The future is all around us. From medical miracles that could cure our most deadly diseases to transportation revolutions that will change how we travel around the planet, these are the ten most impressive cutting-edge machines we've covered this year.
There's no easy answer for HIV; the sly virus uses our own immune cells to its advantage and mutates readily to shrug off round after round of anti-retrovirals. But thanks to the efforts researchers from the University of Illinois and some heavy-duty number crunching from one of the world's fastest petaflop supercomputers, we may be able to stop HIV right in its tracks.
Even with the VH-71 helicopter project permanently grounded, President Obama still has a number of egregiously expensive air transport options—such as the newly unveiled MV-22 Osprey—to choose from. The only problem is the MV-22 is that he's not actually allowed to ride in it.
There was once a time when man looked to the skies and expected to see giant balloons rather than airplanes drifting above. The Hindenburg Disaster promptly put an end to those dreams. But nearly a century later, one company may have finally figured out how to build a dirigible suitable for the 21st century. Just don't call it a blimp.
America possesses the most formidable naval fleet in the world. However, the face of oceanic warfare is rapidly evolving and bears little resemblance to 20th century sea battles. Naval dominance is no longer decided in the middle of the Pacific or Atlantic, but rather in shallow territorial waters. To meet these new offshore challenges, the US Navy has spent years and billions on a new class of Destroyer.
Even after 40 years of service, X-ray computed tomography (better known as CT scans) can be a challenge to capture. If the patient moves even a nudge, the image will come out blurry. But with GE's new Revolution CT, doctors will be able to image the entirety of your innards in the span of a single heartbeat. Literally.
America alone produces about 2,000 metric tons of nuclear waste annually and our best solution for disposing of it: bury it deep in the Earth. However, a pair of MIT scientists believe they've found not only a better way of eliminating nuclear waste but recycling the deadly detritus into enough clean electricity to power the entire world until 2083. Win, meet win.
Whether you need to get an airliner across a continent without flying it, piggyback a space shuttle to its launch site, or ship Snoop Dog's oversized tour stage to Nigeria, you're going to need the world's biggest and strongest aircraft: the Antonov An-225.
Big Ivan, better known as Tsar Bomba, was 57 Megatons of Soviet might. That's 1,400 times Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined and ten times the entire combined fire power expended in WWII. In one bomb. One explosion. And, incredibly, that's only half of what it could have done.
Bitcoin! It's everywhere right now. Its value is dropping, spiking, dropping again. More and more new converts are hopping in, buying a few coins and trying their hands at the market, looking to make a quick buck with a profitable exchange. But all the while, there's an ever-dwindling army of specialists working in the shadows, painstakingly extracting more and more digital doubloons from the cryptographic static.
The second suspect in the brutal Boston Marathon bombings has been apprehended, after five days of uncertainty and fear. And while all credit for Dzhokar Tsarnaev's capture goes to the men and women of the many, many agencies that spent the last week tracking him down, technology played as prominent a role as it ever has in a time of national crisis.