Luggage lying around unattended at an airport justifiably triggers the jitters. The hazardous task of getting up close to inspect what could potentially be a bomb that could explode any time invariably falls to the bomb squad. Researchers have come up with a way to minimize the risk by creating a sophisticated, robot-mountable, sensor system that allows authorities to scan a piece of luggage and get an accurate image of its contents. The contact-free detection system could not only potentially help bomb specialists assess the danger quickly, but it could also help them obtain vital evidence.
Researchers at the University College London (UCL) have developed a new sensor with the ability to simultaneously detect five commonly-used explosives. Currently in the prototype stages, the device could one day be used to improve security in public spaces.
Currently, if you want to check water supplies for the presence of toxic bacteria, you have to take a water sample and then culture it in a lab over several days. In the meantime, it's impossible to say if the water source is safe to use. A group of students from the Technical University of Denmark, however, have created a sensor that they say can detect bacteria in water instantly, on the spot.
Currently, when scientists want to know if bacteria are present in
water, they have two main choices. They can take a sample to the lab,
where they'll try growing the suspected bacteria in it, and then count
the number of resulting colonies to determine the concentration. Or,
they can analyze it using expensive lab-based gas chromatography or mass
spectrometry equipment. Now, however, researchers from Seoul National
University have developed a "bioelectronic nose" that could be used on
location, and that is reportedly more sensitive than existing
Although most people with multiple sexual partners know that being checked for STDs is the responsible thing to do, many don’t do so because of the stigma associated with going to the clinic. That’s why a Silicon Valley-based startup has developed the Hoope ring. It’s worn on the thumb, and can reportedly diagnose diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis in less than a minute.
In what it calls a "world first," Transport for London (TfL) will trial cyclist detection systems at traffic lights in the city with a view to improving cycle-flow. The technology aims to detect the number of cyclists travelling along a route. It then adjusts traffic signal timings to give cyclists more time on green lights.
A research team at Lund University in Sweden has conducted a study to
test the effectiveness of tomosynthesis breast screening against more
conventional mammograms. The results are promising, showing the new
technique to be better at detecting tumors, as well as being a more
comfortable experience for the patient.