Bacterial Gearing

Scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory & Northwestern University have figured out how to get bacteria to swim in swarms big enough to spin microscopic gears.

Not sure how this is useful but I’m sure some clever soul is already working on it.

via notcot

Underwater Robot crosses Atlantic

Traveling from New Jersey to Spain in 221 days, the Scarlet Knight is the first autonomous vehicle to safely cross the Atlantic ocean. Traveling mostly underwater at depths of up to 600 feet, the device was controlled remotely from a control room at Rutgers University as it collected measurements of temperature and salinity of water.

I don’t know if it is possible for us to manage the environment, but if so I’m sure that lots of real time data will be needed. I’m no expert but it seems the oceans are pretty important in our ecosystem… and it looks like robotic vehicles will be helping collect oceanic data.

via slashdot

Mars Rovers

Mars Rover

Mars Sunset

Mars Sunset taken by Spirit Rover

I just have to acknowledge the amazing job that the Mars Exploration Rover project has done. Launched January 25, 2004, the Opportunity rover has operated for 2332 days – over 20 times its planned 90 day lifespan. It is still operating and sending back photos & data. Even the Spirit rover (launched June 3, 2003) which has been stuck in soft soil since May 2009 is still operational.

It’s hard enough to make things work on this planet – hats off to the design team!

Beautiful Satellite

Really cool photos of the LDEF satellite exterior.

Here’s the story From The Nonist: “This cylindrical object is a roughly school-bus sized structure which was deployed into space in 1984. It orbited the Earth for five and a half years with nothing expected of it other than to float there, getting battered about by whatever the great black yonder saw fit to throw at it. The images … are each of individual sections of the LDEF’s exterior.”

Intelligence of Crows


I read a headline on the NY Times website about the intelligence of Crows, and I didn’t think much about it until I saw this video on the TED Talks website. Truly amazing to see a video of a crow make a hook so it can retrieve food out of a vase. Oh and the crows in Japan that crack nuts by dropping them into busy traffic. Then the crow waits at the curb until the light changes so it can walk into the road to retrieve its snack.