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Old 12-19-2012, 09:36 PM
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Default 27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012

1. Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm



At the University of Pittsburgh, the neurobiology department worked with 52-year-old Jan Scheuermann over the course of 13 weeks to create a robotic arm controlled only by the power of Scheuermann's mind.
The team implanted her with two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes. Placed in the motor cortex, which controls all limb movement, the integration process was faster than anyone expected. On the second day, Jan could use her new arm with a 3-D workspace. By the end of the 13 weeks, she was capable of performing complex tasks with seven-dimensional movement, just like a biological arm.
To date, there have been no negative side effects.
Source: gizmodo.com

2. DARPA Robot Can Traverse an Obstacle Course



Once the robot figures out how to do that without all the wires, humanity is doomed.
DARPA was also hard at work this year making robots to track humans and run as fast as a cheetah, which seems like a great combination with no possibility of horrible side effects.
Source: jwherrman

3. Genetically Modified Silk Is Stronger Than Steel



At the University of Wyoming, scientists modified a group of silkworms to produce silk that is, weight for weight, stronger than steel. Different groups hope to benefit from the super-strength silk, including stronger sutures for the medical community, a biodegradable alternative to plastics, and even lightweight armor for military purposes.
Source: bbc.co.uk

4. DNA Was Photographed for the First Time



Using an electron microscope, Enzo di Fabrizio and his team at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa snapped the first photos of the famous double helix.
Source: newscientist.com

5. Invisibility Cloak Technology Took a Huge Leap Forward



British Columbia company HyperStealth Biotechnology showed a functioning prototype of its new fabric to the U.S. and Canadian military this year. The material, called Quantum Stealth, bends light waves around the wearer without the use of batteries, mirrors, or cameras. It blocks the subject from being seen by visual means but also keeps them hidden from thermal scans and infrared.
Source: toxel.com
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:42 PM
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6. Spray-On Skin


ReCell by Avita Medical is a medical breakthrough for severe-burn victims. The technology uses a postage stamp–size piece of skin from the patient, leaving the donor site with what looks like a rug burn. Then the sample is mixed with an enzyme harvested from pigs and sprayed back onto the burn site. Each tiny graft expands, covering a space up to the size of a book page within a week. Since the donor skin comes from the patient, the risk of rejection is minimal.
Source: news.discovery.com

7. James Cameron Reached the Deepest Known Point in the Ocean


Cameron was the first human to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench. At 6.8 miles deep, it is perhaps more a more alien place to scientists than some foreign planets are. The 2.5-story "vertical torpedo" sub descended over a period of two and a half hours before taking a variety of samples.
Source: news.nationalgeographic.com

8. Stem Cells Could Extend Human Life by Over 100 Years

When fast-aging elderly mice with a usual lifespan of 21 days were injected with stem cells from younger mice at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh, the results were staggering. Given the injection approximately four days before they were expected to die, not only did the elderly mice live — they lived threefold their normal lifespan, sticking around for 71 days. In human terms, that would be the equivalent of an 80-year-old living to be 200.
Source: news.nationalgeographic.com



9. 3-D Printer Creates Full-Size Houses in One Session

The D-Shape printer, created by Enrico Dini, is capable of printing a two-story building, complete with rooms, stairs, pipes, and partitions. Using nothing but sand and an inorganic binding compound, the resulting material has the same durability as reinforced concrete with the look of marble. The building process takes approximately a fourth of the time as traditional buildings, as long as it sticks to rounded structures, and can be built without specialist knowledge or skill sets.
Source: gizmag.com

10. Self-Driving Cars Are Legal in Nevada, Florida, and California


Google started testing its driverless cars in the beginning of 2012, and by May, Nevada was the first state to take the leap in letting them roam free on the roads. With these cars logging over 300,000 autonomous hours so far, the only two accidents involving them happened when they were being manually piloted.
Source: en.wikipedia.org
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:02 PM
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11. Voyager I Leaves the Solar System


