Fiction in the News Articles
related to the works of
Frank Herbert (1920-1986) was born in Tacoma, Washington. He worked in many fields before becoming a writer; TV cameraman, radio news commentator, oyster diver, judo instructor and newspaperman. His towering novel Dune won the Hugo and Nebula awards.
Science fiction in
the News articles describe real-world events that relate to the ideas
and inventions in sf novels and movies. Select
a news article:
GloFish First Genetically Modified Pet Update
The first genetically modified pet to go on sale in the US is available now, in time for Christmas. The GloFish fluoresces bright red.
Siemens PenPhone Watches While You Write
The PenPhone has an integrated handwriting recognition facility; the device will interpret hand movements during the act of writing and translate them directly into SMS.
Philips FluidFocus: Variable Focus Fluid Lens
Philips FluidFocus - a variable-focus lens system with no mechanical moving parts - is very similar to Frank Herbert's oil lens in Dune (1964).
Cypak Disposable Paper Computer With RFID Antenna
The company uses conductive ink and adhesives to print electronic circuits and antennas on paper and plastic. The RFID antenna allows for transmission over short distances.
Frank Herbert's Odalarm - Scent-Based Alarm Clock Update
In his 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment, Frank Herbert wrote about an "odalarm" - an alarm clock that worked by scent. You can buy one now from Hakugen Online.
Digital Squab Line (DSL) Has High Bandwidth
Which is faster - ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) or DSL (Digital Squab Line)? If you're thinking pigeons are faster - you're right.
Parasitic Power Harvesting - Dada Sprees Supreme Shoes
The Dada Sprees Supreme atheletic shoes have an unusual feature - a "spinnah" built into the outside wall of the show just above the ankle actuated by heel power.
Nanowire Memory Cells: Compact Data Storage
Is it possible to achieve data storage rates of 40 Gigabits per square centimeter? Scientists at USC and the NASA Ames Research Center think so - with nanowire.
Cloned Cats Have 9+n Lives
Genetic Savings and Clone can fix you up with a clone of your cat for just $50,000. Better hurry; work starts in May
Global Water Crisis
An excellent article from The Scientist provides excellent details about the global water crisis, and some possible solutions.
GlowRing: Light Without Power
The GlowRing will glow for up to ten years in funky colors. GlowRings do not require any external power source (and no internal source - a battery - either!)
Sad Day For Odor Alarm Clock Enthusiasts
Stunning news reaches us today regarding a new Brown University study concluding that scents will not rouse us from sleep.
Solar Sails Unfurled Over Japan
Two different solar sail designes were unfurled from a small rocket launched from Kagoshima, Japan on August 9th.
Stealth Now Old Hat - USAF Looks Into Teleportation
Lest you think that our friends at DARPA are the only ones interested in science-fictional possibilities, the USAF recently took delivery on a new study regarding the military potential of teleportation.
Ornithopters In Fact And Fiction
An ornithopter (a flapping wing aircraft) under development at the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies may yet make Leonardo da Vinci's dream a reality. Frank Herbert fully visualized them in Dune.
Water-Repellent 'Bumpy' Glass Mimics Lotus Leaves
The lotus is a good model for a water-repellent surface; they are waxy and covered with tiny bumps that make water roll off. Surfaces like ordinary glass are naturally wettable; when water is poured onto it, its surface tension is reduced so it sprea
Life Detector Robot To Find Life On Distant Worlds
Zoe, which was developed by Carnegie Mellon University, detects life by looking for natural fluorescence from cells that contain chlorophyll. The robot can also spray four special dyes on soil samples; they fluoresce only when they bind to one of fou
ShasPod - Compact Talmud Study Aid
The ShasPod is a twenty-gigabyte iPod loaded with 2,711 shiurim, one for each page of the Talmud. A shiur is a brief (30-60 minute) discussion by a religious teacher. Each shiur is in English mixed with Aramaic (the language of the Talmud) and some h
Trauma Pod Battlefield Medical Treatment System
DARPA has awarded a $12 million contract to develop an automated medical treatment system that can recieve, assess and stabilize wounded soldiers immediately following injury. The trauma pod is used to treat soldiers on the battlefield using advanced
Cultured Meat Straight From The Vat
Science fiction fans - start your grills! Two new techniques of tissue engineering may lead to affordable production of lab-grown, cultured meat for human consumption.
