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— Energy

China's experimental fusion reactor maintains superheated hydrogen plasma for 102 seconds

A bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone. China's EAST tokamak and Germany's Wendelstein 7-X aren't exactly fusion energy's answer to Messi and Ronaldo, but through their own flashes of individual brilliance the reactors might one day command the world's attention in a much more important way. Wendelstein 7-X made headlines last week after generating a quarter-of-a-second pulse of hydrogen plasma, and now scientists at China's Institute of Physical Science have flexed their fusion muscle to sustain the gas for an impressive 102 seconds.

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— Medical

Implantable device translates thought into action for people with spinal injuries

Researchers in Australia have built an implantable brain-machine interface (BMI) that may give people with spinal cord injuries the ability to walk again using the power of their own thoughts. Consisting of a stent-based electrode, known as a "stentrode", implanted within a blood vessel of a patient's brain, along with a power supply and transmitter inserted under the skin in front of the shoulder, the new system creates a minimally invasive BMI that is capable of translating thoughts into action.

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— Environment

Heliatek claims new conversion efficiency record for organic PV cells

German solar technology firm Heliatek claims to have outdone itself by setting a new world record for directly converting sunlight into electricity using organic photovoltaic cells. In 2012 it claimed a then world record 10.7 percent conversion efficiency and said it was gunning for 15 percent in the near future. This week it announced it's halfway there, achieving a new record of 13.2 percent.

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— Drones

Parrot's multispectral crop monitoring sensor can be retrofitted to existing drones

Drones have certainly emerged as promising tool in agriculture, with several groups including MIT and DJI announcing crop-monitoring unmanned aircraft inside the last year. But what if you've already got a perfectly good drone capable of taking long, automated flights over your farmland? Parrot has just announced a sensor attachment that can be slapped on old drones to take infrared pictures and help farmers work out the areas in need of attention.

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— Outdoors

Sled Legs wearables are set to race on the snow

If you believe the hype, you're soon going to have wearable electronics strapped, wrapped and dangling all over your body. Better save some room for wearable sports gear, though. We've seen a steady flow of sporty wearables, and they're not all performance-tracking wristbands. We covered one wearable sled not 10 months ago, and now we have an alternative design. Sled Legs strap to your legs, letting you kneel down and take off down the snow like Clark Griswold.

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