2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Tannith Cattermole

The completed velodrome sits at the north end of the Olympic Park(All images courtesy Olym...

One of the four permanent venues in the London Olympic Park, the velodrome was one of the last to be commissioned, and the first to be completed on time and on budget. Unveiled in February, the sinuous velodrome was chosen to represent London's claim for the "greenest games ever," because of its sustainability and efficiency initiatives. Inspired by lightweight and streamlined racing bikes, the Hopkins Architects-designed velodrome will provide a venue for the indoor track cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Read More

The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform ...

The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform Europe's transport infrastructure by 2050. The roadmap for a Single European Transport Area includes forty initiatives for road, rail and air travel that aim to increase mobility, reduce reliance on oil imports, cut emissions by 60% and combat congestion by halving the use of "conventionally fueled" cars in urban transport by 2030 with a view to phasing them out in cities by 2050.  Read More

Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the worl...

Offshore wind power specialist Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the world. The proposed V164 would have a 7.0 MW capacity, twice that of its predecessor, the 3.0 MW V112. The awesome 164 meter (538 ft) diameter rotor would eclipse the size of the current titleholder, the prototype G10X installed by Gamesa in Spain in 2009 which has a diameter of 128 m (420 ft).  Read More

Leaf beetles use three shapes of adhesive hair in a specific pattern to allow for greater ...

Few things are as disconcerting, or as curious, as the sight of a gecko or spider skittering effortlessly upside down along the ceiling. This ability is known to be facilitated by microscopic hairs or "setae" on the footpads of insects and mammals and a better understanding of their function could lead to advances in synthetic adhesives, wall climbing robots and yes, even the the holy-grail of the spiderman suit. Now for the first time, scientists studying leaf beetles have been able to measure the adhesive force from single setae in a live animal and in the process expand our knowledge of the role they play in clinging to diverse surfaces.  Read More

Adzookie will pay the home-owner's mortgage for the time that the house remains painted (I...

Adzookie's "Paint my house" scheme is an innovative – if unsubtle – approach to advertising that brings new meaning to the notion of having loud neighbors. In return for painting an entire US home with a billboard-sized advert, Adzookie will pay the home-owner's mortgage for the three-month period the house is contracted to remain painted, with the option to extend the contract for up to a year. The entire exterior is painted excepting the roof, and if the contract is canceled by Adzookie or the home-owner during the contract period they will paint the house back to its original colors.  Read More

Biomarker research could lead to finger-prick cancer test (Photo: AlishaV via Flickr)

A new interdisciplinary breakthrough could see cancer being diagnosed through a quick finger-prick test. After five years of research, the team of biologists, clinical oncologists, pathologists and information scientists from ETH Zurich, University Hospital Zurich and the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen have determined a biomarker for prostate cancer – a particular pattern of proteins in the blood that indicate the presence of cancerous disease.  Read More

Melanoma is the deadliest of skin cancers. In 2010 U.S. doctors diagnosed nearly 115,000 new cases of melanoma, with nearly 8,700 resulting in death. Scientists at Duke University have developed a new laser-based tool designed to identify malignant melanomas sooner, without the expense of false diagnosis and unnecessary surgery.  Read More

The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) has been developed to allow researchers...

Thousands of organizations around the world are working towards protection of ecosystems, yet the sharing of data is extremely limited and often localized – swathes of information that could be important are unknown, unpublicized and from a global perspective, wasted. The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA), developed by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), could pave the way for a new era of understanding. It aims to bring together multidisciplinary data allowing researchers and decision-makers the means to assess, monitor and forecast protected areas globally.  Read More

Close neurological ties between reward-processing and pain-processing regions in the brain...

As science continues to unravel the mysteries of ourselves and the world around us at a furious pace, it can sometimes feel like the boffins are proving things that many of us feel we already know or take for granted. This interesting example comes from the Stanford University School of Medicine, where scientists have found that intense feelings of love are as effective at relieving pain as painkillers or even illicit drugs.  Read More

NASA's Stardust NExT mission image of the comet Tempel 1 at 8.39pm PST on February 14th 20...

On Valentine's day, while we were all cooing over your loved ones or lamenting the obvious negligence of the postman, scientists at Denver's NASA station were cooing over something rather larger. On February 14th this year, NASA's Stardust probe made its second visit to the comet Tempel 1 at 8.40pm PST, shaving the comet at a distance of 111 miles (178 km) and traveling at a relative speed of 24,300 mph (10.9 km per second). This is the first time scientists have been able to get a second look at a comet, which allows them to compare data from the first visit in order to learn more about these icy inhabitants of our solar system.  Read More

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