Tag Archives: science

This 1962 Letter From NASA Says That No Girls Are Allowed In Space

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Apparently in 1962, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (that’s NASA) had no interest in sending women into space. They were also pretty sure that they would never need such a ridiculous program. Ladies! In space! LOL!  Check out this letter, which says, “We have no existing program concerning woman astronauts nor do we contemplate any such plan.” The level of certainty with which NASA assured this applicant that they had no need for female astronauts must be more than a little embarrassing to look back on. Keep reading »

If You’re In The Market For A Brand New Body, Now’s Your Chance

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Listen up, self-loathers and body-snarkers worldwide! If you, like me, often find yourself ruminating on how, if the technology were to exist, you would happily surrender your current body, preserve your same old head, and put this head on a better, cooler body that you prefer, you may just be in luck. I know what you’re thinking — me? Luck? Does not compute. And yet! Sergio Canavero, a neuroscientist at the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group (uh-huh), is like, “Yeah, we might be able to do this soon.” New advances in spinal cord surgery indicate that it should now be “technically possible” for one to take pretty much any human head and put it on pretty much any human body with minimal or no paralyzing effects. That said, the study is geared less toward people like me (ahem, the body dysmorphic) and more toward medical patients suffering from spinal cord injuries who might be able to regain mobility thanks to the new technology, which is of course fantastic news — but seriously, if you could have any body, which body would it be? Think of the possibilities. (Also, do not try this at home. I mean, I shouldn’t, right?) [BetaBeat] [Photo of left hemisphere of brain via Shutterstock]

The Future Is Here: You Can Swallow Computers Now

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It’s official, we are living in a bizarre Jetson’s future age. Doctors and scientists have worked together to create an ingestible computer, that basically puts Google Glass to shame. The pill-form objects contain tiny sensors that help monitor the health of your body. The pills can collect data on how your systems are running, and transmit that information back to an external computer.

Several companies are currently working on pill prototypes. Just this last year, Proteus Digital Health raised more than $60 million dollars to create their version of a computer pill, which is actually powered by the body. Rather than an internal battery system, the pill has copper and magnesium ends which generates electricity to power itself via stomach acids. The Proteus model requires that users wear a special patch that transmits information from inside the body to a cell phone app that tracks everything from blood pressure to body temperature to movement and rest patterns.

The development could have huge implications for everything from the monitoring of heart disease and diabetes, to the progress of schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s. That’s great news for people who have chronic diseases that need to be managed; doctors and family members could potentially be connected to the system to help monitor the health of a loved one.  But it also could spell trouble when it comes to privacy issues surrounding health information. After all, some of this data could be used to justify dropping or denying physically compromised patients from their insurance plans. Keep reading »

Jane Goodall: Still Awesome After All These Years

Style Icon: Jane Goodall
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Jane Goodall is one of my personal heroes, so I was delighted to see this pair of photos of her — one as a young researcher playing with a chimpanzee in the early 60s, and another more recent shot (below) of her and another chimp enjoying a similarly silly interaction. The only detectable change in the more than 50 years between the two snapshots? A bit of gray hair. Now 79, Goodall has studied three generations of chimpanzees and spends her time mentoring researchers and zoologists who want to follow in her footsteps. She also makes sure to visit her beloved animals at Gombe Stream National Park a couple times a year. “When I’m on my own at Gombe now, I can easily recapture how I felt at 26, when all the world was new,” she told National Geographic. “There’s still a spiritual power there. I can breathe it in.” [National Geographic]

Kickass Woman Of The Day: Dr. Mica Endsley, Air Force’s First-Ever Chief Scientist

dr. mica endsley

For the first time ever the U.S. Air Force has a female chief scientist. Her name is Dr. Mica Endsley and we think she’s pretty kickass. She assumed her official duties for the Air Force on June 3th and is the 34th chief scientist to be appointed.

This is an amazing accomplishment, but looking at her past, it really comes as no surprise: Keep reading »

Kiera Wilmont Talks About The Science Experiment That Almost Ruined Her Future

Kiera Wilmont talks about the science experiment that almost ruined her future.

We were thrilled to report a mostly happy ending to the story that was high school studentKiera Wilmot being expelled and arrested for attempting a science experiment on school grounds. No formal charges were brought against the student and she and her sister will get a free ride to space camp soon, but to hear Wilmot tell the story in her own words brings the frightening reality of what almost happened back to life.

Wilmot wrote a full account of what happened for the American Civil Liberties Union and as a kid who rarely got in trouble at school, it brought back memories of how bad it actually felt when I did. Only, I don’t think I could ever imagine what it would be like being handcuffed at school for doing a science project.

The piece, titled “An Unexpected Reaction: Why a Science Experiment Gone Bad Doesn’t Make Me a Criminal,” broke down the whole experience, which began by choosing a biology, chemistry, or physics project for class. Read more on The Mary Sue…

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