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Aug 27, 2019

Tri-County Health Department, CO

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Unaffected areas of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge opened on Saturday, August 17.

Numerous sites with plague-infected fleas affecting local prairie dog colonies will remain closed through Labor Day Weekend so that authorities can continue to treat the prairie dogs’ holes with insecticide to kill any remaining fleas that could transmit the disease to prairie dogs, people, and pets.

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge will reopen to visitors on Saturday, August 17, including the refuge’s Visitor Center, Wildlife Drive, and recreational fishing access. Some trails and parking lots will remain closed through Labor Day weekend due to ongoing monitoring and plague management efforts. These areas are clearly marked and will reopen to visitors in early September. For up-to-date information about visitor access and activities, please visit

Aug 27, 2019

How an army of ‘citizen scientists’ is helping save our most elusive animals

Posted by in category: habitats

His work is one of a series of projects that have been set up by Doing It Together Science (Ditos), an EU citizen science programme that has been co-ordinated by researchers at University College London. Two major strands were selected for special attention: bio-design – the use of living things (such as bacteria and plants) in product design, and environmental monitoring. As one of the latter projects, a group at Durham University, led by Dr Phil Stephens and including researcher Pen-Yuan Hsing, set up MammalWeb which uses camera traps – digital cameras triggered by an animal’s heat and movement – to monitor wildlife in the north-east. Ascroft was one of their first volunteers.

Roland Ascroft’s first attempt to become a citizen scientist was nearly his last. The 63-year-old conservationist volunteered to take part in a wildlife monitoring project in 2015 and began by placing a camera trap in the woods opposite his house at New Brancepeth, near Durham. For three weeks he checked every day to see if the device had been triggered by animals moving in front of it, but found nothing had set it off.

“I was about to give up when I moved my camera trap for one last attempt – and found next morning that I had photographed a roe deer in the early morning,” says Ascroft. “I was hooked.”

Continue reading “How an army of ‘citizen scientists’ is helping save our most elusive animals” »

Aug 27, 2019

Big Developments Bring Us Closer to Fully Untethered Soft Robots

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, engineering, robotics/AI

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Caltech have developed new soft robotic systems that are inspired by origami. These new systems are able to move and change shape in response to external stimuli. The new developments bring us closer to having fully untethered soft robots. The soft robots that we possess today use external power and control. Because of this, they have to be tethered to off-board systems with hard components.

The research was published in Science Robotics. Jennifer A. Lewis, a Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at SEAS and co-lead author of the study, spoke about the new developments.

“The ability to integrate active materials within 3D-printed objects enables the design and fabrication of entirely new classes of soft robotic matter,” she said.

Aug 27, 2019

Newly Developed Cameras Use Light to See Around Corners

Posted by in categories: engineering, information science, particle physics, robotics/AI

David Lindell, a graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford University, along with his team, developed a camera that can watch moving objects around corners. When they tested the new technology, Lindell wore a high visibility tracksuit as he moved around an empty room. They had a camera that was aimed at a blank wall away from Lindell, and the team was able to watch all of his movements with the use of a high powered laser. The laser reconstructed the images through the use of single particles of light that were reflected onto the walls around Lindell. The newly developed camera used advanced sensors and a processing algorithm.

Gordon Wetzstein, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, spoke about the newly developed technology.

“People talk about building a camera that can see as well as humans for applications such as autonomous cats and robots, but we want to build systems that go well beyond that,” he said. “We want to see things in 3D, around corners and beyond the visible light spectrum.”

Aug 27, 2019

Careers at CERN

Posted by in category: employment

Imagine. Believe Belong. #CERN is hiring newly qualified technicians (up to 4 years’ experience) in a wide variety of domains to work on exciting projects! Join the CERN Technician Training Experience: #iworkatcern #technicians #jobs N.

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Aug 26, 2019

How Quantum Radar Could Completely Change Warfare

Posted by in categories: military, quantum physics

A new high definition radar system that could change the nature of warfare has been demonstrated for the first time. The result, quantum radar, is a high definition detection system that provides a much more detailed image of targets while itself remaining difficult to detect. Quantum radars could provide users with enough detail to identify aircraft, missiles, and other aerial targets by specific model.

According to the MIT Technology Review, researchers at Austria’s Institute of Science and Technology used entangled microwaves to create the world’s first quantum radar system.

Aug 26, 2019

A Cancer Researcher Opens Up About His Astonishing Breakthrough

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

A simple ten-minute universal cancer test that can be detected by the human eye or an electronic device — published in Nature Communications (Dec 2018) by the Trau lab at the University of Queensland. Red indicates the presence of cancerous cells and blue doesn’t.

Aug 26, 2019

Forget the F-35: The Tempest Could Be the Future (Armed with Lasers, Hypersonic Missiles and Swarms)

Posted by in categories: drones, energy, military

With a flourish of a silk curtain at the Farnborough Air Show on July 16, British defense secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled a full-scale model of the Tempest, the UK’s concept for a domestically built twin-engine stealth fighter to enter service in the 2030s. The Tempest will supposedly boast a laundry list of sixth-generation technologies such as being optionally-manned, mounting hypersonic or directed energy weapons, and capability to deploy and control drone swarms. However, it may also represent a Brexit-era gambit to revive defense cooperation with Germany and France.

London has seeded “Team Tempest” with £2 billion ($2.6 billion) for initial development through 2020. Major defense contractor BAE System is leading development with the Royal Air Force, with Rolls Royce contributing engines, European firm MBDA integrating weapons, and Italian company Leonardo developing sensors and avionics.

Design will supposedly be finalized in the early 2020s, with a flyable prototype planned in 2025 and production aircraft entering service in 2035, gradually replacing the RAF’s fourth-generation Typhoon fighters and complementing F-35 stealth jets. This seventeen-year development cycle is considered ambitious for something as complicated and expensive as a stealth fighter.

Aug 26, 2019

Could Lasers Be The Future Of Anti-Missile Weapons?

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, particle physics

A new type of device could be made to hack enemy missiles in flight to disarm them or guide them away. With a neutrino hacking laser you could essentially hack any missile from almost anywhere.

Aug 26, 2019

Blog — Crispr Ant-man

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Sometimes the line between science and science fiction is blurry, and it can be interesting to look at sci-fi stories through the lens of real science. Previous blog posts have explored whether genome engineering could be used to create the X-Men and Hawkeye, and we now turn to investigate whether Ant-Man’s powers could be engineered using CRISPR.

The character Ant-Man is remarkable, but can a real-life Ant-Man be possible? Perhaps the most obvious roadblock is, well, the laws of physics. In the first movie, Ant-Man gets his ant-like powers thanks to fictitious “Pym particles,” which reduce the distance between atoms while increasing density and strength.

There is also the problem of scaling in biological systems. If kept in proportion, our bodily systems simply wouldn’t work well shrunken down. Read discussions about the physics and scaling of Ant-Man here and here.