Science Friday for Friday, August 2, 2013

Smartening Your TV With Google Chromecast

The latest device that beams your computer to your TV is Google Chromecast. Technology writer Larry Magid tells us how it stacks up against the competition and how the Internet giant will impact streaming TV.

Hacking Under the Hood and Into Your Car

Automakers are making cars "smarter" by including more computerized features --but these features are also opening up cars to hackers. Security specialists Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek discuss how they were able to tap into car computer systems and control the horn, steering wheel, and even the brakes.

Some Ground-Dwelling Dinos Had the Brains to Fly

Reporting in Nature, researchers write that even non-flying relatives of Archaeopteryx had brains with the motor and visual capabilities necessary to take wing. Paleontologist Amy Balanoff reconstructed the dino brains by taking CT scans of fossilized skulls.

Meet Nasutoceratops: Big-Nose Horned Face

While digging in southern Utah, researchers unearthed a previously unknown relative of Triceratops: Nasutoceratops titusi, or "Big-Nose Horned Face." Scott Sampson, a paleontologist on the team that discovered the dino, discusses a day in the life of this lumbering herbivore, and possible explanations for its oversized nose.

Engineering in Service of a Dark Art

Biology graduate student Tom McDonagh, of Rockefeller University, likes working with light. For his Ph.D. he built a spinning microscope that uses centrifugal force to test the gripping power of different molecules. McDonagh also innovates with light outside the lab, in tech-savvy shadow puppet plays.

For Asteroid Ideas, NASA Looks to the Crowd

In June, NASA asked the public for ideas related to a plan to capture an asteroid and move it into a stable lunar orbit for study. Lori Garver, NASA's deputy administrator, says the agency received more than 400 ideas relating to tracking, identifying, and exploring asteroids.

Teaching Newton's Laws Through Rhyme

Science education professor Christopher Emdin knows how to get his students interested in science: Rap about it. Together with the hip-hop artist GZA and rap lyrics site RapGenius.com, Emdin founded the Science Genius competition, for which New York City high school students write rhymes based on their biology and physics classwork.

Reexamining the Definition of Cancer

A viewpoint published in The Journal of the American Medical Association recommended refining the definition of cancer and reexamining how the disease is detected and treated. Laura Esserman, one of the authors, and Larry Norton, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering, discuss what a new definition would mean.
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