Tech with a Mind of Its Own

Innovation is the name of the game when it comes to technology, and every day, incredible technological advances are unveiled. New technology has provided us with amazing solutions for a multitude of issues that range from the mundane to life-or-death. While technology often works in tandem with humans, recent innovations are proving that technology has the ability to think and work by itself. In short, humans may soon be out of the picture! From cars that drive themselves, to software that fixes itself, let’s take a look at some recent technologies that have the potential to make humans optional for operation.

Software Self-Repair

Scientists at the University of Utah have developed software that is able to detect and eradicate viruses and malware, as well as automatically repair any damage caused by the malware. The software, called A3, currently works with a virtual computer that imitates the operations of a computer, without actual hardware. A3 can detect new, unknown viruses or malware automatically by sensing when computer operations are incorrect. A3 then stops the virus, determines a code to fix the damage, and learns to prevent the bug from occurring again. Read more here.

Self-Park Electric Cars

Your car is already equipped with many various technologies that are designed to keep you safe when you’re on the road. In the future, your car may do more than notify you when your tire pressure is low or you need to refill your gas–your car might be able to drive and park itself. Researchers at E-Mobile are currently designing electric-powered vehicles that will be able to drive and park independently. The cars will also be able to locate a charging station, and they’ll do it without any human help. Read more here.

Degenerative Bone Disease Detection Gets a Helping Hand

Radiographer shortages in the workforce are further strained by the great deal of time that radiographers must spend outlining bones in x-rays, when that time could be better used to take care of patients. Developers of a new software that is able to automatically outline bones hope that their program will save thousands of hours of manual work for researchers and doctors. Developers of the software believe that automation of the process will enable medical professionals to focus more on drawing proper conclusions and developing treatments for degenerative bone diseases, such as arthritis. Read more here.

Self-Assembly Lab at MIT

Scientists working in the Self-Assembly Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are currently collaborating on creating materials that could one day build themselves. They have already successfully developed wood planks that fold into toy elephants when exposed to moisture, but the future is even more exciting. Researchers are already looking into materials that respond to weather changes, or furniture that assembles itself with a splash of water. Read more here.

Alright STEM lovers, what kind of technology is blowing your mind? Comment below.

July 2014 Recap: Exciting STEM News

July has been filled with exciting headlines for STEM subjects. Here’s a summary of some of our favorite stories for the month.

The Animal Kingdom IconAnimal Kingdom/Under the Sea

Scientists from York University have found a new solution to combat a certain species of toxic grass fungus: moose and reindeer saliva! As plants evolve defense mechanisms like thorns or poisonous berries, scientists wondered how moose were able to eat grass that harbored toxic fungus in such large quantities without showing symptoms of illness. The team of scientists collected samples of moose and reindeer saliva and smeared them onto samples of grass that carried toxic fungus. Results showed that the saliva inhibits fungal growth within 12-36 hours. Read article.

Extreme Weather IconExtreme Weather

The heavy drought in California means trouble for locals, who have resorted to extreme measures, like punishing those who water their lawns to often, in an effort to conserve water. The effect of the extreme drought affects more than Californians, though. Those of us who enjoy avocados, almonds, walnuts or any of the other 250 plus agricultural commodities produced in California will be seeing a steep increase in prices as the drought continues to impact agriculture. Watch video.

Medical Innovations IconMedical Innovations/Robotics

3D printing is having a huge moment in STEM as scientists find a multitude of ways for their application. An 12-year-old boy who lost both his arms during a bomb explosion in Sudan is benefitting from this new technology as a 3D printer recently created a new robotic arm that allows him to regain some of his mobility.  Read article.

Robotics IconSpace

New reports show that an exploding asteroid that injured more than 1,000 people with flying glass and debris in Chelyabinsk, Russia last year collided with another asteroid about 290 million years ago before the asteroid chunk headed towards Earth. Scientist believe that the asteroids struck each other at a speed of 3,000 mph. Blasts from the asteroid destroyed buildings as it exploded with a force nearly 30 times as powerful as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima. Read article.

Video Games IconTechnology

No matter where you turn, you can’t get away from technology. This is now literally the case, as a new Indian company has created a shoe equipped with an app and Google maps to help guide the wearer to the right place. The shoe and insole is connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, and it vibrates to let you know if when should turn left or right. Read article.

Wind Energy IconWind Energy

Powerful winds are nothing new for the residents in “Tornado Alley”, the colloquial term for the area in the U.S. where tornadoes hit hard and often. For those looking to harness wind energy, those strong winds may have an upside,  particularly as wind turbines continue to pop up as a source of generating renewable energy. Read article.

So there, various STEM subject lovers. We’ve got you covered!

