Friday, 30 May 2014

Private group re-establishes contact with ISEE-3 comet probe

A 35-year old space probe has come back to life after a 16-year slumber thanks to the world's largest single-aperture radio telescope. Using the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project has re-established contact with the mothballedISEE-3 space probe. The private organization took control of the unmanned ex-NASA spacecraft and is commanding it to execute functions as part of an assessment of its health before returning it to exploration service. .. Continue Reading Private group re-establishes contact with ISEE-3 comet probe

Section: Space

Tags: ISEE-3, NASA, Spacecraft

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Morpheus makes first night landing

Spacecraft lifting off at night are a beautiful sight, but equally impressive is when one lands in the dark under its own power. NASA’s robotic Morpheus prototype planetary lander did both of those in its first night-time free flight at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which included an autonomous landing in an artificial lunar landscape... Continue Reading Morpheus makes first night landing

Section: Space

Tags: Autonomous, NASA, Prototype, Robotic, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Elon Musk unveils Dragon V2 manned spacecraft

Having teased the public by showing off the SuperDraco engine, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk takes the wraps off the Dragon V2 manned spacecraft that it’s designed to propel. In a brief media event at SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California headquarters, Musk introduced the larger, more powerful version of the reusable Dragon capsule, which will one day carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and return to Earth to land under its own power... Continue Reading Elon Musk unveils Dragon V2 manned spacecraft

Section: Space

Tags: Astronauts, Dragon, Elon Musk, International Space Station, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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Lasers could significantly shrink size and cost of particle accelerators

Particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are wonders of modern engineering and vending machines for Nobel prizes, but they’re also large – as indicated by the LHC's name – and costly. A new theoretical study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center suggests how lasers could dramatically shrink the size and cost of particle accelerator. If the models hold true, it could remove a significant bottleneck from physics research and open up such machines to industrial and medical applications... Continue Reading Lasers could significantly shrink size and cost of particle accelerators

Section: Science

Tags: Large Hadron Collider, Laser, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, LHC, Particle accelerator, Physics

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

SpaceX completes qualification test of 3D-printed SuperDraco thruster

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is set for an upgrade with the company announcing the successful qualification testing of its SuperDraco rocket engine. Designed to replace the Draco engines used for attitude control on the Dragon orbital spacecraft, the SuperDraco will act as the Dragon’s launch emergency escape system, as well as giving it the ability to make a powered landing on Earth and other worlds... Continue Reading SpaceX completes qualification test of 3D-printed SuperDraco thruster

Section: Space

Tags: 3D Printing, Commercial, Dragon, Elon Musk, Rocket, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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Flying a plane with your mind comes closer to reality

Flying is most definitely a hands-on (and feet-on) job, but it may not always be that way. Turning science fiction into fact, researchers at the Institute for Flight System Dynamics of the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the TU Berlin are developing a way for pilots to control aircraft with their minds alone. According to the team, they have not only demonstrated that it’s possible, but that it can be done with a surprising degree of accuracy... Continue Reading Flying a plane with your mind comes closer to reality

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Brain, Flying, Mind, Simulator, Technical University Munich

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

SpaceShipTwo to by fueled by thermoset plastic similar to nylon

As the still-to-be-announced date of the first commercial flight of Virgin Galactic’sSpaceShipTwo approaches, more and more of the technology involved is getting nailed down. A case in point is the company's announcement that it has decided which fuel will be used in the first passenger-carrying flights of the suborbital spacecraft. The solid fuel grains that will fuel the world’s largest operational hybrid rocket will be a thermoset plastic similar to nylon... Continue Reading SpaceShipTwo to by fueled by thermoset plastic similar to nylon

Section: Space

Tags: Commercial, Fuel, Hybrid, Motor, Plastic, Rocket, Spacecraft, Spaceport America,SpaceShipTwo, Test Flights, Virgin Galactic

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HondaJet gets its engine

GE Honda Aero Engines has shipped the first pair of production HF120 jet engines for the H...
The Hondajet has passed another milestone on its way to entering commercial service. After completing FAA certification testing last year, the executive jet's first pair of productionHF120 jet engines have been shipped. .. Continue Reading HondaJet gets its engine 

