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Colin Jeffrey

Medical

Sensor detects signs of cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's

Cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are all able to be better treated if detected early. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as symptoms may not appear until these diseases are well established. To help counteract this problem, scientists at the National Nanotechnology Laboratory (LNNano) in Brazil have created a biosensor capable of rapidly detecting molecules specifically linked to various cancers and neurological diseases.Read More

Materials

Reversible adhesive can be turned on and off as required

Reversible, temporary adhesives may not sound all that exciting to some, but to a manufacturer that needs to rapidly move small, difficult-to-handle components or a robot-builder creating a machine that can climb any surface, such products are the thing of dreams. Now researchers at the Max Planck Institute have created a reversible adhesive from the metal gallium that displays reversible glue-like properties that could have applications in everything from industrial electronics pick-and-place processes, short-term silicon wafer bonding, to switchable adhesive feet for climbing robots.Read More

Materials

Novel smart materials change color and opacity when stretched

Marine animals such as squid, cuttlefish, and octopus can display incredible patterns of colors by selectively contracting individual muscles to activate pigment-containing cells below their skin. Inspired by this novel capability, researchers from the University of Connecticut have created color and transparency changing materials that alter their properties in response to mechanical force. Known collectively as mechanocromics, these materials might be used to create everything from smart windows to physical encryption devices.Read More

Science

Researchers discover new property of light with a twist

Light is a fundamental avenue of study in physics, and its properties are well established with steadfast rules and invariable constraints. So, until recently, we thought we knew just about everything there was to know about it. But now physicists from Trinity College Dublin have added a twist to the existing canon by demonstrating a new form of light with a total angular momentum that has a half-integer spin. In other words, light that does not obey the rules.Read More

Quantum Computing

Primitive quantum computers may already outperform standard machines for very specific tasks

Quantum bits (qubits) are the building blocks of quantum computers, but putting enough of them together in the one place to run computations like those expected in a standard computer is difficult to say the least. But now researchers have come up with a way to use even primitive quantum computers to run calculations that can already outperform the capabilities of classical computing for very specific tasks.Read More

Robotics

Plans to bring Eric, the UK's first walking, talking robot, back to life

Back in 1928, a robot that could speak and move around was pretty impressive, so it's no surprise that Eric the aluminum-clad automaton was a sensation when he did just that in front of crowds across Europe and the United States. However, just as suddenly as Eric the robot shuffled onto the world stage, he disappeared. Now the British Science Museum is looking to rebuild Eric for new generations to enjoy, using information contained in original photographs and drawings.
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Aircraft

Lilium electric jet: VTOL air travel for the masses?

Can't face the drive to the airport? Why not bypass the whole circus and jump in your two-seat, vertical take-off and landing all-electric engine jet aircraft? That's the vision for the Lilium Jet, an aircraft currently being developed in Germany under the auspices of the European Space Agency's business incubation center that boasts fly-by-wire joystick controls, retractable landing gear, gull-wing doors, and a claimed top speed of 400 km/h (250 mph). The creators claim that this personal e-jet could be made available to the public as early as 2018.Read More

Automotive

Riversimple unveils two new hydrogen car concept designs

When the Rasa hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle prototype was launched earlier this year, its unconventional styling was, for some, an acquired taste. At this weekend's London Motor Show Riversimple outlined the potential for an expanded range by showing two new concept designs based on the existing chassis and running gear: a four-door sedan and a light commercial vehicle.Read More

Quantum Computing

IBM brings quantum computing to the masses

For the first time, IBM Research has thrown open public access to its new quantum processor via the IBM Cloud. Dubbed IBM Quantum Experience, this will provide users with the ability to experiment with individual quantum bits (qubits), process their own experiments, and run some of their own algorithms directly on IBM's quantum processor.Read More

Physics

"World’s smallest engine" to power microscopic robots

It is often said that size matters. At the nano-scale level, where a lot of current research is being done, this adage also holds true, and several scientific teams have laid claim to creating the "world's smallest engine" built from particles of ever-shrinking dimensions. The latest, a nano-scale engine made from tiny charged particles of gold and developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, is claimed to be the smallest of them all.Read More

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