Excerpts from science, technology, environment and health reports from around the web.
The boops and beeps of bygone technology can be used to chart its evolution. From the zzzzzzap of the Tesla coil to the tap-tap-tap of Morse code being sent via telegraph, what were once the most important nerd sounds in the world are now just historical signposts. But progress marches forward, and for every irritatingly smug Angry Pigs grunt we have to listen to, we move further away from the sound of theDefender ship exploding.
The National Security Agency’s collection of phone records and Internet data from U.S. companies provides a model for other nations, the agency’s director, General Keith Alexander, said July 31 at a prominent computer security conference in Las Vegas.
Legendary Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875–June 6, 1961), along with his frenemy Freud, is considered the founding father of modern analytical psychology. He coined the concepts of collective consciousness and introverted vs. extroverted personality, providing the foundation for the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Though famously accused of having lost his soul, Jung had a much more heartening view of human nature than Freud and memorably wrote that “the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” On October 22 of 1959, BBC’s Face to Face — an unusual series of pointed, almost interrogative interviews seeking to “unmask public figures” — aired a segment on Jung.
The remarkable, rubber-like protein that enables dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects to flap their wings, jump and chirp has major potential uses in medicine, scientists conclude in an article in the journal ACS Macro Letters. It evaluates the latest advances toward using a protein called resilin in nanosprings, biorubbers, biosensors and other applications.
A team of Chinese scientists have discovered that urine can be used to grow new teeth.
The results published in the Cell Regeneration Journal revealed that urine may be used as a source of stem cells that could in turn be grown into tiny tooth-like tissue. The scientists at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health hope that the technique could be developed into a way of replacing lost teeth.
Astronomers have found a new way of measuring the spin in supermassive black holes, which could lead to better understanding about how they drive the growth of galaxies. The scientists at Durham University, UK, publish their work in a paper in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
De-icing an aeroplane is tedious. Just ask any passenger stuck in one while ground staff spray it with gallons of antifreeze. It is also important. Layers of ice can mess with a wing’s aerodynamics, increasing drag and reducing lift, with potentially catastrophic consequences—hence the chemicals’ garish colours, meant to ensure that no nook or cranny is missed. The procedure can take as long as 40 minutes, and costs airlines around $2,000 a pop.