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— Electronics

World’s smallest chess set and single hair barber win big in micro object contest

By - June 20, 2010 3 Pictures
Anyone who subscribes to the view that good things come in small packages would no doubt be impressed by the winners of this year’s design contest held at Sandia Labs for novel and educational microelectromechanical systems (MEMs). The big, or should I say exceedingly small, winners were the world’s smallest chessboard, which is about the diameter of four human hairs, and a pea-sized microbarbershop that is intended to service a single hair. Read More
— Marine

Solar Sailing in Shanghai

By - June 20, 2010 4 Pictures
A couple of years ago, we told you about an eco-friendly resort in the U.S. that was planning on using solar-diesel hybrid houseboats designed by Solarsailor. The boats would feature large, moving photovoltaic “wings” that would not only track the sun to gather energy, but also serve as rigid sails – so the boats could move via solar, diesel or wind power. When docked, the boats’ panels would still gather solar energy, which they would feed into the resort’s power grid. The technology has now been implemented on a passenger ferry, the Suntech-Guosheng, that will take up to 180 sightseers on cruises of the Huangpu River as part of the Shanghai World Expo. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Trashed LCD TVs could fight harmful bacteria

By - June 20, 2010 1 Picture
Who would have thought television could be good for you? Researchers at the University of York in the U.K. have transformed a chemical compound found in LCD television sets into an anti-microbial substance that destroys infections such as Escherichia coli and some strains of Staphylococcus aureus. The treated polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) could potentially also be used in tissue scaffolds to help parts of the body regenerate, pills and dressings that deliver drugs, and hospital cleaning products to prevent infection. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Implantable & wearable monitoring devices for the tech-savvy generation

By - June 19, 2010 2 Pictures
Once the realm of science fiction, implantable devices able to take on the work of the heart - pacemakers - are now commonplace, but what might the future hold for equipment that monitors our vital signs? A Finnish researcher believes tomorrow's tech-savvy generation will be more than comfortable with implantable electrocardiogram (EKG) devices that constantly monitor and provide instant feedback on their health, and can also provide instant access to medical data in emergencies. Read More
— Science

1948 technology could help today's submariners breathe easier

By - June 18, 2010 2 Pictures
Submarine crews could be breathing much healthier air thanks to miniscule devices based on 62 year-old technology. Currently, carbon dioxide is removed from the air in submarines through a reaction with chemicals such as calcium hydroxide. Chemical engineers from England’s University of Bath are collaborating with mechanical engineers from Duke University in the US, to develop a chemical-free filtration system. It utilizes seawater and tiny folded wire mesh rings known as Dixon rings. Read More
— Science

CERN to open 'Universe of Particles' exhibition

By - June 18, 2010 18 Pictures
Do you know your quarks from your leptons? Need to brush up on wave-particle duality? CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has announced that it will open a permanent “Universe of Particles” exhibition on the ground floor of its incredible conference center - the Globe of Science and Innovation. The exhibition is designed to provide visitors with a fascinating insight into the world of particles and will feature a display on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest accelerator – or as CERN describes it, “one of the most sophisticated scientific tools ever built to explore new territories of knowledge.” Read More
— Automotive

Better Place launches battery switching system for EVs

By - June 18, 2010 2 Pictures
By now must of us are aware of the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs). They’re better for the environment, they’re quiet, they have less moving parts and are therefore more reliable and cheaper to operate and maintain than their combustion-powered counterparts. But it’s obviously not all upside or EVs would be the rule on our roads rather than the exception. One of the major hurdles holding EVs back is the time it takes for them to recharge their batteries. One solution is swapping a dead battery for a fully charged one. That’s just what a project in Tokyo is doing with the launch the world’s first switchable-battery electric taxi. Read More
— Around The Home

RavenWindow automatically changes transparency with temperature

By - June 17, 2010 1 Picture
Windows that change their tint are not new, but this window by RavenBrick does so without any energy use required. The RavenWindow changes its transparency depending on the temperature, so basically if it's hot outside less heat passes through it and if it's cold outside then it becomes more transparent, allowing in more heat from the sun. The implications are obvious – savings on your energy bill as a result of reduced use of your heater or air conditioner. With "America's Greenest Building" commissioning the first commercial installation of the product, it's bound to have a bright future. Read More
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