Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

[embedded content] When the first humans colonize Mars, they may seek refuge in the red planet’s lava caves. Here, the pioneering martians will find protection from the extreme temperatures, radiation, and asteroids that pound the surface of the planet while establishing a subterranean base of operations. These caves may even contain water, but before they […]

Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: scientists find unexpected dust ring around Mercury

In this illustration, several dust rings circle the Sun. These rings form when planets’ gravities tug dust grains into orbit around the Sun. Recently, scientists have detected a dust ring at Mercury’s orbit. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith Dust turns up everywhere — on bookshelves, under the sofa, and now, apparently, in rings […]

Emerging Tech

Scientists find a technique to identify electricity-producing bacteria

A new development in bacteriology could allow microbes to be used to run fuel cells and purify sewage water, according to a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Bacteria have been identified which have evolved a unique form of breathing in oxygen-poor environments by producing electricity. These bacteria can be […]

Emerging Tech

Caltech scientists used DNA to play the world’s tiniest game of tic-tac-toe

[embedded content] Wondering which penny-pinching family member will hand out the smallest gifts this holidays? It would be hard to beat the one California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers just gave the world — with the tiniest ever version of the game tic-tac-toe. Having previously used nanoscale bioengineering to create a replica of the iconic […]

Emerging Tech

Scientists are beginning to worry about bacteria found in Space Station toilet

The toilet on the International Space Station (ISS) is home to strains of Enterobacter bacteria that are similar to recently discovered multi-drug resistant bacteria on Earth. That’s the result of a recent study out of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. The five strains identified on the ISS showed patterns of antimicrobial resistance […]

Emerging Tech

Cigar-shaped comet may actually be an alien probe, Harvard scientists suggest

An artist’s rendition of the first interstellar comet, Oumuamua, which some scientists now think may be an alien probe. Last November, astronomers detected an outer-space object unlike anything detected before. The visitor, dubbed Oumuamua (pronounced “oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah”), arrived from interstellar space, beyond the bubble-like region that demarcates the sun’s domain. Its unusual origin story wasn’t the […]

Gears & Gadgets

Spanish scientists: EnChroma glasses won’t fix your color blindness

Enlarge / EnChroma glasses have always had both skeptics and true believers. Who’s right? It’s complicated. EnChroma The much-touted EnChroma glasses don’t help colorblind users see new colors; they merely let the colorblind see the same colors in a different way, according to a new study published in Optics Express by scientists at Spain’s University of […]