Science Friday: Death Rays, Rover Freedom, Super Milk, Flashgloves + more

Today in Science Friday, the final tests for the Large Hadron Collider’s death ray proton beam have been a success. Is world domination next? Also, the Opportunity Mars Rover is climbing its way out of Victoria Crater. Plus, read about the newest space telescope, and how a high-tech glass of milk is just what the doctor ordered for your bones, and much more science fun.

Large Hadron Collider’s Final Test Of Death Ray Proton Beam A Success has been reporting on the antics of the LHC and the recent hubbub about it’s evil plot to suck the Earth into a black hole. Recently, CERN, the center in charge of the project, announced the success of the second and final test of the atom smasher’s beam synchronization systems which will allow the operations team to inject the first beam into the LHC. Will we all die in a catastrophic physics experiment gone bad? Does the guy running CERN have a white cat? I guess we’ll find out September 10th during the first beam! You can watch the event on CERN’s Live Webcast.

Plot of the successful synchronization test on the LHC’s atom smashing beam of doom!

Mars Rover Opportunity Climbs From Victoria Crater After Yearlong Stay
NASA’s Mars Exploration rover Opportunity is heading back out to the Red Planet’s surrounding plains nearly a year after descending into a large Martian crater to examine exposed ancient rock layers. "We’ve done everything we entered Victoria Crater to do and more,” said Bruce Banerdt, a project scientist. Once the rover emerges, it will study loose rocks on the equatorial plains. Opportunity and Spirit landed on Mars in 2004 and have operated years beyond their original 90-day mission.

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

Bones Get Mended With High Tech Glass-of-milk
Scientists at the Nuclear-Magnetic Resonance unit at the University of Warwick have discovered how a high-tech glass of milk is helping bones mend. Low-temperature bioglass is used to help mend broken bones. “It seems perhaps a glass-of-milk-a-day really is what the doctor ordered,” says Physics professor Mark Smith. Recently researchers discovered a new kind of bioglass which seemed to work better, but they could not work out all the details why. “We looked at it through our NMR machine and were amazed by what we saw. Fluid simulating patient’s bodies rushed calcium out of the bioglass and then into the new bones. So, drink up!

Calcium helps bones in a whole new way!

First Light For The Fermi Space Telescope
In June, TrekMovie reported on the launch of GLAST, NASA’s latest space telescope which is now in orbit studying gamma ray bursts, dark matter, and much more. Tuesday, NASA announced that GLAST has been renamed the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in honor of Prof. Enrico Fermi (1901 – 1954), a pioneer in high-energy physics. A team looking after the Large Area Telescope aboard Fermi released an all-sky image showing glowing gas in the milky way. The map combines 95 hours of the instrument’s “first light” observations.

A Fermi animation of the Vela pulsar, which beams radiation every 89 milliseconds as it spins. Click to view the entire sky.

Gadget of the Week: The Fiber Optic Light Glove
Never mind wearing a flashlight around your ear like a Borg — this fiber optic glove brings the light literally to your fingertips. Powered by a battery pack embedded in its wristband, the light source is directed by fiber optic pipes to either shine a shadow-free spotlight directly on your work, light up the entire glove in a diffuse floodlight, or both. Besides being super-handy while working in tight/dark spaces, it looks super nifty. The tech used by this clever design concept might not be quite ready to be cost-effective just yet, but when it is, we’ll wear one of these on each hand.

Way more futuristic than Trek flashlights, sorry


Science Quickies
Here’s a warp-speed look at science tid-bits that didn’t quite make the cut, but nonetheless merit mention.

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