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International Space Station Astronauts' New Hobby? Space-Gardening.

August 11, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Space: the final frontier for leafy greens. The first food grown and harvested in space—a crop of red lettuce—is about to be eaten by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The lettuce was grown for 15 months with a system called Veg-01, which uses red, blue, and green LED lights...

All of Google’s—er, Alphabet’s—Companies and Products from A to Z

August 11, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google has announced that it will be folding itself into a larger company, called Alphabet. The new “slimmed down” Google, as current CEO Larry Page put it, will now be run by Sundar Pichai, hitherto the company’s product chief. Pichai will manage Google’s core businesses—like search and advertising. Alphabet will...

Why This Team Is Teaching Robots to Play Jazz

August 10, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As the band gets into their groove, the guitarist gets ready to rip a solo he’s practiced for endless hours. The crowd knows he’ll pull it off perfectly. That’s because he’s a robot; it’s always perfect. This is the future that researchers, funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects...

International Space Station Astronauts Are About to Eat the First Vegetables Grown in Space

August 10, 2015 Space: the final frontier for leafy greens. The first food grown and harvested in space—a crop of red lettuce—is about to be eaten by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The lettuce was grown for 15 months with a system called Veg-01, which uses red, blue, and green LED lights...

NASA Building Flying Space Drones

August 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow NASA is building robots to explore other planets, and drone technology for Earth. The logical next step: robot drones in space. New research out of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center shows that the agency is working on ways to explore other planets and asteroids using robots that can fly to places...

FDA Approves First 3-D Printed Drug

August 4, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow 3D printing, a technology still in search of a market, may have just found a home in the world of medicine. The US Food and Drug Administration approved an epilepsy medicine called Spritam that is made by 3D printers, making it the first 3D-printed product that the FDA has approved...

NASA Wants to Experiment With Drones That Can Fly in Space

August 3, 2015 NASA is building robots to explore other planets, and drone technology for Earth. The logical next step: robot drones in space. New research out of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center shows that the agency is working on ways to explore other planets and asteroids using robots that can fly to places...

There's Now an X-Ray Pill You Can Swallow

July 30, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Going to the doctor is rarely a pleasant experience. Beyond the sterile atmosphere and high prices (at least in the US), there’s the poking, the prodding, the injecting, and the inserting. According to the American Cancer Society, everyone over the age of 50 should get a colonoscopy to be screened...

The Slow Death of Google Plus

July 28, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The slow death of Google+ continues. Today Google announced that it will be slicing out its social network from the rest of its services, meaning users won’t be forced to set up a Google+ account to comment on YouTube videos or use Google Photos. Soon, you’ll be able to use...

The Scientists and Technologists Who Want To Keep AI Out of Weapons

July 27, 2015 Maybe we should take the warnings of RoboCop more seriously. Famous scientists, engineers, and businessmen are banding together to call for a ban on autonomous weapons development. In an open letter published today by the Future of Life Institute—a research group concerned with making sure humanity stays in charge of...