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The Petite Particle Accelerator: A Proton Gun For Killing Tumours

By PopSci on at

Since 1990, doctors have been regularly treating cancer patients using proton beams, which work similarly to radiation. Proton therapy is more precise, however, causing less harm to healthy surrounding tissues. Unfortunately, generating a proton beam requires a particle-accelerator facility that's the size of an airplane hangar and costs more than £60 million to build.

Lockheed's Space Fence Prototype Starts Tracking Space Junk With Advanced Radar

By PopSci on at

Orbital debris is a large and growing problem, and no one is quite sure how to deal with it -- polar lasers, nets and other concepts are still merely ideas. But we should at least monitor all that space trash, to be certain where it is and whether it's heading for something we want to protect, like the ISS or a military satellite. The US Air Force's new Space Fence, designed to keep an eye on space trash, is getting closer to reality.

Will People Ever Evolve Out of Craving Unhealthy Food?

By PopSci on at

Maybe, but it's going to take a long time. For the past 200,000 years or so, fatty and sugary foods were hard for humans to come by and well worth gorging on. Fats help maintain body temperature, sugars provide energy, and craving such food is hardwired: Eating fats and sugars activates reward centers in the brain.

Do Competitive Eaters Have Unusual Stomachs?

By PopSci on at

Yes. Marc Levine, the chief of gastrointestinal radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, USA, has found that a competitive eater's stomach works more like an expanding balloon than a squeezing sac.