Google announced their smart contact lens a couple months ago – one that could measure glucose without the need to prick the skin, a huge boon for those with diabetes. Not the sort to pause and take a breath after a win like that, the mad scientists of Silicon Valley already have version 2.0 on deck at the patent office, and, like every good piece of wearable tech, it’s got a camera attached. This means that soon you could be snapping selfies in every reflective surface you walk by with just a whim and a blink. Or, better yet, you could take a picture of literally anything else. Of course, bear in mind these are just patents - it could be a little while before you’re trolling South Beach winking at every bikini you see.


Google Is Making Your Eyeball A Camera

Google announced their smart contact lens a couple months ago – one that could measure glucose without the need to prick the skin, a huge boon for those with diabetes. Not the sort to pause and take a breath after a win like that, the mad scientists of Silicon Valley already have version 2.0 on deck at the patent office, and, like every good piece of wearable tech, it’s got a camera attached. This means that soon you could be snapping selfies in every reflective surface you walk by with just a whim and a blink. Or, better yet, you could take a picture of literally anything else. Of course, bear in mind these are just patents - it could be a little while before you’re trolling South Beach winking at every bikini you see.

Google Is Making Your Eyeball A Camera

The World’s cities will need to accommodate an additional 2.4 billion people by 2050, according to the World Health Organization, and a growing number of architects think those residents could live in wooden skyscrapers. Every cubic meter of wood sequesters 1 ton of carbon from the atmosphere. Compared with concrete and steel, building with lumber would reduce emissions by up to 81 percent, says architect Michael Green, who will complete construction on British Columbia’s Wood Innovation and Design Centre in September. The finished structure is expected to be 96.7 feet, which will make it the world’s tallest wooden building. Wooden architecture is reaching these new heights thanks to mass timber. Composed of thin layers of wood from young or low-grade trees glued together into giant panels up to 16 inches thick, mass timber is stronger than a regular 2 x 4, allowing architects to build towers as high as 42 stories. 

Tree-Scrapers: 6 Wooden Buildings Reaching New Heights

A team of astrophysicists at the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center has just reached a major milestone in the search for life-supporting planets outside our solar system. For the first time, they have discovered an Earth-sized planet nestled in the temperate, liquid-water supporting distance from its star—the so-called habitable zone. "This is a historic discovery," says Geoff Marcy, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley who was not involved in the research, "it’s the best case for a habitable planet yet found." 

First Earth-Sized, Potentially Habitable Exoplanet Found

On May 5, 2013, the world’s first 3D-printedplastic gun was fired. Called the Liberator, it was designed and output by a group called Defense Distributed, headed by a 25-year-old Texas law student and committed libertarian named Cody Wilson. Hand-wringing and debate ensued. Depending on whom you asked, the 3D-printed gun was a deadly threat or an important Second Amendment advance—but, whether they feared it or loved it, most commentators agreed that the Liberator was a major milestone of some kind. Now that a year has passed, it’s time to ask just how broadly the gun has transformed society. 

Should We Be Afraid of the 3D Printed Gun?

The Wankel T. rex is one of the most complete dinosaurs in the world and will soon be viewed by millions visiting the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum starting in 2019. But how did they get it there?


Transporting an Entire T. Rex

The Wankel T. rex is one of the most complete dinosaurs in the world and will soon be viewed by millions visiting the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum starting in 2019. But how did they get it there?

Transporting an Entire T. Rex

How Long Could a Message in a Bottle Last?



Last week, a fisherman plucked a 100-year-old message in a bottle out of the Baltic Sea. What are the odds? Here are some message-in-a-bottle tips straight from ocean scientists: 
Aim for a body of water with predictable current. Chances are, you didn’t choose your uncharted island. But next time, think Baltic Sea. Choose a dark beer bottle. None of that see-through Corona glass. Gulp down your last bottle of Guinness, and prepare to be rescued. Roll your message inward. Ignore this step (and all of the other steps), if your desert island didn’t come with a pen and paper. Barnacles: No. Seaweed: Yes. Barnacles weigh down your bottle. Seaweed floats for a reason. When you’re plotting the best course for your last-ditch effort, steer clear of heavy marine life. 

How Long Could a Message in a Bottle Last?

Last week, a fisherman plucked a 100-year-old message in a bottle out of the Baltic Sea. What are the odds? Here are some message-in-a-bottle tips straight from ocean scientists: 

Aim for a body of water with predictable current. Chances are, you didn’t choose your uncharted island. But next time, think Baltic Sea. 

Choose a dark beer bottle. None of that see-through Corona glass. Gulp down your last bottle of Guinness, and prepare to be rescued. 

Roll your message inward. Ignore this step (and all of the other steps), if your desert island didn’t come with a pen and paper. 

Barnacles: No. Seaweed: Yes. Barnacles weigh down your bottle. Seaweed floats for a reason. When you’re plotting the best course for your last-ditch effort, steer clear of heavy marine life. 

Wondering what will be for dinner 20 or 30 years from now? Here’s what your meal might look like in the not-so-distant future.

5 Weird Foods on the Menu of the Future

For the first time, scientists have built a working DNA nanobot into a living creature. It just happens to be a cockroach.


Cockroaches, DNA Nanobots, and the Future of Cancer Treatment

For the first time, scientists have built a working DNA nanobot into a living creature. It just happens to be a cockroach.

Cockroaches, DNA Nanobots, and the Future of Cancer Treatment

Forget the theremin—now you can makescience fiction-sounding music just by waving your arms in the air. London-based singer-songwriter Imogen Heap has designed a pair of digital gloves that allow her to perform elaborate otherworldly symphonies by sculpting the air with her hands. For the past four years she has worked with a team of engineers and designers, including scientists from NASA and MIT, to create the sleek e-textile gloves, which are full of chips and sensors. The gloves allow the wearer to remotely manipulate recorded sound and musical tracks by waving the arms, pointing the fingers, making a fist, rotating the wrists, or air drumming an entire virtual drum kit. 

Power Glove Makes Music With the Wave of a Hand

At breakneck speed, a fruit fly veers off course and rolls into a precise bank. As the fly dips and dives around a miniature arena inside a laboratory in Seattle, three high-speed cameras shooting at 7500 frames per second capture its every twist and turn. Michael Dickinson, biologist and fruit fly expert at the University of Washington, has spent yearsstudying insect flight, and converting static images into dynamic models. “I’m obsessed with flies and how they work,” he says. 

Now, Dickinson and his team have revealed the physics behind how a fruit fly escapes from threats, be they predators or rolled-up newspapers. His work, published in today in Science, shows that flies escape danger with a specific sequence of rapid wing beats and sharp turns. And soon, engineers may use Dickinson’s basic research to build smarter, smaller flying robots. 

Captured: The Acrobatics of a Fruit Fly in Flight