science and technology

Diamonds are notoriously beautiful, expensive, and luxurious. And now, they're also lab-made. Yes, that's right—that sparkling gem found deep within the Earth can now be produced by scientists. [read more...]
Solar power has taken Wisconsin by storm. In 2015, the state’s installed solar capacity grew by 94 percent and powered more than 3,800 homes. As demand for solar panels has risen, so have associated costs. Recent changes to large-scale energy company’s billing provisions, like We Energies, have made solar power much more expensive. [read more...]
For decades, mankind has used rockets to travel into space. But one rocket alone is not powerful enough to launch into space. In fact, the rockets we hear about are actually several rockets stacked on top of one another: these pieces are called stages. [read more...]
Each year during flu season, millions of Americans get the flu vaccine. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014-15, the vaccine was only 23 percent effective. In 2016, however, virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin-Madison believed he may have developed a method to predict flu virus mutations to create better vaccines. [read more...]
At the University of Minnesota (UM) in Dakota County, agricultural researchers set up an eight- armed drone to send 200 feet in the air to begin its task. The drone is on the front line of their scientific explorations. Scientists at the UM are testing low-flying drones for their ability to find aphids, a grasshopper-like bug that ravages plants in the Upper Midwest. [read more...]
Can you imagine printing your dinner? 3D printing technology might soon have the power to do just that—and so much more. [read more...]
In the world of technology, black Americans are at a disadvantage. According to Information is Beautiful, an online infographic text, there are significantly fewer black Americans than white Americans working in the top U.S. companies. This statistic is evident in the texts list of the racial diversity in said companies, including Instagram, YouTube, and Google. [read more...]
Before about 1770, most things were made by hand instead of by powered machinery. An early example of powered machines arose in Britain. [read more...]
Robots can do many things humans can, and many things human cannot. For example, robots can deal with dangerous substances and explore outer space. Depending on how they're programmed they can be gentle enough to hold glass or strong enough to lift a car. They have been programmed to assemble a computer and perform surgery using artificial intelligence. [read more...]
Have you ever dreamed about soaring through the sky? Using the flying rocket belt, better known as the jet pack, these dreams can become a reality. [read more...]
The element carbon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. People have known about its existence since ancient times, and it still has many uses today. [read more...]
Henry Ford was a giant in the automobile industry. [read more...]
Some studies suggest that technology is mentally and physically isolating us from each other and this view has certainly gained momentum in the 21st century. On a daily basis, humans often communicate with the touch of a finger or by bringing a device to their ears. But are our devices eliminating our most basic communication skills? Have we become so attached to technology that it has begun to overshadow and even eliminate our face-to-face interactions? [read more...]
Technology in cars has advanced throughout the decades, with improvements in fuel-efficiency and design. But the evolution of car engines has brought about a controversial enhancement: fake engine noise. [read more...]
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864. He and his mother, Mary, were owned by Moses and Susan Carver. Carver was orphaned as a child when his mother was captured by slave raiders. After slavery was abolished, Moses and Susan Carver took in Carver, and regarded him as their own son. The Carvers taught him how to read and write. A good student, Carver especially enjoyed learning about plants and animals. [read more...]
A surprising use of a 3D printer recently saved the life of one lucky duck named Phillip. Because his feet had been frozen in harsh outdoor conditions, Phillip couldn’t run, swim, or fit in with the other ducks. When Vicki Rabe-Harrison, a caring citizen, saw Phillip with his legs shriveled up, she decided to take him under her wing. After watching a video online about a 3D printer that belonged to a middle school teacher named Mr. Jischke, Rabe-Harrison knew what to do. She immediately emailed Jischke to see if she could use the 3D printer to construct a new pair of feet for Phillip. [read more...]
Scientists have recently discovered a way to predict facial features using a sample of DNA. The new technology, called DNA phenotyping, is used by law enforcement officials to 'reverse engineer' physical characteristics and as such, to catch a potential criminal. [read more...]
More than thirty years ago, two lucky astronauts, Bruce McCandless and Bob Stewart took the ride of their lives. [read more...]
Two Midwestern energy companies plan to shift towards renewable resources. The Lacrosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative plans to build the first Wisconsin wind farm since 2011. The farm will be located 20 miles southeast of Platteville and construction is projected to begin in 2017. While operating, the turbines would generate enough electricity to power more than 25,000 Midwestern homes. [read more...]
Over time, people have made clothes out of many varieties of material: cotton, silk, wool, and others. Recently, the MIT Media Lab took the art of making clothes to the next level. They invented a new type of material that uses bacteria to react to body moisture. [read more...]
