Strong and light, spider silk is one of the most impressive materials in the natural world. Both the real thing and synthetic versions have been used to improve everything from clothing to car seats, cooling electronics to preserving produce, making sweet music or helping people hear it, and even patching up severed nerves. Now, scientists in Germany and Switzerland have found a new use for spider silk – wrapping up cancer drugs to protect them until they can reach their tumorous targets.
The US Army isn’t just looking to giving soldiers a hand, but a whole extra arm. At the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is testing a prototype passive support system called Third Arm, which evenly distributes the weight of heavy weapons, allowing soldiers to use them with less fatigue and greater accuracy.
We’ve seen hammocks on truck hitches, hammocks on car roofs, and even hammocks inside of pickup beds. But what if it’s pouring rain and you still want to hammock? Well, you can either get soaked outside or string your hammock up inside your car with the Car Hammock. Forget the mosquito net and tarp and protect yourself in a climate controlled cocoon of solid sheet metal.
Water-cooling systems have long been used to keep computers from overheating, but how do you scale that up for huge data centers? According to Microsoft, you drop the data center to the bottom of the ocean. As the second phase of its Project Natick, the company has just deployed a data center in the frigid waters off Scotland’s Orkney Islands.
Geologists estimate that the Earth’s core is a sweltering 5,700 K (5,427° C, 9,800° F), putting it about on par with the surface of the Sun – and yet the inner core is a solid ball of iron. Why it doesn’t liquify is a bit of a mystery, but now a study from KTH Royal Institute of Technology puts forward a new theory, simulating how solid iron can remain atomically stable under such extreme conditions.
Leonardo Aerospace has taken the wraps off of its new expendable electronic countermeasures decoy for protecting large military transport aircraft. Billed as the first of its kind for transport protection, the BriteCloud 55-T is designed to hide the radar signature of large aircraft like the C27-J, C-130, KC-390, and A400M and confuse the targeting systems of radar-guided missiles.
Antibiotics are effective at killing bacteria (for now, at least), but they aren’t very picky, indiscriminately wiping out both good and bad bacteria. This can upset the fragile balance of your microbiome, which is increasingly being linked to general health and wellbeing. Now, researchers at Penn State have developed a new approach to make a drug that can single out a specific, opportunistic bacteria known as C. difficile.
Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk startup has been beavering away on several different personal flight projects, including a self-piloting, electric VTOL air taxi that can be used for Uber Elevate-style aerial commuting. The Silicon Valley company has also been working on something sportier – a single-seat multicopter fun machine called the Flyer. And today, the team released images and partial specs on what looks to be the final production design.
Finding time to wash your clothes is difficult enough at home, but it’s even more of a hassle when you’re traveling. The Sonic Soak is designed to act like a tiny, portable washing machine, using sound waves to clean clothes – including your delicates – as well as jewelry, toothbrushes, cutlery, baby items, fruit, veggies and basically whatever else can be thrown into a tub of water with it.