Technology Tuesday: August 30

Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: Scientists may have found a nearby earth-like planet, a new and cheaper smart glass, China’s new Mars probe and rover, the world’s first autonomous taxi service, and mind controlled nanobots.


Earth Sized Planet Found Around Closest Star to Sun

Back in 2013, the first signs of a planet over four light-years from our solar system were spotted. Since then, the scientific community has been working to gather more information via further observations, primarily with the help of the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

A new planet that bears striking similarities to our own planet prompts remarkable inroad into the study of space. This also brings a new area to search for the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

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Researches Develop Cheaper, More Flexible Smart Glass

Thanks to the work of a team of researchers at the University of Texas, Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, your next car windshield or apartment window could have an efficient, low-cost way of electronically controlling its tint, while also keeping your heating and cooling bills in check. According to a release from the University of Texas, associate professor Delia Milliron and her team of chemical engineers have invented “a new flexible smart window material” that can lighten or darken with a small electric charge and can easily be applied with a new low-cost, low-temperature process.

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China Unveils a New Mars Probe and Rover

China has showed off its first images of a rover it plans to sent to Mars in mid-2020, which is designed to explore the planet surface for three months, state media said, the latest aim of China’s ambitious space program.

China in 2003 became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

It has touted its plans for moon exploration and in late 2013 completed the first lunar “soft landing” since 1976 with the Chang’e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover.

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World’s First Self-Driving Taxis Hit the Roads

Singapore became the first country in the world to launch a self-driving taxi service on Thursday, beating ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. by mere days to public road tests of a technology that could revolutionize the transport industry.

The trial, although small, illustrates how intense the global race to develop autonomous driving vehicles has become. The field has traditionally been dominated by U.S. tech giants like Uber and Alphabet Inc. ’s Google.


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Mind-Controlled Nanobots Release Drugs in Roaches

Stay with me here — scientists from Bar-Ilan University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel created nanobots, injected them into cockroaches, and released fluorescent drugs into the insects using mind power. While that sounds insanely convoluted, the aim is to actually help humans. If a schizophrenia patient is about to have a violent episode, for instance, an EEG could trigger the release of powerful drugs. That way, they’d only get them when needed, minimizing harmful side effects.


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Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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