Duke University has been experimenting with telekinetic monkeys for some time now.
Zits. It's easy to forget how devastating their sudden emergence -- always at the most inopportune moments -- can be. But surely everyone remembers at least one time when a zit was, at least for a day, the single most mortifying thing that ever happened.
The device projects light of different wavelengths onto the skin to take transdermal images of the acne, sends that data to a connected smartphone, and the SmartZ app for iPhone uses … Read more
Men tend to pride themselves on having a good sense of direction, except that concept seems to go out the window when it comes to urinals (as any person who has ever stepped into a unisex port-a-potty can attest). A group of engineers with the Splash Lab at Brigham Young University is coming to the rescue with a study on urinal dynamics.
The researchers used a simulated urine stream and, using high-speed video, captured how it reacted to hitting various surfaces. By examining the splash-back, the team was able to formulate a set of suggestions for keeping the mess to a minimum.… Read more
A lot of us out here in geek-world are big fans of all things space. It turns out a certain sect of microbes are also space groupies. The recently discovered species Tersicoccus phoenicis has shown up in two of the cleanest places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America, but have been found nowhere else.
Microbiologists like to do sweeps of these clean rooms to see what kind of microbes can survive in an environment designed to wipe out their kind. Those are exactly the sort of little creatures that are likely to hitchhike on spacecraft, and have the potential for contaminating off-world study sites.… Read more
There's an old Swedish saying that cyclists often like to paraphrase: There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Now, a new smart shirt seems to suggest that, indeed, clothing has the potential to not only affect how we weather the weather, but how we maintain our health, too.
The FitnessSHIRT, which was developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen, Germany, may be available sometime in the next year. It uses conductive textile electrodes integrated into its material to capture cardio activity -- including breathing, pulse, and changes in heart rate. The … Read more
This is your brain. This is your brain on Super Mario 64. See how the gray matter is increased? A new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry suggests a whole lot of benefits to playing video games.
Former professional ballet dancer Stephen Williams says he hasn't turned a pirouette he couldn't handle.
"I don't think I've ever been dizzy," says Williams, an instructor with the Central School of Ballet in London. "It has to do with the length of the training. You have to keep at it again, and again -- and again."
Like many ballet dancers who practice pirouettes and other spinning moves repetitively, Williams doesn't get that lightheaded sensation most people feel after spinning around.
Now, researchers at the Imperial College London say they've discovered differences in the ballet dancers' brain structure that help them suppress that dizzy feeling. They say their ballet brain study could lead to new therapies to help the estimated one in four people who suffer from chronic dizziness.… Read more
Some 23 miles north of Philadelphia -- amid the RadioShacks, golfing greens, and former corn fields of the Pennsylvania suburbs -- sits a low building with glass double doors and a bright blue awning. It's barely distinguishable from rows of office parks and dental labs. But it is a key destination on what has become America's epic journey to commercial space flight.
Inside it stand classrooms, training bays, and 15 flight simulators, including a state-of-the-art centrifuge that's like a giant clock arm set horizontal and spinning fast enough to simulate the G-forces of space flight. Its flight pod contains a mock-up altimeter, nerve-tingling surround sound speakers, a motion simulator that shakes your seat with the force of a rocket blast, and an Epcot-quality video feed that shows the Earth receding like a pebble in a pond behind you.
More than 300 future space tourists and civilian researchers from around the world have traveled here, to the National Aerospace Training and Research (Nastar) Center, to test their bodies and minds on this machine. … Read more
If Tim Cannon wants to check his temperature, he doesn't need a thermometer. The biochip that's been surgically implanted in his arm does it for him, transmitting the data in real time, via Bluetooth, to an Android device.
The implant, about the size of a Bic lighter and dubbed the Circadia 1.0, lives between the skin and muscles of Cannon's left forearm in a sealed box, which also contains a battery that can be charged wirelessly. Built-in red LEDs act as status lights, and can be programmed to illuminate the tattoo of a DNA double helix that sits atop Cannon's bulging implant. He's thinking of programming the biosensor to text him if it think he's getting a fever. … Read more
When humans see a dog wagging its tail, we pretty much equate that with a happy dog. It turns out that a dog's tail may be much more expressive than we realize. Research has shown that happy dogs tend to wag more to the right, while anxious dogs go more to the left. A new study published in the journal Current Biology delves into the question of whether other dogs read this response.
This asymmetry of wagging is traced back to left- and right-brain action. Researchers showed dogs videos of other dogs, or silhouettes of dogs wagging their tails, with a preference in one direction or another. The viewing dogs had their heart rates measured and were monitored for their responses.… Read more