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— Science

Scientists hope to collect electricity from the air

By - August 25, 2010
Nikola Tesla once dreamed of being able to harness electricity from the air. Now, research being conducted at Brazil’s University of Campinas (UC) is indicating that such a scenario may indeed become a reality. Professor Fernando Galembeck, a UC chemist, is leading the study into the ways in which electricity builds up and spreads in the atmosphere, and how it could be collected. “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future," he stated. "Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect.” Read More
— Automotive

Buckeye Bullet 2.5 claims battery electric vehicle world land speed record of 307.7mph

By - August 25, 2010 4 Pictures
The Bullet Buckeye team from Ohio State University has set a world record average two-way speed of 307.7mph (495km/h) with its battery electric Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5. The lithium ion battery powered car eclipsed the previous 245mph (394km/h) world land speed record for battery electric vehicles set in 1999 by White Lightning. The new record was set by the Bullet at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this week, is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the worldwide motor sports governing body. Read More
— Science

Biosynthetic corneas restore vision to humans

By - August 25, 2010
A study made public this Wednesday has shown that biosynthetic corneas can and do restore eyesight in humans. Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the University of Ottawa in Canada, along with Linköping University in Sweden, conducted a clinical trial using ten Swedish patients with advanced keratoconus or central corneal scarring. Each patient had the damaged corneal tissue in one eye surgically replaced with a biosynthetic cornea made from synthetically cross-linked recombinant human collagen. After two years, six of the patients’ vision had improved. After being fitted with contact lenses, their vision was comparable to that of someone who had received a real human cornea transplant. Read More
— Science

Yahoo’s Time Explorer lets users search the future

By - August 25, 2010 3 Pictures
Earlier this month we took a look at Recorded Future, a company that uses information scoured from thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to make predictions about the future. Now, Yahoo’s Barcelona research lab has created a similar prototype news search engine called Time Explorer. It creates timelines based on search queries that not only provide a way to check the accuracy of past predictions, but also allows users to view predictions that are yet to occur. Read More
— Good Thinking

'Dry water' could be used to store carbon dioxide

By - August 25, 2010
You know, I’m pretty sure I remember a Far Side cartoon or something, where someone was selling powdered water – “Just add water!” Well, dry water isn’t quite the same thing. It’s 95 percent liquid water, but that water takes the form of tiny droplets each encased in a tiny globe of silica. The resultant substance is dry and granular. It first came to light in 1968, and was used in cosmetics. More recently, a University of Liverpool research team has been looking into other potential uses for the substance. They have found several, but most interesting is its ability to store gases such as carbon dioxide. Read More
— Digital Cameras

New PLAYTOUCH and EASYSHARE social networking cameras from Kodak

By - August 25, 2010 13 Pictures
Kodak has unveiled a pocket-friendly digital video camera and a 14MP point-and-shoot, both with a special button for tagging movies and snaps for upload to social networking sites or to send via email. The PLAYTOUCH video camera can record up to 1080p high definition video, includes face-tracking technology and a handy HDMI-out port. The svelte EASYSHARE M590 digital camera can also shoot high definition movies, although at the lower resolution of 720p, and benefits from optical image stabilization and a high sensitivity range. Images can also be tagged and sent to the company's PULSE Digital Photo Frame, which has just been given a bigger screen. Read More
— Medical

New technology could prolong the life of medical implants

By - August 25, 2010
Researchers at the University of Louisville/Jewish Hospital's Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII) have discovered a method for preventing scar tissue from forming around implantation devices. This discovery could have a great impact on the functionality of common implanted devices, such as pacemakers, chemotherapy ports and glucose sensors. According to the study, if a unique system of blood vessels is created to interact with local tissue around an implanted device, better long term results can be achieved. The process involves “pre-vascularizing” a device prior to implantation, using what the team call a microvascular construct (MVC), which consists of blood vessels contained within a collagen gel. The idea is that a device will be coated in this gel prior to implantation. Since the body’s natural process is to find a foreign object and form a scar around it, this new study could prevent this problem from occurring. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

More ammunition in the argument against solariums

By - August 25, 2010 2 Pictures
Ever since the 1920s, getting a tan has been highly fashionable in many Western cultures. Despite the growing mountain of evidence regarding the dangers, many (mainly young) people continue to use solariums as a way to attain what is often seen as a “healthy tan.” However, the evidence just keeps piling up with two new studies out of Australia, home of the “bronzed Aussie,” showing that using a solarium significantly raises ones chances of being diagnosed with skin cancer and that the risks increase as the age of solarium use decreases. Read More
— Space

Astronomers use giant magnifying lens in space to probe dark energy

By - August 25, 2010
Dark energy has been described as the greatest puzzle of our universe. This mysterious force, discovered in 1998, is pushing the universe apart at ever-increasing speeds and astronomers have now devised a new method of measuring it. Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers were able to take advantage of a giant magnifying lens in space – a massive cluster of galaxies – to narrow in on the nature of dark energy. Their calculations, when combined with data from other methods, significantly increase the accuracy of dark energy measurements and may eventually lead to an explanation of what the elusive phenomenon really is. Read More
— Automotive

Toyota to sell onboard audio alert system for Prius

By - August 24, 2010
Having grown up with the roar of gasoline-powered engines, most people rely not only on their eyes, but also their ears when detecting the danger of an oncoming vehicle. The quiet whirring of an electric a hybrid vehicle operating at low speeds isn’t enough to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s approach and poses particular risks to the blind. To address this problem Toyota has announced that it will begin selling an onboard audio device that provides alerts pedestrians to the presence of quiet vehicles, such as its gasoline-electric hybrid Prius. Read More
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