Technology

I HAVE A VIRTUAL REALITY machine in my fridge. It’s a banoffee pie, and when I eat two of them in the dark while listening to the Beatles’ White Album, I am far, far away on another planet, no hardware necessary.

            But the global tech industry doesn’t know about this (shhhh!), so this year, expect to see virtual reality headsets on the shelf from Oculus Rift (Facebook), Samsung, Sony, HTC and Google.

Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in being able to understand what the future will look like when it comes to scientific and technological emergences.

Imagine your child requires a life-saving operation. You enter the hospital and are confronted with a stark choice.

Do you take the traditional path with human medical staff, including doctors and nurses, where long-term trials have shown a 90% chance that they will save your child’s life?

Or do you choose the robotic track, in the factory-like wing of the hospital, tended to by technical specialists and an array of robots, but where similar long-term trials have shown that your child has a 95% chance of survival?

A product called the OFF! Clip-On repellent device could be an effective tool for preventing bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector of Zika, chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever, though DEET, a permethrin or even good old-fashioned DDT will also do the trick, unless you are a Joe Mercola or SourceWatch reader and think science is a vast, right-wing conspiracy out to give you cancer. 


After evaluating content on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis on almost 200 websites, researchers found that the information on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
(IPF) from these sites was often incomplete, inaccurate and outdated. 


Political journalists will file countless reports from Iowa in the final days leading up to the caucuses, much of based on polls.

Another poll, this one by the Iowa State University/WHO-HD Iowa Caucus Poll, finds that voters rely on a variety of these reports and national television news still leads. 


Imagine communicating with your bank, the IRS or your doctor by way of an Internet that was actually secure, where if any bad actor were to try to eavesdrop you would know immediately. Such is the promise of secure quantum communication, and has been since it was 'almost ready' starting in the 1990s.

For quantum communication to become the standard, technical challenges still lie ahead. To make progress toward devices that can send and receive quantum data, researchers at Stanford University have created a novel quantum light source. 


Scarring is a natural part of any healing process but scar formation within blood vessels can be deadly.

To prevent scarring and the dangerous damage that follows, researchers writing in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering discuss development of a new biodegradable material with built-in vitamin A, which has been shown to reduce scarring in blood vessels. This soft elastic material can be used to treat injured vessels or be used to make medical devices, such as stents and prosthetic vascular grafts, to give them intrinsic healing properties. Early tests have shown that the material can reduce cell migration -- a major contributor to the scarring process -- by 57 percent.


It’s a common assumption that being online means you’ll have to part ways with your personal data and there’s nothing you can do about it.

How do you know the paper claiming GMO toxicity is in a journal that isn't very reputable? They don't have $9 to renew their domain.