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  • wingover 9:07 am on March 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    NASA – The X-48B Blended Wing Body 


    NASA – The X-48B Blended Wing Body.

    The airplane is the X-48B, an advanced concept, fuel-efficient blended wing body or BWB. It’s called a blended wing body because it looks more like a modified triangular-shaped wing than the traditional aircraft, which is a tube and wing with a tail.

    The eight-and-a-half percent scale prototype is being tested in the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

    Boeing Phantom Works’ advanced research and development unit has partnered with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to explore and confirm the structural, aerodynamic and operational advantages of the blended wing body design.

    “The biggest difference between this aircraft and the traditional tube and wing aircraft is that this does not have a tail,” said Dan Vicroy, senior research engineer at NASA Langley. “The whole reason you have a tail is for stability and control. So what we want to do with this wind tunnel test is to look at how different multiple control surfaces can be used to control this particular vehicle.”

    The team has produced two high-tech prototypes of the BWB, built to Boeing specifications by Cranfield Aerospace in England, for wind tunnel and flight-testing. The Air Force has designated the vehicles as the “X-48B” based on its interest in the design’s potential as a multi-role, long-range, high-capacity military aircraft.

  • wingover 11:08 pm on March 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Artificial life could be created within five years 

    Artificial life ‘could be created within five years’ – Telegraph.

    Laboratories across the world are closing in on a “second genesis” – an achievement that would be one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time.

    Prof David Deamer, from California University, said although building a new lifeform from scratch is a daunting task he is confident it can happen in five to 10 years.

    He said: “The momentum is building – we’re knocking at the door.”

    A synthetic, made-to-order living system could produce everything from new drugs to biofuels and greenhouse gas absorbers.

    Opponents of the controversial research claim the technology could lead to machines becoming “almost human”.

    But there would be no safety issues for a long time as any initial organisms would be very primitive and need large-scale life support in the lab, reports New Scientist.

    The finishing line could be in sight after geneticists Professor George Church and Dr Michael Jewett, of Harvard Medical School, told a synthetic biology conference in Hong Kong that they had synthetically created part of a cell, called a ribosome.

    Don’t forget – the word on the street is technology is at least 25 years ahead of what the public is told.

  • wingover 10:42 am on March 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Video of world’s most advanced robot? 

    VIDEO: Rollin’ Justin Robot.

    • josh 6:47 pm on March 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      one day we may have robot girlfirends or boyfriends

  • wingover 9:55 am on March 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Designer baby row over US clinic 

    BBC NEWS | Health | Designer baby row over US clinic.

    A US clinic has sparked controversy by offering would-be parents the chance to select traits like the eye and hair colour of their offspring.

    The LA Fertility Institutes run by Dr Jeff Steinberg, a pioneer of IVF in the 1970s, expects a trait-selected baby to be born next year.

    His clinic also offers sex selection.

    UK fertility experts are angered that the service will distract attention from how the same technology can protect against inherited disease.

    The science is based on a lab technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD.

    • Anonymous 2:13 pm on March 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Yet again people strike to play god

  • wingover 12:03 pm on March 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    DARPA’s new lab-on-a-chip that protects America from biological warfare? 

    Cutting-edge nanoscale pollution and chemical warfare monitoring.

    (Nanowerk News) For centuries, animals have been our first line of defense against toxins. A canary in a coalmine served as a living monitor for poisonous gases. Scientists used fish to test for contaminants in our water. Even with modern advances, though, it can take days to detect a fatal chemical or organism. Until now. Working in the miniaturized world of nanotechnology, Tel Aviv University researchers have made an enormous — and humane — leap forward in the detection of pollutants.

    A team led by Prof. Yosi Shacham-Diamand, vice-dean of TAU’s Faculty of Engineering, has developed a nano-sized laboratory, complete with a microscopic workbench, to measure water quality in real time. Their “lab on a chip” is a breakthrough in the effort to keep water safe from pollution and bioterrorist threats, pairing biology with the cutting-edge capabilities of nanotechnology.

    “We’ve developed a platform –– essentially a micro-sized, quarter-inch square ‘lab’ –– employing genetically engineered bacteria that light up when presented with a stressor in water,” says Prof. Shacham-Diamand.

    Equipment on the little chip can work to help detect very tiny light levels produced by the bacteria.Instead of using animals to help detect threats to a water supply, Prof. Shacham-Diamand says “Our system is based on a plastic chip that is more humane, much faster, more sensitive and much cheaper.”

    Tiny Lab-on-Chip Boosts Accuracy

    “Basically, ours is an innovative advance in the ‘lab on a chip’ system,” says Prof. Shacham-Diamand. “It’s an ingenious nano-scale platform designed to get information out of biological events. Our solution can monitor water with never-before-achieved levels of accuracy. But as a platform, it can also be used for unlimited purposes, such as investigating stem cell therapies or treating cancer.”

