Very subtle control of artificial limbs by means of a tiny electronic device may become possible.… [The] electronic device … [is] designed to be injected into a muscle through a thick hypodermic needle. A tiny package strapped to the outside of the limb will beam radio waves at the device, which will return them, modified by the electric current produced in the muscle. — ...
Immanuel Kant was famous for writing critiques.
He earned his status as the premier philosopher of modern times with such works as Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason and Critique of Judgment. It might have been helpful for medical science if he had also written a critique of evidence.
Scientific research supposedly provides reliable evidence for physicians to...
Finding the chemical basis for the close association between the Attine ants, inhabiting an area extending from Argentina to the southern United States, and the fungus they culture is the aim of research … by Prof. Michael M. Martin of the University of Michigan. Although many animals feed on fungi, the culturing of fungus by the Attine ants is the only known example of...
Net to halt runaway airliners
A gigantic emergency arresting gear system, capable of stopping the largest four-engined jet aircraft without discomfort to passengers, is being developed for the French Ministry of Transportation. The system consists of a nylon net … which engages the aircraft for the full width of its wingspan. Net and airplane are brought to a slow stop by energy...
Letters to the Editor
Brain boost10/18/2017 - 12:15 Particle Physics, Animals, Neuroscience
It’s possible that therapies such as external brain stimulation and neurofeedback, as well as some drugs, may one day boost brain flexibility. A new line of research suggests flexibility is important for learning, Laura Sanders reported in “Learning takes brain acrobatics” (SN: 9/16/17, p. 22).
Online reader Glenn wondered if drugs for Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s...
Jennifer Zaspel can’t explain why she stuck her thumb in the vial with the moth. Just an after-dark, out-in-the-woods zing of curiosity.
She was catching moths on a July night in the Russian Far East and had just eased a Calyptra, with brownish forewings like a dried leaf, into a plastic collecting vial. Of the 17 or so largely tropical Calyptra species, eight were known vampires. Males...
No other science engages human curiosity like astronomy. From antiquity onward, attempts to comprehend the architecture of the cosmos have commanded a substantial fraction of humankind’s mental budget for intellectual endeavor. Only in the last century, though, have astronomers grasped the structure of the cosmos accurately. Just a hundred years ago, a great debate raged about the fuzzy...
The earthy moon
Space scientists have been intrigued for years with the possibility of finding usable oxygen on the moon — not in the lunar atmosphere, since there essentially is none, but in the rocks. As long ago as 1962 … [NASA researchers] predicted vast lunar processing plants turning out 4,000 pounds of liquid oxygen per month, both for breathing and as an oxidizer for rocket fuel...
Like anything else in life, there is a lot of luck in scientific success. Astronomers searching for new worlds have to pick the right sections of sky. Biologists cross their fingers that their cell lines will survive long enough for an experiment. Two paleontologists are excavating at a field site in Montana — both skilled, both committed. One turns up a T. rex skeleton; the other, nothing but...
Discoveries about the molecular ups and downs of fruit flies’ daily lives have won Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
These three Americans were honored October 2 by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm for their work in discovering important gears in the circadian clocks of animals. The trio will...