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Ben Coxworth

A scanning electron microscope image of a pattern imprinted on nanoporous gold, using DIPS...

Imagine how long it would have taken to produce vinyl record albums if, instead of pressing them from master molds, the grooves had to be etched into each individual LP? Well, that's pretty much been the case when it comes to creating devices from porous nanomaterials - the microscopic patterns necessary for their functioning have had to be applied to each individual nanodevice, requiring considerable time and a perfect environment. Now, however, researchers from Nashville's Vanderbilt University have developed a system for quickly stamping out whole batches of the devices.  Read More

EnerJ is a power-saving system that allocates less voltage to regions of computer chips th...

As computers, data centers and mobile devices become more powerful, their energy requirements are likewise generally increasing. Possible solutions to the problem include power-saving sleep modes, devices that keep computers from drawing a current when supposedly turned off, and water-cooled processors. EnerJ, a new solution created at the University of Washington, takes a different approach – it supplies less power to regions of the chip that are performing processes that don’t require absolute precision. In lab simulations, it has already cut power consumption by up to 50 percent, although that amount could potentially reach as high as 90 percent.  Read More

Dave and Rob Thompson on their tandem recumbent/upright trike(Photo: Dave Thompson)

In June of 2008, San Jose, California’s Rob Thompson was in a car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. Now 22, he still uses a wheelchair, as he is unable to fully control his left arm and leg. He also has difficulties with short term memory and speech. He goes for physical therapy twice a day, and is slowly recovering. Fortunately for Rob, however, his father Dave decided to speed his recovery by creating a therapeutic device that looks like a ton of fun to use – a tandem recumbent/upright tricycle.  Read More

A recent study suggests that the methane gas generated by biodegrading alternatives to tra...

As tons of plastic items continue to take up space in landfills, and the floating Great Pacific Garbage Patch continues to grow, environmentally-conscious consumers are understandably becoming more interested in biodegradable alternatives to traditional plastic. Whether it's because they share these concerns, or are just trying to cash in on an "eco-fad," many companies have responded by producing biodegradable versions of formerly near-eternal plastic products. While biodegradable products are designed to reduce the amount of trash clogging up our waterways and spoiling our parks, at least one scientist believes they may ultimately be doing more harm than good.  Read More

Pix4D is a program that creates 3D aerial images by combining hundreds of 2D photographs, ...

While Google Earth can be extremely useful - not to mention a lot of fun - it now has some competition in the form of Pix4D. Instead of satellites, the imaging system uses a small, relatively inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to acquire several hundred 2D photographs of a given geographical area. Those photos are then merged into one image, which users can explore in three dimensions on a computer screen.  Read More

Hydrogen generated from sunlight and ethanol

An international team of scientists has announced success in creating hydrogen at ambient temperature and pressure using a combination of sunlight and ethanol. The team of researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Scotland’s University of Aberdeen and New Zealand’s University of Auckland say the method is potentially cheaper, produces higher yields and, because no high temperatures or pressures are required, uses less energy than conventional methods.  Read More

A team of scientists have discovered why wearing precision-tinted glasses helps reduce mig...

In order to lessen the frequency and severity of their headaches, migraine sufferers are sometimes instructed to wear eyeglasses with precision-tinted lenses. These are known as prescribed precision ophthalmic tints, or POTs. Up until recently, however, the science behind the POTs/headache relationship wasn’t clearly understood. Now, a team of scientists have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to gain an understanding of just what is taking place.  Read More

The LifeStraw Family water filter is being introduced in Kenya, where it should provide cl...

Given that approximately one sixth of the world's population lacks access to safe drinking water, it would obviously be a very good idea to create something that allows those people to easily and cheaply filter their local tainted water. That was the thinking behind the LifeStraw. Developed by European disease control firm Vestergaard Frandsen, the simple device allows individual users to drink directly out of unclean water bodies, without ingesting pathogens or other pollutants. Now, the larger-scale LifeStraw Family is being introduced in Kenya, where it could potentially save millions of lives, reduce air pollution, and pay for itself in the process.  Read More

The MountMe Freedom II iPad 2 mount utilizes a Velcro strap and suction cups, for a variet...

Although the carry-ability of iPads is undoubtedly one of their biggest selling features, holding one of those things in front of yourself can get tiring after a while. Various companies have attempted to capitalize on this fact, offering a wide variety of iPad holders. While many of these systems just prop the iPad up, the new Freedom II offers a few unique features, such as suction cups and a mounting strap.  Read More

The Thanko USB Foot Switch allows computer users to perform keyboard or mouse functions vi...

If you find that having your hands on the keyboard and mouse still isn’t giving you enough control over your computer, perhaps you’d like to let your feet in on the action, too. While some people might think that's overkill, it’s precisely what the Thanko USB Foot Switch lets you do. Available as either a single pedal or a joined trio, the floor-located device plugs into your PC’s USB port, and controls a function (or three) of your choice via foot taps.  Read More

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