Global helium supplies set to balloon after discovery of huge natural reserve

When most people think of helium, they think of party balloons and funny voices, but the gas has far more important applications in MRI machines, welding, manufacturing semiconductors, deep-sea diving and blimps. Unfortunately, it has a tendecy to just float off irretrievably into space, and with our current reserves dwindling, the world has been on the edge of a global shortage. Now, a research team has developed a new approach to finding fields of the gas underground, and with the first use of the technique they've discovered a massive reserve in East Africa.Read More


Tiny 3D-printed medical camera could be deployed from inside a syringe

Getting inside the human body to have a look around is always going to be invasive, but that doesn't mean more can't be done to make things a little more comfortable. With this goal in mind, German researchers have developed a complex lens system no bigger than a grain of salt that fits inside a syringe, an imaging tool that could make for not just more productive medical imaging, but tiny cameras for everything from drones to slimmer smartphones.Read More


Final ground test of launch booster for NASA's Journey to Mars a success

NASA's Journey to Mars mission got a step closer on Tuesday with the successful ground test of what will be the launch booster on the agency's Space Launch System (SLS), the world's most powerful rocket. It's the second and final qualification ground test on the booster before SLS's first crewless test flight in late 2018 with NASA's Orion spacecraft. Built by NASA contractor Orbital ATK, the booster was tested at the company's facilities in Promontory, Utah, and is now qualified for flight.Read More


Augmented reality atom kit makes hands-on chemistry easier to grasp

Growing kids tend to repeat all sorts of colorful language heard while at school, yet there's one particular C-word that causes some parents to feel a special type of dread. Chemistry. A new teaching tool raising funds on Indiegogo adds an innovative twist to the traditional chemistry model kit in a way that should make the subject more accessible and enjoyable for parents and students alike. Happy Atoms combines augmented reality with a physical product to educate students about the wonderful world of molecules.Read More


Light and acid kill cancer cells from the inside out

In an effort to destroy cancer cells without harming surrounding tissue, using beams of light to activate chemicals or particles in tumors has shown much promise. Called photodynamic therapy, most of the current methods of using it involve creating a particular deadly form of oxygen or heating up particles or chemicals in tumors. Now, a researcher has found a way to use the therapy to alter the pH of tumors so that they commit suicide without harming the rest of the body.Read More


Acoustic buoy lets scientists eavesdrop on whales in real-time

Whales inhabiting the waters off of New York and New Jersey can now be heard in real-time thanks to an acoustic monitoring buoy created by a consortium of marine scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) New York Aquarium and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The hi-tech device allows the group to track – and better study and protect – several species of endangered baleen whales found year-round in the busy waters of the New York Bight.Read More


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