Section: Aircraft 


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Monday, 26 May 2014

Using GPS to measure changes in sea level

Measuring sea level is not only an invaluable tool for pilotage, navigation, aeronautics, cartography, sea charting, and geology, it’s also a fundamentally important metric for measuring possible evidence of climate change, and for measuring the direction, extent and rate of such change. Johan Löfgren and Rüdiger Haas of Chalmers University in Sweden have developed a new way of measuring sea level that uses satnav signals for constant, real-time monitoring that promises new insights into many fields, including climate change. .. Continue Reading Using GPS to measure changes in sea level

Section: Marine

Tags: Chalmers University, Climate Change, GPS, Monitoring, Navigation, Satellite Navigation

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GE uses plastic surgery on wind turbine blades for more power

Sometimes progress can be its own worst enemy, with early adopters being stuck with obsolete equipment that leaves them with the choice of living with out-dated technology or an expensive replacement. The green energy field isn’t immune to this, and as part of a US$2 million renewable energy project, GE has developed a way to make smaller, less efficient wind turbines into bigger more efficient ones with a bit of plastic (or carbon composite) surgery. .. Continue Reading GE uses plastic surgery on wind turbine blades for more power

Section: Science

Tags: Efficiency, GE, Renewable Energy, Wind Power, Wind turbine

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Sunday, 25 May 2014

Cadrio First Angel teaches CPR on the job

Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the first 15 minutes following a heart attack can be a literal lifesaver, greatly increasing the victim's chances of survival. However, many people aren't trained in CPR and even those who are can be hesitant to step up in the vital first minutes that can mean the difference between life and death. The Cardio First Angel CPR coach is a simple mechanical device that guides even an untrained person in properly administering CPR... Continue Reading Cadrio First Angel teaches CPR on the job
Section: Health and Wellbeing
Tags: Coach, Emergency, Heart, Training
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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Shape-changing wings inspire more efficient aircraft designs

We tend to think of aeronautical engineering as having left the birds standing still sometime around the First World War, but since jet fighters can’t perch and quadcopters can’t snag salmon out of a stream, we still have a few things to learn. Taking a couple of pages from the avian playbook, Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS) and its partners are developing wing flaps for airplanes that change shape like a bird’s wing for greater efficiency... Continue Reading Shape-changing wings inspire more efficient aircraft designs

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aerodynamics, Aircraft, Birds, Fraunhofer, Plane

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NASA unveils new home for space rats

Attention space rats and astromice, NASA is sending new, posher rodent habitats to the International Space Station (ISS). The high-tech cages will first will fly in August aboard an unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo ship and are part of an extensive study on the effects of weightlessness on prolonged space voyages... Continue Reading NASA unveils new home for space rats

Section: Space

Tags: Astronauts, Gravity, International Space Station, NASA, Space Shuttle, Spacecraft,Transport

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Friday, 23 May 2014

NASA orbiter discovers new Martian crater

There are millions of impact craters all over the Solar System, but direct evidence of the massive collisions that form them is very hard to come by – and therefore very valuable. While carrying out its routine monitoring of the weather on the Red Planet, the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has inadvertently snapped before and after images of the largest fresh meteor impact crater found anywhere in the Solar System... Continue Reading NASA orbiter discovers new Martian crater

Section: Space

Tags: Imaging, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA, Solar System

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First fundamentally new lubricant in decades created from liquid crystals

The world uses tens of millions of tons of lubricant every year, from the smallest part of a micro-precision instrument to the expansion rollers on the largest bridges. Most are oil based, though others use powders, and even metals, and it’s been that way for decades. That could be changing as the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials, Nematel GmbH, and Dr. Tillwich GmbH have developed a new class of lubricants that are based on liquid crystals instead of oil. According to Fraunhofer, this is the first fundamentally new lubricant developed in twenty years... Continue Reading First fundamentally new lubricant in decades created from liquid crystals

Section: Science

Tags: Fraunhofer, Liquid crystal, Research

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Gizmag checks out Survival Capsules' spherical tsunami balls

