Experts predict myopia, or nearsightedness, will reach epidemic proportions by the end of the decade, with over a third of the world’s population requiring glasses or contact lenses. However, if a team of Israeli ophthalmologists from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center has their way, the crisis may be averted with special “nanodrops” created to correct refractive errors responsible for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or blurred vision (astigmatism).
On January 4, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a group of volunteers who use freely available software to search for Mersenne prime numbers, announced the discovery of a new “largest known prime number.” For those that need a refresher a prime number is a positive integer that can only be divided by itself and 1. Since they follow no set pattern, the numbers are hard to discover, which is probably why mathematicians are continually challenging themselves to find the next big one.
For the past 50 years, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been impressing Americans with innovative products created to enhance their lives. This year’s show, held in Las Vegas from January 8 to 12, was no different. Over 180,000 people flocked to view and test the thousands of gadgets that consumers can look forward to purchasing in the near future. Here are a few that grabbed our attention.
French graphic design firm Super Terrain, has come up with an ingenious way to capture the essence of Ray Bradbury’s best-selling novel, Fahrenheit 451. The company’s recently released special edition copy can only be read by applying heat to the blackened pages.
Kids, whose vivid imaginations know few boundaries, frequently come up with invention ideas that range from life-changing to downright wacky. However, few see them come to life mainly because adults are not convinced of their practicality. That is about to change thanks to Little Inventors, an innovative project that connects aspiring inventors to manufacturers and artists who can help bring even the most impossible sounding contraption to life.
Robots have come a long way since ancient Greek mathematician, Archytas, released a steam-powered wooden dove dubbed “The Pigeon” in 350 B.C. However, the terminator-type rigidity of the machines has hindered them from being useful at tasks like search and rescue operations. While researchers have recently created softer and more flexible robots, they still contain hard electric power and control systems — such as batteries and circuit boards.
Legendary artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, who conducted the first systematic study of friction, has always been credited as the pioneer in Tribology. But while his famous machinery design sketches reflected the inventor’s knowledge of the benefits and drawbacks of friction, precisely when and how Leonardo developed these ideas, has remained a mystery.
On Wednesday, October 5, Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, and Bernard L. Feringa won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for creating machines that are a thousand times thinner than a hair strand! What is even more impressive is that the nanomotors are not made of pistons or gears — just a handful of molecules!