The Printing Press, a very important invention, initiated an “information revolution” on par with the Internet today. In fact, the Printing Press changed the world. [read more...]
The ‘Maker Faire’ movement is sweeping the nation. And earlier this month, it took Madison by storm. [read more...]
Not Impossible Labs, a new high technology team in Venice, California, has invented the Brainwriter. The Brainwriter is a machine that will eventually allow people with paralysis to communicate through a laptop, using only their minds. [read more...]
Human beings have been using energy from fire for thousands of years. There is evidence that late age stone cave dwellers kept their caves warm with fires which were kept alight for months or even years. These early people relied on fire, even though they did not know where it came from. In fact, they thought it was magic. [read more...]
Lenses are used to see and visually document the world around us. The two main types of lenses are convex and concave. They are used in many different tools, reflecting and bending light to produce an image. Lenses work by moving light in different directions using refraction, forming a smaller or larger image. A beam of light may diverge or converge depending on the shape of the lens. [read more...]
Spring has finally sprung. Hello flowers, bees, and honey! But how is honey made? Honey is a very versatile food. People use it to sweeten drinks and foods, eat it plain, or put it on food as a topping. However, there is a long process before this sweet goo ends up on your plate. [read more...]
It was a bustling day at the Free Press when our director, Jim Kramer, hung up his cell phone and sighed. I glanced over at Jim. He turned to me with his cell phone still in hand and a quizzical look in his eye. [read more...]
Teeth are important for our health. Protecting them can reduce risks of oral diseases like gingivitis. We think that toothpaste is good for us and we use it daily, but it turns out it's not entirely healthy for us. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press is known for hosting academic panels and events throughout the year. Especially vital to the Free Press curriculum is our “Women in Science, Math, and Technology” series. This April, two nuclear engineering students from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s American Nuclear Society (ANS) came to SSFP’s South Towne newsroom to deliver another event in this series. [read more...]
The Wisconsin State Assembly recently voted to lift a restriction on nuclear power production in the state. Assembly Bill 384 now goes to the Senate. Democrats and Republicans alike support the bill. [read more...]
Meteorologists are people who study the maps of the weather to predict what is to come. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how rockets work? [read more...]
Traveling to space is an incredible feat. To leave the bounds of Earth requires great ambition, endurance, nerves of steel, and even a dash of luck. [read more...]
In the year 1900, pieces of an ancient device that would come to be known as the Antikythera mechanism were discovered under the sea by sponge divers and taken to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. [read more...]
Being able to balance is crucial. But like many day-to-day functions, people do not think about balance all the time. It is not until they start to lose this ability that they realize how important it is. Around 30,000 people in America suffer from dizziness each day because of damage to the organs that manage balance. To combat this, scientists are developing an ear implant that could potentially cure dizziness. [read more...]
Solving crimes is often difficult. When detectives and police officers have wide ranges of DNA samples to work with, however, the task can be easier. Yet, not all DNA recovered from crime scenes matches samples in the federal DNA database. [read more...]
Nuclear energy, produced by the combination of protons and neutrons inside atomic nuclei, is the energy that allows stars to shine so brightly. Two kinds of reactions release this energy: fission and fusion. [read more...]
The thought of surgery is gruesome, but just imagine being awake while tangerine-sized flaps of your skull are cut open. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a technology company looks like and what goes on there? Recently, Simpson Street Free Press student reporters had the opportunity to visit Hardin Design and Development (HDD), a Madison software and application firm founded in 2008. Vice President and Co-founder of HDD Scott Resnick and HDD employee Anouson Bounket led us on a tour of the start-up company. We also had the chance to sit down with them and ask questions about what it’s like to work in the tech industry. [read more...]
Many people are familiar with the famous line “Beam me up, Scotty!,” which is attributed to the popular show Star Trek. Well, scientists today can do just that – sort of. [read more...]
Are print books becoming obsolete? Some say that electronic devices are challenging the popularity of books, newspapers, and magazines. Many readers prefer the adjustable screens of cell phones, tablets, computers, or eReaders to the pages of a printed book. [read more...]
For thousands of years, animal extinction has been a problem all over the world. Due to ongoing human overpopulation and destruction of the environment, many animals including the mammoth, the passenger pigeon, and the bucardo goat are now extinct, while, tigers, elephants, and jaguars are on the brink of extinction. However, scientists may have created a breakthrough to keep these animals from extinction. Scientists’ call this breakthrough “de-extinction.” [read more...]
