Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Ben Coxworth

Scientists are creating self-healing electronics, that use liquid metal to instantly resto...

A hard material is impregnated with microcapsules that burst when the material cracks, releasing a stored liquid that hardens on contact with the air, thus repairing the crack ... it’s a system that we’ve recently seen used in a number of applications, including self-healing concrete and polymers. Now, a research team from the University of Illinois is applying it to electronics. They have already created a system that automatically restores conductivity to a cracked circuit in just a fraction of a second.  Read More

Finnish researchers have developed a method of fuel cell production, that uses 60 percent ...

While fuel cells show a lot of promise for cleanly powering things such as electric cars, there’s something keeping them from being more widely used than they currently are – they can be expensive. More specifically, the catalysts used to accelerate the chemical processes within them tend to be pricey. Work being done at Finland’s Aalto University, however, should help bring down the cost of fuel cells. Using atomic layer deposition (ALD), researchers there are making cells that incorporate 60 percent less catalyst material than would normally be required.  Read More

MIT's Materials Project website is a database of chemical compounds, that scientists can u...

Remember what it was like in the days before the internet, if you were trying to find out something specific? If you wanted know what flounders eat, for instance, you would have to physically go to the library, look up “marine biology” in the card catalogue, find the appropriate books in the stacks, look up “flounder” in their indexes – and even then, you might not find what you were looking for. It was certainly a lot more work than just typing in “flounder diet” on Google. Well, materials research so far has been kind of like that pre-Google era, in that scientists have had to spend months conducting research in order to determine how different compounds will react with one another. With the launch of MIT’s Materials Project website, however, it looks like that could be about to change.  Read More

IBM has released its Next 5 in 5 predictions for 2011

It’s late December, and that means that it’s time once again for IBM’s Next 5 in 5 list. Every year since 2006, the corporation has put together an annual roundup of the top five emerging technologies that its researchers feel “will change the way we work, live and play” within the next five years. Here’s a look at what caught their attention this year.  Read More

The CyberFire Football Set incorporates a reflective foam ball and LED-equipped 'glasses,'...

Have you ever seen children out on the playground, playing some made-up game that only they know the rules to? Well, Play Visions’ CyberFire Football Set is kind of like a high-tech version of that. While onlookers just see a couple of kids with funny-looking headgear on, passing a foam football back and forth, those kids will see what appears to be a green or red fireball streaking through the air between them.  Read More

The makers of the just-launched theKube2 claim that it is the world's smallest touchscreen...

Although owners of the iPod Shuffle might have something to say about it, Singapore’s Bluetree Electronics has announced the launch of what it claims is “the smallest touch MP3 player in the world,” theKube2. The diminutive device has an aluminum body, runs for six hours on a one-hour charge of its lithium-polymer battery, and can store approximately 1,000 songs on its included 4GB microSD card. You can also buy replaceable skins for it, should shiny silver not be your thing.  Read More

Film-makers Derek Van Gorder (pictured) and Otto Stockmeier are in the process of making a...

When you think about the best-loved movies depicting space travel, what names come to mind? Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek - The Motion Picture, Silent Running, Battlestar Galactica? Interestingly enough, all of those enduring films were made decades ago, and utilized hand-built model spaceships for their space-flight sequences. Today, even low-budget productions usually use CGI (computer-generated imagery) for the same purpose – it’s logistically much easier to create and “film” a virtual spaceship on a computer, than it is to build, light and shoot an actual model. Nonetheless, that second approach is exactly what New York film-makers Derek Van Gorder and Otto Stockmeier are taking with their short film, C.  Read More

The Pedal Powered Talk Show is an internet TV program, incorporating a set that is pedaled...

The guys over at Portland, Oregon’s Metrofiets are a pretty talented bunch when it comes to designing cargo bicycles for more than ... well, for more than hauling cargo. Not long ago, they made headlines with their Beer Bike, that incorporates a tap-equipped wooden bar, space and hardware for two kegs, and a rack created specifically for carrying pizza boxes. They’ve also built bikes that have served as a mobile coffee shop, and as a go-anywhere bicycle repair station. Their latest creation, however, is aimed at the world of broadcasting – it’s a two-wheeled human-powered talk show set.  Read More

The growth of these blood vessels was caused and directed by the microvascular stamp

In the not-too-distant future, wounds may be covered not just with regular bandages, but with special "microvascular stamps" that promote and direct the growth of new blood vessels. A team of scientists from the University of Illinois have already created such a dressing, which could ultimately have applications far beyond the healing of cuts.  Read More

Oculus is an inexpensive telepresence robot that incorporates a user-supplied netbook comp...

When you think about it, telepresence robots are quite a neat idea. Not only do they allow you to see and converse with people in another location through video conferencing, but you can also move them about within that location – almost as if you were there in person, walking down the halls. Such devices typically don’t come cheap, however. As with other robots, part of what you’re paying for are their computerized “brains,” along with all of their input/output peripherals. The Oculus Telepresence Robot, however, takes a different approach. It utilizes a user-supplied netbook to serve as its brains, eyes, ears and vocal cords. This results in a lower price, potentially opening up telepresence technology to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.  Read More

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