It might look more like something a street vendor would serve up food from, but believe it or not this is one of the first ever artificial hearts.
Russians were pioneers in the development of lasers, today a multi-billion dollar industry. Two of them, Alexander Prokhorov and Nikolai Basov, won the Nobel Prize in 1964, along with the American Charles Townes, for the invention of lasers and masers. Even much earlier, in the nineteen thirties and forties the Russian scientist Valentin Fabrikant laid the foundations of physical optics and gas discharges that led to the development of lasers.
In the early 1960s, when the Apollo missions were underway and America was hellbent on reaching the moon, NASA researchers faced a nearly endless litany of technical hurdles and engineering obstacles nobody had even dreamed of up to that point. Chief among them: Once you shoot three guys across 238,900 miles across space at an orbiting body with just a fraction of the mass of Earth, how do you put them safely on the surface? That answer: lots and lots of practice in this gangly hardware simulator.
I watched The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from a young age. I was so young that my hands weren’t strong enough to turn the knobs of my parents’ retro TV. I’m totally serious. I had to have someone turn on the TV and change the channel for me. And somehow there was never an adult who thought that I shouldn’t be watching that show if I wasn’t even strong enough to turn a knob. Explains a lot. Anyway, the point is that that was the first TV I ever knew. The tech I interacted with consisted of a Panasonic cassette player and that TV. What was sitting in your family’s living room or your grandma’s basement when you were little? Journey back to your earliest tech interactions and reminisce below.
Amy Harmon’s excellent, recent article in the New York Times describes how the Florida orange juice industry may soon be wiped-out because of a new bacterial disease spread by an introduced insect. It looks like there could be a technology-fix for the problem using genetic engineering. The question is whether the growers will get to apply that solution.