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— Automotive

Batmobile replica powered by real jet engine

Last October, we told you about the full-scale working Batmobile replica built by movie prop-maker Bob Dullam. The version of the iconic superhero vehicle that Dullam chose to recreate was the rugged, Hummer-esque beauty from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, known as the Tumbler. Well, that car now has some company on the road, in the form of a street-legal copy of the smoother, slinkier Batmobile that first appeared in 1989’s Batman. Built by Ohio auto restorer and designer Casey Putsch in just five months out of race car and military surplus parts, the vehicle is incredibly faithful to the original ... to the point that it’s powered by an actual jet engine. Read More
— Medical

Synthetic gel could restore function to damaged vocal chords

Whether caused by intubation during surgery, laryngeal cancer, lesion removal, or simply overuse, vocal cord scarring can limit or even eliminate some peoples' ability to speak. This is because the scar tissue is stiff, and doesn't allow the vocal cords to vibrate adequately. Some doctors have tried to soften the tissue using materials from the fields of plastic surgery and dermatology, but the treatment doesn't work in all cases, and the effects are said not to last very long. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School, however, are developing a new approach - an injectable gel that mimics vocal cord tissue. Read More
— Games

RTS game runs on a 20 foot-wide multi-touch LCD wall

Artur Nishimoto, a graduate student at the University of Illinois' Electronic Visualization Laboratory, has developed one of the most unique RTS games set in the Star Wars universe. Called Fleet Commander, the tactical space battle game initially worked on a 52-inch TacTile multi-touch display, but it has been ported to function as a multi-user game played on a 20 foot (6 meter) wide LCD touch wall. Read More
— Outdoors

Experiencing nature from your private Bubble

French designer Pierre Stephane Dumas has created a range of portable transparent huts, offering a quiet space to retreat to. The idea behind his Bubble collection was to create a temporary leisure accommodation that had the least impact on the surrounding environment, whilst also giving the impression of being amongst nature. The range includes the BubbleTree, CristalBubble, BubbleLodge and BubbleRoom, which are all suitable to spend a night in, without disturbing the natural surroundings. Read More
— Science

New technology developed for the large-scale editing of DNA

While scientists have long had the ability to edit individual genes, it is a slow, expensive and hard to use process. Now researchers at Harvard and MIT have developed technologies, which they liken to the genetic equivalent of the find-and-replace function of a word processing program, that allow them to make large-scale edits to a cell’s genome. The researchers say such technology could be used to design cells that build proteins not found in nature, or engineer bacteria that are resistant to any type of viral infection. Read More
— Electronics

Breakthrough in development of cable for ultra-efficient electricity grid of the future

The United States’ copper-based electric grid is estimated to leak electricity at an estimated five percent per 100 miles (161 km) of transmission. With power plants usually located far from where the electricity they produce will actually be consumed, this can add up to a lot of wasted power. A weave of metallic nanotubes known as armchair quantum wire (AQW) is seen as an ideal solution as it can carry electricity over long distances with negligible loss, but manufacturing the massive amounts of metallic single walled carbon nanotubes required for the development of this “miracle cable” has proven difficult. Now researchers have made a pivotal breakthrough that could make the development of such a cable possible. Read More
— Automotive

San Diego to get North America’s first all-electric car2go car-sharing fleet

car2go, the car-sharing service that began in Ulm, Germany in 2008 before spreading to Austin, Texas, Hamburg, Germany and Vancouver, Canada, has now announced it will launch a service in San Diego that will be the first car-sharing program in North America with a 100 percent electric vehicle fleet. The San Diego car2go program is due to start operations before the end of 2011 with 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

'Intelligent bed' designed to prevent bedsores

Decubitus ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores, are a common and potentially serious problem for bedridden hospital patients. Staff are often required to regularly turn patients over in their beds, as the sores are the result of too much prolonged pressure to the skin, caused by lying on one spot for too long. Turning those patients over (especially the larger ones) can be physically difficult work, however, plus some facilities won't always have enough staff on hand to do the turning as often as needed. Swiss entrepreneur Michael Sauter thought the situation needed addressing, so he invented a bed that turns the patients over itself. Read More
— Science

New process discovered for chemically storing solar energy

While solar panels are very useful at converting the sun’s rays into electricity for immediate use, the storage of that energy for later use is ... well, it’s still being figured out. The energy can be used to charge batteries, for instance, but that charge will wear off over time. Instead, scientists have been looking at thermo-chemical storage of solar energy. Last year, researchers from MIT discovered that the chemical fulvalene diruthenium was quite an effective storage medium. Unfortunately, the ruthenium element that it contains is rare and expensive. Now, however, one of those same scientists has created a new storage material that is cheaper, and is able to store much more energy. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Mophie pulse promises haptic feedback and audio boost for the iPod touch

While the iPod touch 4G is known for its gaming capabilities, it doesn't support haptic feedback, which could enhance the mobile gaming experience. Unveiled at CES 2011, the mophie pulse is aimed at changing that. It's an iPod touch case that utilizes ViviTouch technology, in order to generate tactile feedback in the form of various touchscreen vibrations synchronized with in-game sound effects. Read More
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