science + technology news

RobotVision: A Bing-Powered iPhone Augmented Reality Browser

August 31, 2009

Bing listings will appear on top of your iPhone’s camera viewer when you point at a restaurant or business, with the forthcoming iPhone RobotVision app (it will also display a view of Tweets and Flickr photos published nearby wherever you are).

Robust ‘spider silk’ matrix guides cardiac tissue regeneration

April 13, 2015

Heart tissue cells matrix ft

Genetically engineered fibers of the protein spidroin — the construction material for spider webs — are a ideal matrix (substrate or frame) for cultivating heart tissue cells, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) researchers have found, as noted in an open-access article in the journal PLOS ONE.

Regenerative methods can solve the problem of transplant rejection, but it’s a challenge to find a… read more

Rock Robots

December 31, 2010

Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, a group of University of Virginia PhD students and composers, has developed MARIE, a project to put robotic music in a form that you can easily take on the road.

Their previous project, Poly-tangent, Automatic (multi-) Monochord, is capable of creating raucous musical performances like the one below.

‘Rock-Breathing’ Bacteria Could Generate Electricity and Clean Up Oil Spills

December 15, 2009

Anaerobic bacteria from animal or human waste that survive by “iron respiration” could allow for development of new microbe-based technologies such as “bio-battery” fuel cells and agents to clean up toxic organic pollutants such as oil or uranium, scientists at the University of East Anglia have discovered.

These bacteria can construct tiny biological wires that extend through the cell walls and allow the organism to directly contact, and conduct… read more

Rocket explosion creates dangerous space junk

February 26, 2007

A Russian rocket body exploded accidentally on Feb. 19, littering the skies with more than 1000 additional pieces of space junk.

The elliptical orbit could prolong the time the debris stays in space and the debris could cross the orbits of many existing satellites.

Rocket fuel boosts speed of transistors

March 18, 2004

The rocket fuel hydrazine has turned out to be ideal in helping to make faster thin-film transistors, a crucial component of liquid crystal displays.

The key was the discovery that the semiconductor tin disulphide, which is insoluble in most liquids, can be dissolved in hydrazine if sulphur is added to the mix. By applying the solution to a silicon substrate and spinning it they were able to create a… read more

Rocket powered by nuclear fusion could send humans to Mars

April 8, 2013

University of Washington researchers and scientists are building components of a fusion-powered rocket aimed to clear many of the hurdles that block deep space travel, including long times in transit, exorbitant costs, and health risks.

“Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” said lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

“We are hoping… read more

Rocket-powered racing plane takes flight

July 30, 2008

The Rocket Racing League’s first racing plane took to the skies on Tuesday.

Billed as a NASCAR for the skies, the league hopes to pit rocket-powered planes against each other on a 3D track.

Rocket Racing League – Teaser

‘Rogue’ asteroids may be the norm

February 3, 2014


A new map of asteroids developed by researchers from MIT and the Paris Observatory charts the size, composition, and location of more than 100,000 asteroids throughout the solar system, and shows that rogue asteroids are more common than previously thought.

Particularly in the solar system’s main asteroid belt — between Mars and Jupiter — the researchers found a compositionally diverse mix of asteroids.

The new asteroid… read more

‘Rogue Spear’ to train military to tackle terrorists

October 3, 2001

Ubi Soft Entertainment is licensing technology used to create counterterrorist simulation game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear to help train soldiers.

The Department of Defense plans to use the game engine —- the programming that powers the game’s logic —- to train troops to fight terrorists in urban terrain. It will be modified to use maps and scenarios requested by the U.S. Army, and will teach strategy and… read more

Rogue stem cells hold clue to melanoma growth (preview)

January 22, 2008

Harvard Medical School researchers have identified cancer stem cells for melanoma that both trigger the initial tumor and drive its later growth.

The discovery may help lead to better treatments against the cancer. The cancer stem cells pump out chemicals from cancer cells, helping the tumor resist chemotherapy.

Role of mirror neurons may need a rethink

May 27, 2009

Harvard University researchers suggest that the theory that by simulating action even when just watching an act, motor neurons allow us to recognize and understand other people’s actions and intentions, is flawed.

Role of neo-neurons in learning, memory revealed

May 23, 2012

Section of a mouse brain observed using a fluorescence microscope. The green filaments represent neo-neurons in an organized network. (Credit: Institut Pasteur)

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS have identified the role played by neo-neurons formed in the adult brain of mice.

By using selective stimulation, the researchers were able to show that these neo-neurons increase the ability to learn and memorize difficult cognitive tasks, which c0uld open up new avenues in the treatment of some neurodegenerative diseases.

The discovery that new neurons… read more

Roll-to-Roll Printed Plastic Displays

February 1, 2010


A company called Phicot has adapted a technique for printing amorphous silicon electronics onto plastic that could make flexible, lightweight, and rugged plastic-based displays practical.

Roll-Up Solar Panels

June 8, 2009

Xunlight has developed a way to make large, flexible solar panels: a roll-to-roll manufacturing technique forms thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells on thin sheets of stainless steel.

Such systems could be incorporated more easily into irregular roof designs, or rolled up and carried in a backpack.

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