Science

This 3D Printer Produces Biopolymers From Orange Juice And Bacteria

3D printers can make all sorts of great things, but they don’t do it out of thin air. First, there’s the model and then there are the materials. In most cases this is some sort of thermoplastic that can be heated and squirted from the printer’s head. But 3D printers don’t have to be the mechanical, polymer-ejecting gadgets we’re familiar with. What if all you needed was some genetically-modified bacteria and orange juice?


The Last Ditch Attempt To Prolong Philae's Life On A Comet

With Philae’s battery dying, the Rosetta mission’s ground controllers have decided to make one last go at it. The probe had ended up in the shadow of a cliff after a botched touchdown, unable to gather enough energy with its solar panels. Ground control is going to try rotating Philae so one of its larger panels catches the light.


Would You Buy A 3D Replica Of Yourself?

3D printing, once an arcane technology used mainly for developing industrial prototypes, is rapidly moving into everyday life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the phenomenon of the 3D self replica.


Inside The Colourful World Of Animal Vision

As humans, we live in a colourful world, but differences in visual systems means that not all animals see the world in the same way. Unlike other aspects of an object such as size or mass, colour is not an inherent property of an object but a result of the sensory system of the viewer. In other words, colour is a construct of the mind.


All The Asteroids Found To Date In One Cool Animated Visualisation

Video: Here’s a cool visualisation that, even knowing how much empty space is out there, still freaks the hell out of me: All the ~600,000 asteroids discovered in the Solar System since 1980 to 2014, animated through time by Scott Manley. Amazing video. Bonus: How Jupiter shepherds them away from us.


This Headset Uses Sound To Navigate Blind People Through Cities

Using substitute senses for visually impaired people isn’t a new idea — even putting aids into hi-tech glasses isn’t new. But this project takes things a step further, piping in relevant information straight into the wearer’s skull.


How Do People Estimate Crowd Sizes?

Although the task of determining how many people attend something as large as say, a political rally or a protest may seem like a daunting, almost impossible undertaking to do with any accuracy, with some basic information, it’s actually not that difficult to get reasonably accurate results.


Fast-Acting Nuclear Reactor Will Power Through Plutonium

Even the latest generation of nuclear power reactors can only harvest about five per cent of the energy stored in their radioactive fuel supplies, and the toxic leftovers must then be buried deep underground to slowly decay over hundreds of thousands of years. But thanks to a new breed of sodium-cooled pool reactor, we may soon be able to draw nearly 100 times more energy from nuclear fuels, while slashing their half-lives by two orders of magnitude.


Why Is Left-Handedness Rare?

Being a lefty myself, I’m always keen to read and watch more about the reasons why humans aren’t split down the middle when it comes to hand dominance. Turns out science doesn’t have a specific answer yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hear what the popular theories are and explanations as to how our brains, animals and even the universe, has its preferences for right and left.


Scratching An Itch Does Indeed Just Make It Itch More

Well that’s settled. You know how your mum always told you not to scratch that mosquito bite because that just makes it itch more? Your mum was right, and now we have the science to prove it.