Fighting MUSA Robot Unveiled (Kendo, Not Rock'em Sock'em)
The MUSA kendo robot is a logical extension of the traditional "mechanical" aids used for centuries in martial arts.
Burj Dubai Tower Update
The Burj Dubai tower in the United Arab Emirates is quietly progressing on its goal of being the tallest building in the world.
NASA And Water Security Working On A Stillsuit
Rather than spend $7K per pound on water, recycling would make more sense - now they have a way to do it.
Hungry? Print Yourself Some Bacon
If scientists can just about print organs, I can certainly print myself some bacon.
Backpack Generator Harnesses Power Of Walking
The brisk strides of hikers converted into electricity.
USB Bible Tougher Than Filament OC Bible
More durable than the filament paper book; good for space travellers.
Honey Bees Can Recognize You!
Will trained honey bees be the next thing in face recognition and security technology?
National Archives And Dune's House Records
Who's thought about records spanning milennia? Frank Herbert, that's who.
Soldiers Trained To Obey Odors With Scent Delivery Device
Soldiers must obey their odors - yes, that's right, odors. Maybe they should call them 'oders'.
The Real ICT Scent Collar
Here's the real scent collar.
Religion In Space
How can you face Mecca when circling the Earth every 90 minutes? Just one problem faced by Muslims in space.
CLEVER Car One Meter Wide
The CLEVER car is a zippy little prototype vehicle just one meter wide
Heliodisplay M2i - Interactive Midair Touchscreen
The newest Heliodisplay offers interactive 'touch screen' features - but you don't actually touch the display that hangs in mid-air. So, it's actually a 'no-touch-screen...'
Micro Reactor Systems Creates Frank Herbert's Polawindows
Frank Herbert wrote about polawindows in 1972; after just thirty short years, you can buy them.
Namib Desert Beetle-based Dune Dew Collectors
They're not chromoplastic, but this new material could be used in Frank Herbert's dew collectors from Dune.
Mr. T Pities The Fool Who Won't Turn Left
Mr. T pities the fool who won't turn left; and he don't take no back talk, sucka!
Aqua Sciences Water From Atmospheric Moisture
Remarkable (and secret!) technology to lower the price of water to troops in Iraq, and help people in need.
RealSnailMail With RFID-Chipped Snails
You just thought you've been using snail mail - this is email, with real snails.
Chick Embryo Regrows Wing With Wnt Signaling
Remarkable achievement from the Salk Institute; eleven years of work have paid off.
Digital Bible Player
At last - a pious portable media player.
Immortal Computing - Microsoft's 'House Records'
Interesting patent troll by Microsoft reveals an interest in the history of computers and digital information.
WiiBot Kuka Robot Controlled WiiMotely
Two engineers create a non-trivial fencing and tennis-playing robot - part Kuka, part Wii.
Varioptic Liquid Lens For Phone Cameras
The oil (and water) lens finally makes it into consumer products that will be available near you.
Intellidrug Medication Dispensing Tooth
Interesting idea from overseas on how to help patients take medications regularly.
Remote-Controlled Pigeon Could Enable DSL
Cyborg pigeons fill the skies! Okay, there is one prototype pigeon, but it seems to work.
Urey Life Detector
The ESA's ExoMars will carry this device to Mars to search for life.
Your Chemical Wake Up
Science fiction fans have asked for it - now you've got it - a fictional wake up pill.
Nanogenerator Harvests Mechanical Energy
We might not need to keep track of a half-dozen little charger devices if this works.
Burj al-Taqa Dubai Energy Tower - High Tech Badgir
The planned Burj al-Taqa tower takes an energy efficient design of the ancient world into the future.
Biometric Deadbolt Lock Like A Palm Lock
Frank Herbert's palm lock always seemed like an ideal way to do locks - and now Biolock has the idea.
Rotating Skyscraper Dynamic Architecture Has Wind Turbine Power
New kind of skyscraper provides its own energy, and maybe enough for other buildings as well.
Tiny Portable Biosensor Detects Contaminants In Food
Frank Herbert calls it once again; finally, we're starting to get our remote-cast snoopers.
Hitachi Brain-Machine Interface Applications
Once a working brain-machine interface is developed, who knows what sort of devices we'll have.
