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Sports

Nike develops performance rubber sole for prosthetic running blades

By now, probably just about everyone has seen amazing footage of single- or double-amputee runners, using Össur's Flex-Run carbon fiber running blades. The springy substitutes for legs allow their users to run so fast and naturally, that there is currently a debate over whether or not it would be fair to allow athletes using them to compete against non-amputees. Carbon fiber isn't exactly known for its grippy qualities, however, so Nike has been working with one-legged triathlete Sarah Reinertsen, to create the equivalent of a shoe that could be used with the blades. The result is the Nike Sole.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

"Fracture putty" could speed healing of broken bones

Anyone who has ever broken a bone knows that while receiving the injury itself is quite unpleasant, being laid up for several weeks to even a few months afterwards is also no picnic. Help may be on the way, however. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding a study, to develop fast bone-healing treatments that could be used on soldiers, along with civilians and even animals. Already, scientists have gotten promising results in laboratory tests, using something they call “fracture putty.”Read More

Automotive

DoubleBack adds a sliding pod to VW's Transporter van

It was over thirty years ago that Volkswagen first started offering “pop tops” on its camper vans. In the years since, the soft-sided interior height-extenders have become a common sight on VW vans parked in campgrounds all over the world. Now, Welsh company Overlander Motorhomes is offering what it sees as the logical compliment to the pop top – it’s the DoubleBack, a sliding insulated pod that extends the interior length of Volkwagen’s T5 Transporter van.Read More

Digital Cameras

Olympus details impressive OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera

At first glance, you might think that you've seen the new E-M5 from Olympus before, and you'd be right. Kind of. The new Micro Four Thirds camera is based on the classic lines of the OM series film SLR cameras first introduced in 1972, and becomes the first of the company's OM-D Series. Olympus trumpets its arrival as the beginning of a new era in digital imaging and has included a number of breaking technologies to support its claims.Read More

Good Thinking

Yumemiru app aims to let you control your dreams

We all wish we could control what our dreams are at night, whether it's to pretend we have powers like Superman or simply to enjoy a relaxing stroll through a mansion on the Moon that happens to have a talking lion for a butler, complete with monocle. Sadly, we're still a long way away from programming our sleeping moments like a Netflix queue, but one Japanese app may have a quick solution. The Yumemiru app for iOS can detect when you enter dream sleep and then plays a soundtrack to influence what happens in your dreams.Read More

Games

Programmer nails real-time rendering of ultra-realistic human skin

Graphics researcher Jorge Jimenez has cracked the problem of rendering what he calls "ultra realistic skin" in real-time with consumer-level computer and graphics hardware. It's a breakthrough made possible by the process of separable subsurface scattering (SSS) which quickly renders the translucent properties of skin and its effect on light in two post-processing passes. The code is based wholly on original research using DirectX 10. Jimenez describes the achievement as the result of hours of "research, desperation, excitement, happiness, pride, sadness and extreme dedication."Read More

Deep Blue luxury catamaran designed as submarine support vessel

Luxury yacht designers Ardoin Yacht Design and U-Boat Worx submarines have collaborated on the perfect companion for U-Boat's one, two or three person submarines. The Deep Blue catamaran can carry the submarine and 12 passengers to your diving spot at up to 30 knot speeds, then hydraulically lower and raise the submarine for launching and docking.Read More

Aircraft

NASA launches search for greener propellant

NASA has put out the call for greener propellant fuel for use on the spacecraft of the future. Though it does not appear that NASA has stipulated that alternative propellants must match the performance of current mainstay hydrazine, it's clear that only high-performance substances need apply. Environmental credentials are where the new fuel must demonstrate an edge over hydrazine, which is a corrosive, toxic pollutant. As well as the environmental benefits, use of greener propellants should prove more economical, reducing the need for involved safety procedures that can lengthen launch times.Read More

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