11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The newly discovered elephant shrew resembles a chubby mouse with an anteater’s snout. (Learn more at sfist) 2. Consumers rank Taco Bell burritos, Subway subs and McDonald’s burgers near the bottom of their respective categories. (Learn more at Consumer Reports) 3. The new Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York displays a brooch made from human teeth, a traditional mourning food cookbook and a “spirit photo booth.” (Learn more at Time) 4.  A rare vampire squid photographed by scientists …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun… 1. A $332K test tube hamburger assembled from cow stem cells doesn’t taste all that good. (Learn more at AARP) 2. More than a third of young American adults – a record 21.6 million of them – are living with their parents. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Before being launched into space, the 13-inch robot Kirobo said, “one small step for me, a giant leap for robots.” (Learn more at USA Today) 4. If you’re already bored with snail …

Surgery Overkill: Why Do We Love Robotic Procedures?

The treatments cost more and, at least in the case of prostate surgeries and hysterectomies, there’s no evidence they do a better job, yet as National Public Radio put it, “it’s hard to resist a robot.” Especially for older men. Even though most medical associations have warned men with early stage prostate cancer not to rush into unneeded treatment – like surgery or radiation that could leave them incontinent or impotent  – older men are increasingly choosing expensive new treatments, …

The Takeaway: ‘Partner Robots’ Help With Mobility; ‘Green Houses’ Make Nursing Homes More Homey

What’s made by Toyota, has no wheels but still helps you get from here to there? That would be the ‘independent walk assist,’ part of the auto manufacturer’s new line of high-tech health care products aimed at helping disabled or older adults get around … There are now 117 Green House nursing homes across the United States, and it’s not just the structure of these houses that’s different.

The Takeway: Half of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana; Would You Trust a Robo-Surgeon?

When Gallup first asked about marijuana legalization, in 1969, just 12 percent of Americans favored it. Now 50 percent do, according to a new Gallup poll.

News To Know: Domo Arigato Mister Roboto

A Japanese company has created a robotic suit with the potential to give mobility to those who have limited or no use of their limbs.