Light Saber Now A Reality: Start Your Jedi/Sith Training Today!

jedi-training

“General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to convey my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack, and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” -Princess Leia, in Star Wars: A New Hope

Of all the dreams that the imaginative galaxy far, far away where Star Wars take place has spawned in our collective imagination, none is more sought-after than the dream to have our own light saber. While neural technology and bluetooth connectivity might soon give rise to a force-like reality, I want to focus on what’s a reality today.

Holy Hogwarts! ‘Invisible’ Materials Built From Light

This image depicts an efficient route to manufacturing nanomaterials with light through plasmon-induced laser-threading of gold nanoparticle strings. Credit: Ventsislav Valev
This image depicts an efficient route to manufacturing nanomaterials with light through plasmon-induced laser-threading of gold nanoparticle strings. Credit: Ventsislav Valev

A new technique which uses light like a needle to thread long chains of particles could help bring sci-fi concepts such as cloaking devices one step closer to reality.

Childhood Abuse Effects How Genes Are Activated

Children who have been abused or neglected early in life are at risk for developing both emotional and physical health problems. In a new study, scientists have found that maltreatment affects the way genes are activated, which has implications for children's long-term development. Credit: © olesiabilkei / Fotolia
Children who have been abused or neglected early in life are at risk for developing both emotional and physical health problems. In a new study, scientists have found that maltreatment affects the way genes are activated, which has implications for children’s long-term development. Credit: © olesiabilkei / Fotolia

In a new study, researchers found that maltreatment affects the way children’s genes are activated, which has implications for their long-term development and health. The researchers examined DNA methylation, a biomechanical mechanism that helps cells control which genes are turned on or off, in the blood of 56 children ages 11 to 14. Disruptions in this system affect emotional behavior, stress levels, and the immune system.