Launched in 1977, Voyager I is the first manmade object to fly beyond the confines of our solar system and out into the blackness of deep space. It was originally designed to send home images of Saturn and Jupiter, but NASA scientists soon realized eventually the probe would float out into the great unknown. To that end, a recording was placed on Voyager I with sounds ranging from music to whale calls, and greetings in 55 languages.
Source: space.com

12. Custom Jaw Transplant Created With 3-D Printer

A custom working jawbone was created for an 83-year-old patient using titanium powder and bioceramic coating. The first of its kind, the successful surgery opens the door for individualized bone replacement and, perhaps one day, the ability to print out new muscles and organs.
Source: telegraph.co.uk

13. Rogue Planet Floating Through Space


Until this year, scientists knew planets orbited a star. Then, in came CFBDSIR2149. With four to seven times the mass of Jupiter, it is the first free-floating object to be officially defined as an exoplanet and not a brown dwarf.
Source: sciencenews.org

14. Chimera Monkeys Created from Multiple Embryo


While all the donor cells were from rhesus monkeys, the researchers combined up to six distinct embryos into three baby monkeys. According to Dr. Mitalipov, "The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs." Chimera species are used in order to understand the role specific genes play in embryonic development and may lead to a better understanding of genetic mutation in humans.
Source: bbc.co.uk

15. Artificial Leaves Generate Electricity


Using relatively inexpensive materials, Daniel G. Nocera created the world's first practical artificial leaf. The self-contained units mimic the process of photosynthesis, but the end result is hydrogen instead of oxygen. The hydrogen can then be captured into fuel cells and used for electricity, even in the most remote locations on Earth.
Source: sciencedaily.com
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:05 PM
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16. Google Goggles Bring the Internet Everywhere




Almost everyone has seen the video of Google's vision of the future. With their Goggles, everyday life is overlaid with a HUD (Head's Up Display). Controlled by a combination of voice control and where the user is looking, the Goggles show pertinent information, surf the web, or call a loved one.
Source: heraldsun.com.au


17. The Higgs-Boson Particle Was Discovered




Over the summer, multinational research center CERN confirmed it had discovered a particle that behaved enough like a Higgs boson to be given the title. For scientists, this meant there could be a Higgs field, similar to an electromagnetic field. In turn, this could lead to the scientists' ability to interact with mass the same way we currently do with magnetic fields.
Source: forbes.com



18. Flexible, Inexpensive Solar Panels Challenge Fossil Fuel




At half the price of today's cheapest solar cells, Twin Creeks' Hyperion uses an ion canon to bombard wafer-thin panels. The result is a commercially viable, mass-produced solar panel that costs around 40 cents per watt.
Source: extremetech.com



19. Diamond Planet Discovered




An exoplanet made entirely of diamonds was discovered this year by an international research team. Approximately five times the size of Earth, the small planet had mass similar to that of Jupiter. Scientists believe the short distance from its star coupled with the exoplanet's mass means the planet, remnants of another star, is mostly crystalline carbon.
Source: io9.com
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:08 PM
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20. Eye Implants Give Sight to the Blind




Two blind men in the U.K. were fitted with eye implants during an eight-hour surgery with promising results. After years of blindness, both had regained "useful" vision within weeks, picking up the outlines of objects and dreaming in color. Doctors expect continued improvement as their brains rewire themselves for sight.
Source: telegraph.co.uk


21. Wales Barcodes DNA of Every Flowering Plant Species in the Country


Photo Courtesy of Virtual Tourist.
Led by the National Botanic Garden's head of research and conversation, a database of DNA for all 1,143 native species of Wales has been created. With the use of over 5,700 barcodes, plants can now be identified by photos of their seeds, roots, wood, or pollen. The goal is to help researchers track things such as bee migration patterns or how a plant species encroaches on a new area. The hope is to eventually barcode both animal and plant species across the world.
Source: walesonline.co.uk



