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Science Experiment ideas

Requested in Science & Technology by a contributor
edited by Dreamer

3 Ideas

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Martian Hideouts

If Mars was ever inhabited by intelligent life that life would have probably tried to survive underground as the planet dried up (assuming it just didn't come here). The most logical place to do this would be where the water was expected to last the longest and the climate was the most predictable - the poles. It might be interesting to send up some seismic instruments and check beneath the poles for straight lines (nature abhors straight lines so these would be evidence of intelligence).
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Ice Free Wires
Based on the ability of ice to hold a charge it might be possible to run a small pair of wires along the top of existing phone/power lines that could pop the ice off of the lines when needed. During a storm a weak positive charge would be sent down one wire in the pair making the ice negatively charged and attracted to it. Simultaneously shutting off that charge and sending a stronger negative charge down the second wire in the pair could pop the ice off (if the ice couldn't change polarity fast enough).
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Unlocking the Locked-In Patient

Another article at described something called "Thought Translation Devices" (TTD's) that are being used to help patients who are completely paralyzed communicate with the outside world. The devices rely on the patient's ability to steer a cursor by modulating their brainwaves. Only very gifted patients are able to do this due to the difficulty of changing brainwave patterns. This gave me another thought though. Awhile back there was an experiment done in Switzerland on a patient with severe epilepsy that accidentally caused the patient to have an out-of-body experience. By stimulating the same region of the brain with electrodes they could reproduce that experience over and over again. Since then researchers have been able to get the same results using a strong magnetic field. I'm wondering if people have any control over their point of awareness when they're outside of their body, and if they can move that point to the left or right. If they can move and we can spot a difference in the brain when they do it then we might be able to make a device that's easier for them to communicate. Moving left would be a dot, moving right a dash. In effect, they could use changes in their position to tap out Morse code. I know it sounds kind of strange (not unlike a lot of these ideas), but if it worked it would be a lot easier than trying to control a cursor by making the brainwaves change back and forth. If nothing else, the act of getting outside of their bodies for a bit and exercising some voluntary control of their movements should have a therapeutic effect.

Here's another thought. When the doctors at Massachusetts General hospital created an experiment to test whether patients undergoing surgery really had had the out-of-body experiences they reported the results all came back negative (they couldn't repeat the message that was being displayed on a monitor facing away from the operating room table). It would be interesting to rerun the experiment using people who said their point of awareness had shifted outside of their bodies using the method described in the previous paragraph. And it would be more than just interesting if it turned out they really were outside their bodies.
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)

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