Meet ATHLETE, NASA’s Next Robot Moon Walker

To build and supply a lunar base, astronauts will need heavy-duty space trucks for transporting gear. There's just one problem: no roads. That's why NASA engineers designed the rover they call ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer)-to handle any terrain, whether dusty, rocky, or crater-y. Read More >>

This Robot Vomits So You Won’t Have To

Sometimes inventions, even the important ones, aren't pretty. Case in point: this vomiting robot. It could help us understand, and then battle, an illness that no one's found a cure for in 40 years. Even if it's not the cutest 'bot out there. Read More >>

These Massive Extinct Eagles Could Have Carried Off That Toddler’s Dad

Yesterday, a video supposedly showing a golden eagle swooping down to pluck a toddler from a Montreal park — it was unsuccessful, luckily — hit the internet. Great video! This morning, avian experts both amateur and professional began weighing in, saying the video was doctored, that the bird in question was not actually a golden eagle, that the bird's behaviour is unusual and that, all in all, it's probably fake. Read More >>

5 in 5 tech ideas
Will We Have Cognitive Computers That Feel and Smell in the Next Five Years?

At the end of each year, IBM releases its "5 in 5" — five technology predictions that IBM researchers foresee coming to fruition within the coming five years. These predictions are based on everything from emerging market trends to cultural and social behaviours to actual technologies IBM has incubating in its many labs. And if this year's predictions are to be believed, many computational systems — from your tablet and laptop to your smartphone — are about to get a lot more sensory, learning to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell in their own digital ways. Read More >>

NASA’s Latest Engineering Challenge: How to Change a Light Bulb

NASA is changing all of the light bulbs on board the International Space Station to help famously insomniac astronauts sleep better. Read More >>

Can Viagra Make You A Better Athlete?

The idea that Viagra helps out athletes has been around for years now, but is there a scientific consensus on it? Read More >>

Five of Physics’s Greatest Sex Scandals

Physicists need love, too. Just ask Paul Frampton, the physics professor who was sentenced recently after an alleged scam involving drugs and a bikini model. Read More >>

Super-Precise Laser Scalpel Minimises Collateral Damage

An ultra-fast tiny laser can work as a miniature scalpel inside the body, making careful incisions or excisions while leaving healthy tissue intact. It is more effective than a doctor's metal scalpel or even other laser devices, according to its developers at the University of Texas, because it leaves more healthy cells alone. Read More >>

Why Making a Male Contraceptive Pill Is So Damn Difficult

John Amory, a doctor at the University of Washington, has been developing a male contraceptive for 15 years. Turns out, it's harder than it sounds. We spoke with him to find out why. Read More >>

The Petite Particle Accelerator: A Proton Gun For Killing Tumours

Since 1990, doctors have been regularly treating cancer patients using proton beams, which work similarly to radiation. Proton therapy is more precise, however, causing less harm to healthy surrounding tissues. Unfortunately, generating a proton beam requires a particle-accelerator facility that's the size of an airplane hangar and costs more than £60 million to build. Thus, proton-beam therapy remains a rarity, with only 37 working facilities worldwide. Just 10,000 people were treated last year, less than 5 percent of suitable patients. Read More >>

A Mouse Made Just For You Will Be Your Medical Avatar

When you check in to a hospital in the future, along with checking your vitals and ordering a blood panel, your doctors may assign you a personal mouse. The immune-deficient creature will receive a transplant of your tissue, which will allow it to mimic your immune system, or maybe your specific type of cancer. Then doctors can try out a cocktail of drugs or gene therapies to see what might work on you. Read More >>

In the Future, Maglev Cannons Will Shoot Us Into Space

Today in grandiose space ambitions that would make even Richard Branson balk: a £40 billion, 1,000-mile long, 12-mile high, 20,000-miles-per-hour maglev train that starts on the ground and arrives in low Earth orbit. The minds behind the Startram project think it could reduce the cost per kilo for cargo from roughly £6,500 to just £32. Read More >>

Lockheed’s Space Fence Prototype Starts Tracking Space Junk With Advanced Radar

Orbital debris is a large and growing problem, and no one is quite sure how to deal with it -- polar lasers, nets and other concepts are still merely ideas. But we should at least monitor all that space trash, to be certain where it is and whether it's heading for something we want to protect, like the ISS or a military satellite. The US Air Force's new Space Fence, designed to keep an eye on space trash, is getting closer to reality. Read More >>

The First-Ever Images of Atoms Moving Inside a Molecule

Ohio State University researchers have captured the first-ever images of atoms moving within a molecule using a novel technique that turns one of the molecules own electrons into a kind of flash bulb. The technique has yielded a new way of imaging molecules, but could one day help scientists to intimately control chemical reactions at the atomic scale. Read More >>

Will People Ever Evolve Out of Craving Unhealthy Food?

Maybe, but it's going to take a long time. For the past 200,000 years or so, fatty and sugary foods were hard for humans to come by and well worth gorging on. Fats help maintain body temperature, sugars provide energy, and craving such food is hardwired: Eating fats and sugars activates reward centers in the brain. Read More >>