Do you know someone with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or cancer? Then you know the misery and death these diseases cause. Who knew the remedy for such diseases might lie in toxins from the venom of Gila monsters, snakes, scorpions, or cone snails? The “molecular gifts” of these animals can kill; but, in these cases, their poisons have already produced powerful medicines to treat diseases and hold promise for treatments and cures in the future. [read more...]
In order to save money, scientists at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) are currently working to compress the size of solar panels, which are typically bulky and hard to transport. To do so, they have turned to a unique solution: origami. [read more...]
As the global population continues to expand, demands for energy have skyrocketed. With Earth’s limited supplies of fossil fuels, however, it is apparent that new forms of renewable energy must be found and developed in order to meet these demands. [read more...]
After decades without solutions, researchers may have developed a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recently, studies successfully converted stem cells into insulin-producing cells, and in sufficient quantities for transplantation, thus offering glimmers of hope to those battling this disease. [read more...]
Imagine you are in a world surrounded by zombies, skeletons, and creepers, a world where you can build whatever you want, fight monsters, and be creative and, most importantly, survive. [read more...]
Did you think our generation's technology would ever go waterproof? I didn't. So many cell phone and tablet users seem to lose their devices to liquid-related incidents. To combat this problem, some companies have recently come out with waterproof phones. [read more...]
Spacecraft, including unmanned probes, artificial satellites, and manned spacecraft, are highly-advanced technology required to operate in extreme conditions. All types of spacecraft have powerful rockets that help them reach space, survey the planet, explore the universe, and communicate. [read more...]
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is Hubble space telescope captures vivid pictures of different stars and galaxies never seen before. The Hubble rapidly orbits above our planet's atmosphere to view the universe more clearly than ground-based telescopes. It takes only 97 minutes for the Hubble to travel around the Earth. [read more...]
In today’s realm of high school and college sports, knee injuries are at an all-time high. More alarmingly, it is a well-known fact that women, in particular, are at a great risk of sustaining lower-extremity injuries. Scientists are now working to establish why this is. One of the most debilitating injuries young athletes can suffer from is a torn ligament. In fact, over 90,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears occur in high school and college athletes annually. [read more...]
One year following former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden’s release of controversial information regarding the U.S. and other countries’ wiretapping of citizens, a new report affirms privacy invasion is a growing issue on an international scale. [read more...]
The first-ever symposium about the future of zoos was held in Buffalo, New York. The conference, which discussed topics ranging from new designs for zoos to bioengineering the animals, was attended by zoo directors, animal behaviorists, conservationists, and architects. [read more...]
Internet users should be cautious when navigating the web. Scam artists and cyber criminals seek access to information like personal passwords, banking details, and social security numbers. Others may attempt to scam internet users by selling goods or taking money under false pretenses. [read more...]
Since Apollo 17, human beings have not traveled more than 380 miles above the Earth's surface. But later this year, that will change. NASA is currently working to build a capsule designed to send astronauts more than 3,600 miles into deep space. [read more...]
The Rosetta probe is a spacecraft that was launched into space March 2, 2004 by the European Space Agency. The unmanned probe was sent to pursue comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. [read more...]
Thanks to the new technology of 3D printing, a bald eagle was recently able to recover from her traumatic accident. Beauty, the eagle, was the victim of a hunter’s shot. At the age of six, a bullet destroyed her upper beak. [read more...]
It is hard to imagine a world in which pollution is not an issue. Believe it or not, such a place does exist: in northern Europe, Sweden is one such world. [read more...]
The phrase “Houston, we have a problem” has been adopted into everyday life. It is a clever way of saying: “Uh-oh.” This phrase originated nearly 25 years ago on April 13th, 1970, when the Apollo 13 spacecraft experienced an accident. [read more...]
During the summer, mosquitoes are uninvited and unwanted guests. Keeping them away can be difficult. But Frank Swift, president of Swift Food and Equipment Incorporated in Philadelphia, has found a simple and effective way to fight mosquitoes without using smelly chemical repellants. [read more...]
For thousands of years, we have known the power of winds. In Greek mythology, the demigod Aeolus captured gusting winds in hollowed-out mountains, and released them by stabbing his sword into the earth. Today, scientists harken back to this notion, asking, can we store wind in rock? [read more...]
A new technology resembling Google Glass has the potential to help the visually impaired see through a new lens. Amnon Shashua, a well-known researcher and computer science professor at Hebrew University, has developed a new research for visually impaired individuals, making use of computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence. [read more...]
