Tech news stories

US University Unveils First-Ever Degree in Medicinal Plant Chemistry
9th October 2017 bigthink.com | Humans, Tech

Northern Michigan University is offering students the chance to major in a new program called medicinal plant chemistry — marijuana analysis, basically.

New Bio-Sensing Tattoos Could Monitor Health Conditions
9th October 2017 bigthink.com | Humans, Tech

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School recently announced the development of the Dermal Abyss, a health-monitoring tattoo that can turn your body surface into an interactive display. It is a development that should excite biohackers and transhumanists, but also have potentially large mainstream applications.

World’s First Solar Powered Smartwatch Coming in December
9th October 2017 | greenmatters.com | Tech

LunaR, a new product that’s crowdfunded on Kickstarter, is hoping to fix the battery charge problem by using energy from the sun. Instead of needing to charge the smartwatch every day or two, it only needs to happen every few months. Retail price is about $239 USD with product delivery in December.  Article contains explanatory video of product prototype.

How a Videogame Developer Painstakingly Recreated Ancient Egypt
6th October 2017 | theguardian.com | Ancient, Tech

The company Ubisoft in Montreal has enlisted leading Egyptologists, historians, linguists, historical illustrators, and hieroglyphics-deciphering artificial intelligence to create an authentic Ancient Egyptian 3-D experience of the age of Cleopatra in its new videogame called Assassin’s Creed: Origins.  The effects are pure fiction grounded in historical fact.

Tracing Oral Histories to Solve Longstanding Human-Migration Puzzle
5th October 2017 | theatlantic.com | Ancient, Humans, Tech

Archaeologists are combing new technologies with indigenous knowledge to unravel the mystery of Mesa Verde, New Mexico.  According to this fascinating, well-written article, there is a growing premise that Native peoples don’t need archaeology to reconstruct the past.

Drones Are Keeping Watch on Arctic’s Polar Bear Population
5th October 2017 blogs.discovermagazine.com | Animal Life, Tech

In the past, helicopters have been used to spot the bears, but those aircraft are both costly and disturbing to the wildlife. However, drones are a low-cost, less invasive alternative. On a recent Arctic mission, drones helped gather data about polar bears that will help researchers get a better idea of how climate change in the region, and around the world, affects wildlife.

Ireland Constructs its First Ever Bat Bridge in Galway
5th October 2017 greennews.ie | Animal Life, Tech

Ireland’s first-ever bat bridge has been constructed over Galway’s new motorway in an effort to conserve an internationally important colony of Lesser Horseshoe Bats.

Meet the Merge Cube Augmented Reality Toy
4th October 2017 | i4u.com | Tech

With the inexpensive holographic Merge Cube, you can hold a galaxy in the palm of your hand, examine fossils and ancient artifacts like a real archaeologist, watch as a volcano erupts before your eyes, and play games in ways never possible before. It’s the first toy of its kind, and is fundamentally changing the way we interact with virtual reality.

Armor of Tomorrow Inspired by These 3 Animals
4th October 2017 | popsci.com | Tech

Scientists are investigating what makes conch shells and fish scales so tough, and designing their own versions. They’re even turning to materials like genetically-engineered spider silk and dreaming up new, protective functions for the super-strong goo. In a few years, these new armors could show up in bulletproof vests, protective gloves, sports helmets, and even athletic wear.

Hawaii Approves Telescope Construction on Volcano Sacred to Indigenous People
3rd October 2017 | yahoo.com | Humans, Tech

A team of scientists won approval from Hawaii officials on Thursday to build a $1.4 billion telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea atop a volcano indigenous people consider sacred, but opponents vowed to continue fighting.  Astronomers consider the summit one of the world’s best places to view the cosmos, while Native Hawaiians say the project would disturb holy ground crucial to their connection with ancestors and the heavens.

New Frontiers in Psychedelic Research
3rd October 2017 wakeup-world.com | Humans, Tech

The scientific community has provided some fresh and enticing foreshadowing into the new frontiers of psychedelic research, therapy, and general neurological understanding that may await our society. Along with this, the future could as well hold a further unveiling of the relationship between psychedelic chemicals and brain development, even perhaps on an anthropological level. However, with no end yet in sight to the War on Drugs, these new frontiers might only continue to receive backlash and criticism; it seems as always that time proves to be the ultimate gatekeeper of these new insights.

Astronomical Watches: The Link Between Horology and Astronomy
3rd October 2017 | yahoo.com | Humans, Tech

The reason superb astronomical pieces are back in the spotlight is not simply due to their technical achievements.  It’s also because they blend technique and poetry, by reminding us that our conception of time (even as we now measure it, using the periods of radiation of the cesium atom) remains intimately tied to the movement of the heavenly bodies that move ceaselessly above our heads.  After all, horology is a close direct descendant of astronomy.

Ambulance Lights Might Alter Your Mood From the Inside Out
2nd October 2017 | abc.net.au | Tech

Artist George Khut has reimagined one of the life-saving vehicles as an interactive biofeedback art exhibit. The converted ambulance called The Mobile Mood Lab is traveling around New South Wales, AU, for The Big Anxiety art festival.

Light Has Been Stored as Sound for the Very First Time
1st October 2017 | sciencealert.com | Tech

For the first time ever, scientists have stored light-based information as sound waves on a computer chip – something the researchers compare to capturing lightning as thunder.  Article contains a short explanatory video.

Newly Discovered Broken Brain Links Could Cause Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Disease
1st October 2017 | sciencealert.com | Humans, Tech

Scientists have identified what they believe to be the missing brain connections that cause hallucinations for people with Parkinson’s, a discovery which may help doctors predict and track the development of the disease in the future.

First Atlantic Hurricane Observations by NASA’s CYGNSS Satellite
30th September 2017 earthobservatory.nasa.gov | Space, Tech

NASA’s Earth Observatory website shared the first preliminary observations of Hurricane Harvey made by its Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). The data was used to coordinate flights of NOAA’s fleet of hurricane hunter aircraft.

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