Science & Tech

Coverage of current events and announcements in the world of science, technology, engineering, software, and computing with an emphasis of focus on the MN scene.

Astronomers around the Globe Assemble to Capture the First Image of a Black Hole

From the initial conception of black holes in the writings of natural philosopher John Michell in 1783 to the theories and equations of Albert Einstein and Karl Schwarzchild in the early 1900s, the mysteries surrounding them have fascinated and eluded us for centuries. Black holes—cosmic bodies so massive that not even light can escape their gravitational pull—have long been a mainstay in science fiction, used as plot devices in literature from writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and Larry...

What Do an ’80s Video Game and a Prehistoric Shark Have in Common?

Galaga, the 1980s arcade game in which a lone spaceship fends off an array of approaching alien craft, might not be the first thing you think of when learning about a prehistoric carpet shark species. But in the case of the newly discovered Galagadon nordquistae, the two have something in common. The Galagadon was recently unearthed from an archaeological dig site in South Dakota near the spot where “Sue,” one of the world’s most famous T. rex fossils (and...

Shane Mauss Brings His Unique Blend of Science and Comedy to Minneapolis

Comedian Shane Mauss has been doing stand-up for over a decade, catching his first break after receiving the Best Stand-Up award at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in 2007. “I got into comedy because I didn’t want to get a real job,” Mauss told me as he was driving through the Midwest to his next show. Comedy, however, quickly proved to be more than a full-time gig as he started to find his niche: blending his act with...

New Science Standards for Minnesota Schools Would Teach Humans’ Role in Climate Change

The topic of climate change often finds itself at the center of hot-button political controversies. However, according to data collected by NASA, “multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” On top of this, a majority of scientific organizations globally have issued statements supporting this position. Despite this consensus of scientists and scientific organizations, legislators...

Past Meets Future as Drone Technology Helps Maintain Minneapolis’s Historic Stone Arch Bridge

Standing strong for over 100 years, the landmark Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis has withstood the test of history. With the passing of time, however, history inevitably comes face to face with modernity. As for any structure with such a scale and history of the Stone Arch Bridge, maintenance and upkeep become increasingly necessary and more and more time consuming. While the bridge itself acts as a window into the city’s past, the processes by which it is now...

3 Organizations Sending Kids to Space Camp

Many of us have at one point stared up at the night sky, viewing billions of stars and wondering what could possibly be out there. Children in particular have a vast imagination that allows them to consider and want to explore those possibilities and to dream of a day when they might touch the stars. So many of us wanted to be astronauts when we grew up, and now that most of us have grown up and moved into...

Minnesota’s Starkey Combines AI and 3D Sensors to Take On Hearing Loss and More

According to statistics from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 2 to 3 of every 1,000 children in the US are born with a detectable level of hearing loss. With that, about 15 percent of adult Americans report some level of hearing troubles—whether from a condition present since birth or something that has developed over time. Hearing loss can stem from a variety of factors and presents in a range of ways: auditory processing disorders occur when...

Scientists Gather in Minnesota to Foster Understanding of Genome Engineering Technology

When you hear the phrase genome engineering, your mind might instinctively go to a place of science fiction, conjuring up images of augmented superhumans like Khan from Star Trek. You might think of real-life history, such as the horrors of the eugenics movement. Or you might gravitate toward the present-day debates over ideas such as cloning and GMOs. Genome engineering is a wide-ranging topic encompassing many schools of thought, and it has continually fascinated scientists and creatives alike. Yet despite this,...

One Woman’s Journey from Refugee Camp to Minnesota Medical School

In August of this year, the University of Minnesota Medical School will welcome a new class of medical students. Among the individuals who were accepted into the school this year is a young woman by the name of Hodan Abdi. Abdi’s admission into one of the world’s top ranked medical schools is particularly notable as it was just five years ago that she and her family made their way to the United States from the Sheder refugee camp in Ethiopia....

University of Minnesota Researchers Discover a New Magnetic Element

In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to take magnets for granted. We may not think about it, but so many important tools we use all the time use magnets to function, from computers and other consumer electronics to medical equipment. Despite this prevalence, only three natural elements have been shown to be macroscopically magnetic: iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni). Recently, however, a new study out of the University of Minnesota, in conjunction with researchers from the University of...
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