Apr 05, 2013

How far is it to Mars?

posted by Laura Domela

If the Earth were 100 pixels wide....

Distance to Mars, a very cool visualization.

distancetomars.png

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Apr 05, 2013

Scientists turn dreams into eerie short films with an MRI scan (video)

posted by Larra Morris

 

A group of scientists from Kyoto has managed to successfully analyze and "record" the basic elements of what people see when they dream. The idea of recording dreams has been a mainstay in science fiction, but also a frequent goal for researchers. AsSmithsonian Magazine writes, this group designed its study based on the premise that brains react to "seeing" objects with repeatable patterns that can be measured with MRI. If a machine can recognize the patterns well enough, it can reverse-engineer them, giving us a window into what's going on inside people's heads while they dream.
via The Verge

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Apr 05, 2013

Harvard lets human minds control rats, private rodent armies remain distant (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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Sure, we've seen rats control other rats, but that won't give us a legion of mind-controlled creatures to unleash upon an innocent public, will it? Harvard Medical School may unwittingly assist with solving our (rather misguided) plight, as it just experimented with a system that lets a human mind trigger actions in a rat's motor cortex. The test had sensor-equipped humans watch a screen that flashed in sync with their EEG brain patterns for visual stimulation; as soon their attention shifted to controlling the rat, they triggered an ultrasonic pulse that twitched the rodent's tail.
via Engadget

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Apr 05, 2013

You can sit in this pond without getting wet

posted by Larra Morris

pond.jpg

This picture was taken in a park in Vöcklabruck, Austria that you might want to go to right now. You can actually sit in the middle of the pond, thanks to a sunken spot where you can hang out without getting soaked.
via Gizmodo

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Apr 04, 2013

3-D Tetris chalk drawing stop-motion (video)

posted by Larra Morris

3d-tetris-in-chalk.jpg

This is a 3-D chalk art stop-motion from Chris Carlson (of 3-D Snake game fame) of Tetris being played.
via Geekologie

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Apr 04, 2013

Hagfish slime: The clothing of the future?

posted by Larra Morris

hagfish.jpg

Scientists believe hagfish slime or similar proteins could be turned into tights or breathable athletic wear, or even bullet-proof vests.

For years, scientists have been looking for alternatives to synthetic fibres like nylon and lycra, or spandex, which are made from oil - a non-renewable resource.

Hagfish slime has the potential to provide a natural and renewable alternative.

But first, the experts need to work out how to increase the slime production.
via BBC News

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Apr 04, 2013

Lasers used to turn off cocaine addiction in rat brains, may translate into human therapy

posted by Larra Morris

both_hemisphere2.jpg

Kicking a cocaine addiction may be as simple as beaming a laser straight into the brain — at least in rats. That's the result of a new study of cocaine-addicted lab rodentspublished today by US researchers working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But the scientists behind it think that their results could be easily and quickly replicated in humans using a less intrusive therapy that involves stimulating the brain with magnets on the outside of the skull, and they're aiming to get human trials going by the end of the year.
via The Verge

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Image: B.Chen/NIDA

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Apr 04, 2013

Helical Robotics announces new wind turbine inspection robots (video)

posted by Larra Morris

hr-mp20.jpg

Currently, wind turbines are inspected for damage in two main ways: someone stands on the ground below them and uses a telescope, or people use rigging systems to actually climb across them. Now, Oregon-based Helical Robotics is offering an alternative – camera-equipped turbine-climbing robots.

The HR-MP series of wheeled robots cling to the turbine tower’s metallic vertical surface using magnets, and then proceed to climb up to get a better look at the blades and other components via radio remote control.
via Gizmag

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Apr 04, 2013

Carnivorous plants host unexpected ecosystems in their guts

posted by Larra Morris

Pitchers1.jpg

While carnivorous plants may seem rather strange and exotic, the principles that underlie the insect-eating pitcher plant are pretty simple — bugs fall down the slick sides of the tube shaped plant, landing in a small pool of water where they drown before being digested and turned into plant food. A new study by researchers at Harvard, though, suggests that the plant’s methods are anything but simple, though. According to a recently published paper, the pools of water in pitcher plants are teeming with life, and represent miniature ecosystems unto themselves.
via Geekosystem

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Apr 04, 2013

Arcade themed Post-It stop motion video

posted by Larra Morris

video-game-post-it-video.jpg

This is a super impressive video game themed stop motion animation made by Michael Birkenusing Post-Its. It took over 2,304-hours (the equivalent of 96 days) spanning 11 months to create and consists of 5,772 individual frames.
via Geekologie

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