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— Health and Wellbeing

Fluorescent sensor indicates presence of date-rape drug within 30 seconds

By - March 27, 2014 1 Picture
Central to the dangers of so-called "date-rape" drugs is the fact that they are difficult to detect. Indeed, GHB, one of the most commonly-used of such drugs, is both colorless and odorless. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a fluorescent sensor which, when mixed with a drink containing GHB, changes color within 30 seconds, potentially alerting people soon after their drink has been tampered with. Read More
— Good Thinking

Radar used to detect concealed weapons in public spaces

By - March 26, 2013 2 Pictures
An electrical engineering professor at the University of Michigan believes that a type of radar, part developed by the Department of Defense, has the potential to be used as a means of detecting concealed weapons. Originally intended for military use, it is possible that the millimeter-wave radar system could be used to detect weapons across distances as large as a football field. Read More
— Science

Scientists create sensors for subs based on fish anatomy

By - February 10, 2010 6 Pictures
When you think about it, fish can do some pretty remarkable things. They can find prey in murky water, travel in tightly-packed schools without colliding, they always know what depth they’re at, and they manage to avoid being swept away by invisible underwater currents. They’re able to do all of these things and more thanks to their lateral lines - rows of tiny hair cell clusters that run down each side of their bodies. These clusters, known as neuromasts, pick up on changes in water pressure and transmit that information to the brain. Now, researchers in Illinois have created an artificial lateral line, that could someday be used to keep man-made submersibles out of harm’s way. Read More
— Science

Computer program stops sensors and satellites from 'crying wolf'

By - January 31, 2010 1 Picture
We rely so heavily on information gathered by satellites and weather instruments to help us program our daily lives, imagine what would happen if the data we received from these technologies went bad and foretold of cataclysmic outcomes in the days or weeks ahead? Panic could induce scenes on our streets reminiscent of Hollywood disaster movies. To avert such events - or just help get things right even if the forecast is more mundane - scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) have devised an innovative computational technique called Intelligent Outlier Detection Algorithm, or IODA, that draws on statistics, imaging, and other disciplines in order to detect errors in sensitive technological systems. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Biosensor paper strip test for safe drinking water

By - January 18, 2010 1 Picture
Engineers at the University of Michigan have developed a strip of paper infused with carbon nanotubes that can quickly and inexpensively detect a toxin produced by algae in drinking water. The paper strips perform 28 times faster than the complicated method most commonly used today to detect microcystin-LR, a chemical compound produced by the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) commonly found on nutrient-rich waters. Microcystin-LR is among the leading causes of biological water pollution and is believed to be the culprit of many mass poisonings going back to early human history. Read More
— Spy Gear

Spy vs spy – wireless camera detector lets you sleep easy or play hard (in privacy)

By - November 23, 2009 6 Pictures
If you don’t trust that shifty-looking night supervisor at the motel or the suspicious-looking smoke detector in your room, or if you just value your privacy, help could be at hand. A quick scan of your room or surrounds with the Chinavision CVMV-J19 Spy Wi-Fi Signal and Camera Lens Detector should let you sleep easy or play hard – in privacy (I guarantee there are a few celebrities who wish they had one). Read More
— Space

Eureka! NASA strikes water on lunar surface

By - November 17, 2009 4 Pictures
Scientists have long speculated about the source of significant quantities of hydrogen that have been observed at the moon's lunar poles, and just a few months ago NASA announced that water molecules were indeed present, but in relatively small amounts. Now the Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) that was employed to shed some more light on the presence of water on the moon, looks like it has done just that with preliminary data indicating the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently-shadowed crater. Read More
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