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— Medical

Elastic, wound-healing hydrogel activated by light

By - July 5, 2015 2 Pictures

Hydrogels have huge potential in the field of biomedicine, but aren't without their shortcomings in their existing form. These tiny polypeptide chains are championed for their many possible applications. Indeed, in the last few years alone we've seen advances that suggest they could find use in generating new heart tissue, fighting off superbugs and the controlled release of anti-inflammatory drugs. But researchers have now developed a hydrogel that mimics the elasticity of human tissue and can be activated by exposure to light, claiming it could offer safer means of repairing wounded tissue.

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— Space

Contact temporarily lost with New Horizons spacecraft

By - July 5, 2015 2 Pictures

Like a racehorse stumbling at the finish line, NASA's New Horizons deep space probe gave mission control a moment of anxiety on July 4 as communications were temporarily lost. The unmanned nuclear-powered spacecraft, which is only nine days from its historic flyby with the dwarf planet Pluto, lost contact with the Deep Space Network at 1:54 pm EDT before coming back online at 3:15 pm.

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— Environment

Kepler Energy reveals plans for tidal energy scheme in Bristol Channel

By - July 5, 2015 4 Pictures

With its large tidal range, Britain's Bristol Channel has a huge potential for generating tidal electric power. The problem is that, until now, schemes for tapping that power have required building dams and barrages so gigantic they would have given even the most wild-eyed Victorian engineer pause. As a more economical alternative, Kepler Energy has announced plans for a 30 MW tidal energy fence to be built in the Channel. With an estimated cost of £143 million (US$223 million), the underwater fence would be built in the water somewhere along the line between Aberthaw and Minehead and could be operational by 2021.

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— Wearable Electronics

ADAMAAS smart glasses to assist elderly and disabled in everyday tasks

By - July 5, 2015 2 Pictures

We've seen various head-mounted wearables, such as the Motorola HC1, Golden-i and the AITT system, which are designed to give industrial workers or military personnel a helping hand in carrying out highly specialized tasks. But what about the elderly or disabled that struggle with everyday tasks? That's the niche a pair of smart glasses developed through the "Adaptive and Mobile Action Assistance in Daily Living Activities" (ADAMAAS) project are intended to fill.

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— Environment

Australia's vast geothermal energy resources represent thousands of years worth of untapped power

By - July 5, 2015 3 Pictures

Australia is sitting on top of some of the world's most potent geothermal energy sources, according to government estimates. Just one percent of the hot rock energy less than 5 km under the surface would be enough to meet the whole country's entire power needs for 26,000 years if it was tapped. So why aren't we seeing more movement on it?

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— Good Thinking

X-Tainer shipping container expands into a giant pavilion

By - July 5, 2015 17 Pictures

The lateral leap of shipping containers from goods movers to ready-made housing, offices, and restaurants has opened up new possibilities for architects, event planners, and relief workers. But the very standard sizes that make such containers so useful also impose limits. Having developed containers that can load and unload themselves, Excalibur Shelters has continued to think outside the box with the creation of a standard size shipping container that unfolds into very large shelters and pavilions.

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— Automotive

One and only Maserati Boomerang concept headed for auction

By - July 5, 2015 15 Pictures

With low profiles, origami-like angles, and razor-sharp contours, the wedge-shaped supercars of the 1970s were the epitome of outrageous automotive style. Whilst the likes of the Lamborghini Countach, the Lotus Esprit, and the BMW M1 were the on-road embodiment of this ethos, the Maserati Boomerang concept car that preceded them took this style to the limit. Now, more than 40 years after it made its first appearance, this one-off automotive icon will be offered for sale by auction.

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— Mobile Technology

Chevy gives smartphones their own air conditioning vent

By - July 5, 2015 3 Pictures

Hot cars and smartphones don't mix. It’s not uncommon for our phones to be warm to the touch during summer months, especially when charging them up or using them for intensive tasks like navigation. This can slow down your phone’s processor and suck the life out of your battery, or even do permanent damage. To help combat the issue, Chevy is introducing an "industry first" Active Phone Cooling feature.

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