It may seem a little science fiction-esque, but growing crops in a nutrient-rich goo might just be the thing for farmers in rough terrains. Discovery News reports on some industrial design students in the Netherlands who have put forward this idea to protect food from damage by pests, sandstorms, etc. This could help feed a lot of people in locations where it's difficult to grow crops, like the...
Have you ever wanted to trick a fish? Of course you have. And now, through the miracle of robotics, we can make that dream a reality. Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University have invented a robotic fish that moves realistically enough to cause real fish to follow it in a school. In the process, they have learned (at least partly) what makes a leader among fish: beating its tail rapidly. This creates a wake in which other fish can follow with less tail movement, which...
Recently during a conversation with a coworker, it became clear that very few people are aware of a critical resource shortage: helium. This gas is responsible for providing buoyant jubilation at birthday parties, facilitating lawn chair aeronautics, and serving in sensitive laboratory equipment. (Ever have an MRI...
Many of us have heard about the terrible air quality in Beijing, China in a very abstract way. On January 10, 2012 the Earth Observatory, a NASA operated imaging satellite, captured images of a large cloud of smog that limited visibility to 200 meters. Smog clouds like this are more common in the winter, due to a phenomenon known as temperature inversion. (Essentially, during the...
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