22. First Unmanned Commercial Space Flight Docks with the ISS




SpaceX docked its unmanned cargo craft, the Dragon, with the International Space Station. It marked the first time in history a private company had sent a craft to the station. The robotic arm of the ISS grabbed the capsule in the first of what will be many resupply trips.
Source: nytimes.com



23. Ultra-Flexible "Willow" Glass Will Allow for Curved Electronic Devices




Created by New York–based developer Corning, the flexible glass prototype was shown off at an industry trade show in Boston. At only 0.05mm thick, it's as thin as a sheet of paper. Perhaps Sony's wearable PC concept will actually be possible before 2020.
Source: bbc.co.uk



24. NASA Begins Using Robotic Exoskeletons




The X1 Robotic Exoskeleton weighs in at 57 lbs. and contains four motorized joints along with six passive ones. With two settings, it can either hinder movement, such as when helping astronauts exercise in space, or aid movement, assisting paraplegics with walking.
Source: news.cnet.com



25. Human Brain Is Hacked




Usenix Security had a team of researchers use off-the-shelf technology to show how vulnerable the human brain really is. With an EEG (electroencephalograph) headset attached to the scalp and software to figure out what the neurons firing are trying to do, it watches for spikes in brain activity when the user recognizes something like one's ATM PIN number or a child's face.
Source: extremetech.com



26. First Planet with FOUR Suns Discovered




Discovered by amateur astronomers, the planet closely orbits a pair of stars, which in turn orbit another set of more distant stars. It's approximately the size of Neptune, so scientists are still trying to work out how the planet has avoided being pulled apart by the gravitational force of that many stars.
Source: io9.com



27. Microsoft Patented the "Holodeck"




The patent suggests Microsoft wants to take gaming beyond a single screen and turn it into an immersive experience — beaming images all over the room, accounting for things like furniture, and bending the graphics around them to create a seamless environment.
Source: bbc.co.uk
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:45 PM
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All of this stuff is fucking astonishing. I missed at least ten of these discoveries.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:46 AM
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I am in awe.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:30 AM
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Absolutely awesome stuff, nice thread.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:44 AM
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Really fascinating stuff, thanks for sharing! My mind is blown every time I hear more about this 3d printing stuff, did not know it was as durable as concrete or could be used in the human body
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:57 AM
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All this science and they still can't tell us what broads want, amirite?
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:02 AM
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This stuff is amazing, just amazing.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:19 PM
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phedgnet never fails.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:03 PM
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Android for set top boxes, LTE expansion and NFC expected to go mainstream.

With 2012 now coming to a close, Broadcom has predicted the top 10 technology trends in 2013.

This year saw the rise in smartphones and tablets, with Q3 alone seeing smart-connected devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) selling over 300 million units. As for 2013, a total of 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets are expected to be sold.

Other notable trends included smartphone/tablet hybrids, 'phablets', as well as the emergence of 5-inch handsets.

