Introducing the Gizmag Store

Science

A new heat-regulating material could be used in buildings to cut heating and cooling costs

Researchers at the Ningpo, China campus of the University of Nottingham (UNNC) have created a new heat-regulating material that could be used to cut the heating and cooling costs of buildings. The non-deformed storage phase change material (PCM) can be fixed so that it starts absorbing any excess heat above a pre-determined temperature and releasing stored heat when the ambient temperature drops below the set point. The researchers say the material can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes, even small enough so that it can be sprayed as a microscopic film to surfaces in existing buildings.  Read More

Harsha Agashe, a Ph.D. student in Contreras-Vidal's lab at UMD wears the Brain Cap, a non-...

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) continue to advance the development of their “brain cap” technology that allows users to turn their thoughts into motion. The team has already had success in using EEG brain signals captured from the cap’s 64 electrodes attached to users’ scalps to reconstruct 3D hand movements and to control a computer cursor with their thoughts, and now the team has successfully reconstructed the complex 3D-movements of the ankle, knee and hip joints during treadmill walking. The aim is to provide a non-invasive technology that can return motor function to victims of paralysis, injury or stroke.  Read More

An illustration depicting X-ray flashes being generated in the XFEL(Image: European XFEL)

In order to capture slow-motion footage in which a bullet can actually be seen traveling through the air, a camera has to film at a speed somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 frames per second. Given that as a benchmark, what would be the purpose of a camera that manages a whopping 4.5 million fps? In the case of the UK-based Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)'s new X-ray camera, it's to obtain three-dimensional images of individual molecules.  Read More

Scientists have grafted olfactory receptors onto carbon nanotubes, in a step towards produ...

While people may have laughed at the mechanical-nose-bearing Odoradar device that Elmer Fudd once used to track Bugs Bunny, the development of real devices that can "smell" recently took a step forward, as researchers from the University of Pennsylvania grafted olfactory receptor proteins onto carbon nanotubes. These proteins are ordinarily located on the outer membrane of cells within the nose. When chemicals that enter the nose bind with the proteins, a cellular response is triggered, that leads to the perception of smell. It is hoped that a synthetic version of that same response could be possible, within sensing devices incorporating the nanotubes.  Read More

A schematic of an acoustic diode, showing how the elastic spheres are able to convert the ...

When it comes to the sound-proofing of buildings, most people likely think of using materials that simply absorb the sound waves in a noisy room, so they can't proceed into a neighboring quiet room. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), however, are taking a different approach. They have created something known as an acoustic diode, that only allows sound traveling through it to go in one direction. If incorporated into building materials, such diodes would let sound travel from the quiet room to the noisy one, but would simply block noise transmission in the opposite direction.  Read More

Graphene is a one-atom-thick gauze of carbon atoms resembling chicken wire (Image: Alexand...

The researchers who unveiled graphene in 2004 and who were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010 for “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material" have led new research that reveals more about the electronic properties of the wonder material. The team says their findings promise to accelerate research looking at ways to build graphene-based devices such as touch-screens, ultrafast transistors and photodetectors, and will potentially open up countless more electronic opportunities.  Read More

Scientists at Caltech have created the world's first DNA-based artificial neural network

One of the things that our brains excel at is the ability to recognize what things are, even when presented with an incomplete set of data. If we know only that an animal is sold in pet stores and stuffs food in its cheeks, for instance, we can be pretty certain that the animal in question is a hamster. Now, for the first time ever, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a DNA-based artificial neural network that can do the same thing ... albeit on a very basic level. They believe that it could have huge implications for the development of true artificial intelligence.  Read More

Russia's recently-launched RadioAstron spacecraft is intended to become part of the larges...

To look at the Russian RadioAstron spacecraft, which launched from Kazakhstan this Monday, it doesn’t seem particularly record-breaking. Its 10-meter (33-foot) antenna is certainly no match for those on earthbound radio telescopes, which can be up to 300 meters (984 feet) across. Once in orbit, however, its signal will join forces with those from ground-based telescopes to form one giant virtual telescope. Using a process known as interferometry, they will form the equivalent of a single radio telescope dish that at over 350,000 kilometers (217,480 miles) across is almost 30 times wider than the Earth. Although it’s not actually one physical object, it is nonetheless being heralded as the largest telescope ever created.  Read More

Two of the different shapes in which graphene grains can form, using traditional productio...

Graphene, the "wonder material" composed of single-atom-thick carbon sheets, is currently finding its way into a variety of electronic devices including computer chips, capacitors, transistors and batteries, just to name a few. It is typically created using a chemical vapor deposition process, in which carbon-containing gases are made to decompose on a copper foil substrate. The performance of the material may be limited, however, due to the fact that the individual graphene grains in one sheet are not of a consistent size or shape, and usually are larger than a single crystal. That could be about to change, though, as a new production method that utilizes hydrogen gas is promising higher-performance graphene with uniform, single-crystal grains.  Read More

Spanish researchers have developed an 'electronic tongue' for analyzing the content of ant...

Not to be confused with the bizarre robotic tongue prototype, “electronic tongues” have been in use for the past several years, for assessing the content of various foods and beverages – and no, unfortunately they don’t look like actual tongues. While past examples have been used for purposes such as identifying the vintage and grape variety of wines, researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have recently developed one that analyzes the content of antioxidant powder, along with fruit and fruit products.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,466 articles