Where we’re going, we’ll need roads. But before long-term settlers arrive on Mars or the moon, one engineer is working under a NASA grant to make sure that the proper infrastructure is already in place.
“We can look at willpower like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse, but just like our physical muscles, there are some researchers who believe we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.”
A new visualization from NASA illustrates a rare piece of good news about our environment’s health: air pollution levels in major U.S. cities have significantly decreased from 2005 to 2011.
A world where food is plentiful and drugs are personalized may not be as far off as it seems.
What world-changing scientific discoveries might we see by 2025? Will we have more energy technologies that move us away from fossil fuels? Will there be cures for cancer and other diseases? How will we get around and communicate?
To make some predictions, the Thomson Reuters IP & Science unit looked at two sorts of data: current scientific journal literature and patent applications. Counting citations and other measures of buzz, they identified 10 hot fields, then made specific forecasts for each.
“A powerful outcome of studying scientific literature and patent data is that it gives you a window into the future—insight that isn’t always found in the public domain,” says Basil Moftah, president of the IP & Science business, which sells scientific database products. “We estimate that these will be in effect in another 11 years.”
“If the placebo works as well as the active drug, we could perhaps take them the way we take pills today, perhaps even knowing they were fake. Several studies have shown placebos working even when patients knew what was happening.”
What if there was a pill that could bring you joy? Maybe all you need to do is simply believe.
“Does prison time actually spread like contagion? According to the model they built, the answer is yes.”
The Lassie of the future will not bark for the sheriff. Instead, a wireless sensor on her harness will detect gas in an earthquake-shattered building, then text the drones and first responders on the scene. Or at least that’s one team’s idea behind a design from this year’s SmartAmerica Challenge, a project launched by the White House Innovation Fellow program.
Can you figure out what this recording of nonsense says? How about now?
"Usually it was the Western music they wanted to copy," Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Joseph Stalin’s successor as the U.S.S.R.’s General Secretary explained to NPR. "Before the tape recorders they used the X-ray film of bones and recorded music on the bones, bone music."
The Resilience Project is looking for the rare people who have genetic mutations for certain diseases—but who then never get sick.
“Many people think that Antarctica is well protected from threats to its biodiversity because it’s isolated and no one lives there, however, we show that’s not true.”
To bring attention to the widespread apathy toward climate change, nonprofit group 350action and agency Barton F. Graf 9000 got a little personal. Tapping into the meteorological legacy of naming hurricanes after people — thereby marring the good names of unsuspecting Sandys, Irenes and Katrinas everywhere — “Climate Name Change” told the same storm story, but subbed in the name of prominent politicians who refuse to acknowledge climate change. So instead of citizen anger being directed at a whirl of wind and rain named Sandy, people could direct their ire at Michelle Bachman, a known climate change denier. The result is deadpan and absurd, but pointed in its attack.
The first-ever point-of-view footage of polar bears living in the Arctic shows us the perspective of a female bear as she violently mauls a seal, goes for a swim, and checks out a potential suitor. Polar bears: They’re just like us.