Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:53 am
Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.
The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.
Fish oil may have some benefit for the heart. But a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute links higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Study author Alan Kristal says the potential mechanism is unclear, but he warns that supplements can sometimes increase the risk of the very diseases they're meant to prevent.
Astronomers have detected a previously unseen moon orbiting Neptune, bringing the planet's moon count to 14. Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute, describes how he spotted the 12-mile moon while combing through old images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Researchers at the University of Puerto Rico have developed a system that can automatically record and analyze sound clips from the field. Mitch Aide, lead researcher on the project, describes how the system can improve biodiversity monitoring.
In 2009, Alaska's Redoubt volcano erupted and sent plumes of ash miles into the air. But underground, there was even more activity. In a study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers say the volcano experienced a large number of pre-eruption earthquakes that created a "scream."
Ever tried to make your own sunscreen? A water bottle rocket? How about a cardboard canoe? Eric Wilhelm, founder of Instructables, and Mike Szczys, managing editor at Hackaday.com, discuss their favorite do-it-yourself summer projects. And Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton suggests some cooking hacks, like "cooler corn" and turning your BBQ into a smoker.
The deaths of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz., this summer have focused a lot of attention on just how bad wildfire has become in the West. And research predicts the situation is going to get worse.
Over the past decade, the region has seen some of the worst fire seasons on record. In addition to lives lost, the fires have cost billions in terms of lost property and in taxpayer money spent fighting the blazes.
Federal furloughs caused by sequestration could ground "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft, depriving forecasters of real-time measurements of storms during what's expected to be an especially active Atlantic hurricane season.
Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.
In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.
"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.