Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Karen Sprey

Researchers at the University of York in the U.K. have transformed the polyvinyl-alcohol (...

Who would have thought television could be good for you? Researchers at the University of York in the U.K. have transformed a chemical compound found in LCD television sets into an anti-microbial substance that destroys infections such as Escherichia coli and some strains of Staphylococcus aureus. The treated polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) could potentially also be used in tissue scaffolds to help parts of the body regenerate, pills and dressings that deliver drugs, and hospital cleaning products to prevent infection.  Read More

Implantable electrocardiogram (EKG) devices that constantly monitor and provide feedback o...

Once the realm of science fiction, implantable devices able to take on the work of the heart - pacemakers - are now commonplace, but what might the future hold for equipment that monitors our vital signs? A Finnish researcher believes tomorrow's tech-savvy generation will be more than comfortable with implantable electrocardiogram (EKG) devices that constantly monitor and provide instant feedback on their health, and can also provide instant access to medical data in emergencies.  Read More

Virtually silent, fully enclosed, bladeless wind turbines on the way

A wind turbine that uses boundary layers instead of blades to generate power has been patented by Solar Aero, a New Hampshire based not-for-profit scientific research organization. Modeled on the 1913 Tesla steam turbine, the Fuller turbine is virtually silent and completely enclosed, which avoids many of the drawbacks of bladed turbines such as noise, radar interference, visual pollution and wildlife injuries.  Read More

Robots plant a tiny seed into each circular plot on the tray - just one of the automated f...

H1N1, SARS and other pandemics, increasing antibiotic resistance to infectious diseases and even threats of biological warfare have reinforced the need for safe, effective and inexpensive mass vaccination programs. The answer may lie in nature, with plant-based vaccines. While traditional methods of vaccine production typically take months, the Fraunhofer Centers in the U.S., Boston University and iBio have developed a fully automated, scalable plant "factory" that can produce large quantities of vaccines within weeks.  Read More

Researchers have found a way to make leafy greens even healthier by exposing them to short...

We all know we should eat our greens because they're good for us. Lithuanian researchers have found a way to make them even healthier by exposing them to short-term light treatment with a solid-state illuminator, reducing harmful nitrate concentration by 44% - 65% and boosting nutritional value.  Read More

PUMA is getting rid of shoeboxes and replacing them with its Clever Little Bag, a single f...

Shoeboxes account for millions of tonnes of waste and sadly, looking at my shoe racks, I've probably made a substantial contribution to that. PUMA on the other hand is on a mission to reduce its carbon, energy, water and waste "paw print", and has decided to do away with the shoebox altogether. It has launched its Clever Little Bag, a single folded sheet of cardboard in a resuable, recyclable PET bag, designed to protect shoes from the time they leave the factory until the customer gets them home.  Read More

The Nomad is a concept for a futuristic cross-country RV and biosphere designed to cope wi...

If our politicians continue contributing to global warming through spouting hot air, German industrial designer Mario Pitsch's concept for the Nomad - a sustainable "cross-country RV for the far future" - may need to become a reality sooner rather than later.  Read More

A team of scientists has shown that carbon nanotubes can be broken down by an enzyme found...

Nanotechnology is increasingly a part of our lives, and while it has enormous potential for the effective delivery of medication and fighting cancer, there are concerns about health effects such as toxicity and tissue damage. Now a team of scientists has shown that carbon nanotubes can be broken down by an enzyme found in white blood cells - contradicting the previous belief they are not broken down in the body or nature - and hope this new understanding may lead to a way to render carbon nanotubes harmless in medical applications.  Read More

An artificial pancreas system could help safely manage type 1 diabetes in children (Image:...

An artificial pancreas system being developed by scientists at Cambridge in the UK could help safely manage type 1 diabetes in children.The artificial pancreas combines a commercially available continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump, and uses a sophisticated algorithm which calculates the correct amount of insulin to deliver based on real-time glucose readings.  Read More

Hammacher Schlemmer's photo frame/scanner converts your old photos into 300-dpi jpg images...

While at least 48% of the US still camera market is now estimated to be digital, most people will have boxes and albums full of 'old style' printed photos for many years to come. One way of preserving and storing these pre-digital memories is to scan them and convert them into digital images. Hammacher Schlemmer, the company that has been offering unique gifts since 1848, has introduced a digital photo frame with built-in scanner that lets you preserve and view photos 'as easily as feeding bills into a vending machine'.  Read More

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