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Weapon Wednesday – Drone’s Historic Transatlantic Flight

The SkyGuardian is currently winging its way across the Atlantic to RAF Fairford
The SkyGuardian is currently winging its way across the Atlantic to RAF Fairford(Credit: GA-ASI)

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc’s (GA-ASI) SkyGuardian drone set out today on its historic transatlantic flight. At 12:48 pm CDT, the MQ-9B Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) took off from the company’s Flight Test and Training Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota and is on its way to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England. read more

Underwater Jet Pack

The Cuda underwater jetpack is currently at the prototype stage, but is heading for production in...
The Cuda underwater jetpack is currently at the prototype stage, but is heading for production in early 2019(Credit: 3D Hubs)

The UK’s Archie O’Brien had a dream of zipping below the waters off Iceland or swimming with dolphins off the coast of Bora Bora. He looked at contraptions that would pull him along underwater at speed – something like the AquaJet H2 or Scubalec, for example – but everything already available proved beyond his reach. So he decided to design and build the Cuda underwater jetpack, which will be going into production early next year. read more

Killing off Mosquitoes

The mobile mosquito dispatch van used in the Australian trial
The mobile mosquito dispatch van used in the Australian trial(Credit: CSIRO)

An impressive Australian trial that released millions of sterilized male mosquitoes in Queensland has resulted in a more than 80 percent drop in the population of this disease-spreading insect. The international collaboration involved scientists from Australia’s James Cook University (JCU) and the CSIRO, working with a new mosquito-rearing technology developed by Verily, an independent subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet. read more

Smart Bandage Monitors Chronic Skin Wounds

The prototype smart bandage, with its microprocessor visible at left
The prototype smart bandage, with its microprocessor visible at left(Credit: NanoLab – Sameer Sonkusale, Tufts University)

Chronic skin wounds may be notoriously difficult to treat, but at the same time they shouldn’t be over-treated, subjecting patients to more antibiotics than is necessary. That’s why scientists have developed a “smart” bandage that only dispenses medication as needed. read more

New Drug may be Able to Reverse Age-Related Dementia and Stroke

A new discovery into the mechanism behind cerebral small vessel disease may offer new treatments to...
A new discovery into the mechanism behind cerebral small vessel disease may offer new treatments to prevent or even repair damage associated with age-related dementia(Credit:Giovanni_Cancemi/Depositphotos)

Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is one of the most commonly associated causes of age-related dementia and stroke. New research, led by the University of Edinburgh, may have finally uncovered the mechanism by which SVD causes brain cell damage, as well as a potential treatment to prevent the damage, and possibly even reverse it. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Is China’s Laser Rifle for Real?

Laser guns allegedly from the Chengdu Hengan Police Equipment Manufacturing Company
Laser guns allegedly from the Chengdu Hengan Police Equipment Manufacturing Company(Credit: South China Morning Post)

China says that it has developed a laser rifle that can “carbonize” human flesh at a range of 800 m (2,625 ft), yet weighs only 3 kg (6.6 lb). In a report in the South China Morning Post, Chinese researchers say that the ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle is a fully portable “non-lethal” weapon that can burn hair, skin and signs, and even penetrate and set fire to fuel tanks. read more

AI is Key to Self-Driving Car

UK startup Wayve believes trial-and-error machine learning, much like the way humans learn, is the key...
UK startup Wayve believes trial-and-error machine learning, much like the way humans learn, is the key to autonomous cars(Credit: Wayve)

A pair of artificial intelligence Ph.Ds from Cambridge University are going all-in on machine learning as the foundation of autonomous cars. Their company, Wayve, has just released video of a kitted-out Renault Twizy teaching itself to follow a lane from scratch, over the course of about 20 minutes.

Wayve’s Amar Shah and Alex Kendall believe there’s been too much hand-engineering going on as people try to solve the self-driving car problem. read more

No More Finger-Pricking for Diabetics?

Thanks to a radar-based system that's currently in development, doing THIS may someday no longer be...
Thanks to a radar-based system that’s currently in development, doing THIS may someday no longer be necessary(Credit: dml5050/Depositphotos)

Although finger-prick blood glucose tests are a daily necessity for millions of diabetics, a less-painful alternative may be on the horizon. Led by Prof. George Shaker, a team from Canada’s University of Waterloo is looking at using radar and artificial intelligence (AI) to do the job. read more

A Rideable Scooter that will also Follow You

The CanguRo personal assistant/smart scooter can follow its user around or provide a motor-driven ride
The CanguRo personal assistant/smart scooter can follow its user around or provide a motor-driven ride(Credit: Yusuke Nishibe)

Folks looking for a last mile transport solution have choice-a-plenty nowadays, but the CanguRo offers more than just a comfy ride. The RidRoid robot – a mash up of ride and android – has some useful smarts cooked in, being able to follow its user around between rides, or make its way to a meeting point on its own. read more

U.N. Says Your Air Conditioners are not Safe

from CFACT:

Montreal mission creep: The UN’s coming for your AC

It is called mission creep when a government operation tries to go beyond its established mission. In this case the operation is the UN led, Montreal Treaty group of nations. Their mission has always been far out and questionable, namely protecting the stratospheric ozone layer from human interference. Now they want to do their bit in the bogus war on climate change.

Through the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the Greens clamored for the adoption of refrigerant HFC’s, or hydrofluorocarbons, to replace older refrigerant chemicals (CFC’s) that were said to be punching a hole in the ozone layer. Today, HFC’s, the same chemical the Greens were in love with, is now claimed to be causing – you guessed it – global warming.

It is especially nasty when the government flips, saying that the fix that was right (and expensive) is now wrong (and much more expensive to refix), but it keeps them busy (and powerful). read more