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Ben Coxworth

Illustrations of a human heart doing the left ventricular twist (left), and the Harvard mo...

When you think of a beating heart, you probably just picture it flexing in and out, sort of like a rubber ball being squeezed by an invisible hand. In fact, though, its motion is more similar to that of a dish rag being wrung out, with the top of the organ twisting in a clockwise direction while the bottom contracts counterclockwise. It's known as the left ventricular twist, and scientists have now replicated it using artificial muscles. The research could lead to better-functioning cardiac implants, among other things.  Read More

Uneasy Lies the Mind was shot on an iPhone 5, using cinema-quality lenses

While the folks at Apple would undoubtedly love it if filmmakers everywhere ditched their high-end video cameras for iPhones, the fact is that the phone's tiny lens, sensor and other features are no match for those on something like the RED Scarlet X. It was those limiting factors, however, that made the phone an ideal choice for the recently-completed indie psychological thriller, Uneasy Lies the Mind. It's being promoted as "The first narrative feature film to be shot entirely on the iPhone."  Read More

A six-gill shark sports one of the camera packs

Perhaps you've seen footage from National Geographic's "Crittercam," an underwater video camera that has been attached to animals such as sharks and whales. Well, scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of Tokyo have gone one better. Not only have they been putting cameras on sharks to see what they get up to, but they've also been slipping them ingestible sensors, to monitor their dietary habits. The data that they've gathered could help protect shark populations, and the overall health of the ocean.  Read More

In this false-color image, E. coli bacteria (green dots) can be seen trapped around pit me...

In many parts of the world, the presence of harmful bacteria makes it vitally important that water from lakes or rivers be thoroughly filtered before being consumed. While materials such as silver nanoparticles and titanium dioxide will do the job, people in developing nations or rural settings typically need something a lot cheaper and easier to manufacture. As it turns out, wood from pine trees works great.  Read More

The motorized ElectraFin slides into the existing fin box on stand-up paddleboards

As stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) continue to gain popularity, we're seeing something happen with them that always seems to happen with popular items – manufacturers are augmenting them. Just this week we heard about a modular SUP, which joins the ranks of ones that fold, and that can be converted into a tent. Now, Seattle-based Current Drives is offering an electric motor for SUPs, known as the ElectraFin.  Read More

The unit will fit inside a shipping container, and could be towed around the port on a bar...

Shipping ports are major sources of air and water pollution, due in part to anchored or docked ships using diesel generators to keep their onboard systems powered up. A year from now, however, the Port of Honolulu will be trying out a mobile hydrogen fuel cell unit, as a more eco-friendly and fuel-saving alternative.  Read More

The Revolights Arc knows how fast you're going, and shines accordingly

Revolights is a bicycle lighting system that first came to our attention three years ago, in which the front of the front wheel lights up to serve as a headlight, while the back of the rear wheel illuminates to act as a tail light. While it's a clever setup, at US$229 for a full kit, it's not cheap. That's why its designers have just announced a more affordable alternative called the Revolights Arc, that combines a tail light and wheel-speed-activated brake light.  Read More

A beating rabbit's heart, fitted with one of the membranes (Photo: Igor Efimov)

When it comes to monitoring the electrical activity of the heart, or delivering electrical stimulation to it (as in the case of pacemakers), most current technologies rely on electrodes that make contact with the organ in just a few locations. That doesn't necessarily provide a very detailed picture of what's going on, nor does it deliver stimulation all that evenly. Now, scientists have created a sensor-laden three-dimensional elastic membrane that can be pulled over the whole heart, to provide a large number of contact points.  Read More

Don't throw those eggshells away – they could be made into ceramics (Photo: Shutterstock)

According to the US Department of Agriculture, every year approximately 455,000 tons (412,769 tonnes) of discarded eggshells must be transported and disposed of in the US alone. Now, however, scientists at the University of Aveiro in Portugal have developed a method of using such eggshell waste in the production of ceramic goods.  Read More

The Rum Runner prototype hits the water There are at least two things that you can say about stand-up paddleboards, or SUPs: they're popular, and they're big. This means that while a lot of people may want one, they might not have room to store or transport it. That's why Sweden's Point 65 is introducing its Rum Runner modular SUP, that can be taken apart in seconds when not in use.  Read More

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