Anti-cancer nanobombs, radio controlled sperm valves, and a gathering of other news from the people wearing the white coats

Miriam is so swamped with work she has to look up to see the lilly pads, and I’m off at a work-related conference. So even though each of the following recent technological advances or scientific discoveries are probably worth a humorous sonnet or two, I’ll just rattle them off in round-up form:

• Scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the U.S. Army have developed tiny little cancer-seeking nanobombs. If they work right, these little babies would essentially swim up to cancer sells and blow up, launching particles at 1500 – 2,300 meters per second. But since they’re nano, the wouldn’t have much force (F=ma). Really putting our faith in these guys with this one, right? ETA: two to five years. [via Engadget]

• Men, try to imagine this: a remote control sperm flow regulator. Researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a tiny little switch that would go inside the vas deferens and act as a gate to keep the little swimmers from escaping. The theory is it provides men a “grace period” to decide if they really wanted that vasectomy (They need to be considering a vasectomy anyway, because the gate sometimes get jammed shut). To prevent a guy’s gate from getting switched by, say, the microwave, the gate would only respond to a specific code, like a car key does. I also want to know how they remember if the switch is open or shut. I mean, what if you double click the remote by mistake, but don’t realize it? Or worse, what if your kid gets a hold of it? Or your fraternity siblings? <Shudder> ETA: 5-10 years.

• The latest attempt at an electric car, the Tesla, has been exempted by the feds from rules requiring advanced technology airbags. I love the notion of electric cars, but hey guys, safety first, eh? ETA: this year. [Also via Engadget]

• Engineers can code DNA to build tiny crystal structures on their own. Which means the Diamond Age isn’t so far off after all. ETA: Unknown.


3 Responses to Anti-cancer nanobombs, radio controlled sperm valves, and a gathering of other news from the people wearing the white coats

  1. Gila says:

    The Diamond Age–wow-loved that book….

  2. anna says:

    looking up to see the lily pads. is this yours, eric? it’s excellent.

  3. Eric Wolff says:

    Gila – Diamond Age was a cool book, until the weird drumming ending. Which of course made it just like all of Neal Stephensons’ books.

    Anna – Thanks!

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