MIT Unveils Faster, Meaner Solar Car

The MIT Solar Electric Vehicle Team is up to their old tricks again. They've just finished construction of the latest high-tech car, which is being unveilved on the MIT campus tomorrow.

According to an MIT news release, The new car, called Eleanor, is taller than earlier versions yet has exactly the same drag area -- a measure of its wind resistance -- as the team's older one, "thanks to some very sophisticated aerodynamic design and wind-tunnel testing."

Eleanor also features six square meters of monocrystalline silicon solar cells and improved electronic systems and design. And the car can run all day on a sunny day at a steady cruising speed of 55 mph. Eleanor will be competing in October in the World Solar Challenge race across Australia. In preparation, the team plans to drive the car across the United States over the summer.

The new vehicle is also equipped with wireless links so that the lead and chase vehicles during the race will be able to monitor every aspect of the car's electrical performance in real time. Its batteries have enough energy, when fully charged, to get the car from Boston to New York City without need of sunlight.

Let's get some green stimulus money to MIT immediately so that we can all start driving Eleanors as soon as possible!

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Cornell engineers create artificial material with 3 key traits of life

An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

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  • A huge segment of America's population — the Baby Boom generation — is aging and will live longer than any American generation in history.
  • The story we read about in the news? Their drain on social services like Social Security and Medicare.
  • But increased longevity is a cause for celebration, says Ashton Applewhite, not doom and gloom.