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Tiny silicon cones inspired by the eye's fovea centralis could unlock big gains in solar c...

Solar cells don't at first glance have any relation to a tiny structure in the eye that makes our central vision sharp, but that tiny structure – called the fovea centralis – may be the key to a huge boost in solar cell efficiency. A team of scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light took the underlying mechanisms that guide the fovea and adapted them to silicon as a surface for collecting light in solar cells.  Read More

The CubeSats would hitch a ride with ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission (Image:ESA/APL)

CubeSats offer a way to get into space on the cheap. They're compact, inexpensive, and they can piggyback on larger launch payloads to get into orbit. The trouble is, this piggybacking is often like trying to hitchhike cross country on a ride that only goes to the edge of town. The European Space Agency is widening the scope a little by opening a competition for CubeSats to ride into deep space on its Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM).  Read More

Research into aluminum superatoms may lead to the discovery of a new class of high-tempera...

Scientists at the University of Southern California have made steps toward discovering a new family of superconductor materials that work at relatively high temperatures, with possible applications in physics research, medical imaging and high-performance electronics.  Read More

The Huawei Watch looks like one of the best-looking Android Wear watches to date

Of the early Android Wear smartwatches, the round ones (Moto 360, LG G Watch R and soon the LG Watch Urbane) have been the most eye-catching. You can now add Huawei to that list, as it's teasing its new Huawei Watch (you know, like an Apple Watch ... only from Huawei) ahead of its Mobile World Congress reveal.  Read More

CT-2 rolling out from the VAB (Photo: NASA)

Two veterans of the US space program have marked 50 years of service with in appropriately sedate style. In 1965, a pair of gigantic crawlers were built to move the Saturn V moon rockets to the launch pad. Half a century later, they are still in service and being upgraded to handle NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and other launch vehicles. To celebrate, the 6 million lb (2.7 million kg) Crawler-Transporter 2 (CT-2) made a rollout for a visitor and media day at less than one mph.  Read More

Mohohm is positioning the palm-sized device as the 'world's first anti-smartphone' We've become accustomed to cell phones as noisy, rectangular devices filled with applications that are designed to assist us – but often distract us – in our daily lives. California-based startup Mohohm is looking to buck the trend with Runcible, a round device that doesn't use apps and doesn't beep or vibrate to alert users.  Read More

Blue-rayed limpets cling to a piece of kelp (Photo: Shutterstock)

The humble limpet has been receiving a lot of press lately, as scientists recently determined that the material from which its teeth are made is officially the world's strongest natural material. Now, an MIT/Harvard study suggests that a specific type of limpet's shell may hold the key to transparent displays that require no internal light source.  Read More

PNNL's high performance zinc-polyiodide flow battery approaches the performance of some li...

A new redox flow battery developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) more than doubles the amount of energy that this type of cell can pack in a given volume, approaching the numbers of lithium-ion batteries. If the device reaches mass production, it could find use in fast-charging transportation, portable electronics and grid storage.  Read More

The mean-lookin' Gila Board

We've seen a number of off-road skateboards hit the market over the past several years, although most of them have little or no suspension, and many do have electric motors – the latter is fine if you want it, but just adds weight, expense and complexity if you don't. Industrial designer Chris Terpstra's new Gila Board doesn't have a motor, but instead sports a unique fully-adjustable independent suspension system.  Read More

The Splash Tunes Pro delivers plenty of sound for the bathroom (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag.co...

We're really beginning to like singing (or arguing with out favorite podcasts) in the shower, thanks to the Splash Tunes Pro waterproof shower speaker from FresheTech. This small, unassuming suction cup-mounted Bluetooth speaker delivers a surprising amount of sound in a speaker that costs US$70.  Read More

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