Broadcom’s home, hand and infrastructure groups discussed what it believes will be the top 10 technology trends next year, which are as follows:
  1. Simultaneous Video Display Across Devices - "Playing video seamlessly across multiple devices like your smartphone, tablet or laptop will become more commonplace in 2013 as new standards for Wi-Fi enabled devices eliminate interoperability and compatibility issues. This technology, called Miracast™, will soon make its way onto smartphones, TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles to simplify sharing and streaming of content. You will soon be able to show the video of your daughter’s Christmas pageant taken from your smartphone on the big screen in the living room without dealing with multiple cables and complicated menus."
  2. NFC: More than Just Payments - "Near-field communications (NFC) has historically been linked to mobile payments, but that could change next year as the technology extends into consumer electronics, with increasingly more manufacturers integrating the chip. It’s already in Nintendo’s Wii U, and ABI Research predicts that 3.5 billion NFC-enabled devices will be in circulation over the next five years. If that’s the case, we may see more tap-to-share applications such as easily syncing phones with a car, transferring video playback from a smartphone to a tablet, or downloading new programming for a remote-control toy."
  3. No Longer for the Luxury Set: Smarter Cars at Lower Cost - "With the adoption of cost-effective standards like Ethernet and WiFi in the car, the cost of adding premium infotainment and advanced safety features has dropped dramatically. No longer confined to luxury-class vehicles, these technologies will make their way into affordable cars beginning in 2013 with Ethernet cost-effectively powering sophisticated add-ons like driver assist and 360 degree surround-view cameras."
  4. Android for Set Top Boxes - "Can Android democratize set top boxes like it has for mobile phones? The platform has advocates and advantages, and in 2013 expect to see the open source technology make its way into the TV and connected home."
  5. LTE Builds Out and Up - "Adoption of LTE is still in the initial stages but consumers will see widespread coverage in 2013. In North America, Verizon should finish its LTE rollout by June 2013, and the Global Mobile Suppliers Association forecasts that 209 networks will be commercially launched in 75 countries by the end of 2013. GSA also reports that over 500 LTE devices including tablets, femtocells, smartphones, and routers have been introduced this year, a 164% increase compared to the number launched in 2011. LTE coverage is clearly seen as a competitive differentiator by carriers, and as network rollouts accelerate worldwide, manufacturers are responding with products for these markets."
  6. Small Cells Get Rolling - "According to Infonetics Research, the $5B market opportunity (total for 2012-2013) for small cell backhaul equipment will begin in earnest in 2013. Small cells increase both coverage and capacity for 3G networks while offloading traffic from the macro network. The infrastructure of chipset manufacturers, mobile operators, small cell vendors and backhaul equipment is now in place to start the market growth."
  7. Go Big - "Look for the first Ultra HD (4Kx2K) TVs to start showing up and for the MPEG-5 codecs and broadband chipsets to start appearing. It won’t be until 2015 we can enjoy this resolution everywhere, but the early adoption of this technology is projected to kick off in 2013."
  8. Emergence of a Software-Defined Networking Ecosystem - "Software-defined networking is far from a nascent concept, but 2012 saw an uptick in SDN’s viability as companies like Cisco, Juniper and VMware made SDN acquisitions to enhance their portfolios. Google has been vocal about their use of OpenFlow to manage their backend traffic on a software-defined network, although a hybrid strategy has been touted as a more holistic approach to implementing SDNs. In 2013 expect an entire ecosystem to coalesce as software developers, network vendors and pure-play SDN shops collaborate to speed SDN’s adoption."
  9. 5G WiFi Everywhere - "Offering improved range, better battery performance, higher capacity and speeds up to three times faster than existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks, 5G WiFi is the latest Wi-Fi standard to accommodate consumers’ thirst for content and the proliferation of devices accessing the network. Since Broadcom announced the industry’s first 5G WiFi chip last year, a number of companies have launched products with the 802.11ac technology, including networking products such as routers and client devices like notebooks and PCs. Expect to see more products hit the shelves using next-generation connectivity next year including smartphones, tablets, digital TVs, and more."
  10. Context Awareness - "GPS technology has made navigating the globe seamless, eliminating the need for road maps and detailed directions from friends. But GPS has limitations. As soon as you walk indoors, that GPS connection is broken. Whereas 2012 was the year of buzz around indoor navigation, 2013 will elevate to the next level: “context awareness.” Context awareness goes beyond navigation by culling data from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and sensors in your phone to provide you with intelligent information on your location and surroundings. So perhaps you’re in Best Buy in the TV section and you receive a coupon real-time for a 5% discount on Smart TVs. Or your phone alerts you that you need to leave now for a meeting because there was an accident on the freeway and it’s going to take twice as long as usual. Oh, and bring an umbrella because it’s raining where you’re headed. Smartphones keep getting smarter."
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