Science Fiction in the News Articles
related to the works of

Frank Herbert

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.

 

 

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