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Good Thinking

— Good Thinking

The Drinkable Book has water-purifying pages

For people in developing nations or rural locations, getting clean water may soon be as simple as opening a book … and ripping a page out. That’s the idea behind The Drinkable Book, developed by Carnegie Mellon University postdoc Theresa Dankovich. Each of its pages is made from a thick sheet of paper impregnated with silver and copper nanoparticles, that kill 99.9 percent of microbes in tainted water that’s filtered through it.

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Density sensor lets you avoid the rush at your favorite haunts

If you've ever been on your sofa and wondered how long you might have to queue for a bike at the gym or how long the wait is for a table at your favorite restaurant, then the Density sensor could provide the answer. Designed to be attached to the entrance of a premises, the sensor captures people's comings and goings to provide real-time and historical data about the volume of traffic passing through.

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Rail power could light up rural crossings

While city dwellers may be used to railway crossings marked with flashing red lights, the easier-to-miss warnings at rural crossings often just consist of a sign. That's because there's no easy way of providing electricity to such isolated locations. While solar panels could provide part of the solution, a team of engineering students and faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believe that photovoltaics alone can't consistently provide enough power. Instead, they devised several systems that harness power from the rails themselves.

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SALt lamp runs on a glass of water and two teaspoons of salt

Many of the more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines lack access to electricity, so after the sun goes down light usually comes by way of kerosene lamps. While cheap, these fire hazards are bad for the environment and human health. This, combined with the cost of keeping them burning has given one startup the impetus to build a better solution. The SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp burns for eight hours at a time running on only a glass of water and two teaspoons of salt.

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