Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random Linkage 21/11/09

'Hobbits' Are a New Human Species, According to Statistical Analysis of Fossils
'Researchers from Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York have confirmed that Homo floresiensis is a genuine ancient human species and not a descendant of healthy humans dwarfed by disease. Using statistical analysis on skeletal remains of a well-preserved female specimen, researchers determined the "hobbit" to be a distinct species and not a genetically flawed version of modern humans.'

Fossil hunters unearth galloping, dinosaur-eating crocodiles in Sahara
'Fossil hunters have uncovered the remains of primitive crocodiles that "galloped" on land and patrolled the broad rivers that coursed through north Africa one hundred million years ago.'

Nanotechnology Team Discover How to Capture Tumor Cells in Bloodstream
'A team led by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) researchers on the cutting edge of nanotechnology has found a way to capture tumor cells in the bloodstream that could dramatically improve earlier cancer diagnosis and prevent deadly metastasis.'

'Vampire Star': Ticking Stellar Time Bomb Identified

'Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and its ability to obtain images as sharp as if taken from space, astronomers have made the first time-lapse movie of a rather unusual shell ejected by a "vampire star," which in November 2000 underwent an outburst after gulping down part of its companion's matter. This enabled astronomers to determine the distance and intrinsic brightness of the outbursting object.'

'Frankenstein' fix lets asteroid mission cheat death

'The beleaguered Hayabusa asteroid probe is back on track to return to Earth after a clever workaround coaxed one of its ion engines back to life.
'The recovery is yet another reversal of fortune for the Japanese spacecraft, which has been plagued with problems since its visit to asteroid Itokawa in 2005.'

Second Extrication Drive Yields Slight Progress
'Spirit successfully completed the first step of its planned two-step motion on Sol 2090 (Nov.19).
'After spinning the wheels for the equivalent of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in the forward direction, the center of the rover moved approximately 12 millimeters (0.5 inch) forward, 7 millimeters (0.3 inch) to the left and about 4 millimeters (0.2 inch) down. The rover tilt changed by about 0.1 degree. Small forward motion was observed with the non-operable right front wheel, and the left front wheel showed indications of climbing, despite the center of the rover moving downward. These motions are too small to establish any trends at this time.'

Give Me More: Augmented Reality from EPFL+ECAL Lab
'Artistic animations float across the pages of a timeless book about the Swiss countryside. Banknotes prove strangely seductive. Your head is suddenly engulfed in clouds and your clothes ooze bubbles. This is the world of Give Me More, an Augmented Reality (AR) exhibit by Switzerland’s EPFL+ECAL Lab, premiering in the U.S. at swissnex San Francisco.'

The Illustrated Man: How LED Tattoos Could Make Your Skin a Screen
'The title character of Ray Bradbury’s book The Illustrated Man is covered with moving, shifting tattoos. If you look at them, they will tell you a story.
'New LED tattoos from the University of Pennsylvania could make the Illustrated Man real (minus the creepy stories, of course). Researchers there are developing silicon-and-silk implantable devices which sit under the skin like a tattoo. Already implanted into mice, these tattoos could carry LEDs, turning your skin into a screen.'


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