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Lakshmi Sandhana

Lakshmi Sandhana
When Lakshmi first encountered pig's wings in a petri dish, she realized that writing about scientists and imagineers was the perfect way to live in an expanding mind bubble. Articles for Wired, BBC Online, New Scientist, The Economist and Fast Company soon followed. She's currently pursuing her dream of traveling from country to country to not only ferret out cool stories but also indulge outrageously in local street foods. When not working, you'll find her either buried nose deep in a fantasy novel or trying her hand at improvisational comedy.
We've seen scientists examine everything from the structure of sea sponges to the clubbing ability of mantis shrimps in the search for next generation lightweight armor systems. Researchers at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering believe that fish scales could hold the key to creating armor that's both impervious and lightweight. They eventually aim to combine the properties of fish, snake and butterfly scales into a single protective armor system. Read More
A 3D-printed, partially-solar-powered, battery electric car created by students at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is all set to zoom across the racetrack at Shell’s Eco-marathon Asia later this month. With a body shell comprising 150 printed parts, mounted on a carbon fiber single shell chassis, the NTU Venture (NV) 8 is an urban concept car that can reportedly achieve a top speed of about 60 km/h (37 mph). Racing in the solar prototype category will NTU's prototype three-wheeler, the NV 9. Read More
The latest kids' tablet to join Vtech's Innotab line has some notable additions that make it an interesting starter tablet. The Innotab 3S Plus boasts exclusive software designed to appeal to youngsters and help them learn in a fun way as well as get in touch with their creative side. We got to spend a bit of time with the tablet so read on to see if the tablet holds its own in the increasingly crowded kids' tablet arena. Read More
Getting kids who are immersed in mobile devices to get up and start moving can be a bit of challenge, which is where an activity tracker for kids just might help. Leapfrog's LeapBand is a virtual pet gaming device merged with a fitness tracker that motivates kids to move using activity challenges and rewards. The more active they are, the more rewards they get to unlock cool new features. Is it enough to get them to be more physically active though? Read on to find out. Read More
LeapFrog's LeapPads have been on many children's holiday wish lists ever since they first came out a few years ago. Is LeapFrog's latest offering, the Leappad 3, worth a look this holiday season? Read on for our full review. Read More
Prying your iPad or Kindle Fire away from a child's fingers can get old really quickly. If they're clamoring for their very own device, it can be tricky to find them a kids tablet that delivers the kind of performance they've gotten used to. Enter Fuhu's Nabi Dreamtab HD8. Packing a Tegra quad core processor, this children's tablet is filled with themed kid-friendly content. Read More
Siemens is developing new technology aimed at transforming electric cars into "rolling computers" controlled by a centralized computing architecture. According to Siemens, not only will it be possible to retrofit functions such as electrical brakes using a plug-and-play process (like on home PCs) but developers will also be able to push new software functions and updates out to vehicles – just like how it's currently done with smartphones. Read More
If you thought cloning mice, frogs and extinct mammoths to be challenging, how about cloning Vincent Van Gogh's ear? Dutch artist Diemut Strebe has grown a living replica of the ear that Vincent Van Gogh reportedly sliced off in a troubled episode, using genetic material from one of Van Gogh's direct descendants. With a lifespan of 80 years or more, the ear could live as long as any one of us, says Strebe, who is investigating the idea of replicating people from historical DNA. Read More
Researchers at the Multimedia University in Malaysia have developed an app called the Intelligent Narrator to read out news articles in real-time. Supporting multiple languages, the app can automatically identify an online newspaper's language and read out the news in the same language. Read More
Scientists at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, have developed a high-performance Li-ion battery made of carbon nanotube fiber yarns. Roughly one 1 mm in diameter, the fiber shaped lithium-ion batteries are reported lightweight enough to create weavable and wearable textile batteries that could power various devices. The researchers say that the yarn is capable of delivering nearly 71 mAh/g of power, and can also be woven into existing textiles to create novel electronic fabrics. Read More
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