We dedicated much of this week on Txchnologist to Nobel Prize announcements for the world’s most groundbreaking discoveries in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine. We witnessed three neuroscientists be honored for uncovering how the brain understands where the body is in space. John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser revealed the positioning system or “inner GPS” in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves and remember places we’ve been.
The physics Nobel recognized the revolution in artificial lighting ushered in by LEDs. The three winners this year allowed white light to be created in a new way by figuring out how to produce blue-light LEDs, creating longer-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources. Their discovery is bound to impact global energy demand and improve the lives of billions living in poverty with no access to electricity beyond unhealthy light sources such as burning kerosene.
Outside of the Nobel frenzy, NASA plans on a December launch for the Orion capsule on its first space flight aboard the Delta IV Heavy rocket. This vehicle – expected one day to carry astronauts as far as Mars – will perform its first mission unmanned as a test flight for fact-finding on how it will safely convey astronauts in future explorations.
Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.