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Health & Wellbeing

Researchers identify enzyme that holds key to living longer through calorie restriction

Studies have shown that restricting the intake of calories without reducing the intake of vitamins and minerals slows the signs of aging in a wide range of animals including monkeys, rats and fish, and even some fungi. More recent studies provide evidence that calorie restriction can also have the same effect on humans and now researchers at the University of Gothenburg have identified one of the enzymes they claim plays a major role in the aging process. Read More

Motorcycles

BRD electric off-road motorcycle range includes "stealth" police bike with race performance

San Francisco's BRD Motorcycles has begun taking deposits on the 2013 RedShift range of off-road electric motorcycles. BRD claims the performance of the RedShift will be equal to or better than a top-end 250cc four-stroke race motorcycle, which is a lofty target. The most remarkable aspect is that it will sell both the US$15,500 SM supermoto and the US$15,000 MX motocrosser with a police kit for an additional US$2500 with stronger subframe to hold the included hard luggage, plus an uprated electrical system. Read More

Computers

How to increase the data storage density of HDDs - just add salt

While Solid State Drives (SSDs) are seen as the way of the future for computer data storage and their prices have started to come down as their capacities increase, they still can't compete with traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) in terms of bang for your buck. Now a team of researchers from Singapore has moved the goalposts yet again and shown traditional HDDs still have some life in them by developing a process that can increase the data recording density of HDDs to six times that of current models.Read More

Motorcycles

02 Pursuit motorcycle runs on compressed air

A vehicle that runs on air. It sounds like a fantastic idea, but energy is still needed to compress the air and the losses that go hand-in-hand with converting energy still have to be taken into account, just as in fossil fuel-based propulsion systems. Pros and cons aside, we still haven't seen air powered transport make an impact in the race to find economic, environmentally-friendly ways to get from A to B. Industrial Design student Dean Benstead thinks that compressed air does have a role to play in the future transport mix, and he's designed a working air-powered motorcycle prototype with a view to exploring the viability of the platform.Read More

Good Thinking

PlugBug combines MacBook and iDevice charger in one travel-friendly package

The nature of the Apple ecosystem means that many MacBook owners will also carry around an iPhone or iPad - or both. To cut down on the clutter of white Apple chargers vying for an electrical outlet in this situation, TwelveSouth has released its PlugBug accessory that piggybacks on a standard MacBook power adapter to provide an additional USB charge port to charge an aforementioned iDevice and a MacBook at the same time. Read More

Science

Intelligent absorbent removes radioactive material from water

Nuclear power plants are located close to sources of water, which is used as a coolant to handle the waste heat discharged by the plants. This means that water contaminated with radioactive material is often one of the problems to arise after a nuclear disaster. Researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have now developed what they say is a world-first intelligent absorbent that is capable of removing radioactive material from large amounts of contaminated water, resulting in clean water and concentrated waste that can be stored more efficiently.Read More

Spy Gear

DARPA offering US$50,000 for shredded-paper puzzle solutions

Do you like puzzles? If you’re good enough at solving them, it could win you up to US$50,000. That's the maximum prize that DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is offering in its Shredder Challenge. The agency is trying to develop methods of reconstructing shredded documents that U.S. soldiers could use when gathering intelligence in war zones – it also wants to identify shredded-document-reading strategies that could be used against the U.S., so that it can take preemptive measures against them. What better way to do it than by crowd-sourcing?Read More

Medical

New algorithm could significantly reduce MRI scan time

If you've ever had to endure a diagnostic session in a magnetic resonance (MRI) machine, you know that lying motionless for up to 45 minutes can be uncomfortable at best. Add in the countless ear-ringing thumps, bangs and knocks and you have a procedure that begs for any sort of abbreviation. Thanks to a new algorithm developed by an MIT research team, the time spent in that claustrophobic tube may soon be appreciably shortened, without much loss of accuracy. Read More

Medical

Light used to quickly identify misshapen red blood cells

Ordinarily, red blood cells should look like a disc with a medium-sized dimple on the top and bottom. If that dimple is either too large or too small, it can indicate the presence of a disease such as sickle cell anemia or malaria. Pathologists traditionally have had to examine blood samples under a microscope, manually looking for these misshapen cells. A new technique developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, however, uses light to automatically detect such cells within seconds.Read More

Robotics

Walking robot uses its own weight for propulsion

Creating systems that are energy autonomous is a key goal in the development of robotics, and this new walking prototype from Japan's Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT) is a big step in the right direction. To some, calling this device a robot may be a bit of a stretch, especially since it lacks electricity, motors or computers of any kind, but its entry into the Guinness Book of Records last year shows it can certainly go the distance with its weight as the only motive force.Read More

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