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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.

— Electronics

Omnidirectional thermal visualizer enables 360-degree surveillance

Researchers at the Multimedia University (MMU) in Malaysia have developed an omnidirectional thermal visualizer that provides a 360-degree view of the area under surveillance. The device, the researchers say, can monitor more than one lane at a time in airports and crowded areas, making it easier for authorities to quickly identify people with flu or SARS-like symptoms. Read More
— Medical

Wearable smart veins locator could help nurses see below the skin

Getting a needle into a patient's vein can sometimes be a complicated process, especially if the veins aren't visible. Vein-spotting spectacles that see through a patient's skin could help avoid the damage caused by repeated needle pricks, and that's exactly what researchers at the University Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Malaysia, are developing. Their Smart Veins Locator is a wearable head-mounted display that allows nurses to see the patient's veins in real-time, by overlaying a map of their veins on top of their skin. Read More
— Science

Water droplet networks could harvest water from fog

Harvesting water out of thin air, might seem like a pipe dream, but the air-stable water droplet networks, currently being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers could prove to be a step in the right direction. Created with the aid of a new technique, these water droplet networks could also potentially find use in membrane research and biological sensing applications. Read More
— Space

Inflatable flying saucers could help spacecraft land on Mars

It's tough to slow down spacecraft descending through Mars' thin atmosphere at supersonic speeds, as they need to drop to a speed that allows them to land in one piece. This is why NASA is developing lightweight inflatable flying saucers that will fit around the outer rims of spacecraft such as human habitats, inflating as the habitats descend to permit a safe landing. The technology will allow astronauts to land bigger and heavier spacecraft on Mars without needing to carry massive atmospheric shields or huge amounts of extra fuel. Read More
— 3D Printing

The Mink 3D printer lets you create your own custom-colored makeup

Finding the exact shade of lipstick or eye shadow you have in mind can be tough, which is why Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School alumni, came up with the Mink – a 3D printer that lets you print out makeup in any color you fancy. Whether it's the color of a fruit, your friend's purse or a sunset, transforming that color into any kind of makeup is simply a matter of choosing it and hitting print. Read More
— Environment

Air-purifying billboard does the work of 1,200 trees

Billboards could do more than just advertise, if scientists at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Peru have their way. While UTEC's earlier billboard produced drinkable water, its latest creation scrubs the air free of pollutants. According to the team, a single billboard can do the work of 1,200 trees, purifying 100,000 cubic meters (3.5 million cubic feet) of air daily in crowded cities. Read More