Technology Tuesday: May 3

DNA

Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: Data storage in DNA, swallowable electronics that monitor your health, lab made “black hole” sheds light on Hawking Radiation, a fully bendable smartphone, and Space X announces plans to land a spacecraft on Mars by 2018.


Microsoft Experiment With DNA Data Storage

DNA

Microsoft is buying ten million strands of DNA from biology startup Twist Bioscience to investigate the use of genetic material to store data.

The data density of DNA is orders of magnitude higher than conventional storage systems, with 1 gram of DNA able to represent close to 1 billion terabytes (1 zettabyte) of data. DNA is also remarkably robust; DNA fragments thousands of years old have been successfully sequenced.

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An Ingestible Sensor That Monitors Your Vitals

sensr

Stethoscopes listen to your body. These acoustic devices have been around since the 19th century and are still the norm for auscultating or examining the internal sounds of your body. But a team of researchers at MIT have developed an ingestible sensor that could measure your vital signs from the inside, specifically from the gastrointestinal tract. The new sensor, packaged inside a silicone capsule that’s the size of an almond, is expected to make both short and long term assessments easier on patients. Beyond hospitals, it could also help monitor soldiers and assist athletic training programs.

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Physicists Create Sonic “Black Hole” In Attempt To Prove Hawking Radiation Exists

black-hole

Some 42 years ago, renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking proposed that not everything that comes in contact with a black hole succumbs to its unfathomable nothingness. Tiny particles of light (photons) are sometimes ejected back out, robbing the black hole of an infinitesimal amount of energy, and this gradual loss of mass over time means every black hole eventually evaporates out of existence.

Known as Hawking radiation, these escaping particles help us make sense of one of the greatest enigmas in the known Universe, but after more than four decades, no one’s been able to actually prove they exist, and Hawking’s proposal remained firmly in hypothesis territory.

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Fully Bendable Smartphone With Graphene Display

phone

A Chinese company just showed off a fully bendable smartphone with a graphene screen during a trade show at Nanping International Conventional Center in Chongqing. Videos of the incredibly flexible phone are making the rounds, and no wonder, as it looks rather impressive.

It isn’t yet known which company developed the bendable smartphone, and very few details have emerged about it. What we do know is that it weighs 200g, the smartphone can be worn around the wrist, and the screen is fully touch enabled.

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Space X To Land Dragon On Mars By 2018

spacex

SpaceX plans to send its Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018, marking a major first step toward CEO Elon Musk’s goal of sending humans to the Red Planet. The company didn’t say how many spacecraft it will send, but hinted it would conduct a series of these Dragon missions and that it would release more details soon. In a tweet, the company indicated that the capsules would fly on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, a bigger version of its Falcon 9; the rocket will launch the capsules to the planet to test out how to land heavy payloads on Mars. If successful, the endeavor would make SpaceX the first private spaceflight company to land a vehicle on another planet.

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Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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