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the tsunami that followed count as one of the worst disasters of the 21st century. When it struck off the southern coast of Japan with a force of magnitude 9, it was the most powerful ever to hit Japan, and the tsunami with a maximum height of 40.5 m (133 ft) resulted in 15,885 deaths, 6,148 injured, and 2,623 people missing. In anticipation of a similar disaster, Survival Capsules LCC of Mukilteo, Washington has developed a steel and aircraft-grade aluminum sphere designed to protect against both fire and flood. Gizmag paid a visit to the company to learn more about it... Continue Reading Gizmag checks out Survival Capsules' spherical tsunami balls

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Disasters, Fire Shelters, Flooding, Japan, Prototype, Safety, Survival, Tsunami,University of Washington

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Research suggests Earth microbes could survive on Mars

Since the first Mariner probes reached the Red Planet in the 1960s, it’s become clear just how very alien Mars is and how hard it is to find parallel examples of possible Martian life on Earth. However, it’s not impossible. Rebecca Mickol, a doctoral student in space and planetary sciences at the University of Arkansas, has discovered that two species of methane-producing bacteria can live in the harsh conditions on Mars, and may aid in the search for life there... Continue Reading Research suggests Earth microbes could survive on Mars

Section: Science

Tags: Bacteria, Earth, Mars, Methane, Microbes

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Construction of InSight Mars lander to begin

Another Mars mission is on its way to the pad with NASA and its consortium of partners from Europe and Japan getting the green light for construction of the InSight Mars lander, which is slated for launch in 2016. .. Continue Reading Construction of InSight Mars lander to begin

Section: Space

Tags: InSight, Mars, NASA, Spacecraft

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British public to vote on 21st century Longitude Prize

Three hundred years ago, the British Parliament established the Longitude prize; one of the most important technology competitions in history. Longitude Prize 2014 hopes to duplicate that feat with a new competition with a £10 million prize aimed at solving one of today’s great technological challenges, with the British public voting for which issue the prize will be given to... Continue Reading British public to vote on 21st century Longitude Prize

Section: Good Thinking

Tags: Anniversary, BBC, Clock, Competition, History, Prize

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Monday, 19 May 2014

"World's most efficient aero engine" on its way to first A350 XWB

Last year, the Airbus A350 XWB took to the air for the first time. Eleven months later, Rolls-Royce announces that the first production Trent XWB turbofan engine that powers the plane has left the factory and is on its way to Toulouse, France to be installed in a Qatar Airways A350 XWB. According to Rolls-Royce, Qatar airways has ordered 80 of the aircraft and the “world's most efficient aero engine” engine is the first of 1,600 ordered worldwide by 40 airlines around the world... Continue Reading "World's most efficient aero engine" on its way to first A350 XWB

Section: Aircraft

Tags: A350, Airbus, Aircraft, Airlines, Engine, Production, Rolls Royce, Turbine

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Sunday, 18 May 2014

MIT develops glasses-free 3D projector as a "practical alternative to holographic video"

The 3D format has had something of a renaissance in recent years, but the technology still has some way to go before the potential of "real-life" multiperspective 3-D can be realized. The Camera Culture group at the MIT Media Lab is developing a new 3D video projection system that doesn't require glasses and provides different users different perspective angles of the same object. The team sees it not as a final answer, but as a transitional system that sits between current technologies and true holographic video... Continue Reading MIT develops glasses-free 3D projector as a "practical alternative to holographic video"

Section: Electronics

Tags: 3D, Display, Glasses, Holographic, MIT, Projectors, Video

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Purdue researchers pursue cave corn

Scientists at Purdue University have come up with a way of growing corn in caves, but it doesn't involve some bizarre mating of maize and mushroom. Instead, they manipulated artificial light and temperature in such a way that the growth of the corn plants, while stunted, didn't significantly affect the seed yield. The finding could have a significant impact on the future of genetically modified crops by helping prevent genetically modified pollen escaping into the ecosystem. .. Continue Reading Purdue researchers pursue cave corn

Section: Science

Tags: Agriculture, Farming, Genetic engineering, Horticulture, Plants, Purdue University

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University of Sheffield fights pollution with poetry

Air pollution is a problem in many of the world’s major cities and removing it requires 24/7 solutions, as well as a bit of imagination. Taking a literary run at the task, the University of Sheffield has revealed what it calls the “world’s first air-cleansing poem,” which is a combination of a new work by award-winning writer Simon Armitage and a chemical formula developed at Sheffield by Professor Tony Ryan. The hope is that it will not only raise awareness of air pollution, but also help persuade British industry to adopt the air-cleansing technology more widely... Continue Reading University of Sheffield fights pollution with poetry

