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Inventors and Remarkable People

The prize-winning techniques have removed the theoretical limits of optical microscopes (P...

Ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek turned his simple microscope on a bit of pond water in the 17th century, optical microscopes have been a key tool for biologists. Unfortunately, they’re rather limited as to the smallness of what they can see – or at least, they were. This year's winners of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner, changed all that. Their discovery of two methods to bypass the physical limits of optical microscopes led to the creation of the field of nanomicroscopy.  Read More

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to the inventors of the blue LED, which i...

Thomas Edison may have invented the lightbulb, but he never received the Nobel Prize for it. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano at the University of Nagoya, and Shuji Nakamura working at Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, Japan have proven more successful, being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of the blue LED, which is the key to modern energy-efficient lighting.  Read More

Taj Pabari (left) has developed DIY tablet kits designed as educational tools for kids

Less than one year ago, 14-year-old Taj Pabari was like any other kid, toiling away on a 3D printer at school (ok, maybe not quite like any other kid). An assignment required the class to sandwich two pieces of plastic together, but where some students simply saw air, Pabari envisioned the makings of a new kind of educational toy. Fast-forward some 10 months and he finds himself shortlisted for a Young Innovator of the Year award and pitching his product to potential investors. So what is it that has catapulted Pabari from the classroom to rubbing shoulders with industry leaders in the space of a year? Gizmag caught up with the Australian entrepreneur to learn all about his Lego-inspired tablet kits and how he plans on changing the face of IT education.  Read More

Lyman Connor works on his bionic hand

It seems like hardly a month goes by without news reaching us of advances in the field of bionic hands. Unfortunately, however, these high-tech prostheses can be very costly to purchase, with prices ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. This puts them out of reach of a large number of people, such as a boy that General Electric engineer Lyman Connor met last year. Connor proceeded to design and build a low-cost bionic hand in his home workshop, which he now hopes to make available to amputees-on-a-budget .... plus he hopes to get one to the boy, if only he can locate him.  Read More

Second Livestock: 'Cockulus Rift' project aims to improve the lives of battery hens using ...

Battery hens live pretty grim lives – but what if their lot could be improved with the use of virtual reality? Second Livestock is a project that envisions caged hens being fitted with VR goggles, microphones and movement sensors to give them the impression that they're out in the barnyard doing ... whatever it is chickens prefer to do all day. If the chickens themselves believe they're free and happy, does that mean they should get the free range stamp, even though they're cooped up?  Read More

The Strandbeest Plaudens Vela can walk in the wind at low speeds and avoid tumbling over i...

How many artificial animals can you encounter on a seaside walk? More than one if you frequent the Dutch coastline where Theo Jansen's moving artworks amble along with the help of their rudimentary senses. The complex wind-powered skeletal constructs that Jansen calls "Strandbeests," or beach beasts, are designed to stay on the beach and live off the sea breeze.  Read More

Artificial shells for hermit crabs by Aki Inomata (© AKI INOMATA)

About this time two years ago, we looked at the efforts of Miles Lightwood and the Thingiverse community to 3D print shells for hermit crabs, but Tokyo-born artist Aki Inomata has been creating artificial shells for hermit crabs since 2009. Her most recent efforts are intricate and ornate, incorporating ideas on the theme of national identity through depictions of city skylines and vernacular architecture. The hermit crabs seem to like them too.  Read More

Scott Carpenter on the phone with President John F Kennedy after the Aurora 7 mission (Ima...

Scott Carpenter, one of the last surviving Mercury 7 astronauts, has died at the age of 88. The second American to go into orbit and the fourth Mercury astronaut to travel into space, Carpenter is also remembered for his contributions to oceanography.  Read More

Easton LaChappelle demonstrates his prosthetic arm to President Barack Obama at the third ...

Advanced prosthetics have come a long way in the last few years, but the costs have also skyrocketed. A cheaper alternative may be on its way thanks to Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year old high school student from Colorado, who is using free online resources and the boom in inexpensive 3D printers to develop a functional prosthetic arm and hand. His projects have already earned him an invitation to the White House, and he's now working at NASA on the Robonaut team.  Read More

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