    According to published literature, Tel Aviv University is one of the top five universities in the world pioneering the “lab on a chip” concept. The nanolabs can be used to evaluate several biological processes with practical applications, such as microbes in water, stem cells, or breast cancer development. Prof. Shacham-Diamand’s active lab group publishes a major paper about once a month in this field, most recently in the journal Nano Letters.

    Environmental, Medical and Defense Uses for “Mini-Labs” Partnering with other Israeli scientists, Tel Aviv University is currently building and commercializing its water-testing mini-labs to measure and monitor how genetically engineered bacteria respond to pollution such as E. coli in water. Cities across Israel have expressed interest in the technology, as has the state of Hawaii.

    But other uses are being explored as well. Funded by a $3 million grant from the United States Department of Defense Projects Agency (DARPA), the new lab-on-a-chip could become a defensive weapon that protects America from biological warfare. His system, Prof. Shacham-Diamand says, can be also modified to react to chemical threats and pollution. With some tweaking here and there, it can be updated as new threats are detected.

    Prof. Shacham-Diamond’s research has also attracted the interest of cancer researchers around the world. He recently addressed 400 physicians at a World Cancer Conference who are seeking new devices to measure and monitor cancer and pharmaceuticals.
    “They need sensors like Tel Aviv University’s lab on a chip. It’s a hot topic now,” says Prof. Shacham-Diamond.

    Source: Tel Aviv University

  • wingover 10:37 am on February 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Israel sends robots into battle 

    Israel sends robots into battle | EnerPub – Energy Publisher.

    Among the weapons and gadgets, that resemble technology from James Bond movies, is a softball-sized camera that can be thrown into a suspect house to transmit back to troops. Another is a heavy tactical rifle built by H-S Precision in the U.S.

    Some gadgets look like they came straight out of a James Bond movie. One is a softball-sized camera that can be thrown into a suspect house and transmit images to soldiers outside. Another is a special door-buster that is connected to an M-16 and can blow open booby-trapped portals.

    On February 18, the IDF Ground Forces Command put these weapon systems and others – most of them used during last month’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip – on display in a military base in the South.

    Called the Eyeball, the spherical camera was developed by the Tel Aviv-based company ODF Optronics. An advanced, audio-visual surveillance sensor, the Eyeball was used by IDF troops during the Gaza offensive to survey homes and suspicious areas before entering them.

    Each unit is only slightly larger than a baseball and can be simply thrown into the area that needs to be checked out. It can also be mounted on a pole or lowered on a cable into a tunnel.

    Another product from the same company is the Eyedrive, a lightweight, four-wheel, remote-controlled, observation and surveillance mini-robot that provides continuous, real-time 360º audio and video surveillance. Due to its durability, the robot can be thrown on the ground, go down stairs, flip over and keep on going.

    The IDF also tested the HTR 2000, a new sniper rifle that will be distributed to all infantry battalions. It has a range of more than 1,000 meters and can be used with a special night-vision add-on scope. The adjustable heavy tactical rifle is made by H-S Precision INC in the United States.
    Also used for the first time during the offensive was the Matador shoulder-launched anti-structure munition.

    Used by infantry to destroy Hamas positions inside homes and other structures, the Matador incorporates an advanced tandem warhead concept that can be operated in two modes: against fortified positions and other structures, and to create a hole in a wall without destroying the inside of a home. The system was acquired by the IDF in light of the Second Lebanon War, when infantry forces had problems hitting Hizbullah positions inside homes in the absence of a tank or attack helicopter. The Ground Forces Command also put the IDF’s new armored personnel carrier on display. The Namer (Tiger) is based on the same platform as the Merkava MK4 Battle Tank and has the same high-level of reinforced steel protection.

    “The Ground Forces Command is more prepared today than it was in the past decade to deal with the threats and challenges in the North and the Gaza Strip,” OC Ground Forces Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrachi said.

  • wingover 11:03 am on February 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 

    DARPA | Home.

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). DARPA’s mission is to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming our national security. We also create technological surprise for our adversaries.

  • wingover 1:55 am on February 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Video: Nanofactory Animation 

    A nanofactory is a proposed system in which nanomachines (resembling molecular assemblers, or industrial robot arms) would combine molecules to build larger atomically precise parts. These, in turn, would be assembled by positioning mechanisms of assorted sizes to build macroscopic (visible) but still atomically-precise products.

    A functioning nanofactory could create virtually any product at the cost of only the input raw material and energy.

  • wingover 1:32 am on February 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Video: Nanotechnology 

    Nanotechnology refers broadly to a field of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the atomic and molecular scale, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices within that size range. It is a highly multidisciplinary field, drawing from fields such as applied physics, materials science, interface and colloid science, device physics, supramolecular chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. Much speculation exists as to what new science and technology may result from these lines of research. Nanotechnology can be seen as an extension of existing sciences into the nanoscale, or as a recasting of existing sciences using a newer, more modern term.

  • wingover 1:27 am on February 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Nanotechnology – Nanotopia 

    Discusses the wonders, uses, and potential for nanotechnology in the future. Features commentary from expert Eric Drexler.

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