Miriam is so swamped with work she has to look up to see the lilly pads, and I’m off at a work-related conference. So even though each of the following recent technological advances or scientific discoveries are probably worth a humorous sonnet or two, I’ll just rattle them off in round-up form:
• Scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the U.S. Army have developed tiny little cancer-seeking nanobombs. If they work right, these little babies would essentially swim up to cancer sells and blow up, launching particles at 1500 – 2,300 meters per second. But since they’re nano, the wouldn’t have much force (F=ma). Really putting our faith in these guys with this one, right? ETA: two to five years. [via Engadget]
• Men, try to imagine this: a remote control sperm flow regulator. Researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a tiny little switch that would go inside the vas deferens and act as a gate to keep the little swimmers from escaping. The theory is it provides men a “grace period” to decide if they really wanted that vasectomy (They need to be considering a vasectomy anyway, because the gate sometimes get jammed shut). To prevent a guy’s gate from getting switched by, say, the microwave, the gate would only respond to a specific code, like a car key does. I also want to know how they remember if the switch is open or shut. I mean, what if you double click the remote by mistake, but don’t realize it? Or worse, what if your kid gets a hold of it? Or your fraternity siblings? <Shudder> ETA: 5-10 years.
• The latest attempt at an electric car, the Tesla, has been exempted by the feds from rules requiring advanced technology airbags. I love the notion of electric cars, but hey guys, safety first, eh? ETA: this year. [Also via Engadget]
• Engineers can code DNA to build tiny crystal structures on their own. Which means the Diamond Age isn’t so far off after all. ETA: Unknown.