News

Will We Send Humans to Mars?

On Sunday, NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars. The orbiter ushers in a new era of exploration that, some say, could turn up evidence that Mars once had the necessary ingredients for life — or might even still harbor life today. The land rover also creates new possibilities for human exploration of Mars. The Obama administration wants to send humans to orbit Mars and eventually land on it.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Is Mars exploration a worthy investment?

Humans have launched 40 spacecraft to Mars, and the latest machine to make the effort is NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. If the Mars Science Laboratory lands safely next week, instruments will begin to analyze the soil, air, and rocks for life, past or present. While some say that the costs are not worth the investment, supporters insist that Mars missions could answer questions about Earth's history (and whether we're alone in the universe), reinforce U.S. prestige, and get children more interested in science and space exploration.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Do you believe that geoengineering efforts, like ocean fertilization processes, are valuable tactics that will reduce global warming?

An international team of scientists has published the results of a 2004 experiment to fertilize oceans with iron. The ocean fertilization was an effort to reduce the carbon at the water’s surface and potentially slow global warming. This type of geoengineering, or large-scale manipulation of the climate, has been controversial, but this is the first experiment to show that the technique works.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Is the traditional resume becoming obsolete?

Facebook plans to launch its own jobs board, working with some existing sites to let users search listings. Similar online developments have led job experts to say that the traditional resume is turning into a thing of the past.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Will the growing number of personal smartphones and tablets in the workplace (and growing expectations) create greater security problems for organizations?

A recent survey from the network security company Fortinet found that Gen-Y employees in the workplace have an expectation that they will be able to use their own mobile smartphones and tablets for work-related activities. Many users also say that they would go or have gone against company policy in order to use their own mobile device for work.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Is a full digital map of the human visual cortex possible within ten years?

Consisting of 16,000 computer processors, an "unsupervised," self-learning neural network from Google is capable of hierarchically arranging data, removing duplicate similar features, and grouping certain images together. The network, which simulates the human brain, was able to recognize the image of a cat without being prompted to do so. Some say that the scale of modeling the full human visual cortex may be within reach before the end of the decade.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>

Will wireless bracelet monitors be a useful way to assess student engagement?

Creators of an experimental bracelet, the Galvanic Skin Response monitor, want to use their device to assess student engagement in the classroom, and then use that information to inform teaching methods. The wireless-sensor technology, worn by a student, analyzes electrical impulses in the body to potentially determine whether a person enjoys a lesson or is bored by it. The GSR project has attracted the attention of education-focused organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pledged money to determine if the GSR is useful.

Posted in: Question of the Week

Read More >>