Energy Efficient


Spanish cave house resembles a scaled dragon looking out to sea

Drive through rural Spain, especially the south, and you'll find lots of cave houses built into hillsides. With searing heat throughout much of the year, keeping cool is the main worry and cave houses have excellent thermal properties. Granada's House on the Cliff is a cave house like no other, and is defined by its undulating dragon scale-like zinc roof, generous glazing and energy-saving design.Read More


Self-sufficient floating home to create its own water and energy

Living on a houseboat may seem very romantic, but the day-to-day misery of hauling water from shore and listening to the thump of the generator can soon take the icing off the cupcake. As a glimpse into what could be the future of aquatic living, two Fraunhofer Institutes and their partners are working on a self-sufficient floating home that creates its own water, electricity, and heat without looking like a works barge.Read More

Tiny Houses

Tiny green-roofed home can be packed up and moved on with minimal ecological footprint

Ecuadorian architects Luis Velasco Roldan and Ángel Hevia Antuña have joined forces to develop a 50 sq m (538 sq ft) green-roofed home called the Nelson Homero ESPE Prototype II. The aim was to create an energy-efficient housing prototype that combines natural materials with traditional building methods, which could be dismantled and moved to different locations for energy efficiency testing in different climates.Read More


Secret to jellyfish propulsion could be applied to human tech

Until now, scientists weren’t entirely sure how marine life like jellyfish and eels are able to move so effortlessly from point A to point B, using less energy than it takes any other moving life form ever measured. But researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) believe they may have now found the answer. Rather than propel themselves forward by pushing against the water, jellyfish and eels actually suck the water toward them.Read More


Ultra low-power wireless communication through the human body using magnetic fields

Be it on the inside or the outside, the human body is becoming host to an ever-increasing array of electronic devices that need to wirelessly communicate with each other. Now engineers working at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have come up with a different type of wireless communication that sends ultra low-power magnetic fields through the human body. This makes it extraordinarily more energy efficient and secure from prying eyes than comparable wireless communication technologies.Read More

Around The Home

New "smart window" material selectively blocks light and/or heat

In an effort to improve the energy efficiency of building, researchers have sought to develop windows that change transparency to let more light – and therefore heat – through when it's cold, and less when it's hot. Unfortunately, these methods tend to impede the passage of visible light, some by tinting panes and others by complete obscuration. But a team at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a "smart window" technology that allows the passage of visible light while blocking heat, or vice versa.

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Muscle injection could help burn more calories during routine activities

The future of weight loss could look like this. Inject your muscles with a compound that helps them burn more calories than usual and then do your daily chores to shed those extra pounds. That's the vision of a team of scientists who are working on a muscle-targeted injection therapy to help overweight people lose weight easily, even with low to moderate exercise.Read More


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