AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Adrienne LaFrance

Results 171-180 of 182

The Promise of a New Internet

June 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow People tend to talk about the Internet the way they talk about democracy—optimistically, and in terms that describe how it ought to be rather than how it actually is. This idealism is what buoys much of the network neutrality debate, and yet many of what are considered to be the...

Gecko Toe Hair and Other Magnified Scientific Images on Display at NIH

June 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Our universe is a vast and repeating tapestry of convergences. This how we experience it anyway, and in part because our brains are hardwired to recognize patterns. We can't help but see the fractal echo of tributaries in a blown-up image of our own capillaries. And it makes sense that...

NASA Is About to Test a Mega-Parachute at the Edge of Space

June 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The key to a successful Mars landing is the same thing that matters in landing on any planet: You have to slow down before you hit the ground. That's why scientists are testing a new supersonic parachute that they hope will advance the technology needed to land heavier-than-ever spacecrafts—like the...

Skip the Humans: Drug Discovery by Simulating Cells

June 2, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The future of medicine, we're often told, will be personalized. We'll have gene therapies, wearables to monitor our vital signs—maybe even new kinds of vital signs—and robot doctors to diagnose our illnesses. But the real promise of personalized medicine is, counterintuitively enough, that it's not actually just about you. Improving...

Goodbye Forever, Beloved Robot

May 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Scientists broke the news in the style of French existentialist Albert Camus: "We lost Nereus today," Ken Kostel wrote of the deep-ocean robot, which imploded six miles beneath the surface of the Pacific last weekend. Kostel is a writer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Nereus was one of the...

The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (For Science)

May 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you've tried listening to any of your old CDs lately, if you even own them anymore, you may have noticed they won't play. That's what happened to mine, anyway. CD players have long since given up on most of the burned mixes I made in college. (In some cases,...

A Breathalyzer That Can Diagnose Cancer

May 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If a fingerprint can tell someone who you are, a "breathprint" could reveal how you're doing. That's according to Raed Dweik, the doctor who runs the pulmonary vascular program at the Cleveland Clinic's Respiratory Institute. For the past two decades, Dweik has been studying the molecular patterns in breath that...

How Inkjet Printers Are Changing the Art of Counterfeit Money

May 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. government recouped more than $88 million in counterfeit currency last year, and more than half of it was made on regular old inkjet or laser printers. That's according to Bloomberg, which tells the story of a woman who pleaded guilty to counterfeiting up to $20,000 in fake bills...

Park Service Designates Site of a 1950s Plane Crash as a Landmark You Will Never See

April 28, 2014 There was a thunderstorm over the Grand Canyon the morning that two airplanes vanished there the summer of 1956. Investigators later determined that the TWA and United Airlines flights had collided in mid-air, some 21,000 feet above the canyon, killing all 128 people aboard both aircraft. At the time, it...

Hey, YouTube, We Want to Sync Multiple Videos from the Same Event

April 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When everyone has a camera with them at all times, people end up recording a lot of the same things simultaneously. And once in a while these many recorders capture remarkable moments from different angles. Yet only rarely are these separate-but-similar shots woven together from disjointed devices into one narrative....