When Ian Burkhart was 19, he accidentally dove into a sandbar while in the water with friends and quickly realized what had happened: He was paralyzed. Today, Burkhart is still paralyzed—but he can move his hand by controlling it with his mind.
Hypnosis: The day my mind was ‘possessed’
I am lying on my back and trapped in a gleaming white tunnel, the surface barely six inches from my nose. There is a strange mechanical rumbling in the background, and I hear footsteps padding around the room beyond. In my mounting claustrophobia, I ask myself why I am here – but there is no way out now. A few moments later, the light dims, and as the man speaks, my thoughts begin to fade.
“The engineer has developed a way of taking control of your thoughts from the inside. He does this because he is fascinated by mind control, and wants to apply the most direct method of controlling your thoughts. He is doing this to advance his research into mind control. You will soon be aware of the engineer inserting his thoughts.”
A strange serenity descends as I realise that soon, my will won’t be my own. Then the experiment begins. I am about to be possessed.
You spend all day thinking about innovating in your career. How about applying that focus to everything else?
Here’s some patriotic prokaryotes to wish you a happy 4th of July full of luminescent liberty!
These light-producing bacteria, known as Photobacterium leiognathi, are ocean-dwelling symbionts, bacteria that live on or within animals, getting protection from their hosts and giving them light-producing tissues in return.
Thanks for the fireworks, nature!
"What is a printer?" asked Zuta Labs, then reimagined it as the Mini Mobile Robotic Printer, as small as your hand.
The 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has just released its cosmically awesome shortlisted entries. Capturing scenes across the solar system, galaxy, and beyond, the images are spectacular reminders that we’re all living on a “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” as astronomer Carl Sagan famously put it in “Pale Blue Dot.”
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?