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Tannith Cattermole

— Science

Quantum computing breakthrough uses diamond nanowires

Current computers operate using binary coding; thousands to trillions of small electrical circuits representing a binary digit (bit) of information that represent a "1" when the circuit is switched on and a "0" when switched off by means of an electronic switch. The future of computing is to move this to a quantum scale, where the weird properties of subatomic particles can be used to create much faster computers. A new device developed by Harvard scientists which uses nanostructured diamond wire to provide a bright, stable source of single photons at room temperature represents a breakthrough in making this quantum technology a reality. Read More
— Environment

Empower concept chair rocks!

It's ironic that I should be writing this on a 13 hour stopover at an airport doling out foreign notes for endless coffees in Starbucks to justify my use of their power socket and WiFi. What I really need right now is a comfortable fold-out rocking chair that converts my languorous rocking movement into electrical energy to power my laptop. If only such a thing existed! Well, it might not be too far away. The Empower chair won second prize out of 18 shortlisted designs showcased at the Greener Gadgets 2010 Conference... Read More
— Aircraft

The Martin Jetpack

It's been a long time coming. While Arthur C. Clarke's satellites have taken to space, and James Bond's futuristic mobile technology has become common place, still the legend of Icarus has captivated us and the dream of sustained personal flight has eluded us. But the future is here! Finally we can all take flight as Martin Aircraft in New Zealand releases the first commercially-available jet pack! Read More
— Science

Brighter, whiter clouds could fight global warming

Scientists in the US have been cloud-spotting over shipping lanes and have noticed something more interesting than teddy-bear shapes and faces. They have detected that rising steam from passing ships has caused brightening in the clouds which they theorize alters the reflectivity of the cloud and prevents the energy from reaching the Earth. They propose that if this could be achieved artificially via geoengineering it could be an effective defense against global warming. Read More
— Space

Flyfire: mini-helicopters create futuristic 3D display

The basis of most 3D systems is to "trick" our eyes into believing that an image shown on a flat screen has three dimensions, but what if you could throw away the screen entirely! It sounds simply too far-fetched and impossible to choreograph, but that's exactly what researchers MIT's SENSEable City Lab and Aerospace Robotics and Embedded Systems Laboratory (ARES Lab) have created with Flyfire - a cloud of LED-carrying micro-helicopters controlled in synchrony to show unique animated light displays in three-dimensional space. Read More
— Medical

Computer takes guesswork out of anesthetizing

Anesthetists cannot take their responsibilities lightly. Too little anesthetic and a patient may feel the whole procedure, too much and a patient might shuffle off this mortal coil. Researchers in the Canary Islands have taken the guesswork out of this thorny dilemma and developed a computer-controlled system that measures a patient's hypnotic state and applies the appropriate dose of anesthetic. Read More
— Environment

Winter Olympics gets a touch of greenery

When Vancouver won the competition to host the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games thoughts immediately turned to construction, and one of the most awe-inspiring initiatives has to be the redesign of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center (VCAEC). Currently hosting the international broadcasting and media hub for the Winter Olympics, this waterfront building is not only beautiful and functional but is environmentally sustainable, boasting a green electricity program, a seawater heating and cooling system and the largest "living roof" in Canada populated with 40,000 plants and grasses. Read More