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Scientists have determined the molecular structure of proteins that allow bacteria cells t...

The development of practical microbial fuel cells took a big step forward this week. Research conducted by a team of scientists from England’s University of East Anglia was published on Monday (May 23), in which they revealed that they had discovered “the exact molecular structure of the proteins which enable bacterial cells to transfer electrical charge.” Scientists possessing this knowledge can now start working on technology for tethering bacteria directly to electrodes, which could lead to much more efficient microbial fuel cells – also known as bio-batteries.  Read More

The IC Safety System consists of outer protective glasses, and an inner foil that incorpor...

Those of us who need to wear glasses face a bit of a quandary when it comes to protective eyewear. We can put big safety glasses on over top of our prescription glasses, although these can be bulky, uncomfortable, and a little funny-looking. Those drawbacks can be avoided by getting safety glasses with prescription lenses, but given the conditions under which such glasses are typically worn, it’s entirely possible that their custom lenses will get scratched. This leaves users on the hook for an expensive new pair, which they will have to wait several days for. Australian inventor Andreas Mehringer, however, has created what could be a better alternative, in the form of his IC Safety System.  Read More

Scientists have created a thin handheld microscope that can obtain high-quality images in ...

With conventional microscopy, if a scientist wishes to obtain a high-resolution image of a relatively broad area, they typically have to use a microscope that scans across that area in a grid pattern, recording many images one point at a time. Those images are then joined together to form one complete picture. Such systems take a long time to perform a scan, so both the microscope and the subject must be held still while it's taking place. Researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, however, have created a thin, handheld microscope that can reportedly obtain similar-quality images in less than one second.  Read More

Biomedical engineering students have invented a blood-warming device, intended to reduce t...

For U.S. troops, the most common type of battlefield fatality involves blood loss due to trauma. When a soldier does experience blood loss, their chance of survival drops by 22.5 percent once hypothermia sets in. Needless to say, if that reaction can be minimized or delayed, then less fatalities should occur. A team of biomedical engineering students from New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology is working towards that goal, by developing a blood-warming system device known as Heat Wave.  Read More

WOW-Keys is a full-sized desktop keyboard that can serve as an input device for an iPhone,...

An iPhone has various input features that a standard desktop keyboard doesn’t, such as a reconfigurable touchscreen display. A full-sized keyboard, however, is much easier to type on than an iPhone. Perhaps it only makes sense, therefore, that Korea’s Omnio Technologies decided to combine the strengths of the two devices, in the form of its WOW-Keys keyboard with built-in iPhone dock.  Read More

The stress-shielding device, which has been shown to dramatically reduce scarring when app...

When the sutures are removed from a surgical incision, the natural tension of the surrounding skin starts to pull the two edges of the wound away from one another. While the incision site will still usually heal, that wound-opening mechanical stress causes excessive scar tissue to form. Researchers from Stanford University, however, have created a new type of dressing that removes such stress, and has been shown to dramatically reduce scarring.  Read More

Aurasma is an iPhone app that allows users to create and view augmented reality content, a...

Fans of the movie They Live will recall the special sunglasses in the film, that allowed the unknowing public to see that certain people were actually aliens, and that seemingly ordinary billboards in fact displayed messages like “OBEY” and “CONSUME.” The new Aurasma app for iPhone 4 and iPad 2 is kind of like those glasses. OK, it doesn’t actually reveal the true nature of things, but it does allow you to see otherwise unseeable videos and other images that fellow Aurasma users have virtually attached to real-world scenes and objects. If you were to point your phone’s camera at a certain building, for instance, you would see real-time video of that building on your screen, but perhaps with another user’s computer-generated monster climbing up the side of it to promote an upcoming event.  Read More

Engineer Tim Lexen has created a prototype ranger device that can move across rough terrai...

Some day in the future, it's possible that an unmanned rover may go trundling across the Martian landscape not on wheels, but on three rotating steel coils. While able to traverse rugged terrain without getting stuck, it could also move sideways to get around obstacles, would be unlikely to malfunction as it would have very few moving parts, and could perhaps even remain mobile if it were to take a tumble and flip over. Although such a vehicle might not be exploring Mars any time particularly soon, a fully-functioning prototype does already exist here on Earth, and its design could find terrestrial applications.  Read More

A newly-created carbon nanofiber patch could be used to regenerate heart cells, killed by ...

When someone has a heart attack, the cells in the affected area of the heart die off, and the damage can’t be repaired. In the not-so-distant future, however, that may not be the case. Engineers from Rhode Island’s Brown University, working with colleagues in India, have created a carbon nanofiber patch that has been shown to regenerate heart cells. It is hoped that such patches could eventually be placed on the heart, like a Band-Aid, to regrow dead areas.  Read More

Owners of vehicles that exceed local allowable noise levels could start automatically gett...

It’s a situation that everyone has experienced – you’re walking down the street, when a vehicle drives by that’s so loud, people cover their ears and cast angry glances at the driver. You assume that it’s illegal to use a muffler that’s so ineffective, or to have a stereo turned up that high, but if it is ... how come so many people seemingly get away with it? Well, part of the reason is manpower. While speeders and red-light-runners can be ticketed in the thousands using automated systems, actual police officers need to go out and manually check cars and motorcycles for noise violations. The designer of Noise Snare, however, claims that his unmanned system can automatically detect and identify overly-audible vehicles.  Read More

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