Technology & Engineering

Technology and Engineering bridge the gap between what the mind can imagine and what the laws of nature allow. While scientists seek to discover what is not yet known, engineers apply fundamental science to design and develop new devices and systems—technology—to solve societal problems. Technological and engineering innovations then return the favor by affecting human—as well as other animal species'—the ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.

How computers compute

Even though we think of computers as super high-tech machines with tiny parts, they can also be huge, wooden, and mechanical. It's what they have in common that makes them computers: switches!

Robot visits NSF

DARwIn-OP, which stands for Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence-Open Platform, recently visited the National Science Foundation to participate in a video interview while he was in town for a National Robotics Week event.

Barobo robots teach children algebra

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Barobo, Inc. showed the National Science Foundation their robot that helps teach children algebra in a completely new way. By taking algebra off the page and into the physical world, Barobo aims to inspire a new generation of mathematicians.

The LHC: A stronger machine

Watch CERN engineers explain the work during the laboratory's long shutdown to prepare the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to run at a higher collision energy of 13 TeV. Teams are working hard for the upcoming restart. The first circulating beams of protons in the LHC are planned for the week beginning 23 March, and first 13 TeV collisions are expected in late May to early June.

The computational biology of cancer

Endometrial cancer affects 48,000 women per year in the United States. For patients with tumors greater than two centimeters in diameter, the effected organ(s) and lymph nodes may be surgically removed. Yet post-surgery analysis shows that only 22 percent of patients had metastasis, meaning 78 percent of these surgeries may have been unnecessary. How can doctors predict which patients need surgery?

Magnetic organ retractor

A team of engineers are using magnetic force to design new and improved instruments for minimally invasive surgery. The use of magnetic actuation allows them to create tools that are more flexible and more powerful than conventional designs, which place the instruments on the end of long sticks. The first device of this type that they have designed is an organ retractor that repositions organs like the liver when required for an operation. They are also applying this approach to create new laser and radio-frequency scalpels.