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Efficiency gains: Mazda's hydrogen hybrids

Mazda has committed to cutting the fuel consumption of its vehicles by an average of 30% by 2015. The company is exploring a combination of fuel-cutting initiatives, including the development of lighter-weight technologies aimed at reducing vehicle weight by 100 kilograms from 2011, carbon neutral bioplastics, an Idle Stop system and an advanced version of the emissions-reducing Three Layer Wet Paint System fist introduced in 2005. Integral to the plan is the renewal of its entire powertrain lineup by 2015, with tests of its hydrogen hybrid system continuing ahead of plans for release in Japan in the coming fiscal year, as well as plans for a new gasoline rotary engine and new diesel engines.  Read More

the ErockIT – 50 mph pedal electric hybrid motorcycle

The idea of an electric-assist bicycle has been around for some time, with Aprilia’s Enjoy the first really convincing argument that the genre had a future – now there’s another variation on the electric pedal-assist theme, but it’s much more a motorcycle than a bike, and indeed, it might be one of the quickest forms of inner city transport on the planet. The whole thing weighs just 110 kilograms and with over 45lb/ft of torque and 13bhp, it can top 50mph. Pedaling is required to get those figures, but they’re pretty awesome figures giving it 250cc motorcycle performance. This very exciting development in the inevitable move to electric two-wheelers will cost around EUR 25,000 (US$39,000) and will be available in limited quantities in 2009.  Read More

Robotic surgery milestone: Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr.

The rise of robotic surgery has marked a new age in medical science and one of its pioneers has just reached a major milestone. Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr. has performed his 400th robotic-assisted mitral valve repair at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.  Read More

Live Luggage power assisted suitcase

One of humanity's great technological achievements, the wheel has been with us since before recorded history began. For some reason though, it wasn't until the 1980's that the very, very sensible idea of attaching them to a suitcase took-off and the era of "wheelie luggage" began. Technology doesn't rest though, and after just a few decades another pioneering travel innovation has emerged - the power assisted suitcase. Billed as a world first and five years in the making, Live Luggage is set to premiere its power assisted luggage range which uses in-wheel "pancake" electric motors, tilt sensors and an intelligent torque control system to power the wheels when the handle is tilted and pressure is applied - good news for the weary traveler!  Read More

Multitasking and why it's not good for you

With mobile computing offering 24/7 access to the internet and email, many of us have become perpetual multitaskers, paying continuous partial attention to many things, constantly scanning for opportunities and staying on top of contacts, events, and activities in an effort to miss nothing. Never in history has the human brain been asked to track so many data points. New research suggests that multitasking is not good for you and unquestionably supports limiting the amount of multitasking we do.  Read More

Genius SP-T1200 touch speakers

Push-button technology is just soo 20th century. Driven by versatility, user friendliness, and because they just look so good, touch-screens are fast becoming the interface of choice... and mobile phones are just the beginning. Genius has just announced its latest notebook speaker system which features touch panel control of on/off, mute, volume, bass and treble functions.  Read More

Honda launches Auto-Max railcars

Honda has taken steps to minimizing the environmental impact of its cars before they hit the road with the introduction of its fleet of Auto-Max railcars.  Read More

Pedestrian power: the Spinnaker Tower

Peak oil is proving a great motivator for the exploration of radical alternative energy ideas and ongoing developments show that we haven’t even scratched the surface. The latest shining example comes from the UK, where plans to harness the power of pedestrians to generate electricity are underway.  Read More

New technique lifts fingerprints off cleaned guns

Wiping the gun clean has long been considered best practice for villains but may soon become a quaint custom that will ultimately prove fruitless. Researchers have developed a method to ‘visualize fingerprints’ even after the print itself has been removed by measuring the corrosion of the surface by deposits from the fingerprints. The technique can enhance – after firing– a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small caliber metal cartridge case before it is fired. The technique promises the ability to reopen many cases and solve cold cases around the world because the “underlying print never disappears” according to the scientists.  Read More

The Optiscan confocal Endomicroscope is able to show cells at this high magnification leve...

In order to view cells at a high enough magnification to identify cancerous and pre-cancerous growths, doctors currently have to perform biopsy surgery - the invasive removal of cells so they can be examined in a laboratory. But a new Australian endoscope technology is about to remove the need for a biopsy altogether by offering doctors the ability to examine tissue at single-cell and sub-cellular magnification levels as the camera moves through the body. Optiscan's miniature endomicroscope offers up to 1000x magnification as opposed to the 40x magnification of traditional endoscopes, and will greatly speed up the detection and diagnosis of cancerous cells.  Read More

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