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Environment

Ocean Cleanup Project's trash-catching prototype takes to the angry Dutch seas

Its been a few years since Boyan Slat first revealed his bold concept to clean up the world's oceans, and now we're set to see how his trash-catching barriers fare in the real world. The Dutch entrepreneur's Ocean Cleanup Project has successfully deployed its debut prototype off the coast of the Netherlands, which will serve as a first test-case ahead of a much larger installation planned to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2020.Read More

Aircraft

Airvinci ducted fan helicopter prototype set for take off

There's been a bit of a renaissance in designs for personal flying craft over the last few years, with everything from conceptual electric fan passenger craft designed for quiet commuting, to real jetpacks flying around landmarks and jet-powered hoverboards breaking records, and the collection just keeps growing. Now add one more personal flight machine concept to the list in the form of the Airvinci: a ducted fan VTOL aircraft that is expected to start its aeronautical life as a heavy-lifting drone and later have a cockpit added for carrying human cargo.Read More

Autonomous buses hit the road in Switzerland

Switzerland has joined a growing number of places around the world exploring the potential of electric autonomous buses, with a pair of driverless shuttles now ferrying passengers around the city of Sion as part of a two-year trial.Read More

Biology

Small-brained elephantnose fish can think big like humans

Fish may be smarter than we thought. Not only can some recognize human faces, but others can use their senses in a way that it was believed only humans and other mammals could manage. A team of zoologists at the University of Bonn has discovered that, despite lacking a complex brain, the African elephantnose fish can swap between its electrical and visual senses in the same way a person can switch between sight and touch.Read More

Automotive

One-off open-top Vantage GT12 debuts as Aston Martin's most extreme roadster ever

What do you do if you love the powerful, lightweight Aston Martin Vantage GT12 but want to feel the wind rustling your hair while behind the wheel? You could just open a window, but if you want to do things right, you get Aston to make a roadster version of the 100-model, GT3-inspired limited edition just for you. The all-new Vantage GT12 Roadster is just that, a customer-commissioned one-off that combines the hardcore thrills of the GT12 with a big slice of sky overhead.Read More

Space

Hubble investigates dark spot on Neptune

If Neptune seems a bit blemished of late, it's because NASA has confirmed that a dark spot has shown up in its bluish atmosphere. Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope taken in May show that a dark vortex has appeared in the southern hemisphere. This high-pressure system is accompanied by brighter "companion clouds" and is the first such dark spot to be seen this century.Read More

Good Thinking

Fancy footwear lets amputees get their game on

When Gyorgy (George) Levay lost both hands to a meningitis infection five years ago, many people might have assumed that his gaming days were over. That's far from being the case, however. Working with two other Johns Hopkins University grad students, he's developed a prototype system that lets upper-body amputees control games using their feet. It recently won the grand prize in the 2016 Intell-Cornell Cup, a competition for students who are exploring applications of embedded technology.Read More

Energy

Flower power: Transparent rose-petal skin enhances solar cells

We humans tend to pat ourselves on the back when we make strides in converting the sun's light into energy through solar technology, but plants have been doing much the same thing on Earth for thousands of years. Realizing this, a team of scientists lifted an imprint off rose petals and created a film that significantly boosted the efficiency of solar cells.Read More

Fender wraps Blues Junior amp in a whiskey barrel

Blues music and whiskey go together like guitars and amps. Some of the best tunes to come out of post-war Chicago have the golden nectar flowing through their veins. If your stage presence needs some smoky authenticity to go with your smokin' licks, Fender has announced a limited release of its Blues Junior combo amp that's encased in reclaimed bourbon barrels. Read More

Medical

Secret behind success of breakaway cancer cells uncovered

A team of researchers, led by scientists at the Queen Mary University of London, has made a breakthrough in our understanding of how cancer cells are able to spread around the body and form deadly new tumors. The team found that two proteins work together, exhibiting an unusual behavior that helps keep the cells alive.Read More

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