This is what 109,000 horse power looks like – biggest engine in the world

biggest engine in the world

This jaw dropper is the Wärtsilä RT-flex96C, the world’s largest and most powerful diesel engine in the world today.

Raspberry Pi reveals tiny $5 computer

Image via WIRED.

The smallest member of the Raspberry Pi might actually be its largest: at the absurd price of £4 ($5 in the United States), it’s a full scale computer, and it could revolutionize electronic appliances. Wait, what’s a Raspberry Pi? The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card–sized single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Their

Scientists are teaching robots to say ‘No’ to commands. Is that a good thing?

laws robotics

Researchers at Tufts alter the laws of robotics to teach robots to say “no”.

Congress passes law that makes extracting resources in space fair game

Screenshot from the video game Blackspace - “a defensive action / strategy game that takes place in the not too distant future, when asteroid mining has become common [and you need to] defend yourself from incoming enemies who loot and destroy."

Officially, US citizens are now entitled to any resources they mine off the moon, asteroid or any celestial body outside Earth.

What’s the deal is with the deformed California road

Image via CBS News.

If you’ve been following the news lately (especially science news), the odds are you may have come across images of this California road, deformed to the point where some sections of it are basically vertical.

Fun GIF shows what hydrophobic coating can do


Hydrophobic coating is without a doubt one of the most coolest inventions in recent years, but it’s sometimes hard to imagine just how it can be useful.

Finally, the metal wiring in solar cells might stop reflecting light. One up solar efficiency

Silicon pillars emerge from nanosize holes in a thin gold film. The pillars funnel 97 percent of incoming light to a silicon substrate, a technology that could significantly boost the performance of conventional solar cells. Credit: Vijay Narasimhan, Stanford University

There’s an inherent flaw in solar cells: the metal wiring that’s quintessential to harnessing the electrons reflects the incoming light, acting like a mirror. Now, must people would brush off this issue and leave it like that. It’s a necessary trade off. But a team at Stanford University devised an elegant chemical technique that basically hides the wiring with silicon, away from the light while preserving energy harnessing. Metal wires cover 5 to 10 percent of a solar cell’s surface. Now, in the same area more light can be absorbed, hence more electricity generated which jumps the efficiency. Of course, this also means cheaper solar panels — if only the chemical technique is covered by the recurring costs of increased efficiency.

Paleontologists find a ridiculously armored Cambrian worm

Credit: An artist’s reconstruction of Eokinorhynchus rarus, a 535-million-year-old fossil from China that is closely related to the ancestor of modern animal phylum Kinorhyncha, which is a member of moulting animals that also include the arthropods and nematods. Eokinorhynchus rarus is only a few millimetre in length. It is the first fossil kinorhynch unearthed from the rock record.
Credit: Dinghua Yang at Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology

It basically looks like a weapon: the fossil of a worm-like animal from the Cambrian period has been presented by scientists, and it’s as armored as it gets. The Cambrian was definitely one of the strangest geological and biological stages in Earth’s history; it’s not only that it was 500 million years ago, but the Cambrian explosion was firing at all

Scientists play with a flatworm and grow another species’ head instead

Tufts biologists induced one species of flatworm -- G. dorotocephala, top left -- to grow heads and brains characteristic of other species of flatworm, top row, without altering genomic sequence. Examples of the outcomes can be seen in the bottom row of the image.

It sounds like a plot from Frankenstein, but apparently there’s no limit to how versatile flatworms can be. Previously, researchers at Tufts University determined that the small, yellow worm can retain its memories after it head was severed. As a reminder, flatworms can regrew new heads following decapitation. Now, the same team yet again guillotined some flatworms and interrupted gap junctions, which are protein channels that enable cells to communicate with each other by passing electrical signals back and forth – just to see what would happen. Yes, the flatworm grew a new head, but it was that of another flatworm species. They eventually induced the same flatworm species to grow the heads and brains of multiple other, closely related species. There’s a lot of biology and behaviour encoded in genes, but these findings show that tweaking physiological mechanisms in a live body can actually cause new anatomical developments. We might have uncovered a new form of epigenetics.

Foamy gold is mostly empty, floats on coffee

A foam of amyloid protein filaments without gold (top), with gold microparticles (middle) and gold nanoparticles (below).
Image via ethz

Imagine a nugget of real, 20 carat gold floating merrily on the milk foam of your cup of warm cappuccino — scientists from ETH Zurich have found a way to do it. It’s not super-cappuccino, or diamond-strong foam — scientists led by Raffaele Mezzenga, Professor of Food and Soft Materials at ETH have produced a novel foam of gold, a three-dimensional material that is actually mostly…empty.