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Category Archives: Tech Scoop

Image: Science/AAAS

A team from the NASA Astrobiology Institute found bacteria that use arsenic in cells in place of the phosphorous in Mono Lake, California. The breakthrough reveals new possible forms of life on other planets that scientists might have failed to research because it didn’t contain the six known elements to support life on Earth: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus.

The research article, published in ScienceMag at the beginning of November, anticipates the find of the GFAJ-1 bacterium to ‘have profound evolutionary and geochemical significance’.

Earlier this week a robot reproducing itself without human intervention was revealed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute, taking us one step closer to a computer dominated world.

I wonder what all these discoveries lead to; surely they must converge somewhere.

via Wired



Photo by Pixomar

Researchers at MIT are experimenting with new lighting systems that puts control back into the users’ hands and halves the electricity bill. Everything will be controlled from a business card-sized tablet, from which you will be able to adjust which bulbs you want on or the intensity of the light.

This new application will mostly be useful in office spaces where so much electricity is being wasted because lights are often left on when not needed or because of commodity reasons. It also comes in handy in other public spaces, such as schools where it has been discovered that pupils’ learning outcomes are directly affected by the type of light that illuminates their classrooms.


via MIT

Photo by Salvatore Vuono

Fact: four out of the six billion people on Earth now own a cell phone.

Advantages: particularly in developing countries cell phones enable commerce, banking, war waging, communication (where it was previously impossible), democracy and free speech.

Question: Will social habits in third world countries change as a result?

via Newsweek

via New Scientist

via New Scientist

via RSA – the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts

IP addresses for your body’s organs.