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The Diamond armor suit boasts level II bulletproof protection

If you're looking to extend your bulletproof wardrobe with something that won't be out of place alongside other garments, such as the Miguel Caballero bullet-proof polo shirt, the Bullet-Proof Gentleman’s Square and Garrison Bespoke's bulletproof three-piece suit, then the Diamond Armor could be a good fit. Developed by SuitArt, the Diamond Armor is a diamond-studded, bullet-proof, air-conditioned, bespoke-tailored suit costing US$3.2 million, making it the most expensive custom-tailored suit in the world.  Read More

Initial prototypes of the 'blood pressure watch' with the strap made from piezo-resistive ...

Blood pressure is one of the main vital signs, measuring the pressure of the blood upon the walls of blood vessels as it is pumped around the body by the heart. High blood pressure, or hypertension, places increased stress on the heart and can be an indicator of other potentially fatal health problems, such as stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. Most people will have had their blood pressure tested using a sphygmomanometer on a visit to the doctor, but a new wristband device is set to provide a more convenient and continuous way to keep a watch for signs of trouble.  Read More

New research could result in cheaper, more efficient thin solar cell production (Photo: Em...

Scientists based at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have set a new efficiency record for thin-film copper indium gallium (di)selenid (or CIGS) based solar cells on flexible polymer foils, reaching an efficiency of 20.4 percent. This is an increase from a previous record of 18.7 percent set by the team back in 2011.  Read More

Might better linen be the answer to the problem of bedsores? (Photo: John Tyler)

A team of Swiss researchers has developed a new kind of bed linen with the intention of reducing the occurrence of bedsores among bedridden patients. The new "dot matrix" linen is designed to reduce the contact surface against the skin while allowing for greater absorption of problem moisture that can otherwise exacerbate the problem.  Read More

Empa's air-conditioned bulletproof vest

When most of us realize that we’re overdressed for the weather, we can simply take off that extra jacket or whatnot that’s causing us to overheat. Police officers, however, don’t have the option of taking off their bulletproof vests ... and those vests aren’t exactly known for being lightweight and breathable. Fortunately, a team from Swiss research institution Empa has developed just the thing for those hot cops – an air-conditioned ballistic vest.  Read More

A back view of the ribs and joints incorporated into the seat's backrest

As anyone who spends a lot of time seated at a desk will know, it's important to change your position every now and then. For wheelchair users, who spend almost every waking moment seated, it is crucial that they do so - if they don't, they can develop deformities or bedsores, or at least end up in considerable pain. Now, the Swiss research group Empa is working with the ergonomics company r going, to develop a new type of wheelchair seat that periodically causes users to change the way they're sitting.  Read More

Hematite nanoparticle film (red) with functional phycocyanin network (green) attached

Recently, scientists from the Swiss research institute EMPA, along with colleagues from the University of Basel and the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois took a cue from photosynthesis and discovered that by coupling a light-harvesting plant protein with their specially designed electrode, they could substantially boost the efficiency of photo-electrochemical cells used to split water and produce hydrogen - a huge step forward in the search for clean, truly green power.  Read More

Scientists are developing a method of treating wood with fungus, so that violin-makers cou...

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of a radiologist and two violin-makers, who used computed tomography (CT) imaging to create a copy of a 1704 Stradivarius violin. The instrument that they produced was almost an exact replica of the original, as far as the shape, thickness and volume of its wooden parts was concerned. As one of our readers pointed out, however, much of the tonal quality of Stradivari's instruments was likely due to the microstructure and resonance characteristics of the wood of which they were made, caused by the growing conditions at the time. Well, it turns out that someone is working on reproducing that aspect of the violins, too.  Read More

Scientists have created an 'electric car' that is only a few nanometers long (Image: Empa)...

We’ve seen some fairly small electric cars in recent years, such as those made by Tango, Think, Wheego, and of course, smart. All of those automobiles are absolute monsters, however, compared to what scientists from Swiss research group Empa have created. Working with colleagues at the Netherlands’ University of Groningen, they’ve built a one-of-a-kind electric car that measures approximately 4 x 2 nanometers.  Read More

The intelligent bed, that automatically turns patients over to keep them from developing b...

Decubitus ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores, are a common and potentially serious problem for bedridden hospital patients. Staff are often required to regularly turn patients over in their beds, as the sores are the result of too much prolonged pressure to the skin, caused by lying on one spot for too long. Turning those patients over (especially the larger ones) can be physically difficult work, however, plus some facilities won't always have enough staff on hand to do the turning as often as needed. Swiss entrepreneur Michael Sauter thought the situation needed addressing, so he invented a bed that turns the patients over itself.  Read More

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