If you offer someone "a penny for their thoughts," how good a deal might you be getting? A study conducted at the University of Leicester has sought to shed some light on the value of our brainpower, finding a single penny to be worth to precisely three hours, seven minutes and 30 seconds worth of thinking.
Fusion power can seem a bit like the last bus at night; it's always coming, but never arrives. MIT is working to change that with a new compact tokamak fusion reactor design based on the latest magnetic superconductor technology. The ARC (affordable, robust, compact) reactor design promises smaller, cheaper reactors that could make fusion power practical within 10 years.
Researchers have created printable solid-state batteries that can be printed in any conceivable shape and can be seamlessly embedded into a variety of surfaces. To demonstrate the technology, the scientists printed a working heart-shaped battery onto a cup, another onto a paper eyeglass and even one in the form of the letters "PRISS", all of which were capable of powering LEDs.
A suspect says it on every forensics TV show ... "Of course my
fingerprints were at their house, I delivered a package to them earlier
this week!" Soon, though, that excuse may not be enough. Using a new
technique, investigators could be better able to determine how many days
ago fingerprints were left at a crime scene.
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.
By subtly altering certain quantum interactions in matter, scientists from the University of Leeds have shown for the very first time how to generate magnetism in metals that aren’t normally magnetic. Synthetic magnets made using this technique may one day reduce our reliance on rare or toxic metals in such things as wind turbines, computer hard drives and magnetic field medical imaging devices.
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.