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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.

— 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
— Electronics

KAIST's wireless charging system can charge 40 smartphones simultaneously

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), have developed a wireless charging system that can charge around 40 smart phones at a time, from a distance of 5 meters (16 ft). While we've examined numerous wireless charging systems, even one that transmits power to up to 9 m (30 ft), KAIST's prototype can power multiple devices within its range. It can deliver enough electrical juice, the scientists claim, to power many larger devices like fans, TVs and computers, simultaneously. Read More
— 3D Printing

Disney researchers 3D print speakers in any shape imaginable

It's one thing to assemble a loudspeaker from 3D-printed components, but researchers at Disney have figured out a way to 3D print interactive loudspeakers in any shape imaginable, while also integrating speaker functionality into the whole object or just parts of it. Just envision 3D printing an entire loudspeaker in one step in the shape of Cinderella, and having sounds boom off her whole body or just her skirt. Read More
— Science

Floating nuclear plants could prove tsunami-proof

The most frightening part of a tsunami hitting a nuclear power plant is what comes after – radioactive leaks that contaminate the water around the plant are exceedingly difficult to contain. The clean up of the radioactive water around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, which was struck by a tsunami in 2011, is expected to take decades. MIT researchers have come up with an alternative; they propose building floating nuclear plants, far enough offshore to simply ride out a tsunami and emerge unscathed. Read More
— Medical

Drug-delivering nanoparticles pose a triple threat to cancer

Delivering drugs that can knock out tumor cells within the body, without causing adverse side effects, is a tricky busines. It's why scientists have taken to engineering new and creative types of nanoparticles that do the job. Increasing a nanoparticle's ability to carry more drugs expands treatment options, but creating nanoparticles capable of delivering more than one or two drugs has proven difficult – until now. Scientists at MIT report creating a revolutionary building block technique that's enabled them to load a nanoparticle with three drugs. The approach, they say, could be expanded to allow a nanoparticle to carry hundreds more. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Umoove controls smartphones with a nod and a wink

Giving new meaning to "tilt to steer," Israeli tech startup Umoove has developed face- and eye-tracking software for mobile devices that translates gentle head tilts and nods into in-game movements. The company has released the Umoove Experience, a free app for iOS that demonstrates the technology, but hopes third party developers will integrate the technology into their own titles on both iOS and Android devices. Read More
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