Vibration Energy Scavenging By Tiny Generator
This tiny generator might appear in a heart near you.
Fujitsu PalmSecure Hand Vein Scanner
New device for biometric security reads not just palms, but veins under the palm.
Artificial Bones Custom-Made On 3D Inkjet Printer
Far out even by sf standards, printed out bones are now being implanted in humans.
OKAO Vision Lets Machines See You Smile
This remarkable product will help computers understand whether you are happy or not.
Raytheon Creates Pain Box From Dune
Raytheon has unwittingly created the pain box straight out of Frank Herbert's Dune novels.
Plasteel? UM's New Ultrastrong Nanocomposite
Nifty new material built in layers like mother of pearl has the strength, if not the ductility, of steel.
WAO-1 Therapeutic Face Massage Robot
This helpful robot may provide a mechanical solution to TMJ and other disorders.
LifeReader Senses The Enemy Through Walls
Frank Herbert thought about the military applications for a 'life detector' fifty years ago; the real military is catching up.
Eyeball Tattoo Creates Eyes Of The Ibad
These guys look like something straight out of a Dune movie casting call.
Flexible Integrated Energy Device (FIED) - Wearable Rechargers
One is fictional, the other one doesn't exist yet - but engineers are working on it.
Mood Recognition Technology: Pivo 2 Driver Experience Enhanced
Here's a closer look at Pivo 2 and its unique effort to sense the mood of the driver to improve vehicle safety.
Breath Powered USB Charger (And Stillsuit)
It appears that a key element of Frank Herbert's stillsuit is now available to help you recharge your gadgets.
Robo-Rucksack: Six-Year-Old Designs Talking 'Smart Backpack'
This clever and innovative backpack (or rucksack, as they say in the UK) was designed by an elementary school child.
Meat Chairs And Chairdogs
Think of a genetically engineered chairdog. Now think of a chairdog with it's furry skin removed. Now click.
WatAir Dew-Harvesting 'Web' Kit
Dune fans are not surprised at this development; dew is a remarkable water source.
Smart Chair Follows You Like A Chairdog
Mesmerizing concept video for a mechanical version of Frank Herbert's chairdogs will have librarians drooling.
World of Warcraft School of Business
Nothing like a teamwork simulation to help you succeed in business.
Military To Create Human, Social And Cultural Simulations
The military is showing a greater interest in the value of simulation technology to prepare personnel for insurgencies.
Biomechanical Energy Harvester Is The Bee's Knees
Waste not the body's moisture - or its many free ergs of power.
Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanowire Fashions For Spring
When I think of all the energy wasted in the sixties from corduroy pants alone, it makes me weep.
Break a Glass With Your Voice
If you want your own weirding module, you should start small - on a glass - before testing it out on Sardaukar.
Wasabi-Based Odor Alarm
What would be a good name for an odor alarm? Perhaps an ... odalarm.
Inferno Sonic Barrier Is A Sonabarrier
The Inferno device is intended to create a barrier impassable by human beings.
'Bionic Eye' Argus II Retinal Implant
This operation is not quite routine, but it's spreading around the world. And that's great news.
MIT 'Quickies' RFID Transmit Paper
These nifty post-it notes can communicate to your computer world.
Training Videogames Bought By Defense Intelligence Agency
This series of games is intended to teach analysis how to succeed in intelligence work.
So You Want To Be A Mentat
What does it take to develop yourself into a Mentat, the human computers from Frank Herbert's Dune?
Rotating House Lets You Pick Your View
Interesting full-size rotating house is a bit of a shock to the locals; Frank Herbert had a more elegant concept, though.
Two Plastics Merge To Create 'Metal'
Interesting combination of insulators produces a conductor.
Breast Motion Power Harvesting iPod-Charging Bra
Interesting engineering challenge with several possible solutions; women may one day charge their iPods with their bras.
Microwave Drill Heats And Pokes
Interesting development is a new twist on a basic requirement; drilling holes through different kinds of materials.
Designer Bulletproof Fashion
Finally, a solution to that pesky assassination problem that you aren't ashamed to be seen in.
Grow Customized Skin
This new technique holds great promise for burn patients.
The Fremen Urinal Frank Herbert Never Imagined
These devices could save countless gallons of water, which helps even on water-rich planets.
