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Scientists have created a 3D printer that makes chocolates in shapes determined by the use...

If you’re trying to woo that special someone, instead of just bringing them a box of ordinary chocolates, how about a box of chocolates that look like you? You’re right, that would just be creepy, but chocolates formed into user-defined shapes are nonetheless now a possibility, thanks to a 3D chocolate printer developed at the University of Exeter.  Read More

In the MIT laboratory, researchers tested the 'sensing skin' by attaching it to the unders...

Concrete may be one of the toughest buildings materials in common use but it does develop cracks over time, and in the case of structures such as buildings or bridges, it is imperative that those cracks are noticed before they lead to a collapse. While visual inspections are useful, they are also time-consuming, and may miss tiny but structurally-significant cracks. Some technologies have been developed to automate the process, such as rust sensors for steel-reinforced concrete. Now, an international team of scientists is proposing a system of flexible crack-detecting skins, that could be applied to the surfaces of concrete surfaces.  Read More

The PossessedHand system uses non-invasive electrical stimulation of muscles in the forear...

It's often during those early stages of learning to play a new instrument that many people give up in despair. Even though you swear that you're hitting the right notes, everything still sounds like an old gramophone recording played at the wrong speed. If only you could let someone take control of your hands to fast forward through the arduous repetition phase before muscle memory kicks in and the piece you're trying to play begins to sound more like it should. That's precisely the kind of potential offered by the PossessedHand project. Electrode-packing armbands placed on a user's forearm send electrical pulses through the muscles to take control of the movement of the hand - with fledgling Koto players testing the system having demonstrated greater accuracy and speedier progress.  Read More

Swiss researchers have achieved reliable multi-bit phase-change memory, using a specially-...

Scientists from IBM Research – Zurich are claiming a world-first, for their recent demonstration of “reliable multi-bit phase-change memory [PCM] technology.” PCM involves the use of materials that change between crystalline and amorphous states, the two states having different levels of electrical resistance – data is stored in a binary fashion, using one level to represent a 0, and the other to represent a 1. By applying new techniques to existing PCM technology, the researchers were reportedly able to write and retrieve data 100 times faster than is possible with Flash.  Read More

A single layer of graphene (Image: AlexanderAlUS via Wikipedia)

Earlier this year we ran a story on molybdenite, a mineral that held an advantage over graphene for use in electronic devices due to the existence of "band gaps" in the material that are needed for devices such as transistors, computer chips and solar cells. Now MIT researchers have overcome that deficiency by finding a way to produce graphene in significant quantities in a two- or three-layer form with the layers arranged just right to give the material the much-desired band gap.  Read More

Kno has announced a beta release for its new Textbooks eTextbook and PDF reader app for th...

The company behind the now-abandoned Kno digital textbook has announced the beta release of a new digitized textbook reading application for the iPad. The free to download Textbooks for iPad app offers students access to a vast library of exact digital replicas of real-world textbooks with the added bonus of an enhanced, interactive reading experience, some useful organizational tools and social sharing features.  Read More

Researchers have developed a new technique that could lead to the development of 'brain-li...

Unlike human brains that make no real distinction between memory and computation, computers currently deal with processing and memory separately. This means data has to be constantly moved around, resulting in a speed and power “bottleneck.” Now, using phase change materials that can store and process information simultaneously, researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK have developed a new technique that could lead to the development of “brain-like” computers.  Read More

An enhanced color image of fluorescence from single-walled carbon nanotubes (right) shows ...

Mice are frequently used as lab models when testing new drugs, and fluorescent dyes are sometimes injected into their bodies so that researchers can better see how those drugs are progressing through their systems. Unfortunately, the pictures obtained in this process start to become murky when imaging anything more than a few millimeters beneath the skin. Scientists from Stanford University have now devised a system that utilizes fluorescent carbon nanotubes to produce clear color images of organs that are located centimeters within a mouse's body.  Read More

A newly-created alloy (center disc) is able to convert heat directly into electricity (Ima...

The heat given off by electronics, automobile engines, factories and other sources is a potentially huge source of energy, and various technologies are being developed in order to capture that heat, and then convert it into electricity. Thanks to an alloy that was recently developed at the University of Minnesota, however, a step in that process could be saved – the new material is able to convert heat directly into electricity.  Read More

A new discovery by Australian researchers could lead to laptops powered through typing (Ph...

Everlasting batteries and self-powering portable electronics have come one step closer to reality, according to the results of a new research by Australian scientists from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The group of researchers successfully measured piezoelectric thin film’s capability to turn mechanical pressure into electricity. It may sound like an idea from the realm of science fiction, but the discovery could eventually lead to laptops powered through typing.  Read More

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