Unlike most other sea creatures, sea lions use their forelimbs
instead of a tail for propulsion. They also leave virtually no wake as
they travel through the water. With an eye towards applying this design
to human technology, George Washington University professor of
mechanical and aerospace engineering Megan Leftwich has developed a
robotic sea lion flipper.
Scientists have developed a new hydrogel that stretches and contracts just like an artificial muscle. The team created an L-shaped object made out of the hydrogel and immersed it in a water bath. When the water’s temperature was varied, it slowly "walked" forward.
Have you ever looked at a flower and thought, "I wonder what these
colors would look like to a bee"? Perhaps not, but in any case, you can
now find out using your own camera and computer. That's because
scientists from the University of Exeter have developed the
Multispectral Image Calibration and Analysis Toolbox, a piece of free
software that lets you see the colors in photos the way that various
animals would see them.
It's easy to imagine bionic sight as crystal clear and even enhanced, like the augmented body parts in science fiction. But the reality could be very, very different for a typical bionic eye recipient. Researchers at the University of Washington developed visual simulations that indicate what the world might look like to people with retinal implants. The resulting images are, in a word, blurry.
Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have grown underwater chimney-like structures capable of generating enough electricity to power a light bulb. The team linked several of these chimneys to get the required electricity. Their findings indicate that the seafloor equivalents of these chemical gardens might just have contributed the electricity needed for the Earth's first organisms to develop.
When you think of ocean
waves, most people will imagine sitting on a beach watching breakers
roll in from the horizon. However a group of scientists from the
University of Miami have been tracking waves of a different breed –
unseen colossal, skyscraper-tall underwater waves that are present
in every one of our oceans.
Incandescent bulbs, LEDs, and CFLs may soon have to budge up because a new lighting technology is in town – white lasers. Using nanotechnology to create a bespoke semiconducting material, a team of scientists at Arizona State University has developed a laser that can produce white light that is brighter and more efficient than LEDs.
Consumers may soon be able to go for longer between milk-buying trips.
That's because Brazilian company Agrindus hopes to start marketing
plastic milk bottles that use embedded silver nanoparticles to kill
bacteria. Grade A pasteurized fresh whole milk packaged in those bottles can reportedly last for up to 15 days, as opposed to the usual seven.
The scientists that revealed the "world's first solar battery" last year are now, following some modifications, reporting its first significant performance milestone. The device essentially fits a battery and solar cell into the one package, and has now been tested against traditional lithium-iodine batteries, over which the researchers are claiming energy savings of 20 percent.