Turn Your iPhone Into a Biomed Lab

Bored with your iPhone? Try turning it into a low-cost spectrophotometer. Some researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have come up with a an iPhone app and a cradle packed with biosensor technology that will let users detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other biological material.

The sensors could allow people to run field tests to spot poisons, measure food safety, and even make medical diagnoses using an iPhone.

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Oxford Tests a Low-Cost Self-Driving Car

Researchers at Oxford University are testing a low-cost, self-driving vehicle concept  in the UK. The modified Nissan Leaf (called RobotCar) uses stereo cameras and lasers, along with a 3D mapping solution housed in a computer in the rear of the vehicle.

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Tesla’s Elon Musk Knocks Dreamliner Batteries

Boeing is frantically trying to save face in the wake of several electrical failures and at least one fire on several of its its much ballyhooed 787 Dreamliner airliners. Authorities in the U.S. and Japan are currently investigating the fires, and now one of the world’s best known inventors has chimed in by criticizing the battery technology onboard the planes.

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Are You Ready for a Cashless Society?

A cashless society has long been a staple of sci-fi. Star Wars and Star Trek both have their version of credits, though more materially obsessed cultures do keep a form of hard currency around. It’s also a common trope in dystopian fiction, where money is completely electronic and usually controlled by either the government or mega-corporations.

Speaking as a citizen of a country that isn’t ready to let go of the penny, I’m not sure everyone is ready for a cashless society. Ready or not, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Mines), and possibly all of surrounding Rapid City, are about to embark on a pilot program for a cashless society in partnership with Nexus USA’s Smart Pay system. Continue reading

Help Save the World from Killer Asteroids

An international team of scientists plans to test a working asteroid deflection system in hopes of averting a devastating collision with a killer near-Earth asteroid—and they’re asking for your help.

The European Space Agency and Johns Hopkins University are collaborating on a trial run to test out the concept behind the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission. Continue reading


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