Section: Environment

Tags: Poetry, Pollution, University of Sheffield

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Excelis tests versatile new airborne sensor for explosives and dangerous chemicals

Hyperspectral imaging is a bit like super-vision. With it, you can not only see what’s there, but what it’s made of, which is a good thing if you’re looking for bombs, gas leaks, and smuggled nuclear material. Defense and information systems specialist Excelis has announced the successful test of a new airborne long-wave infrared (LWIR), hyperspectral (HSI) sensor that can be aimed in multiple directions and is capable of detecting explosives, gases and dangerous chemicals... Continue Reading Excelis tests versatile new airborne sensor for explosives and dangerous chemicals

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Electromagnetic, Imaging, Sensor, Surveillance

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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Raytheon's micro thermal chips could be "end of the flashlight"

Technological advances aren't just about making new devices. Many times it's more a matter of taking an existing device and improving on it. A case in point is Raytheon’s work on a new thermal imaging chip that the company says will find so many applications due to it being so small and cheap, that it may make the humble flashlight obsolete... Continue Reading Raytheon's micro thermal chips could be "end of the flashlight"

Section: Electronics

Tags: Chip, Infrared, Night Vision, Raytheon, Sensors, Thermal, Thermal Imaging

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Scientists use Silly Putty ingredient to improve batteries

If you see a group of scientists playing with a blob of Silly Putty, they might not be goofing off, they may be working on a technological breakthrough. That turned out to be the case with researchers at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering , who have developed a way to use an ingredient in Silly Putty to improve lithium-ion battery life between charges by three times the industry standard... Continue Reading Scientists use Silly Putty ingredient to improve batteries

Section: Electronics

Tags: Batteries, Lithium-ion, Nanotubes, University of California

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Lunar Dream Messenger project to land first sports drink on the Moon in 2015

Lunar exploration may be an exciting adventure in the conquest of space, but what if you get thirsty? Pocari Sweat is a Japanese sports drink that’s popular in Asia and the Middle East, and as part of its marketing strategy it plans to deliver a can of its product to the lunar surface next year... Continue Reading Lunar Dream Messenger project to land first sports drink on the Moon in 2015

Section: Space

Tags: Advertising, Drink, Japan, Moon, Spacecraft

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Venus Express prepares for plunge into atmosphere

After eight years of study of the second planet in our Solar System, ESA’s Venus Express orbiter is winding up its science program in anticipation of a plunge into the Venusian atmosphere sometime in the next two months... Continue Reading Venus Express prepares for plunge into atmosphere

Section: Aircraft

Tags: ESA, Spacecraft, Unmanned, Venus

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

IBM discovers first new class of polymers in decades

The chemical tree got a bit of a shake this week with scientists at IBM announcing the discovery of the first new class of polymer materials in decades. Discovered using a combination of lab experiments and computer modelling, the new plastics have properties that could potentially have a huge impact in manufacturing, transportation, aerospace, and micro electronics... Continue Reading IBM discovers first new class of polymers in decades

Section: Science

Tags: IBM, Plastics, Polymer, Recyclable, Self-healing

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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Shape-changing mirror puts lasers in focus

One cinematic cliché we've all seen is when the hero deflects the villain's dastardly laser beam with a hastily snatched hand mirror, sending it back at his adversary. Physics, ever the wet blanket, says that this is a highly improbable scenario. Focusing high-powered lasers isn't easy. A powerful laser distorts the mirror, throwing the beam off and spreading it out uselessly. To combat this, Fraunhofer is developing a lens that can deform itself to compensate for heating and other distortion factors to keep lasers focused on target... Continue Reading Shape-changing mirror puts lasers in focus

Section: Science

Tags: Fraunhofer, Laser, Mirror, Piezoelectric

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Modillion turns any "dumb" watch into a smartwatch

