When I was growing up, the years after 2000 were the province of Science fiction. They were the years when humanity would be living on other planets, exploring the galaxy, making contact with alien races, becoming cyborgs, and be waited upon by robot servants. Though little if any of those dreams have actually come to pass as a man in his thirty-ninth year of life on this little blue marble I am reminded every day that I am in fact living in the future. Here were some of the articles this week that helped remind me of that.
First on the Cyborg front, the day may be fast approaching when flexible robots will help our hearts pump. Via Sciencenews.org
A silicone sleeve slipped over pigs’ hearts helped pump blood when the hearts failed, researchers report January 18 in Science Translational Medicine. If the sleeve works in humans, it could potentially keep weak hearts pumping, and buy time for patients waiting for a transplant.
In space news N.A.S.A. has recently announced plans to visit a massive metal asteroid that may in fact be the remains of a planetary core.Via Chron.com
NASA recently announced it’s latest endeavor: Explore a giant metal asteroid the size of Massachusetts.
Made up of mostly nickel and iron, the giant hunk of space metal is about three times further away from the Sun than Earth.
Enticingly, the mission’s lead scientist has put a price tag of $10,000 quadrillion on the asteroid, known as “16 Psyche.”
But what would the future be without laser weapons? Well according to Ieee Spectrum
BAE Systems has been working on a way to use lasers to actively reshape the atmosphere to turn it into a variety of optical tools. The Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens system (LDAL) uses powerful laser pulses to make air itself into lenses, mirrors, and even protective deflector shields.
And in the category of most over-hyped articles that mislead my inner 13 year old in ways that should be illegal we have the Army’s new Hoverbike. Which isn’t actually a bike but does at least hover. Via Army.mil
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The Army Research Laboratory and industry partners demonstrated the flying capabilities of a unique rectangular-shaped quadcopter during a visit from Department of Defense officials Jan. 10.
Dr. William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and members of his staff visited the Aberdeen Proving Ground laboratory to see the joint tactical aerial resupply vehicle, or JTARV.
Also known as the “hoverbike,” the vehicle may one day make it possible for Soldiers on the battlefield to order resupply and then receive those supplies rapidly.
Well, that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed the links.