Minerals are combinations of chemical elements arranged into crystalline structures. Earth's rocks are built from different aggregations. Think of feldspar, quartz and mica - these are the ubiquitous species that everyone knows.
But cobaltominite, abelsonite, fingerite, edoylerite - these are examples that will not form unless the "cooking conditions" are absolutely perfect.
The atomic ingredients must sum exactly, the temperature must be precise to the degree, and the pressure will have to be defined in the narrowest of margins.
And then, some will immediately fall apart when they get wet or the sun shines on them.
Like the biblical character Noah, Joel Sartore is building an ark, with photos. He is in the midst of a daunting quest to document 12,000 captive species, from the striking Malayan tiger to the adorable red panda and almost laughably small royal antelope. The goal is to raise awareness of these creatures, and the mounting threat of extinction many of them face.
He started researching the work of great conservationist artists like James Audubon, who famously attempted to paint and describe every species of bird in America. Audobon’s goal inspired Sartore to begin his own ambitious catalog of the animals he treasures. He hopes to engender the same passion in others.
Impressive all the laws of nature and tech is use to monitor the Marginal Ice Zone in the Arctic
“Among the sensors the scientists placed on the ice in March were a set of eight acoustic navigation beacons. These have base-stations at the surface, which fix their locations using GPS. They then rebroadcast that information from loudspeakers hanging 100 metres down below the ice, in the transmission layer. If a Seaglider can detect two or more beacons while it is travelling through this layer, it can swiftly compute its own position.
This may not always work, because the Seagliders might stray too far from the beacons. In that case, the researchers have a pair of robotic guide dogs to assist. These are called Wave Gliders (pictured at the top of the story). One part of each Wave Glider stays on the surface, generating electricity from solar panels during the Arctic’s 24-hour summer daylight. The other part is an array of hydrofoils suspended four metres underwater. The difference in motion between the waves above and the calm below causes water to move over the hydrofoils and propel the Wave Glider forward up to twice as fast as a Seaglider. Although Wave Gliders broadcast far above the sound layer, and thus have shorter ranges than fixed beacons, they can be programmed to shadow the Seagliders, and keep them within earshot.”
Designing a light, soft robot that is both self-contained and high-performance remains a challenge. Onboard computers are heavy, so engineers are often forced to strike a less-than-ideal balance between dexterity and autonomy: They can weigh down their robots with sophisticated hardware, tether their experiments to external computers and lose autonomy, or settle for lighter, inferior onboard tech.
Soft robotic fish provide one biomimetic solution. In nature, fish store their heavy machinery—a skull and a brain—in their heads, while the rest of their bodies are light and bendable. Borrowing from nature's model aquatic organisms, Marphese copied fish musculature to design a smart, but still soft, mechanical fish.
Policy Horizons Canada’s latest foresight study examines how four emerging technologies (digital technologies, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and neuroscience technologies) could drive disruptive social and economic change over the next 10 to 15 years.
“These technologies will impact almost every sector of the economy. One of the most disruptive features of several of the technologies is they increase productivity with fewer workers. Artificial intelligence (like Apple's Siri) combined with data analytics could dramatically change the service sector with fewer workers. In a growing number of sectors, 3D printing could change the economics and location of manufacturing. Synthetic biology could change the economics and flow of raw materials in agriculture, forestry, energy and mining. Governments, business and society will have to work together to ensure there are innovative policies and institutions in place to ride the next wave of technological change. The next 10 to 15 years will be an era of transition. Almost every major piece of infrastructure will likely be under pressure to keep up in areas like skills development, health care, transportation and security. Ignoring or underestimating the rate of change could very well undermine our competitiveness, preparedness and resilience.”
“Imagine a digital tattoo that transmits skin temperature; a transparent sensor on a contact lens that tests for glaucoma; a pliable pacemaker wrapped around a beating heart; and an implant that controls pain after surgery, then dissolves harmlessly when it is no longer needed.
Each one is an experiment under way today in the biophysics of personal medicine.
At laboratories in the U.S., Switzerland, and Korea, bioengineers are developing unusually flexible ultrathin electronics that promise to free medical diagnostics from the clinical tethers of cables and power cords, to make measuring vital signs more intimate and effective.”
With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors' working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean's surface.
Research by a Navy laboratory in Groton is now leading to changes for the undersea fleet. Military scientists concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule, and the Navy has endorsed the findings for any skippers who want to make the switch.
The first submarine to try the new schedule on a full deployment was the USS Scranton, led by Cmdr. Seth Burton, a cancer survivor. He said the illness he experienced as a junior officer helped convince him of the health benefits of keeping a sleep pattern in line with the body's natural rhythm.