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.
The US government predicts one million drones will be sold over the coming holiday season. That's a whole a lot of thumbs jerking around unfamiliar joysticks, trying valiantly to prevent a meeting between their shiny new toy and the trees or local ferris wheels. But experienced pilots too will be looking to take their wizardry to new levels with the latest in high-flying hardware. With most consumer models carrying top-notch camera gear and a pretty friendly learning curve, drones made for rookies and experts aren't as different as they once were, though they do still have their own strengths and weaknesses. Let's put four of the big players side-by-side to see how they stack up.
Last year around 2.3 million barrels of oil were pulled each day from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, the third largest oil reserve in the world. This mining process is hugely water-intensive, and though much of it is recycled, it still results in massive pools of polluted wastewater which are difficult to treat and pose a threat to the environment. Canadian researchers have developed a new approach to removing the contaminants using sunlight and nanoparticles, an approach they say will prove much more effective and cheaper than existing methods.
New Balance is the latest footwear company to bring 3D printing into its manufacturing mix, launching a shoe with an advanced sole promised to offer new strength and elasticity. The company says advances in material sciences are behind the high-tech sneakers, along with an apparently fruitful partnership with 3D printing specialists 3D Systems.
Cardiologists have used Google Glass to unblock a coronary artery in a 49-year-old male. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the artery were loaded onto a custom application and displayed through the augmented reality headset during the procedure, better allowing physicians to guide a catheter to the clogged up area.
Enlisting the body's naturally produced T cells to fight off cancer is an immunotherapy technique that has shown early promise in clinical trials. But one limitation is that these cells generally lack the firepower to do the job on their own, meaning they need to be modified and reintroduced to the bloodstream to have a real impact. Researchers may now have discovered a more efficient way forward, with the development of a T cell-loaded biogel that can be injected directly into the tumor for a more targeted, less laborious approach to immunotherapy.
Following what it describes as an "exhaustive and rigorous scientific review," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the approval of the first ever genetically-modified animal for human consumption. The engineered salmon in question has had its DNA altered in such a way that it grows to market-ready size in around half the time of regular salmon, and has now been declared safe for humans and safe for the environment.
Taiwanese firm Gogoro is set to bring its electric two-wheelers to European streets, today announcing it will implement its battery-swapping Smartscooter network in Amsterdam in 2016 following a successful launch in Taipei earlier this year.
Drone technology sure is moving fast. So fast, in fact, that French hardware company Parrot has already felt compelled to launch a follow up to last year's popular Bepop drone. The Bepop 2 retains the light weight and camera of the original, but can fly faster and longer with a flight time of 25 minutes, landing it in the same territory as leading consumer drones on the market.
Life in many of today's big cities unfortunately brings with it exposure to dense particle pollution. As a result, urban residents from Beijing, China to Santiago, Chile face serious health risks, such as heart and lung disease and premature death. A new US-based startup has developed a pocket-sized pollution monitor it hopes will serve as a warning system, by constantly assessing the environment while the user is on the go and alerting them when air quality drops to unacceptable levels.
According to the World Health Organization, somewhere between 130 and 150 million people around the globe suffer from chronic hepatitis C infection. As the virus is usually asymptomatic it can go undetected in its early stages, giving rise to complications such as liver damage and cirrhosis. Screening for the virus is possible, but is neither straightforward nor widely accessible, as it involves taking a blood sample and two separate lab tests. But researchers have now developed a one-step test that can detect hepatitis C using only a urine sample, promising to boost the availability of diagnosis and efforts to curb the virus around the world.