Devon Ragan

13 Flips | 1 Magazine | 2 Likes | 15 Following | 3 Followers | @devonragan | Keep up with Devon Ragan on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Devon Ragan”

How We Think the BB-8 Droid in 'Star Wars' Works

While few official details are available, there's enough out there to piece together how the rolling BB-8 droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens might function.<p>UPDATE: There is a new site – How BB-8 Works – with new insight and links to the patent on BB-8. Disney's patent pre-dates the Lucasfilm …

Robotics

Where Itching Comes From

The science behind what makes people scratch<p>Semanza lived in the Rukungiri region of rural Uganda. He suffered such unbearable itching that continuous scratching with his fingernails did not afford him even temporary relief. His solution was to break a clay pot and use the rough edge of one of its …

Jesus

This Spider Weaves A Web Of Charged Silk

It's electrifying!<p>Spider silk is legendarily strong and light. So much so, that researchers are incorporating (or, at least, attempting to incorporate) variations of the material into everything from garments to electronics. Now, it turns out that in addition to being as light as a feather and as …

Attack of the Jellyfish

Multiple British news outlets are reporting that a bloom of barrel jellyfish has swarmed the Cornish shoreline, traveling farther inland thanks to warming temperatures and high winds. Jellyfish populations tend to bloom in late spring, but the animals, sometimes called "dustbin-lid jellyfish" due …

Brains of simple sea animals could help cure neural disorders | Reuters

ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida scientist studying simple sea animals called comb jellies has found the road map to a new form of brain development that could lead to treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.<p>A comb jelly is pictured in this undated handout …

Newly discovered praying mantis hunts like a tiger

Bush tiger mantis species found in Rwanda's Nyungwe national park<p>Researchers have discovered a new type of praying mantis previously unknown to science in Rwanda's remote Nyungwe national park. Dystacta tigrifrutex — also known as the tiger bush mantis — earned its name from the hunting practices …

World's tiniest motor can fit inside a cell and spin as fast as a jet engine

Developed by researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas, a microscopically tiny motor is the smallest, fastest, and longest-running nanomotor to date.<p>At under one micrometer in size -- 500 times smaller than a grain of salt -- the motor is small enough to fit …

Nanotech

John Steinbeck's 1966 Plea To Create A NASA For The Oceans

In the September 1966 issue of Popular Science, author John Steinbeck made the case for giving deep-sea exploration the same attention as the space race.<p><i>Three years before the first humans landed on the moon, Nobel-prize winning author John Steinbeck published a passionate plea in</i> Popular Science</i> …

On the Hunt for Harvestmen

Changing Planet<p><i>On his current expedition, Ronald Clouse ventures into the jungles of the Philippines to study harvestmen, or daddy-long-legs, of the order Opiliones. By collecting data for phylogenetic analysis, he hopes to learn more about the history of these creatures and the lands they …

Snake Species That Went Missing For 78 Years Is Found

A species of snake that was thought to have gone missing for nearly 80 years — or never to have existed in the first place — has been found.<p>The Clarion nightsnake, named for the island it inhabits off Mexico's Pacific coast, had been identified only once, back in 1936 by naturalist William Beebe.<p>He …

Kawasaki Disease Wafts to Japan on the Wind

Air from China brings a major cause of childhood heart disease to Japan, study finds.<p>The agent of Kawasaki disease, a potentially fatal illness in children, floats into Japan on seasonal winds from northeastern China, according to a report published today in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy</i> …