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A new arts venue in Manchester, UK, not only promises to deliver a world-class program of theater, film and visual art, but is high-tech, sustainable and very clever. Home is a purpose-built facility with exhibition, screening and performance spaces, as well as a bar and cafe.

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Yamaha has revealed the third generation of its award-winning Silent Guitars series ahead of a July release in the US. Described as the perfect guitars for practice, travel or stage, the new "near silent" SLG200 series guitars feature something called Studio Response Technology that's been designed to recreate the body resonance, tone and ambiance of an acoustic guitar in an instrument that, well, doesn't have much of a body.

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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has unveiled a luxury apartment building planned for Huajuco Canyon, Monterrey, Mexico. The original brief for the Esfera City Center project demanded 12 residential towers. But presumably an architect with Hadid's clout can choose to do what she thinks best, and she designed a nine-story complex comprising a total of 981 apartments spread over 136,000 sq m (1,463,891 sq ft) instead.

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A study of skin wound healing in 40 (human) volunteers has found that electrical stimulation significantly speeds up the healing process. The researchers hope to now develop and test dressings and devices that could be used in treatment of human or veterinary surgical wounds, sports injuries, and other serious skin trauma.

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Despite its reputation as one of the safest countries in the world, Japan isn't immune to the problem of violence towards women. And is so often the case, alcohol is often involved. In an effort to raise awareness and force a shift in the attitudes of boozy bar hounds, the Yaocho Bar Group nightspot chain has designed a series of coasters with portraits of Japanese women that reveal facial injuries in reaction to having cold drinks placed on them.

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A team from Calvin College, Michigan, is trying to put the "ski" back in "jet ski" with a unique kind of personal watercraft (PWC) that features three skis, a tilting front suspension system and a 650cc engine. Inspired by the dual-ski Wetbike of the 1970s and 80s, and perhaps a little by the bizarre Watercross racing movement, the Jet Blade team has completed prototyping and preliminary water testing.

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Keeping track of crop health is an overwhelmingly tough ask for farmers, and things are only likely to get tougher with predictions of huge yield drop-offs in the coming decades. With a freshly-inked US$100,000 cheque tucked under its arm courtesy of MIT, startup RaptorMaps plans to get crop-mapping drones into the air this summer to better track their health and give farmers' harvests a boost.

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Hyundai produces a wide variety of vehicles, from urban runabouts to heavy-duty trucks, and almost everything in between. The company is now plugging one of the few remaining holes in its lineup with its first light commercial vehicle, the H350.

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In a development that could mean big things in the automotive and marine industries, researchers from Deep Springs Technology (DST) and the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering have created a new metal matrix composite that is so light it can float on water. In addition to having potential marine applications, the material also boasts properties that would make it suitable for use in automobile components.

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