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Darren Quick

Science

Self-healing paint is just the beginning

Human skin has an amazing capacity to heal itself from scratches and cuts, so it’s not surprising that scientists are looking at transferring the self-healing properties of skin to industrial materials. Efforts to embed tiny liquid-filled capsules that rupture when a scratch occurs to spill healing agents into the damaged area of electroplated coatings have previously been hampered by the size of these capsules. But now researchers have developed a process for producing electroplated layers with nano-capsules that measure only a few hundred nanometers in diameter that could solve the problem.Read More

Home Entertainment

Studio FRST multiple aspect ratio TV concept

Whether you’re sticking it out with your trusty old 4:3 TV or shelling out for a shiny new 16:9 widescreen model, there’s no escaping the black cropping bars that come into play when viewing programs in the incorrect aspect ratio for your particular TV – I know most widescreen TVs have a zoom option to fill the screen of 4:3 content, but that runs the risk of cutting people’s head’s in half. Now a creative studio in France has come up with an interesting solution to the problem with a concept TV design that maximizes the viewable picture area and minimizes the black bars for both aspect ratios.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Human trials to begin on genetically-engineered malaria vaccine

There were 247 million cases of malaria and 881,000 deaths worldwide from the disease in 2006, making it one of the world’s most common infectious diseases and an enormous public health problem, particularly in poverty stricken areas. We’ve previously looked at various proposals to fight the disease, from targeting the mosquitoes that spread it, to research into a possible vaccine. Now researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, working in collaboration with researchers from the US, Japan and Canada, have renewed hopes by creating a weakened strain of the malaria parasite that will be used as a live vaccine against the disease. Human trials will begin in 2010.Read More

Digital Cameras

Nikon CoolPix S1000pj camera packs a built-in projector

In what seems like an obvious merging of technologies now that it’s happened, Nikon has announced the world’s first compact digital camera to feature a built-in projector. The COOLPIX S1000pj is a 12.1 megapixel camera that could see an end to people elbowing each other out of the way to get a glimpse of themselves in the latest happy snap on a camera’s small LCD display. Read More

Science

Ghostly nano 'kites' may lead to holy grail of nanotube growth

Researchers at Houston’s Rice University have developed a method for making bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) dubbed “odako”. Eventually, the method may realize meter-long strands of nanotubes that are no wider than a piece of DNA which could be used in lightweight, super-efficient power-transmission lines, in ultra-strong and lightning-resistant materials for airplanes, and may also prove useful in batteries, fuel cells and microelectronics. Read More

Robotics

Robotic Moles deliver goods through the sewers

Although the first sewers date back to ancient times, concerns about public health in the 19th century saw many cities construct extensive underground sewer systems to help control outbreaks of disease. Some of these sewers evolved from open drains along the center of streets that were covered to provide, not only cleaner, but also wider and therefore less crowded streets. Now designer Phillip Hermes has come up with a concept that could also reduce traffic congestion on crowded city roads by turning the sewerage system into a system for transporting goods.Read More

Energy

Canadian startup proposes nuclear fusion power plant at a bargain price

Nuclear fusion offers a completely clean method of producing vast amounts of energy. So far the major stumbling block for scientists has been creating a controllable fusion reaction that achieves “net gain”, meaning it gives off more energy than is needed to trigger it. But Canadian startup, General Fusion, is claiming it can build a relatively low-tech prototype nuclear fusion power plant within the next decade for less than a billion dollars.Read More

Environment

MotionPower energy system testing expanded

When we first came across MotionPower, a prototype system that converts the kinetic energy from cars driving over it into electricity, we mentioned we would keep tabs on the technology to see if it could make the leap to real world implementation. Well, the company behind the MotionPower system, New Energy Technologies, has taken the next step along that road by expanding the durability field tests of the device.Read More

Science

If Dali had a supercomputer: amazing supernova rendering

Capturing complex visualizations, such as the above Dali-esque rendering of a supernova, don’t just produce pretty pictures ideal for desktop wallpapers. They also allow scientists to see simulations of complex physical, chemical and biological phenomena. Unfortunately generating the quadrillions of data points required for visualizations of everything from supernovas to protein structures is quickly overwhelming current computing capabilities. So scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are exploring ways to speed up the process using a technique called software-based parallel volume rendering.Read More

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