SPHERE — the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument — has been installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and has achieved first light. This powerful new facility for finding and studying exoplanets uses multiple advanced techniques in combination. It offers dramatically better performance than existing instruments and has produced impressive views of dust discs around nearby stars and other targets during the very first days of observations. SPHERE was developed and built by a consortium of many European institutes, led by the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France, working in partnership with ESO. It is expected to revolutionise the detailed study of exoplanets and circumstellar discs.
The number of nerve cells in the human brain sounds impressive: 100 billion. And it is.
But neurons may make up as little as 15 percent of cells in the brain. The other cells are called glial cells, or glia.
Glia are the rising stars of the neuroscience universe. Once delegated to simply a supporting role for neurons, these cells are now thought to play an important part in early brain development, learning and memory.
French robotics company Aldebaran unveiled today its newest robot, a friendly humanoid named Pepper that seems determined to make everyone smile. Pepper talks, gesticulates, and zips by on wheels. And it has an “emotion engine,” designed to understand how people are feeling and react accordingly.
Aldebaran built the robot for SoftBank, the Japanese telecom giant, which plans to start selling it to consumers in Japan next February for 198,000 yen, or about US $1,900. The robot will be produced by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which makes iPhones and other Apple products.
If anything, travel today is more of a hassle. While the airlines have an impressive safety record, commercial air travel is far from convenient. Cars let you set your own schedule, but they’re slow and dangerous: the average commuter spends nearly five hours a week stuck in traffic, and globally, more than one million people die in car crashes each year. We need the safety of commercial aviation, the convenience and flexibility of a car, and the freedom of the open sky. We need a new industry that makes personal aviation safer, as simple as driving your car, and convenient for everyone. We need a practical flying car. Terrafugia intends to lead the creation of a new flying car industry that will help humanity achieve this new dimension of personal freedom. We are Driven to Fly.
As a general rule, firefighters are incredibly fit, but their protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other equipment can tip the scales at a hefty 40kg. Monash University student Ken Chen, who is studying his master’s degree in design, has created a concept for an exoskeleton that helps firefighters carry a heavy load and fight fire effectively at the same time.
One inch. That's as far away from you Bruce Lee's hand needed to be to deliver a devastating punch that could knock you across the room. Lee accomplished this amazing blow not just with physical mastery, but mental mastery as well.
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