics has been the subject of a great deal of interest and speculation since its founding in 2008. Like others who track robotics, we’d heard the rumors: Rethink was focusing on manufacturing; its robots would be so inexpensive every factory would be able to afford one.
In a village in India's poorest state, Bihar, farmers are growing world record amounts of rice – with no GM, and no herbicide.... how?
Sumant Kumar was overjoyed when he harvested his rice last year. There had been good rains in his village of Darveshpura in north-east India and he knew he could improve on the four or five tonnes per hectare that he usually managed. But every stalk he cut on his paddy field near the bank of the Sakri river seemed to weigh heavier than usual, every grain of rice was bigger and when his crop was weighed on the old village scales, even Kumar was shocked.
This was not six or even 10 or 20 tonnes. Kumar, a shy young farmer in Nalanda district of India's poorest state Bihar, had – using only farmyard manure and without any herbicides – grown an astonishing 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare of land. This was a world record and with rice the staple food of more than half the world's population of seven billion, big news.
What happened in Darveshpura has divided scientists and is exciting governments and development experts. Tests on the soil show it is particularly rich in silicon but the reason for the "super yields" is entirely down to a method of growing crops called System of Rice (or root) Intensification (SRI). It has dramatically increased yields with wheat, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, tomatoes, garlic, aubergine and many other crops and is being hailed as one of the most significant developments of the past 50 years for the world's 500 million small-scale farmers and the two billion people who depend on them.
Instead of planting three-week-old rice seedlings in clumps of three or four in waterlogged fields, as rice farmers around the world traditionally do, the Darveshpura farmers carefully nurture only half as many seeds, and then transplant the young plants into fields, one by one, when much younger. Additionally, they space them at 25cm intervals in a grid pattern, keep the soil much drier and carefully weed around the plants to allow air to their roots.
To be on forefront of a cutting edge field like 3D printing, the skill set required is pretty stacked. You need to be a designer, engineer, researcher, innovator, and technologist. You should be a good public speaker to present new discoveries to others. And it doesn’t hurt to be a professor at MIT.
Neri Oxman fits the bill, and her creations are demonstrating the powerful combination of 3D printing and new design algorithms inspired from nature.
At this early stage in its development, 3D printing is being used mostly to generate replicas of natural and man-made structures. Just as a computer printer makes copies of 2D images, 3D printers have copied a variety of objects that we’ve profiled previously, such as robots, chairs, prosthetics, kidneys, and jaw bones, to mention a few. But Neri Oxman and her colleagues are discovering new design and engineering principles that will help to mature 3D printing into a technology capable of producing complex structures impossible by other manufacturing techniques.
Two new sails are being looked at as possible variants to the solar sail...(the title is taken from a book by Robert A Heinlein).
New satellite sail is propelled by solar protons
A tiny new satellite is propelled by repulsion. ESTCube-1, which went into orbit recently, will put proton-powered electric solar sails to the test for the first time. It could pave the way for speedy trips through the solar system. Regular solar sails have large, thin mirrors that reflect photons from the sun to push the spacecraft forward. The new electric sail, harnesses solar protons instead. Wires with a positive charge will extend from the craft and repel protons – also positively charged – to propel the tiny satellite.
ESTCube-1 is 10 centimetres wide and has a 10-metre-long wire just half the width of a human hair. It is within the Earth's magnetosphere, so is shielded from the solar wind, but it will still interact with charged particles, says Mart Noorma of Tartu University in Estonia, who helped develop the satellite.
Once the wire is fully extended and powered up, the satellite's rotation rate should alter, letting the team measure the thrust generated by the electric sail. If the tests are successful, the hope is that a full-sized craft with 100 wires, each 20 kilometres long, could reach speeds of 30 kilometres per second, fast enough to get to Pluto in under five years. Smaller sails could act as a brake for retired satellites, slowing them down enough to fall safely back to Earth.
IKAROS would do well to watch its back, for the Japanese solar-sailing spacecraft may just have some competition that's fast enough to catch up. The EU is funding a three-year project at the Finnish Meteorological Institute to build the fastest man-made device in the universe: an electric sail, or ESAIL, that researchers say could make Pluto in just five years' time. Like the more well-known solar sail, the ESAIL is propelled by solar radiation and therefore requires no chemical or ion propellant. But rather than actually unfurling a huge membranous sail to catch photons from the sun to provide thrust, the ESAIL repels protons.
The ESAIL consists of a bunch of thin metallic tethers that unfurl in a huge circular array around the craft. A solar-powered electron gun aboard the tiny central spacecraft keeps the tethers charged at a high positive potential. Since particles of the same charge repel one another, the protons in the solar wind push on the tethers, propelling the sail away from the sun.
There are already sites now dedicated to Cyborg rights and conversion. It is the harbinger of the future, in my opinion.
No reason why Cyborgs should not have rights just like everyone else... read on!
Cyborg citizenship is a conception of rights based on personhood rather than on"humanness.” Not all persons are humans, and not all humans are persons. Cyborg citizenship is the opposition to conceptions of rights based on Human racism.
