Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Darren Quick

Artist's impression of Sentinel-1A, which is now operational, over Italy (Image: ESA/DLR)

Sentinel-1A, the first of a planned fleet of ESA satellites central to the European Commission's Copernicus environmental monitoring program, has begun its operational life. Following the completion of its commissioning and transfer to the team in charge of its operation, users now have access to data from the satellite, which will provide all-weather, day and night radar imaging for land and ocean services.  Read More

A new map of the seafloor is twice as accurate as the previous version (Image: David Sandw...

Given they aren't covered by oceans, it's maybe not so surprising that we know more about the topography of the Moon and Mars than we do about Earth's ocean depths. But researchers have evened the score at least a little with the creation of a new map of the world's seafloor. Twice as accurate as the previous version produced almost 20 years ago, the new map details thousands of previously uncharted mountains and provides new clues on the formation of the continents.  Read More

The Small UAV Coalition has been formed to promote civil and commercial use of small UAVs ...

As is so often the case when it comes to rapidly evolving technologies, the law is struggling to keep up with the surge in popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In an attempt to pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small UAVs in the US and around the world, a number of players in the field have teamed up to form the Small UAV Coalition.  Read More

The virtual breast created at MTU could help improve cancer detection using ultrasound ela... With the aim of improving clinicians' interpreting of ultrasound elstography images for breast cancer diagnosis, researchers at Michigan Technological University (MTU) have created a fake breast – that's silicon fake, not silicone fake.  Read More

UF researcher Wade Yang is using pulsed light to inactivate proteins within peanuts that t...

We've seen various research efforts aiming to cure nut allergies in people, from tricking the immune system into ignoring certain proteins to building up a tolerance, or using common gut bacteria. But Wade Yang from the University of Florida is taking a different approach. Rather than altering the body's response to peanut allergens, he is altering the peanuts themselves.  Read More

The second-generation PrintAlive bioprinter that produces skin grafts for burn victims on ...

While most are familiar with the potential for 3D printers to pump out plastic odds and ends for around the home, the technology also has far-reaching applications in the medical field. Research is already underway to develop 3D bioprinters able to create things as complex as human organs, and now engineering students in Canada have created a 3D printer that produces skin grafts for burn victims.  Read More

The Zephyr has become the first High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) system to complete a...

The solar-powered, high-altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV previously known as the Qinetiq Zephyr, which is now part of the Airbus High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) programme and called the Airbus Zephyr, has continued its record-breaking ways in its first civil flight in the skies over Dubai earlier this month.  Read More

A pulley mechanism developed at OSU may some day be implanted into the hands of people wit...

We've seen a number of robotic prosthetic hands intended for amputees, but what about those that still have their hands but have lost function through nerve damage? Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have tackled the problem and come up with an implant consisting of a simple pulley system that would more effectively transfer mechanical forces and allow more natural grasping function with less effort.  Read More

A human airway muscle-on-a-chip developed at Harvard's Wyss Institute could help in the se...

Unfortunately for asthma sufferers and those looking to develop new treatments to help them, animal models traditionally used to test potential new drugs don't always mimic human responses. Joining lungs and guts, scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute have now developed a human airway muscle-on-a-chip that could help in the search for new treatments for asthma. The device accurately mimics the way smooth muscle contracts in the human airway, both under normal circumstances and when exposed to asthma triggers.  Read More

The discovery of an on/off switch for telomerase could provide a way to get human cells to...

Researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered an on/off switch for telomerase, an enzyme that rebuilds a cellular timekeeper known as a telomere. The scientists believe that the discovery could provide a way to get human cells to divide indefinitely without degenerating, thereby regenerating healthy organs even in old age.  Read More

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