Science

Lasers and carbon-nanotubes pave way to live brain scanning

Lasers and carbon-nanotubes pave way to live brain scanning

Lasers and carbon nanotubes peering into the brain might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but tests that could one day mean precise non-invasive diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other diseases are already underway. The technology, developed by chemists at Stanford University, has so far been tested on mice, but opens the door to an alternative to physically removing sections of the skull to track cellular-level changes.

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Watch this: Robot assembles itself, then crawls away

Watch this: Robot assembles itself, then crawls away

Robots are typically very complicated devices, full of parts that need a long assembly time and a myriad of hands working on them. A new concept may change that, as researchers at Harvard and MIT have been working on a robot that builds itself. Like a Transformer lying in wait, this one can morph into a new shape.

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NASA flirts with far-out tech: Methane subs and solar sails

NASA flirts with far-out tech: Methane subs and solar sails

A submarine for diving through lakes of methane, a tiny satellite designed to snare an asteroid, and solar sail for deep-space probes are all among NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program for 2014, as the space agency hunts for the next big thing in exploration. Several of the new NIAC proposals, notable for often taking more outlandish approaches to science and technology than mainstream NASA research, tackle planetary exploration such as the advances needed for human missions to be safe and affordable.

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Jupiter’s volcanic moon spews “curtains of fire”

Jupiter’s volcanic moon spews “curtains of fire”

Three huge volcanic eruptions from Jupiter's moon Io are forcing astronomers to rethink how peaceful space might be, with "curtains of fire" consisting of tens of cubic miles of lava surging from the orbiting mass. Fountains of lava gushed from gaps in Io, one of Jupiter's four moons, in a two week period in August 2013, NASA says, despite having previously been thought to be rare events.

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Algorithm extracts audio from silent video using vibrations

Algorithm extracts audio from silent video using vibrations

It feels almost like a scene straight out of a spy movie or crime procedural show. You only have a video a of man talking with his back to the camera. No audio to tell you clearly what he's saying and there are no lips to read to give you a clue. But by observing just the movement of the leaves of a plant nearby, you are able to reconstruct what the man is saying, stop his evil plot, defeat the bad guy, and save the day.

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