Advertisement
more top stories »

Cambridge University

— Environment

Microwaves utilized to convert used motor oil into fuel

By - March 29, 2011 1 Picture
It has been estimated that over 8 billion US gallons (30.3 billion liters) of used motor oil are produced every year by the world’s cars and trucks. While some of that is re-refined into new oil or burned in furnaces for heat, neither of those processes are entirely environmentally-innocuous. In other cases, it is simply discarded. Today, however, researchers from the University of Cambridge announced the development of a process that uses microwaves to convert waste oil into vehicle fuel. Read More
— Science

What humans really want - creating computers that understand users

By - March 7, 2011 4 Pictures
Binghamton University computer scientist Lijun Yin thinks that using a computer should be a comfortable and intuitive experience, like talking to a friend. As anyone who has ever yelled “Why did you go and do that?” at their PC or Mac will know, however, using a computer is currently sometimes more like talking to an overly-literal government bureaucrat who just doesn’t get you. Thanks to Yin’s work with things like emotion recognition, however, that might be on its way to becoming a thing of the past. Read More
— Science

Ancient body clock discovered that helps to keep all living things on time

By - February 5, 2011 1 Picture
A group of Cambridge scientists have successfully identified the mechanism that drives our internal 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm. It occurs not only in human cells, but has also been found in other life forms such as algae, and has been dated back millions of years. Whilst the research promises a better understanding of the problems associated with shift-work and jet-lag, this mechanism has also been proven to be responsible for sleep patterns, seasonal shifts and even the migration of butterflies. Read More
— Good Thinking

High school teacher creates microfluidic devices using a photocopier

By - January 24, 2011 3 Pictures
Microfluidic technology, in which liquid is made to pass through “microchannels” that are often less than a millimeter in width, has had a profound effect on fields such as physics, chemistry, engineering and biotechnology. In particular, it has made “lab-on-a-chip” systems possible, in which the chemical contents of tiny amounts of fluid can be analyzed on a small platform. Such devices are typically made in clean rooms, through a process of photolithography and etching. This rather involved production method is reflected in their retail price, which sits around US$500 per device. Now, however, a high school teacher has come up with a way of making microfluidics that involves little else than a photocopier and transparency film. Read More
— Science

Researchers develop interactive, emotion-detecting GPS robot

By - January 3, 2011 1 Picture
While computer systems are now very capable of recognizing vocal input, they offer minimal interactive feedback. A team of Cambridge University researchers have now developed a system that can not only detect a user's emotional state, but can also make expressive responses of its own. Using a robotic likeness of the godfather of the programmable computer, Charles Babbage, the team has hooked the system up to a driving simulator and created a computerized driving companion and navigator that reacts to the driver in much the same way as a human passenger. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Microsoft SenseCam concept now available as Vicon Revue

By - December 17, 2010 3 Pictures
Microsoft has licensed its SenseCam technology to UK-based Vicon Motion Systems, so that the company can manufacture the device as a memory aid. Worn around the neck, the forward-facing lens of the Vicon Revue snaps a few photos every minute and stores them on the internal memory. The shots can then be used later to help those suffering from recall problems to piece together life events. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Advanced fertility system offers money back pregnancy guarantee

By - October 25, 2010 8 Pictures
For an estimated one in six European couples, trying for a baby proves an often fruitless and frustrating process. Those wanting to avoid invasive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and opting for a more natural approach may find their lives being taken over by complicated calendar-based calculations or early morning toilet duties. UK-based Cambridge Temperature Concepts has developed a sophisticated body temperature measurement system which helps couples predict the best time to plan for a romantic evening, and is backed by a money-back guarantee. A wireless sensor stuck under the arm continuously monitors the minute changes in basal body temperature indicative of ovulation, and wirelessly sends the results to a hand-held reader which displays a six day optimum conception forecast. Read More
— Science

Laws of physics may just be 'local by-laws'

By - September 9, 2010 2 Pictures
Star Trek’s Scotty was adamant that you “canna change the laws of physics,” but, according to a report from a team of astrophysicists based in Australia and England, that could be exactly what happens in different parts of the universe. The report describes how one of the supposed fundamental constants of Nature appears not to be constant after all. Instead, this 'magic number' known as the fine-structure constant – 'alpha' for short – appears to vary throughout the universe. Read More
— Science

Creation of liver cells from skin cells gives hope in fight against liver disease

By - August 29, 2010 1 Picture
Researching liver disorders is extremely difficult because liver cells (hepatocytes) cannot be grown in the laboratory. However, researchers at the University of Cambridge have now managed to create diseased liver cells from a small sample of human skin. The research shows that stem cells can be used to model a diverse range of inherited disorders and paves the way for new liver disease research and possible cell-based therapy. Read More
— Good Thinking

New butterfly-wing technology could foil counterfeiters

By - June 1, 2010 3 Pictures
Counterfeiting is a crime as old as money itself. It causes a reduction in the value of real money and can add to company losses, as they are not reimbursed for counterfeits. In 1996 Australia became the first country to have a full series of circulating polymer banknotes, which are difficult to counterfeit because they cannot be successfully reproduced by photocopying or scanning. Now scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colors found on the wings of tropical butterflies, that could help make banknotes and credit cards even harder to forge. Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Subscribe to Gizmag's email newsletter

Advertisement