This month’s exciting STEM news – August, 2013

You asked, we listened. We got quite a bit of feedback expressing a deeply felt, passionate, and undying love for our last “This month’s exciting STEM news” feature. Since we could not allow such love to go unrequited, we bring you exciting STEM news from the month of August, 2013.

Ok, we’re being totally dramatic. But really, we think quite a few of you enjoyed this feature last month, so here is some cool news pertaining to the other 8 subjects featured on our STEM Works and Kids Ahead websites: 

The Animal Kingdom IconAnimal Kingdom

The discovery of a new mammal is an incredibly rare event in the 21st century. In 2013, however, scientists discovered a new mammal species called the olinguito,which lives in the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador. Read article.

Extreme Weather IconExtreme Weather

Wildfires have been a hot topic this month (no pun intended), as much of the country has been up in flames. Though fire in and of itself is not necessarily a weather phenomenon, oftentimes wildfires are caused by weather-related phenomena such as lighting. But enough talk, check out this slideshow of some of the weather the world experienced this month. Read article.

Medical Innovations IconMedical Innovations

It’s about time we all put aside our differences, especially since scientists have determined that all humans are 99.9% the same. Genetically speaking, that is. Read article.

Robotics IconRobotics

Robots are proving to be a source of inspiration for Ford as the company seeks to find better ways to help create safer vehicles. And not just any robots… space robots. Oh yeah. Read article.

Space IconSpace

Our skies treated us to a Perseid meteor shower this month. In case you missed this Perseid shower— so named due to the fact that its point of origin lies in the constellation Perseus,— here is a time lapse video of the show for your viewing pleasure . Read article.

Under the Sea IconUnder the Sea

Shark Week! Shark Week! Shark Week! Just kidding. It would totally be cheating to list Shark Week two months in a row… though this really was the month that brought us this year’s Shark Week. Instead, this month’s under the sea news brings the ocean to you. Literally. Due to the fact that many people have reported health benefits associated with the smell of salty sea air, a sea breeze generator is being developed for public consumption. Dibs! Read article.

Video Games IconVideo Games

A Stanford mathematician argued that video games are the perfect platform for teaching mathematics. No seriously. Read article.

Wind Energy IconWind Energy

Cleveland played host to the “Power Up for Offshore Wind” event this month. The event was intended to demonstrate to power companies that the demand for wind power in the area is strong. As a result, over 4,500 have pledged to buy offshore wind energy from turbines in Lake Erie. Read article.

So there, various STEM subject lovers. We’ve got you covered!

This month’s exciting STEM news

Ok, so we know that lately we’ve been bombarding you with post after post about our CSI camp programs. And while we love these programs and could talk about them all day, everyday, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some cool news pertaining to the other 8 subjects featured on our STEM Works and Kids Ahead websites. Here’s some cool things we did not get around to addressing during the month of July:

The Animal Kingdom IconAnimal Kingdom

A zonkey was born in Italy. You read that right, a zonkey. Part zebra, part donkey, Ippo was born in Florence, Italy last week, and the best part… he’s not the only one of his kind. Read article.

Extreme Weather IconExtreme Weather

NOAA’s National Weather Service more than doubled its computing capacity with newly upgraded supercomputers this month. These supercomputers will provide forecasters with more accurate information as the hurricane season ramps up. Read article.

Medical Innovations IconMedical Innovations

The race is on to produce a $100 genome test. As interest in DNA sequencing gains traction, entrepreneurs and scientists are trying to reduce the price of sequencing an entire human genome from $4,000 to $100. Read article.

Robotics IconRobotics

Robotics was declared as the next big growth industry in the US. Robotics Business Review estimates that consumer robot sales will reach $15 billion by 2015. Read article.

Space IconSpace

NASA turned 55 years old this month. We’ve come a long way since launching a chimpanzee into space, so check out this review of some of the most iconic moments in NASA’s history. Read article.

Under the Sea IconUnder the Sea

Shark Week! Shark Week! Shark Week! Ok, Shark Week didn’t exactly occur in July, but many of us spent the entire month gearing up! If, like us, you live for the gratuitous teeth shots, jump shots, and time-lapse shots, here are some fun shark facts to keep you occupied until Shark Week begins on August 4th. Read article.

Video Games IconVideo Games

STEM educators will love this one. The winners of the third annual STEM Video Game Challenge were announced this month. Learn all about the winners and applicants here.

Wind Energy IconWind Energy

According to National Geographic, scientists are exploring the possibility of storing excess wind energy in volcanic rock reservoirs. Didn’t know there was such a thing as excess wind energy? Neither did we! Read article.

So there, various STEM subject lovers. We’ve got you covered!