Even the most skilled and steady surgeons experience minute, almost imperceptible hand tremors when performing delicate tasks. Normally, these tiny motions are inconsequential, but for doctors specializing in fine-scale surgery, such as operating inside the human eye or repairing microscopic nerve fibers, freehand tremors can pose a serious risk for patients.
The Popinator Project aims to change the popcorn eating experience by making it more fun. The idea behind The Popinator is to instantly deliver popcorn into a person's mouth just by saying the word "pop."
The Popinator will be able to pinpoint where in the room the spoken word originated from and shoot a piece of popcorn at it. The Popinator shoots up to 15 feet and is for inside use only.
A strange thing about black holes: they shine.
The current issue of Science Express features a paper by the Event Horizon telescope team?a collaboration that includes Avery Broderick, Associate Faculty at Perimeter Institute ? that may shed light on the origin of the bright jets given off by some black holes. In a world first, the team has been able to look at a distant black hole and find out where its jets are launched from: the "launchpad."
Don't think the new iPhone 5 was enough of a leap over the previous generation of Apple's smartphone in terms of design? Well, a new patent by the Cupertino, Calif. tech powerhouse should have you very excited.
The company has patented a flexible screen technology that could not only allow for curved screens on future devices, but ones that transform to feature physical buttons and actually emit sound as well.
The Curiosity rover has come across a place in Gale Crater where ankle-to-hip-deep water once vigorously flowed: an ancient streambed containing evidence of gravel that has been worn by water. At a press briefing today, members of the Mars Science Laboratory team said the rover has found ?surprising? outcrops and gravel near the rover landing site that indicate water once flowed in this region, and likely flowed for a long time.
Our brains are better at hearing new and approaching sounds than detecting when a sound disappears, according to a study published today funded by the Wellcome Trust. The findings could explain why parents often fail to notice the sudden quiet from the playroom that usually accompanies the onset of mischief.
Researchers at King?s College London, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified for the first time a key factor responsible for declining muscle repair during ageing, and discovered how to halt the process in mice with a common drug.
Although an early study, the finding provides clues as to how muscles lose mass with age, which can result in weakness that affects mobility and may cause falls.
Although the standard approach to acute appendicitis is to remove the appendix, a study at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, reveals that treatment with antibiotics can be just as effective in many cases.
In her thesis, Jeanette Hansson discusses two major clinical studies of adult patients with acute appendicitis. In the first study she compares surgery with antibiotic therapy, while in the second patients with appendicitis were treated with antibiotics as first-line therapy.
In experiments on mice and rats, the scientists have managed to both prevent the development of type II diabetes and reverse the progression of established disease.
The study is published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, where it is described as a breakthrough in diabetes research. The findings are the result of a joint effort by Karolinska Institutet, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Australian biopharmaceutical company CSL Limited, amongst others.
"Over increasingly large areas of the United States spring now comes unheralded by the return of birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song." -- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring 1962
Fifty years ago this week, Rachel Carson's now-famous book Silent Spring rolled off of the presses. It drew widespread attention to the effects of pesticides like DDT on wildlife and human communities and is often credited with launching the modern environmental movement in the United States. The title laments the loss of songbirds to unintentional poisoning.
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As a child growing up on a farm in Western Pennsylvania, Carson learned to love and respect birds and other wildlife. Our video of the week is a tribute to Carson and her enormous impact on public understanding of ecology and environmental toxicology in the United States. The Eastern Towhee shown here is one of many birds Carson likely heard singing on her farm during her formative years. Thanks in large part to Carson's eye-opening book, broad applications of pesticides have been reduced, and there's hope that we will never experience a truly silent spring.
Read a brief biography of Rachel Carson and excerpts from her often lyrical writings
Learn more about the Eastern Towhee (including listening to other audio clips of their songs and calls) as well as many other bird species on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds site
Read the first chapter of Lind Lear's Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, a detailed biography of Carson's life
Have you read Silent Spring or other writings by Rachel Carson? What did you think?
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