Technology Tuesday:December 20

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: France’s postal service begins testing drone-delivery mail, bringing star-trek’s tricorder to real life, requiring all vehicles to “talk” to each other, reversing aging on a cellular level, and restoring sight to the blind.


Drone’s Are Delivering The Mail In France


France’s national postal service, Le Groupe La Poste, has begun a testing program to bring delivery by autonomous drone to the country. This announcement comes on the heels of Amazon successfully completing its first drone delivery over in the U.K.

A subsidiary of the postal service, DPDgroup, has been working on making drone delivery a reality in the European nation since 2014. The group partnered with French drone-making company Atechsys to provide the drones, which can fly up to 19 km (12 miles) at speeds of up to nearly 31 km/h (19 mph) while carrying a parcel weighing up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs).

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Creating the Tricorder

In the original Star Trek series, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy was forever running around the USS Enterprise with his tricorder, a fantastic space-age device that could scan anything and diagnose medical conditions in an instant.

For nearly five years now, dozens of engineering teams from around the planet have been competing to design a real-life tricorder that approximates the functions of the famous Star Trek device. This is no goof-around competition, either: The winner stands to receive millions of dollars in funding from chip manufacturer Qualcomm and the nonprofit organization XPRIZE, which specializes in these kinds of incentivized competitions.

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US Aiming To Implement Widespread Vehicle to Vehicle Communication

U.S. auto-safety regulators on Tuesday proposed new rules requiring automakers to adopt crash-avoidance technology that allows all new vehicles to communicate with each other, a move that could help accelerate the development of self-driving cars.

The requirement of so-called vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity — simply called V2V in industry parlance — on all consumer vehicles within about five years is viewed as central to the development of a new age of cars that can avoid accidents by wirelessly monitoring each other. V2V technology uses short-range radio communication to allow vehicles to identify each other’s speed, location, direction and acceleration or braking, within a radius of about 300 meters.

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Scientists Find Way to Reverse Signs of Aging

Graying hair, crow’s feet, an injury that’s taking longer to heal than when we were 20 — faced with the unmistakable signs of aging, most of us have had a least one fantasy of turning back time. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have found that intermittent expression of genes normally associated with an embryonic state can reverse the hallmarks of old age.

This approach, which not only prompted human skin cells in a dish to look and behave young again, also resulted in the rejuvenation of mice with a premature aging disease, countering signs of aging and increasing the animals’ lifespan by 30 percent. The early-stage work provides insight both into the cellular drivers of aging and possible therapeutic approaches for improving human health and longevity.

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New Surgery Restores Vision in Legally Blind

The CDC estimates that in 2010 alone, 2.5 million emergency room visits or deaths were associated with traumatic brain injury in the United States. This type of injury can cause severe damage to a patient’s vision, and even lead to blindness. Now though, researchers have discovered that sight can be restored in people who’ve suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Even more, they were able to restore perfect vision in patients who were legally blind prior to their injury.


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