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Music sounds better with bacteria: a scientist has swapped graphs for music in order to re...

Scientists often need to find creative ways to present data visually so others can interpret it more easily. Peter Larsen, of the Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S., decided to do something a little different: he represented microbial data with sounds. More specifically, he sonified data relating to bacteria collected from the western part of the English Channel.  Read More

The Great Work of the Metal Lover forces extremophilic bacteria to metabolize high concent...

For centuries, the world's great thinkers were consumed by the search for the mythical Philosopher's Stone. Franciscan friar Roger Bacon is said to have penned a formula for its creation in the 13th century, legend would have us believe that German friar Albertus Magnus actually found a substance capable of transmuting base metals into gold or silver, and English scientist and mathematician Isaac Newton was a known devotee of the magnum opus. Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have put a microbial spin on the ancient quest by creating a bioreactor that forces bacteria to transform a toxic liquid that, as team member Kazem Kashefi says, "has no value into a solid, precious metal that’s valuable."  Read More

The Last Pictures time capsule

When the EchoStar XVI television satellite lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome later this year, it will be carrying a message to the future designed to last billions of years. As it swings in geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometers (22,236 mi) above our planet, it will have a gold-plated silicon disc bolted to it, nano-etched with 100 black-and-white images depicting life on Earth.  Read More

The Pogo Connect provides greater control for artistic endeavors on an iPad

No doubt to the relief of third party suppliers of styli for the iPad, the optical stylus support for Apple’s tablet hinted at in a patent application uncovered earlier this year has so far failed to eventuate. While most of the styli on offer are basically fingers in a pen form factor, the Pogo Connect offers pressure sensitivity like that seen in graphics tablets from the likes of Wacom.  Read More

A finished work of Sleep Art: painted by a robot, created by an individual's nocturnal hab...

In a very clever promotion that plays on our desire to be conscious of what's happening to us even when we're not actually conscious, Ibis Hotels is inviting people to take part in what it calls "the Sleep Art experience." Sleep Art, as the name suggests, is an attempt at creating art from sleep patterns.  Read More

The sketch-identifying program at work

Currently, using Google’s “Search by Image” function, it’s possible to search the internet for information on something if you already have an image of that thing. Also, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing a system that allows computers to match up users’ drawings of objects with photographs of those same items – the drawings have to be reasonably good, though. Now, however, a team from Rhode Island’s Brown University and the Technical University of Berlin have created software that analyzes users’ crude, cartoony sketches, and figures out what it is that they’re trying to draw.  Read More

The Mosely Snowflake fractal, made from 49,000 folded business cards

An origami fractal made out of nearly 50,000 business cards is the first physical representation of the Mosely Snowflake three-dimensional fractal in the world. The sculpture was put together by more than 300 students and volunteers at the University of Southern California.  Read More

'Landscape Abbreviated' by Nova Jiang

Artist Nova Jiang scoured the sidewalks of her native New York (Brooklyn, to be precise) to extract moss samples to embed into the moving planters of her Landscape Abbreviated art installation. Jiang describes her creation as a "kinetic maze," but the intention seems more to have been to delight and inspire than to confuse or bamboozle.  Read More

A couple of TOSY's DiscoRobos, bustin' a move at IFA

It’s certainly impressive that there are robots capable of mowing lawns, tracking sharks, and toting goods, but sometimes it’s the robots that do completely useless yet entertaining things that really captivate us. Such is the case with TOSY’s soon-to-be-released DiscoRobo and SketRobo – one of them will dance to the beat of whatever music you have playing, while the other will draw your picture.  Read More

The Mercedes Drive Thru is a combination of light, art, auto and food

Thanks to its status as a brand that many aspire to own, the term Mercedes has earned a figurative connotation. When you say that you just ate the "Mercedes of meals," you undoubtedly feasted on a masterfully prepared example of haute cuisine, a meal that is to eating what a Mercedes S Class is to driving. When you say that you just ate at the "Mercedes of drive-thrus," well, it could now take on a more literal meaning.  Read More

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