Simon Butler

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A New Chapter in the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

NIH finally invites her family to discuss the use of her extraordinary cells.<p><b>In the photo, she stands with a determined yet friendly expression on her face, hands on her hips, as if she's ready to face the future, no matter what it might bring. She</b> <b>is Henrietta Lacks, and she could never have</b> …

Chemotherapy

No Martian chronicle, just a declassified report: Area 51 does exist

For decades, it was the government's Cold War-era secret. Now, documents acknowledge the mysterious test site in central Nevada.<p>August 16, 2013|By John M. Glionna<p>Extraterrestrial Highway near Rachel, Nev. In newly declassified documents,… (Laura Rauch / Associated…)<p>LAS VEGAS — For decades, it was …

Paranormal

New GPS Receiver Offers Navigation Accurate To An Inch

Great for tiny robots!<p>GPS is really good at finding where people are, typically with a margin of error of just a few meters. That's fine if you're using GPS for driving directions, but if you're, say, a drone operator, you might want to navigate the sky more precisely, as a few feet can mean the …

CIA Kept Area 51 Secret Because Rumors Cooler Than Reality

A spy plane, an intelligence agency, and the magical logic of conspiracy theories all made an American legend.<p>Yesterday the CIA declassified a 400-page document about Area 51, the secret facility in the Nevada desert that has fascinated armchair historians and tormented conspiracy theorists for …

10 Retro DIY Projects To Do Before Summer Ends

Including a backyard trampoline, a playhouse built from window blinds, a flying saucer that doubles as a water ski, and more<p>Summer is almost over SIGH. If you're eager to squeeze in some last-minute leisure, check out these retro do-it-yourself projects, culled from the <i>Popular Science</i> archives. …

NASA Has Stopped Trying To Fix The Kepler Space Telescope

But they won't put the hobbling two-wheeled spacecraft out to pasture yet.<p>Well, NASA's crippled Kepler space telescope, launched in 2009, is officially beyond repair. Two of the four wheels used to align the telescope have failed over the past year, and NASA engineers haven't been able to get …

Google patents 'pay-per-gaze' eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads

Advertisers spend heaps of cash on branding, bannering, and product-placing. But does anyone really look at those ads? Google could be betting that advertisers will pay to know whether consumers are actually looking at their billboards, magazine spreads, and online ads. The company was just granted …

Has Voyager 1 Left The Solar System?

The Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. It kept on going. Today it's billions of miles from Earth, and scientists have been predicting it will soon leave the solar system.<p>NPR has been on Voyager watch since at least 2003, when longtime science correspondent …

iPhone 5S will come in gold & likely sport fingerprint sensor, iPad iOS 7 running behind

As Apple’s September 10th event iPhone event approaches, we’ve learned some additional details and have independently heard some of the already-floating around information regarding the upcoming announcements.<p>We’ve long been expecting Apple to launch an iPhone 5S at this upcoming event, an iPhone …

Nanotech roundup: a cheap oil guzzler, vitamin lasers, and quantum algae

A biocompatible laser and a material that can absorb 100 times its own weight in oil feature in this month's roundup<p>Suck it up<p>Aerogel is a remarkable material. Made entirely from carbon, it is the lightest material on Earth, weighing a seventh as much as air. In addition, it can absorb 900 times …

How nuclear scientists kept Soviet plutonium away from terrorists

Last year, a group of American, Russian, and Kazakh scientists gathered at a mountainside in Kazakhstan to announce that they had finally secured vast stores of plutonium that the Soviet Union buried there years earlier, at the height of the Cold War. The ceremony marked the end of a 17-year, $150 …

How It Works: A 3-D Printer For Liver Tissue

The first commercial 3-D bioprinter, Organovo's NovoGen MMX Bioprinter, is manufacturing functional liver tissues that will soon help biochemists test new drugs. Here’s a look at the printing process.<p><b>Step 1</b>: Engineers load one syringe with a bio-ink (A) made up of spheroids that each contain tens …

A 12-Year-Old's Quest To Remake Education, One Arduino At A Time

Twelve-year-old electronics prodigy Quin Etnyre wanted to make education more fun. So he became a teacher.<p>Quin Etnyre walks to the front of a crowded room at Deezmaker 3D Printers and Hackerspace in Pasadena, California. He adjusts his laptop on the workbench, then looks up and addresses the class. …

How Gestural Control Could Change Everything

WIRED Space Photo of the Day 2013 | WIRED

Jan. 19, 2014: Solar X-Flare<p>The largest sunspot group of the solar cycle unleashed a large (X1.2 class) flare just when it was facing right towards …

Should Math Really Be A Required Subject?

The novelist Nicholson Baker makes a case against algebra<p>Nicholson Baker hates math.* The novelist and nonfiction writer spends almost eight pages of this month's <i>Harper's Magazine</i> making the case that compulsory algebra courses in American education are at best, wrongheaded, and at worst, downright …

How North Dakota Plans To Become The Drone Capital Of America

We chat with Al Palmer, director for the Center for UAS Research, Education and Training at the University of North Dakota, about creating a drone-friendly state.<p>In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration will admit military, private, and commercial drones into U.S. airspace. The move could …

Lyme Disease Far More Common Than Previously Known

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme disease every year, and the toll is growing.<p>"It confirms what we've thought for a long time: This is a large problem," Dr. Paul Mead tells Shots. "The bottom line is that by defining how big the problem is we …

Lockheed Martin building a car-transporting drone for DARPA

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works division is building a drone that will be able to transport cars, storage containers, and eventually even pods full of soldiers for DARPA. The drone, which will be called the Transformer TX, is currently in a $20.3-million "Phase 3" process, which means Lockheed is …

How Android Grew To Be More Popular Than The iPhone

Google's smartphone operating system now powers a whopping 80% of devices worldwide. Apple's iOS operating system for iPhones only powers 13% of smartphones. iOS controlled about 16% of the worldwide smartphone market a year ago, according to IDC.<p>Apple should be freaking out, Jay Yarow says. (So …

Mobile

Samsung unveils first SSDs with 3D V-NAND memory, but only for enterprise

Well, that was quick. Samsung said it was producing the world's first 3D vertical NAND memory just a week ago, and it has already started building the first SSDs based on that memory. Unfortunately, they're not meant for the enthusiast crowd: the new 480GB and 960GB drives are instead designed for …

CyanogenMod 10.2 nightlies arrive, offer an unofficial taste of Android 4.3

Official Android 4.3 upgrades are currently few and far between, but you won't have to wait for one if you're willing to experiment -- the first CyanogenMod 10.2 nightly builds have arrived. As of this writing, those with Samsung's Captivate, Galaxy S Relay 4G or AT&T Galaxy S III can install the …

Google filing says Gmail users have no expectation of privacy

In motion to dismiss a data-mining lawsuit, Web giant says people have "no legitimate expectation of privacy in information" voluntarily turned over to third parties.<p>As if Edward Snowden hasn't done enough to highlight how vulnerable electronic communications are to surveillance, Google has made it …

First Hands-On Video of a Yellow iPhone 5C Back Housing

Our good acquaintance Sonny Dickson has been on fire these past few weeks, providing numerous leaked photos, videos, and other details regarding …