As a form of Non-anthropocentric personhood ethics, cyborg citizenship recognizes the rights of cyborgs, but also the rights of the more cognitively complex animals with extensive capacities for feeling, and the rights of posthumans. On the other hand, cyborg citizenship is not concerned with the rights of humans who have not reached or are past the point of being persons, such as embryos and the brain dead.
Cyborg citizenship also recognizes the rights of cryonics patients to be preserved and revived when the appropriate technologies become available.
Neil Harbisson helped found The Cyborg Foundation in 2010 and stepped up in his role as a cyborg activist. The Cyborg Foundation aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights, and promote the use of cybernetics in the arts. The Cyborg Foundation also provides support to sense development projects like those Harbisson and Montandon collaborated on. Other Cyborg Foundation works include the speedborg, which lets people detect movement through vibrations, and the earborg, which translates sound into color.
Folded DNA templates allow researchers to precisely cut out graphene shapes, which could be used in electronic circuits.
DNA’s unique structure is ideal for carrying genetic information, but scientists have recently found ways to exploit this versatile molecule for other purposes: By controlling DNA sequences, they can manipulate the molecule to form many different nanoscale shapes.
Chemical and molecular engineers at MIT and Harvard University have now expanded this approach by using folded DNA to control the nanostructure of inorganic materials. After building DNA nanostructures of various shapes, they used the molecules as templates to create nanoscale patterns on sheets of graphene. This could be an important step toward large-scale production of electronic chips made of graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with unique electronic properties.
Using single-stranded tiles, Yin’s lab has created more than 100 distinct nanoscale shapes, including the full alphabet of capital English letters and many emoticons. These structures are designed using computer software and can be assembled in a simple reaction. Alternatively, such structures can be constructed using an approach called DNA origami, in which many short strands of DNA fold a long strand into a desired shape.
Emerging Technology As NASA studies possibilities for the next launcher to the stars, a team of engineers from Kennedy Space Center and several other field centers are looking for a system that turns a host of existing cutting-edge technologies into the next giant leap spaceward.
An early proposal has emerged that calls for a wedge-shaped aircraft with scramjets to be launched horizontally on an electrified track or gas-powered sled. The aircraft would fly up to Mach 10, using the scramjets and wings to lift it to the upper reaches of the atmosphere where a small payload canister or capsule similar to a rocket's second stage would fire off the back of the aircraft and into orbit. The aircraft would come back and land on a runway by the launch site.
Engineers also contend the system, with its advanced technologies, will benefit the nation's high-tech industry by perfecting technologies that would make more efficient commuter rail systems, better batteries for cars and trucks, and numerous other spinoffs.
It might read as the latest in a series of science fiction articles, but NASA's Stan Starr, branch chief of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Kennedy, points out that nothing in the design calls for brand-new technology to be developed. However, the system counts on a number of existing technologies to be pushed forward.
The good news is that NASA and universities already have done significant research in the field, including small-scale tracks at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and at Kennedy. The Navy also has designed a similar catapult system for its aircraft carriers.
As far as the aircraft that would launch on the rail, there already are real-world tests for designers to draw on. The X-43A, or Hyper-X program, and X-51 have shown that scramjets will work and can achieve remarkable speeds.
The group sees NASA's field centers taking on their traditional roles to develop the Advanced Space Launch System. For instance, Langley Research Center in Virginia, Glenn Research Center in Ohio and Ames Research Center in California would work on different elements of the hypersonic aircraft. Dryden Research Center in California, Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Marshall would join Kennedy in developing the launch rail network. Kennedy also would build a launch test bed, potentially in a two-mile long area parallel to the crawlerway leading to Launch Pad 39A.
A rail launcher study using gas propulsion already is under way, but the team is applying for funding under several areas, including NASA's push for technology innovation, but the engineers know it may not come to pass. The effort is worth it, however, since there is a chance at revolutionizing launches.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in California and the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology have developed a “biological computer” made entirely from biomolecules that is capable of deciphering images encrypted on DNA chips. Although DNA has been used for encryption in the past, this is the first experimental demonstration of a molecular cryptosystem of images based on DNA computing.
Instead of using traditional computer hardware, a group led by Professor Ehud Keinan of Scripps Research and the Technion created a computing system using bio-molecules. When suitable software was applied to the biological computer, it could decrypt, separately, fluorescent images of The Scripps Research Institute and Technion logos.
The hardware and software in these devices, Keinan notes, are complex biological molecules that activate one another to carry out some predetermined chemical work. The input is a molecule that undergoes specific, predetermined changes, following a specific set of rules (software), and the output of this chemical computation process is another well-defined molecule.
Just because you've cut the head off a venomous snake, that doesn't mean that the snake is done with you. One Santa Cruz homeowner learned that after he decapitated a rattlesnake that wandered into his garage and the head kept on going.
National Geographic has a video of Thomas Scott cornering the snake and then chopping off its head. But it's what happens afterward that's strange. The snake's head, zombie-like, keeps on moving and keeps baring its deadly fangs. According to the segment, a rattlesnake's head can still deliver a venomous bite up to an hour after it's been decapitated. Because we didn't need more reasons to fear snakes.