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields suffer from a huge gender imbalance. A start-up company called Roominate is trying to address a lack of women in engineering fields. They plan to use toys. Their goal is to interest girls in science and technology while they’re young. A new toy dollhouse aims to spark that interest. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how prehistoric creatures moved or how their body structures were formed? [read more...]
To prevent the formation of blood clots during operations, surgeons have relied on blood thinners like heparin to do the trick. But new technology, using particles of gold too small to see or measure, has given researchers a way to stop blood clots for the procedure and restore them afterward. [read more...]
The Chinese are making an invisible fabric that people can hide behind -an invisibility cloak. And until now, it seemed like something impossible. [read more...]
Nothing sounds more like science fiction than a box that creates an entire meal from a gel-like substance, and then literally prints it out. As crazy as it seems, scientists believe that contraptions like this may actually exist in the next 20 years. [read more...]
Special education advocates see a growing role and value of robots as a remote teaching tool. Thanks to new technological advances in the fields of robotics, kids like Lexie Kinder can attend school. [read more...]
Malaria is a killer. It is a deadly disease carried by mosquitoes, and it is most prevalent in developing countries with subtropical or tropical climates. [read more...]
As medical technology advances, more people are getting their DNA decoded. Additionally, lower costs of genome sequencing attract many to the idea. [read more...]
Scientists at Stanford University in California are sending out a floating robot to track great white sharks in the Pacific. [read more...]
A newly-discovered technique might expand the use of wild silk worms. That could lead to new silk production in regions other than Asia. [read more...]
More than 30,000 years ago, an Ice Age squirrel hid its fruits and seeds in an underground burrow. Recently, a team of scientists led by Svetlana Yashin, of the Institute of Cell Biophysics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, resurrected a flower from the fruit tissue remains of this squirrel’s hidden treasure. [read more...]
Many people are familiar with the Big Bang Theory: a large explosion created the entire universe. However, most people are unfamiliar with how matter was formed. Scientists have theorized that the key to this puzzle is the Higgs particle. [read more...]
I sometimes lose my train of thought— as do many others. And what can we blame for this maddening behavior? According to science, the culprit is the anterior temporal lobe (ATL). [read more...]
Everyday new pop songs are blasting on the radio, Internet, and CD players for our entertainment. While you’re jamming to your favorite song, do you ever think of what it costs to produce such a song? Surprisingly, in many cases pop songs are worth millions of dollars. Yes, the catchy lyrics, and head nodding beats all come with a price. In fact, the song “Man Down” on Rihanna’s new album, “Loud”, cost around $1,078,000 to produce. [read more...]
Do you remember when Harry Potter used the invisibility cloak to get away from trouble? Well, Tufts and Boston University scientists have created the first actual invisibility cloak. It is made of silk and gold. [read more...]
Technology, especially in television, has improved significantly over time. From black and white to color, from poor sound quality to movie theater surround sound, and now from 2-D to 3-D, the way we watch television is constantly being reinvented. [read more...]
A new website, Zooniverse, is encouraging people to take part in scientific research and discovery. This is a large-scale, online science project. At least 270,000 citizen volunteers have contributed to more than 58 million classifications of astronomical objects. [read more...]
General Motors is finalizing the Chevy Volt, a rechargeable electric car that can travel an impressive 40 miles on battery power alone. [read more...]
The Toyota Prius was one of the first hybrid cars to gain popularity in the United States. Introduced worldwide in 2001, its sleek design and above average mileage attracted many buyers. Even its critics praised the innovation of a combination of petrol and electric, full hybrid vehicle. Toyota made its mark among the public by introducing the Prius into the global market. [read more...]
Three new electric cars are about to hit the market: the Tesla Roadster Sport, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt. [read more...]
For several years stories have spread of a strange-looking bear that roams remote coastal areas near the Arctic Ocean. Until recently most scientists considered these stories nothing more than legend. But now DNA evidence confirms that a bear shot in 2006 is a polar bear-grizzly bear hybrid. [read more...]
Social networking and mobile phones are part of teen culture today. Many teenagers find smartphones appealing because they meld these two basic and essential components of popular culture. Like other mobile giants, Microsoft wants to tap into the potential of this industry by introducing its own version of smartphones. [read more...]
General Motors (GM) plans to spend $700 million on the production of an electric car, the Chevrolet Volt. With the opening of new plants in several parts of Michigan, this new rechargeable car will be a technological and economic boost for that state. [read more...]
Ever since the discovery of the induced pluripotent stem cell by Japanese Researcher Shinya Yamanaka and a UW research team led by James Thomson and Junying Yu, researchers have applauded the fact that controversial embryonic cells are no longer the only paths to medical progress. [read more...]