Kirk Evans

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The 2,000 war veterans lobotomized by their own doctors

In 1945, thousands of soldiers returned to the United States from combat on the Pacific and European fronts of World War II with severe mental trauma. Unable to treat their terrible injuries and illnesses, US Veterans Affairs hospitals lobotomized some 2,000 of them. <i>The Wall Street Journal</i> is …

One-Way, Manned Mission To Mars Just Got Closer To Reality

Mars One announces deals with Lockheed Martin and SSTL to develop technology to colonize the Red Planet by 2025.<p>Yesterday, Netherlands-based private spaceflight project Mars One announced the companies it hopes will build the technology necessary for the first private mission to Mars. Lockheed …

NASA Unveils Valkyrie, Its Humanoid Rescue Robot [Video]

The space agency shows off its entry in the DARPA Robotics Challenge.<p>The Boston Dynamics-built ATLAS is the rescue robot prototype that gets all the attention, but now NASA is getting in on the action, unveiling Valkyrie, a 6-foot 2-inch, 275-pound rescue robot. The 'bot, an entrant in the DARPA …

Would you take smart drugs to perform better at work?

Drugs that boost brainpower are increasingly being taken by healthy people to study or work harder. Could this become the norm, or a condition of employment?<p>Would you let your child get on a bus driven by someone on mind-altering drugs? What about having an operation conducted by a surgeon taking …

The Brain

Newtown Parents Seek A Clearer Window Into Violent Behavior

The shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December has left families of the 26 victims, most of them children, struggling to heal in different ways.<p>Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel are one such family. They lost their only child, 6-year-old Avielle, in the shooting. In the year since, they've …

Metallic spermbots could help with fertilisation

The Google hackers trying to make passwords obsolete

Remembering strings of letters and numbers could become a thing of the past – Google wants us to access devices and websites via watches and parts of our bodies.<p>We may not have to remember a string of passwords to access devices, websites and mobile apps for much longer. Logging in will be seen as …

Mars One has ethical questions to answer about one-way trip to red planet

Mars One is back in the news. On Tuesday the company held a press conference in Washington DC to announce that it is working with two other companies – Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology – to launch a robotic mission to Mars in 2018. The idea is that this unmanned mission will help lay …

APOD: Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka (2013 Dec 12) Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131212.html Explanation: Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (lower right to upper left) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula near Alnitak at the lower right. The famous Orion Nebula itself is off the right edge of this colorful star field. The well-framed, wide-field telescopic image spans about 4 degrees on the sky. http://www.facebook.com/DeepSkyColors http://www.deepskycolors.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131212 #APOD

How the Gaia spacecraft will scan the entire sky