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MOFs are composed of organic linkers held together by metal atoms, and this results in a m...

Researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois, have broken a world record in the creation of two synthetic materials, named NU-109 and NU-110, which have the greatest amount of surface areas of any material to date. To put this into perspective: if one were able to take a crystal of NU-110 the size of a grain of salt, and somehow unfold it, the surface area would cover a desktop. Additionally, the internal surface area of just one gram of the new material would cover one-and-a-half football fields.  Read More

The smart fabric incorporates a web of conductive threads, wired into a microcontroller

If you’re a burglar, and all that separates you from your quarry is what appears to be a simple sheet of fabric, you might not want to cut it. That’s because it could be a new smart fabric, that will set off an alarm if it’s breached. Created by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, the fabric incorporates a web of silver-coated conductive threads that are connected to a microcontroller. If that controller detects a break in the weak electric current that travels through the fibers, it’ll be sure to let the right people know.  Read More

Ghost is a prototype vibrating armband, designed to help athletes with muscle memory

“Muscle memory” is the process in which a certain motor task is repeated to such an extent that it can eventually be performed without conscious effort. It comes in handy for all sorts of activities, but is particularly important to athletes – a tennis player can hardly concentrate on the game, for instance, if they’re constantly thinking about how to move their arm every time they return the ball. Now, engineers from Imperial College London have created an armband device known as Ghost, designed to assist athletes in forming optimum muscle memories.  Read More

Scientists from North Carolina State University are working on remotely controlable sensor...

Much to the annoyance of home-owners everywhere, cockroaches are amazingly tough, and they’re able to squeeze into remarkably small spaces. These are some of the same qualities that researchers would like to see in tiny reconnaissance robots that could perform tasks such as searching earthquake-damaged buildings for survivors. Such adaptable, robust mini-robots would be quite challenging to create, however. A team of scientists from North Carolina State University are working on an alternative – sensor-equipped real cockroaches that are remotely controlled by human operators.  Read More

A robotic exoskeleton that can read thoughts and anticipate the user's actions could find ...

A collaboration between Rice University, the University of Houston and TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital has led to MAHI-EXO II, a sophisticated exoskeleton that could help stroke victims regain movement in the arms by reading the patients' intended actions and nudging them along when needed. The robot wraps the arm from the fingertips to the elbow and uses a non-invasive EEG interface to anticipate gestures and help patients build up strength and accuracy over time.  Read More

New video software may be able to tell if someone is intoxicated, by scanning their face (...

People who are inebriated in public places (such as airliners or malls) can definitely create problems. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to tell if someone really is under the influence. Instead of making every “jolly”-looking person take a breathalyzer test, Greek researchers are suggesting something less intrusive – video software that can spot drunks by analyzing their faces.  Read More

The cable-like flexible batteries being developed by LG are achieving promising performanc...

We've covered our fair share of flexible electronics, but as far as bendability goes, the flexible batteries developed by LG are truly raising the bar by a couple of notches. The Korean company is working on a battery that is shaped like a cable, and can be bent, tied, or even woven into fine sheets with almost no loss in discharge performance.  Read More

The straight-sided and curved glasses used in the team's experiments (Image: PLoS ONE)

Are you getting blotto on lager more often than you should? If the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology is to be believed, then you can (try to) blame your glass. According to Dr. Angela Atwood, drinking out of a curved glass makes you drink lager faster.  Read More

Fluorescent 3D pattern 180 µm wide (Image: Vienna University of Technology)

Three-dimensional printers are popping up everywhere these days. Some are small enough to fit in a briefcase and others are large enough to build print houses, but scientists at the Vienna University of Technology are going for the microscopic. Earlier this year, the university built a 3D printer that uses lasers to operate on a tiny small scale. Now they're refining the technique to enable precise placement a selected molecule in a three-dimensional material. This process, called “3D-photografting,” can potentially be used to create a “lab on a chip” or artificially grow living tissue.  Read More

A high-temperature superconductor levitating in a magnetic field (Image: David.Monniaux)

When people have a difficult problem they often talk about “shining a light on it.” Creating and controlling high-temperature superconductors has been a problem for scientists and engineers for over two decades. Now, Yoram Dagan, a professor at Tel Aviv University's (TAU) Department of Physics and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, has made a breakthrough in superconductors by literally shining a light on them. By doing this, he is able to control their properties.  Read More

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