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liquid medicine

This is no way to give medicines, especially to children. This tableware spoon is too imprecise to measure out liquids accurately.

driverless car

A car with self-driving technology sits at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Driverless cars will need to be programmed to handle emergency situations, but surveys find people have conflicting opinions on whether automated vehicles should protect pedestrians or passengers.

stretchy electronics

Flexible, see-through mesh of metal-covered plastic fibers (circled at left) conducts electricity and could be used in medical sensors as well as many electronic devices. Glowing LEDs (fingers at right) show the mesh is conducting electricity from the red and black clips on either side of the mesh.

Math & Technology

Cell phones on the brain

When an active cell phone is pressed against the ear, the brain gets busier.

Here’s one number to keep in mind during your next cell phone conversation: 50. A new experiment shows that spending 50 minutes with an active phone pressed up to the ear increases activity in the brain. This brain activity probably doesn't make you smarter. When cell phones are on, they emit energy in the form of radiation that could be harmful, especially after years of cell phone usage. Scientists don't know yet whether cell phones are bad for the brain. Studies like this one are attempting to find out.

Are cell phones safe?

About 4 billion people use cell phones, but are they safe? Keep listening—scientists around the world are exploring this question right now. In the meantime, governments are suggesting that people try to limit exposure to radiation from the devices. “Better safe than sorry,” says Siegal Sadetzki, a physician in Israel who studies the health risks of cell phones.

Troubles with Hubble

If your family car breaks down on the road, a roadside assistance crew will be sent immediately to make repairs. But how do you tackle emergency repairs on an orbiting space telescope hundreds of miles from Earth?

That’s a problem that some NASA engineers are now working to solve.

After 18 years of capturing images of nearby galaxies and newborn stars, the hard-working Hubble Space Telescope mysteriously stopped sending data in late September.

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