Liquid Camera Lens Controlled By Sound
Using a liquid as a lens? I read about it forty years ago.
NTT Energy-Generating Shoes Are Squishy
I really like the cool retro technology used to power these power walkers.
Labyrinth Aquarium Has Swimming Tubes
A Habitrail for your fishy friends, it's all the rage among the Gowachin.
The Digital Dark Age And Bene Gesserit House Records
Fortunately, Frank Herbert has given us a glimpse of what this future will be like.
Face Dancer Puts Fizz In Your Phizz
This artist makes sure that his music appreciation is right in sync with the music. With video.
NSA Patents Herbert's Network Snooper Catcher
The NSA apparently forgot to search for prior art when patenting ways to determine if someone is tampering with network communication.
Tunable Liquid Lens Glasses For The Masses
A retired British physics professor has created simple spectacles that can be fitted to most people who need glasses - cheaply and without an optometrist.
Biohackers - Genetic Engineering Home Hobbyists
Hobbyists have made important contributions to many fields. Why not genetic engineering?
3D Bone Printer Uses Your Cells
I'm thinking of going in and getting a complete set of X-rays; when they ask me what they're for, I'll say 'I want to make sure I have templates.'
Giant Sand Worms Once Roamed The Earth
Bless the Maker! Distant ancestors of Shai-hulud once roamed our own Earth. May His passage cleanse the world. Dune fans around the world tremble in fear.
Power Generating Shoe Instructions
Don't let the power from walking go to waste - start gathering up that energy now with these DIY parasitic power harvesting shoes.
Read/Write Brain Electrodes Handier Now
Prototypes can simultaneously read and stimulate brain neurons - smart neurological implant systems coming right up.
Voice Interactive Alarm Clock By Moshi
Hello Moshi - now haven't we all spoken to our alarm clocks at one time or another?
Water Purity Detection In Real Time
'Will someone try chaumurky tonight - poison in the drink?' Not if Professor Katzir has anything to say about it.
Limb Regeneration Grows Closer
Frank Herbert suggested that an axolotl tank might be useful in tissue regeneration; scientists are now teasing out the salamander's secrets.
Artificial Skin Swatches Mass-Produced
These tiny swatches of artificial skin come complete with little blood vessels.
TruFocals Glasses Do Not Use Hufhuf Oil
Eyeglasses suitable for the Kwisatz Haderach, if he needed glasses.
Sietch Nevada Dune-Inspired Underground Communities
How would you like to live in a Dune-style sietch in the waterless desert wastes of the American West? This fabulous concept should get your imagination going.
Thermeleon Roof Tiles Change Color To Save Energy
Very clever project could greatly save on heating and cooling costs. I also like the name chosen for the team that developed the material.
Date Rape Prevention Lip Gloss Kit
Women should take their 2 Love My Lips lip gloss when clubbing, because you never know when someone will try chaumurky.
DEXI Scanner Looks Inside Air Travelers
How far will we go in searching air travelers?
Implantable Energy-Harvesting Rubber Sheets
This remarkable material can let us take energy from movements we make anyway. Take a deep breath, and power up that cell phone!
Wasabi Smoke Alarm Now Available
Oh, this will get you out of bed all right.
Conservation Of Tweets
Think carefully when you tweet - future generations are waiting for your 140 character masterpieces.
Flexible Nanowire Data Storage
Interestingly, the creators of this material see it being used concealed in ordinary day-to-day devices.
Cougar20-H Robot Hears Your Breathing
Just hold your breath to avoid detection.
Is China Altering Web Traffic?
SF fans were prompted to think about this a generation ago.
Nanogenerator Intros New Energy Unit - The Pinch
Just the thing for the stillsuits of the future.
Fog Harvesting For Fresh Water
Like water off your back - if you're a Namib beetle
What Retinal Implants May Not Replace
'Such eyes are metal and he is flesh ...such a union must be sinful' according to the Fremen.
Biomaterial Mimics Human Tissue
Feel comfortable in your new skin.
NASA's Forward Osmosis Bag (For Stillsuits?)
Perfect for astronauts - and maybe Fremen.
JediBot Robot Arm Senses The Force
How many novels can you think of that combine swords and robots?
