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Scientists have created a metallic material that can switch back and forth between hard an...

We may not yet have the liquid metal depicted in the Terminator movies, but scientists have now developed something that’s vaguely along the same lines. German materials scientist Dr. Jörg Weißmüller and Chinese research scientist Hai-Jun Jin have created a metallic material that can change back and forth between being strong but brittle and soft but malleable, via electrical signals.  Read More

CERN's antiproton decelerator, which was used to trap the antihydrogen atoms (Photo: Maxim...

Researchers involved in the ALPHA experiment at Switzerland’s CERN complex announced yesterday (June 5) that they have succeeded in using the facility's antiproton decelerator to trap antimatter atoms for 1,000 seconds – or just over 16 minutes. This was reportedly enough time to begin studying their properties in detail, which has been the goal of ALPHA since the project began in 2005.  Read More

Brain-implanted polymer-coated electrodes could be used to detect and prevent seizures (Im...

In the future, people who are prone to seizures may get an array of electrodes implanted in their brains. These electrodes would be capable of detecting the onset of a seizure, and then releasing medication to prevent it from happening. While it might sound far-fetched, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have already demonstrated the technology on lab rats.  Read More

A scanning electron microscope image of a pattern imprinted on nanoporous gold, using DIPS...

Imagine how long it would have taken to produce vinyl record albums if, instead of pressing them from master molds, the grooves had to be etched into each individual LP? Well, that's pretty much been the case when it comes to creating devices from porous nanomaterials - the microscopic patterns necessary for their functioning have had to be applied to each individual nanodevice, requiring considerable time and a perfect environment. Now, however, researchers from Nashville's Vanderbilt University have developed a system for quickly stamping out whole batches of the devices.  Read More

Minty Geek has developed a collection of electronic circuit-building projects, and put all...

Electronics-loving orthodontic clinician Dr. Mark Brickley has developed a collection of electronic circuit-building experiments, tested them on unsuspecting colleagues, and then squeezed them into a retro mint tin. After a few refinements, the Minty Geek Electronics Lab 101 kit was recently launched at the Maker Faire in Newcastle, UK. I spent a very productive few hours getting to grips with my inner geek and experiencing a genuine sense of achievement as I managed to create a morse code generator and an alarm that alerts me when someone opens the lid of my cashbox.  Read More

Pix4D is a program that creates 3D aerial images by combining hundreds of 2D photographs, ...

While Google Earth can be extremely useful - not to mention a lot of fun - it now has some competition in the form of Pix4D. Instead of satellites, the imaging system uses a small, relatively inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to acquire several hundred 2D photographs of a given geographical area. Those photos are then merged into one image, which users can explore in three dimensions on a computer screen.  Read More

Hydrogen generated from sunlight and ethanol

An international team of scientists has announced success in creating hydrogen at ambient temperature and pressure using a combination of sunlight and ethanol. The team of researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Scotland’s University of Aberdeen and New Zealand’s University of Auckland say the method is potentially cheaper, produces higher yields and, because no high temperatures or pressures are required, uses less energy than conventional methods.  Read More

Thorium could provide a cleaner and more abundant alternative to uranium (Photo: Three Mil...

The world's growing need for energy, the limits of our supply of fossil fuels and concern about the effects of carbon emissions on the environment have all prompted interest in the increased use of nuclear power. Yet the very word "nuclear" carries with it an association of fear. People are concerned about the waste produced by reactors, the possibility of catastrophic accidents as highlighted by recent events in Japan and the link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Yet what if there existed a means of nuclear power generation with which these risks were drastically reduced?  Read More

Scientists have created a thin handheld microscope that can obtain high-quality images in ...

With conventional microscopy, if a scientist wishes to obtain a high-resolution image of a relatively broad area, they typically have to use a microscope that scans across that area in a grid pattern, recording many images one point at a time. Those images are then joined together to form one complete picture. Such systems take a long time to perform a scan, so both the microscope and the subject must be held still while it's taking place. Researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, however, have created a thin, handheld microscope that can reportedly obtain similar-quality images in less than one second.  Read More

The students from Steven Institute of Technology responsible for the new microreactor that...

With up to 80 percent of the weight of a soldier’s gear attributable to batteries, the U.S. Army is obviously interested in replacement technologies that deliver a reliable, reusable power source. Chemical Engineering students at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey believe their invention of a microreactor that can convert everyday fossil fuels such as butane and propane into pure hydrogen for fuel cell batteries might be the answer.  Read More

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