A FEW HOURS after dark one evening earlier this month, a small quadcopter drone lifted off from the parking lot of Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel. It soon trained its built-in camera on its target, a desktop computer’s tiny blinking light inside a third-floor office nearby. The pinpoint flickers, emitting from the LED hard drive indicator that lights up intermittently on practically every modern Windows machine, would hardly arouse the suspicions of anyone working in the office after hours. But in fact, that LED was silently winking out an optical stream of the computer’s secrets to the camera floating outside.
Turns out we’ve been walking around with an organ we never knew existed. So, congratulations to us.
Even cheetahs can’t cheat death—no matter how fast they run. A new study calls for cheetahs’ conservation status to change from “vulnerable” to “endangered,” suggesting that cheetahs could be headed for extinction.
City sidewalks and brick buildings look a little greener today, thanks to new research showing that cement can soak up CO2. That’s not the only good news to come out this week. A team of German scientists engineered photosynthesis to be faster and more efficient. And a team of Americans buried 1,000 tons of carbon pollution underground.
The federal government may soon lift its ban on funding research that uses so-called human-animal chimeras. But what medical benefits could such research bring?
Scientists are still using a 100 year-old map to identify 83 known regions of the brain, but that’s about to change. A team from Washington University in St. Louis, working with the Human Connectome Project, has plotted 97 new areas of our gray matter, bringing the total to 180. The updated map will help researchers better explore the brain and may lead to breakthroughs in autism, schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. “If you want to find out what the brain can do, you have to understand how it is organized and wired,” says study leader Dr. David Van Essen.
Every cosmetics company on the planet has a product it claims will reduce wrinkles and erase the signs of aging, but researchers at MIT have developed agenuine facelift-in-a-tube with a new cream that creates an extra layer ofinvisible artificial skin to smooth out the wearer’s natural skin.