|No rules. How scary is that?|
Pilots of passenger planes and other aircraft are reporting more than 100 sightings of or close calls with rogue drones a month, according to the FAA.
Nobody knows exactly how many of the robotic aircraft are already flying around, but most estimates top 1 million.
U.S. hobbyists are projected to buy about 700,000 drones this year, a 63 percent increase from 2014.Here's hoping the FAA succeeds in getting registration in place before holiday gifting. The first step toward enforcing rules is knowing to whom the rules apply -- and those folks knowing it, too.
|Wonder how they got the name?|
Cubesats, if you're unfamiliar with them, are standardized, kit-based little satellites. The smallest cubesat is (roughly speaking) a 10-cm cube; larger ones are a few interconnected such modules. Cubesats often fit into the nooks 'n crannies of unused payload space aboard rockets launching bigger, commercial satellites.
Interested? Proposals are due by January 31, 2016. Winners will be announced on July 2nd.
(And in breaking news, we're still learning just how small you can go. Just yesterday I saw: "Tiny 'ThumbSats' Aim to Bring Space to All.")
|Model of a carbon nanotube|
Fast-forward a few years. Carbon nanotubes are turning up as urban pollution -- but not how you might have expected. This isn't an instance of nano-manufacturing somehow running amok. No, these nanotubes are an accidental byproduct of catalytic converters, the nanotubes spewed out in car exhaust! See "Carbon Nanotube Pollutants Found in Human Lungs." Is carbon-nanotube pollution a medical problem? It's too soon to say.
Scientists unveil map of 'epigenome,' a second genetic code." Very briefly, epigenetics is the study of chemical factors that can switch our genes on and off (behavior that sometimes varies by cell type). It turns out some environmental effects are inherited -- without modifying DNA -- in the form of an epigenome.
As the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences put it: If the genome is like a biological "hard drive," the epigenome is like a computer program that provides instructions for translating genetic information into action. Recent insights about how the epigenome affects our health are leading to a new way of thinking about environmental exposures.
All in all, fascinating stuff ...
Do you have favorite authors? Give 'em an early holiday gift and review one or more of their books. For real.