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Cambridge University

— Medical

Stem cell breakthrough may allow same gender couples to create babies

Researchers from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science are claiming a stem cell research breakthrough that would allow a baby to be created from the cells from two adults, no matter their gender. This potentially allows for infertile couples to have their own children without resorting to sperm or egg donors, and may provide the means for same sex couples to produce their own babies. Read More
— Computers

Historic EDSAC computer component becomes part of reconstruction

A piece of cybernetic history returned home as a long-lost component of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC), one of the first practical general purpose computers, was returned to Britain from the United States. The electronics chassis was given to the The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, where it will be used as part of the EDSAC reconstruction project and raises the possibility that more surviving parts may be recovered in the future. Read More
— Environment

Microwaves enable economical recycling of plastic-aluminum laminates

You may not know what they're called, but odds are you've eaten or drunk something from them. I'm referring to plastic-aluminum laminate (PAL) packaging, which has long been used for toothpaste tubes and in recent years has gained popularity in food, drink and pet food packaging. Although it threatens to approach the ubiquity of the aluminum can or plastic bottle, PAL packaging lacks the familiar recyclable logo found on cans and bottles. But that could be set to change, with a process to recover the metals contained in PAL packaging, developed some 15 years ago by researchers at the University of Cambridge, now being demonstrated in a full commercial-scale plant. Read More
— Electronics

First flexible graphene-based display created

Flexible displays are the new must-have element in the race for the next generation of high-tech electronic devices. A new prototype display created with graphene promises to provide a more efficient, printable alternative to current construction methods with the added benefit of perhaps one day creating a true, fully-folding display. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Rhino Shield could save your Gorilla's glass

Gorilla Glass, which is used in the displays of mobile devices such as the iPhone, is pretty tough stuff. That said, it still isn't that uncommon to see iPhones with cracked screens. Such carnage may become a less common sight, however, if Rhino Shield takes off. The clear coating, which is designed to applied over top of a device's existing screen, is said to be five times more impact-resistant than Gorilla Glass 2. Read More
— Environment

Cambridge University's sun-tracking solar car targets World Solar Challenge crown

A group of engineering students from the University of Cambridge is hoping to become the first British team to take home the World Solar Challenge crown with a new solar car dubbed "Resolution." The vehicle, which the team claims "rewrites the rulebook for green vehicles," features solar panels that will move to track the sun as it makes the 3,000 km (1,864 mi) journey across the Australian outback from Darwin to Adelaide. Read More
— Science

Potentially very-useful "polymer opals" change color when stretched

Some of the most vividly colored materials in nature, including things like butterfly wings, don’t obtain their color from pigment. Instead, their internal structure reflects light at a given wavelength, producing a specific color. Opals are another example of something that utilizes this effect. In collaboration with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability, scientists from the University of Cambridge have now copied the colorful nanostructure of the opal. The result is a flexible, colorful material that won’t fade over time, that changes color when stretched, and that could have many applications. Read More
— Research Watch

New hope of vaccine for Tasmanian devil’s contagious killer tumor

While many animals face extinction due to poaching or loss of habitat, Tasmanian devil numbers are sbeing dramatically reduced due to a contagious tumor with a mortality rate of 100 percent. Called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), it kills the animal in a matter of months. Now fresh research from the University of Cambridge has delivered new data on the mechanism of the disease which could increase the chances of developing a vaccine. Read More