Technicalities

NASA AND NURTURE. People have always entertained the idea that because signals broadcast from Earth ' such as old radio or TV shows ' are beamed into the cosmos, they could be picked up somewhere in space, where aliens might form an opinion of the human race based on 'I Love Lucy.' But accidental transmissions work the other way, too, with an assist from the Internet. A woman in Palatine, Ill., has been keeping tabs on activity aboard the shuttle Atlantis ' by watching her baby monitor. Natalie Meilinger started receiving black-and-white feeds from Atlantis early in its mission. NASA said the images weren't coming from the shuttle, but the video is available on NASA's Web site, so the monitor could be picking up a wireless feed from somewhere in the neighborhood. No secrets are being revealed, but it still makes one wonder what could accidentally leak out.

VIRTUAL HELP. Researchers at Emory University are testing a treatment method that uses virtual reality to help veterans traumatized by the Iraq war. But the new wrinkle in the study isn't the use of computer simulations. It's combining virtual reality with a drug once used to treat tuberculosis. Scientists are trying to determine if virtual reality, already used in post-traumatic stress disorder treatments, works better with d-Cycloserine, which has been shown to reduce fear, the Associated Press said.

ROBO CROSSOVER. Some people think pending advances in robotics will make it the next big thing. You would have found plenty of people who agree at the recent RoboGames, an event that made both Wired magazine's Best Ten North American Geek Fests and ESPN SportCenter's Top Ten. Check out the action at www.robogames.net.

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