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Ben Coxworth

Science

Scientists play high-tech "tag" with great whites

If you're neither a marine biologist nor a shark, then you likely aren't familiar with the White Shark Cafe. It's an area of the Pacific Ocean half-way between California and Hawaii, where large great white sharks congregate every year. While there, male sharks make dives down to depths of 250 meters (800 feet), up to 150 times a day. Why do they do it? No one knows, which is why scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are developing a "shark-cam" tag to stick on their dorsal fins.Read More

Around The Home

Brainy tape measure works three ways

Although the classic tape measure continues to be a very useful tool, there are times where that curled metal tape just isn't right for the task at hand. Well, that's why Bagel was developed. It's a "smart" tape measure that offers three methods of measuring, along with built-in data storage and Bluetooth connectivity.Read More

Science

Nanotechnology takes on watch counterfeiters

Is that a real Rolex, or a fake? Thanks to research currently being carried out at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) research institute, an ultraviolet lamp may soon be all that you need to tell the difference between luxury watches and knock-offs.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Breath test could replace finger-pricking for diabetics, thanks to dogs

It's been known for some time that dogs can detect the onset of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) in the breath of type 1 diabetics – there are even helper dogs that are trained to do so. Now, scientists at the University of Cambridge believe that they may have figured out just what it is that those dogs are smelling. The discovery could potentially lead to a breathalyzer-like replacement for uncomfortable finger-prick tests.Read More

Materials

Plant-inspired material becomes a liquid-wicking straw when wet

When it comes to hazardous fluids, the less that researchers have to lean in close and finely manipulate them, the better. It was with this in mind that scientists at the Australian National University recently developed a new material that does something special when exposed to liquid – it rolls itself into a straw-like tube, which the liquid is then propelled through.Read More

Good Thinking

Fancy footwear lets amputees get their game on

When Gyorgy (George) Levay lost both hands to a meningitis infection five years ago, many people might have assumed that his gaming days were over. That's far from being the case, however. Working with two other Johns Hopkins University grad students, he's developed a prototype system that lets upper-body amputees control games using their feet. It recently won the grand prize in the 2016 Intell-Cornell Cup, a competition for students who are exploring applications of embedded technology.Read More

Environment

Venice's water taxis may be going green

Although most people likely associate Venice with gondoliers quietly poling their boats along the canals, the city is also home to approximately 550 motorized water taxis. These watercraft are all equipped with diesel engines that spew exhaust and make a racket, creating both air and noise pollution. With this situation in mind, engineers from University of Southampton spin-off company REAPsystems are developing hybrid engines that could be swapped in.Read More

Bicycles

No-contact bike trainer enlists the eddies

Whether they use fluid, fans or magnets to create resistance, most stationary bicycle trainers require users to place the bike's rear tire in contact with a roller. This wears the tire down quickly, and creates a lot of noise in the process. Canada's STAC Performance is out to change that. Its STAC Zero trainer leaves the tire untouched, keeping its rubber intact and the noise level down.Read More

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