An award winning author and freelance journalist with a strong background in newspapers, magazines and podcasts, Leon is passionately drawn to all things innovative and unknown with a deep interest in telecommunications, environmental technology and design. When not indulging his passion for reading and writing, he can be found memorizing lines immortalized by Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
The tiny freshwater polyp Hydra is a remarkable creature. It does not show any signs of aging and appears to be immortal due to the fact that it contains stem cells capable of continuous proliferation. Researchers from Kiel University have examined this phenomenon and uncovered an important link to the aging process in humans that could lead to the development of advanced rejuvenation therapies.
Systems that convert kinetic energy into electric energy have made great strides in recent times, from mobile phone charging bicycle dynamos
to tiles that turn footsteps into electrical energy
. Recently researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have come up with what they believe is a more efficient approach – a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy and stores the power for release as an electrical current.
Scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, are developing a novel way to store hydrogen that could help turn it into a viable portable fuel source. The research centers on using synthesized nanoparticles of the compound sodium borohydride (NaBH4
for those who love chemistry), which when encased inside nickel shells exhibits surprising and practical storage properties including the ability to reabsorb hydrogen and release it at much lower temperatures than previously observed, making it an attractive proposition for transport applications.
The dirigible airship, the oddball aircraft of another era, is making a comeback. California-based Aeros Corporation
has created a prototype of its new breed of variable buoyancy aircraft and expects the vehicle to be finished before the end of 2012. With its new cargo handling technology, minimum fuel consumption, vertical take-off and landing features and point to point delivery, the Aeroscraft platform promises to revolutionize airship technology.