Alien ‘wow’ signal explained after 40 years — A former analyst with the US Department of Defence is on the trail of a ‘cold case’ – an unexplained signal that some believe could have come from extraterrestrials. Way back in 1977 something amazing happened. Astronomer Jerry Ehman was using the Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope to sweep the sky for possible signals from extraterrestrial civilisations. He found something. While pointing towards a grouping of stars called Chi Sagittarii on 15 August, he received a powerful blast of radio waves that lasted for 72 seconds. And finally, that may have been explained.
~ Ehman circled it on the readout and wrote: “Wow!” (shown above)
Guessing what Planet 9 looks like — The astronomical community is abuzz with the possibility that a ninth planet exists in the far reaches of the solar system. A new study by European scientists imagines what this hypothetical planet might look like, revealing important insights as to how we might actually find it.
~ My guess is ’roundish’.
Space dustbin — Developed by Added Value Solutions for the European Space Agency, a new device overcomes a problem that we don’t have to think about too much here on Earth: low gravity. If you use a drill or scoop to collect a sample on a low-gravity asteroid, it’s possible to push yourself away from the surface. Instead, this device uses three sets of rotating brushes that sweep dust into a central, hermetically sealed storage container. It will gather 113g in 20 seconds.
~ Sounds like a plan. Who wants dusty asteroids?
Scientists stored images In DNA, then flawlessly retrieved them — A team of scientists has been able to store images within the life-defining molecules then retrieve them perfectly.
~ Is all about the ones and zeroes. But no, you can’t define what your kids will look like by uploading pictures of Richie McCaw into your DNA.
CPU with Photonic interconnections — A group of researchers has proposed a way to build transistors and optics on the same chip, doing so for the first time without a major overhaul of the chip-making process. And they used it to build an IC containing 70 million transistors and 850 photonic components, which together provide all the logic, memory, and interconnection functions a processor needs.
~ Still has a silicon substrate, though.
White House fighting Zika — The Obama administration made a strong push in 2014 and 2015 to help curtail the West African Ebola Outbreak, and it largely worked: the outbreak has subsided (with some sporadic cases still appearing). With that in mind, the Administration seems to be ready to shift gears to focus on the next immediate threat, with the northern summer looming. So resources are being redirected to battle the Zika Virus.
~ Which is way worse than everyone thought, whereas Ebola is under control at the moment.
Smart scalpel distinguishes between good and bad tissue — Researchers and engineers at the University of Hannover in Germany, and the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, have developed a smart scalpel that uses piezoelectric transducers on its tip to quickly tell if brain tissue is healthy or not.
~ Just make sure you sharpen up your electronics before use.