Energy-Harvesting Shoes With Reverse Electrowetting
A new energy-harvesting technology that could be embedded in your shoes.
Smart Window Goes Clear Or Opaque In Seconds
Warmer in winter, cooler in summer, manufactured in a non-toxic manner - what's not to like?
Generate Elecricity From Breathing With Microbelt PVDF Device
Unique method of harvesting energy from low speed airflows will have many applications.
10 Exotic Human-Energy Harvesting Devices And Technologies
Presented all on one page! and yet, profusely illustrated.
Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface
Get the last little bit from containers, thanks to materials science.
Raincatch Raincoat Has Dune-Style Watertube And Catchpocket
'And us sipping our catchpockets the instant they show dewsparkle.'
The Most Densely Populated Place On Earth
'The population density shocked McKie...'
UrbanSim Counterinsurgency Training App
'Why simulation?' 'He's beginning to do things I didn't anticipate.'
LiquiGlide Coating, Your New Condiment Lubricant
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension...'
Hydrolemic Systems Prepares For Water Shortages
'...Living on reclaimed moisture from his own breath and body.'
Gideon eBibles And Frank Herbert's OC Bible
The Gideons are surprising liberal in their approach, btw.
iTube Platform Lets You Test Your Food
and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers...- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Project Your Personality In Photos
'...portraiture reproduced through a shigawire projector that is ... said to convey the ego essence.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
A Big Collection Of Small Books
'Black, oblong, no larger than the end of Paul's thumb... It's a very old Orange Catholic Bible made for space travelers.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Sweat Be Gone! Non-Wetting Fabric
'The skin-contact layer is porous.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Not Going To Google IO
'Those who could not come in person would watch these proceedings via the glittering transmitter eyes...'- Frank Herbert, 1977.
SolePower Insole Generates Power By Walking
'...the action of the heel-powered pumps that drove his stillsuit.'- Frank Herbert, 1969
Look Great In Your Garrison Bespoke Bulletproof Suit
'McKie longed for his armored clothing…'- Frank Herbert, 1977.
Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Taken Off Life Support
Although this is a very creepy idea, Frank Herbert has already been here.
pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Timeful Appointment App Learns, Optimizes Your Routines
'The [Daily Schedule program] suited its tone to his movements and the combined analysis of his psychophysical condition.'- Frank Herbert, 1977.
No Cages In Future Zoos Is Zootopia?
'The park... twisted through specimens from every inhabited planet of the known universe.'
Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
'The effect (described as timeless, sustained ecstasy) is elicited by certain atonal vibrations...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Secrets Of Charismatic Speakers Revealed
'The tone, the timbre excellent - imperative, very sharp.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'- Frank Herbert, 1972.
Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Skin Wearable Harvests Power With Triboelectric Effect
'He had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Vint Cerf's 'Digital Dark Age' Vs. George Orwell's
'You could never consult Archival Records in a straightforward manner.'- Frank Herbert, 1984.
NASA FINDER To The Rescue In Nepal
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'- Frank Herbert, 1958.
Rotating Domespace House Is Amazing
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'- Frank Herbert, 1972.
First Biolimb Grown In Lab
A brand-new forelimb for some lucky rat.
x.ai And The Quest For A Digital Personal Assistant
'In McKie's thoughts, the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'- Frank Herbert, 1977.
This Robot Swordmaster: Yaskawa Bushido Project
'The instrument of prisms and target could not think, feel caution or remorse. And it carried a real blade.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling
'The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie...' -Frank Herbert, 1964.
Growing Metal In The Shape You Want
What more do you need, engineers?
Chaac Ha Dew Collector ala Dune
'The surface condenses moisture out of the air. That moisture trickles down...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.
New Super Slippery Surface Better Than Nature's
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Cool Chaac Ha Dew Collector Video
'The surface condenses moisture out of the air...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.
3D Printed Pluto And Charon, For Imperial Collectors
'It was the kind of globe made for wealthy collectors or planetary governors of the Empire.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...', Frank Herbert, 1965.
Electrochromic FIlm For Smart Windows
'The glass had been muted to dark blue.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Nima Portable Gluten Tester
'... the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers...'- Frank Herbert, 1965.
Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.
Cost Effective Smart Windows To Replace Curtains?
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Space Bubble (Bubb)
Sun-Powered Ionic Drive Motor