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Heidi Hoopes

Heidi Hoopes
Heidi measures her life with the motley things she's done in the name of scientific exploration. While formally educated in biology and chemistry, informally she learns from adventures and hobbies with her family. Her simple pleasures in life are finding turtles while jogging and obsessively winnowing through her genetic data.
Top Articles by Heidi Hoopes
  • E-volo’s 18-rotor electric Volocopter makes maiden flight

    E-volo recently celebrated the maiden launch of the newest prototype of its electric two-passenger Volocopter, sporting eighteen rotors. The company champions its difference from traditional helicopters, pointing to its ease of flying, green energy s...

  • Fleet of eBee drones capture the immensity of the Matterhorn

    Explorers have mapped the surface of the iconic Matterhorn painstakingly by foot, by satellite, and now by drone, thanks to a small fleet of eBees launched by senseFly and Drone Adventures. The mission not only proved the eBee’s capabilities, but gen...

  • Nanoparticles found to violate second law of thermodynamics

    Hotter things always release heat to their colder environments, correct? Researchers show that particles on a nanoscale actually fluctuate more than we expect on a macro scale and develop new procedures to test what exactly is happening on the level ...

  • Scientists challenge economics of storing renewable energy

    It's easy to assume that renewable wind and solar energy should be stored when production exceeds what the grid is using. But scientists at Stanford have done the math to find when storing energy is better than "wasting” it, and their findings aren't...

  • Foodini 3D food printer customizes and automates your kitchen prep

    If you’ve been waiting for a food replicator in your kitchen, the Foodini 3D food printer might be the closest approximation. Once you provide it the ingredients, it automates and customizes food prep by shaping raviolis, decorating cookies, or even...

Yaliny is offering inexpensive satellite-based phone calls and data coverage anywhere in t...

Visit an area outside of your cell network, take a vacation in a different country, or play a certain augmented reality game requiring you to have a constant high speed data connection, and congratulations, you’ll have an instant reminder of the current limitations of cellular networks. The Russian company Yaliny ambitiously hopes to help consumers circumvent traditional providers with Yaliny’s own network of satellites and an intermediary device called the Yaliny Point which will work with most smartphones, all for a promised US$150 for the hardware and $10 monthly thereafter.  Read More

A rendering of a nanoparticle trapped in a laser and in thermal non-equilibrium (Image: Iñ...

It may be a little late for April Fool’s, but your skepticism is nonetheless warranted when reading that researchers have shown nanoparticles to disobey a fundamental law of physics which dictates the flow of entropy and heat in, it was believed, any situation. Specifically, researchers from three universities theoretically proposed then demonstrated that a nanoparticle in a state of thermal non-equilibrium does not always behave as larger particles might under the same conditions, with implications for various fields of research.  Read More

The $99 ChocaByte promises small 3D-printed chocolates

If you’ve been keeping an eye out for a 3D chocolate printer, you probably know that there’s currently not much on the market. Foodini is in its Kickstarter phase and the ChefBot doesn’t print in chocolate. However, the ChocaByte 3D chocolate printer that debuted at this year's CES has since been offered at a special price of US$99 on a limited run of 500 printers, before heading to mass production in its home country of Australia.  Read More

The Aurora headset is a tool for enhancing dreams, signaling the beginning of REM sleep, a...

Lucid dreaming is believed by many to aid in practicing skills, improving creativity, or just exploring adventurous new worlds, but requires practice and awareness to master. Aurora is an EEG-based headband aiming to enhance dreams and lower the barrier to lucid dreaming. With apps for multiple platforms, a host of features, and an open API for third party applications, iWinks' aim is to help the uninitiated take control of their dreams.  Read More

Researchers have discovered conditions that would allow plants to grow quickly in optimal ...

There's a conundrum of growing food in outer space: the same optimal conditions that create quick plant growth also leaves them missing a nutrient that protects human eyes from radiation, such as astronauts experience. However, scientists under the direction of Barbara Demmig-Adams at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a method of using bright pulses of light to trick plants into producing more zeaxanthin, which humans cannot produce on their own but is essential for long-term eye health and visual acuity.  Read More

This colorful American flag is in reality a functional  and transparent solar cell (Photo:...

A beautiful stained glass installation, a colorful billboard, or rows of windows on an office building ... all as electricity-generating solar cells? New research at the University of Michigan gives a method for creating such transparent and colorful solar cells using a hybrid silicon/organic composition, and furthermore avoids some of the problems of previous colored and transparent solar cells.  Read More

Lulzbot TAZ 3 printers line the cluster room four-deep and three-high

Aleph Objects, maker of the LulzBot line of 3D printers, recently made the switch to a new facility in Colorado, big enough to meet its expanding production needs and designed to add more injection-molded and laser-cut parts to the printers. I toured the massive cluster of 135 operating 3D printers, asked about AO’s upcoming plans for not only new printers but other hardware, learned how customers and community drive innovation, and met a fascinating LulzBot client who’s using the Open Source/Libre technology to jumpstart his vision of the future. If you’ve ever wanted to see 135 3D printers in action simultaneously, look no farther.  Read More

Printing life-sized designs with the full-format RepRap-based BigRep ONE

Consumers and small businesses certainly have a handle on using 3D printers to create small mockups of bigger products, but there’s few options for creating true-to-size models or even finished products without having access to an industrial printer. German company BigRep aims to break that boundary with its RepRap-based BigRep ONE 3D printer, which offers over a cubic meter of print space.  Read More

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft initially suffered from problems with its lithium-ion b...

Last year, lithium-ion battery fires became a hot topic, pardon the inescapable pun, with both a Tesla automobile and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner succumbing to fires. In cross-disciplinary research at the University of North Carolina (UNC), a compound being studied to prevent marine life from sticking to ships may also be the solvent (and the solution) to keep lithium ion batteries from catching alight when they overheat.  Read More

Young Rivals' newest music video is all optical illusion, with this image reflecting the d...

Remember those 3D MagicEye calendars you’d stare at, convinced that if only you tried for 10 more minutes, you’d finally see what you were supposed to see? Canadian indie band Young Rival has released their newest music video as one of those "autostereograms," providing enough crossed-eye action to ensure your eyes potentially stick that way. It’s also a neat demonstration of the Microsoft Kinect’s depth-capturing capabilities.  Read More

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