When something belongs to everyone, like the sun, or the air, it has no market value. This is also true for the bark of the willow tree. If no one owns it, then no one can sell it. And if no one can sell it, then who will invest the money to find out if it can treat breast cancer and save thousands of lives? This is the dilemma confronting Dr. Michelle Holmes, a Harvard University researcher who believes that she has observed a chemical from the willow tree that looks to be doubling the survival rate from breast cancer.
MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of tech. The consummate predictor highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today. "This is my favorite, 1995, back page of Newsweek magazine. ["Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure." —Clifford Stoll, Newsweek, 1995]. And he leaves you with one last (absurd? brilliant?) prediction for the coming 30 years.
Researchers in Florida are testing an unorthodox method of forecasting hurricanes. They're trying to determine if sharks and other large fish can help them reliably predict the deadly storms. Researchers at the school have attached about 1,000 tiny probes to sharks and tarpon in the waters across the Florida peninsula. Their goal is to attach about 1,000 more at a cost of $6,000 apiece. The magic number for storms to form happens to be 79 degrees. The cutting-edge technology found that sharks and tarpon flock to the same 79-degree waters. Researchers said watching the animals' movements could improve forecasts, saving lives and property.
Where will the next cloud-to-ground bolt of lightning strike? Good question!
Where someone’s gaze falls could indicate almost instantly whether attraction is based on feelings of love or of lust.Scientists say if the gaze is focused on a stranger’s face, then love is possible, but if the gaze focuses more on the stranger’s body, then the attraction is more sexual in nature. That automatic judgment can occur in as little as half a second, producing different gaze patterns.
“Although little is currently known about the science of love at first sight or how people fall in love, these patterns of response provide the first clues regarding how automatic attentional processes, such as eye gaze, may differentiate feelings of love from feelings of desire toward strangers,” says lead author Stephanie Cacioppo, director of the High-Performance Electrical NeuroImaging Laboratory at the University of Chicago.
Researchers have known that in the U.S. couples with daughters are somewhat more likely to divorce than couples with sons.
The days of long flight delays due to terrible weather could soon be over with the introduction of virtual reality-style headgear for airline pilots.
Student Jordan Nickerson said he used a combination of 3-D technology and parts found at a hardware store. “The rubber bands make a real difference giving the fingers flex,” Nickerson said as he demonstrated the device. Jordan has lived without his left hand since birth and is now enjoying doing some of the tasks we take for granted. “I can peel an orange because I can hold it now instead of pressing it against my shirt and making a mess,” he said. He has plans to form a company offering the affordable hands to those who can’t pay thousands for more traditional prosthetics. “When I perfect the design, I want to sell them for $300 and for every one purchased it would provide a free one to someone who can’t pay,” he said.
A new device allows a paralyzed man to move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts. The device is called Neurobridge and is able to reconnect the brain directly to paralyzed muscles, enabling controlled and functional movement. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle, a technological development company, partnered to develop this technology. "It's much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we're actually bypassing electrical signals," said Battelle research leader Chad Bouton. "We're taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles." The Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user's brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain to transmit new signals to the paralyzed limb.
It may sound like science fiction, but within a few years there could be a birth control that would let women control if they want to get pregnant with the push of a button. A chip implanted inside a woman's body would last 16 years. It works with electric current, so once the woman pushes the remote, the electric current would release hormones to prevent pregnancy. Then when a woman chooses to have a baby, she could just turn it off. ''If this interests you, look at the ones we have on the market already'', Dr. Lisa Perriera, from University Hospitals tells us, ''look at the implants, look at the inter-uterine devices. They are FDA approved and available now and they're very safe and effective. Clinical trials for the birth control chip could begin as soon as 2016, and creators say they are making the chip hack-proof.