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Nick Lavars

Nick Lavars

Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.

Follow Nick:

— Bicycles Review

Review: Hitting the streets with the Dyson Hard Tail electric bike

By - July 23, 2015 7 Pictures

I'd always been hesitant to make the switch to an electric bike. Would that little nudge along eat away at my poor but hard-earned fitness base accumulated through cycling with nothing other than leg power? Would I be able to return to those grueling two-block city ascents without the luxury of an electric motor? Putting these concerns to one side for a couple of weeks, I climbed aboard the electrified Hard Tail, the flagship model from Australian company Dyson Bikes. And though it wasn't a dramatic enough leap to make a return to a conventional two-wheeler entirely unpalatable, the well-polished bike perfectly demonstrated the benefits of a little electrical assistance while whizzing around city streets.

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— Medical

Eye drops could spell the end of cataract surgery

By - July 22, 2015 1 Picture

People suffering from cataracts aren't exactly flush with options when it comes to restoring their vision. As they grow over time, they start to impede the ability to perform everyday tasks like reading and driving, prompting surgical removal either by scalpel or laser. But new research suggests a less invasive solution might be on the way in the form of a naturally-occurring molecule that can be administered through a simple eye drop.

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— Medical

Mussel-inspired surgical glue shuts down bleeding wounds in 60 seconds

By - July 22, 2015 3 Pictures

The ability of mussels to stubbornly bind themselves to underwater surfaces has intrigued scientists for years. If this ability could be recreated in the lab, it could lead to new adhesives for all kinds of applications. A team of Korean scientists has now developed a surgical glue inspired by these natural wonders that's claimed to be cheaper, more reliable and incur less scarring than existing solutions.

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Home-made handgun drone attracts FAA investigation

If you've ever fumbled at the controls of a drone, then the following might make you a little uneasy. An 18-year-old mechanical engineering student has affixed a semi-automatic handgun to a custom-built drone and demonstrated its firepower in a video that has quickly attracted the attention of the authorities.

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— Medical

Pill on a string pulls early signs of cancer

By - July 20, 2015 2 Pictures

As with every form of the deadly disease, early detection of oesophageal cancer is critical to recovery. The current approach of detecting the cancer through biopsy can be a little hit and miss, so the University of Cambridge's Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald and her team have developed what they claim to be a more accurate tool for early-diagnosis. Billed as "a pill on a string," the Cytosponge is designed to scrape off cells from the length of the oesophagus as it is yanked out after swallowing, offering up a much larger sample for inspection of cancer cells.

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— Medical

Implantable device hits targeted brain cells with light and drugs when triggered remotely

By - July 17, 2015 1 Picture

The field of optogenetics where individual brains cells are made to behave differently when exposed to light has wide-ranging potential. It may one day be used to reverse acquired blindness, alter pain thresholds and even hit the rest button on our biological clocks. With one eye on this emerging area of neuroscience, scientists have developed a device the width of a human hair that can be planted in the brain to deliver light or drugs only where needed, offering better targeted treatments and reduced side effects.

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