A mechanical smartwatch may sound like a contradiction in terms, but a Tel Aviv-based company has come up with a way of making one. Instead of requiring the wholesale replacement of your existing watch, Modillian is a “smart strap” that turns a mechanical or "dumb" wristwatch into a smartwatch by pairing with Android smartphones via Bluetooth... Continue Reading Modillion turns any "dumb" watch into a smartwatch

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Android, Bluetooth, Crowdfunding, Israel, Smartphones, Smartwatch, Watches

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Jaguar to build six brand new Lightweight 1963 E-types

It’s not unheard of for a car’s production to be interrupted for a few months or even a couple of years, but half a century is pushing it a bit. Jaguar announced today that it plans to complete the 18-car production run of the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type, which was suspended in 1964 after only 12 of the high-performance sports car were built. .. Continue Reading Jaguar to build six brand new Lightweight 1963 E-types

Section: Automotive

Tags: E-Type, Jaguar, Lightweight, Production, Racing

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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

US Navy's NeRD keeps reading under the radar

Bucking the "more is better" trend of digital technology, the US Navy has unveiled an e-reader that’s notable for its lack of features. Designed to provide service personnel with digital format books without breaching security, the Navy e-Reader Device (NeRD) lacks networking capabilities like Wi-Fi, or the ability to add or remove anything from its digital library... Continue Reading US Navy's NeRD keeps reading under the radar

Section: Mobile Technology

Tags: E-reader, Security, Submarine, US Navy

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Monday, 12 May 2014

FDA gives approval for DEKA prosthetic arm controlled by muscle impulses

Prosthetics have come a long way in recent years, with many artificial limbs incorporating advanced robotic and cybernetic systems that include everything up to and including mind control. Unfortunately, for all these advances, the lack of prosthetics capable of complex motor control means that most users see them as tools rather than replacement limbs. However, that may be changing as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced approval for marketing of the DEKA Arm system, the first prosthetic arm set to hit the market that translates signals from a patient’s muscles to carry out complex tasks... Continue Reading FDA gives approval for DEKA prosthetic arm controlled by muscle impulses

Section: Health and Wellbeing

Tags: DARPA, FDA, Prosthetics, Robotic

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Apollo 15 joystick among hundreds of air and space memorabilia items up for auction

If you've been building an Apollo Lunar Module out of scrap parts in your back yard, then you’re in luck. RR Auctions is putting hundreds of items up for bid as part of an auction of air and space memorabilia ranging from the Wright brothers to the present day. Amongst a number of standout items is the joystick from the Apollo 15 Lunar Module, which goes on the block with a starting bid of US$10,000. .. Continue Reading Apollo 15 joystick among hundreds of air and space memorabilia items up for auction

Section: Space

Tags: Apollo, Astronauts, Auction, History, Joystick, Moon, NASA, RR Auction, Soyuz,Spacecraft

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Regenerating plastic is better on the "hole"

Dropping your mobile phone can ruin your whole day as you look down at the spiderweb of cracks surrounding a small hole in the once-pristine plastic case. Now imagine watching as those cracks and that hole seal up by themselves, leaving behind a completely healed case. That may sound like science fiction, but it may not be for long with a team of researchers at the University of Illinois having developed a new system that doesn't just repair minor cracks in plastic, but regenerates to heal large holes... Continue Reading Regenerating plastic is better on the "hole"

Section: Science

Tags: Engineering, Materials, Plastic, Plastics, Polymer, Repair, Self-healing, University of Illinois

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Skylens wearable HUD gives pilots augmented vision

Flying by the seat of your pants through a dense fog while trying to land on a runway that’s (hopefully) where you think it is may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but modern technology can help reduce the risks. Elbit Systems' new Skylens is a wearable head-up display for commercial pilots that is designed to give a better view of proceedings. According to the company, it’s an easy-to-install system capable of giving pilots augmented vision that can help them navigate through fog and darkness... Continue Reading Skylens wearable HUD gives pilots augmented vision

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aviation, Display, elbit, HUD, Wearable

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Engineered bacterium is first living organism to use artificial DNA "letters"

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in California have produced a living bacterium that has a strand of artificial DNA made with chemical “letters” not found in nature or any other organism... Continue Reading Engineered bacterium is first living organism to use artificial DNA "letters"

Section: Science

Tags: Bacteria, DNA, Research, Scripps Research Institute

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