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The 'Virtual Cocoon' virtual reality headset

To date most virtual reality devices have been focused on providing input for just two senses – sight and hearing - and while haptic technologies are on the march, we've yet to see a complete VR system that convincingly mimics all aspects of our perception. In a taste of what could be, last week at the Pioneer 09 science show in London researchers unveiled a mock-up of a virtual reality headset designed to stimulate all five senses.  Read More

Durham Uni Smartdesk envisages the classroom of the future

September 18, 2008 A century ago, most school children sat on the floor, with tables and chairs following and eventually giving way to rudimentary desks. A century from now, one wonders how far we’ll have progressed in creating an environment most conducive to nurturing the minds of our most precious resource. Researchers at the Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Group (TEL) at Durham University in the United Kingdom are designing new learning environments using interactive multi-touch desks that look and act like a large version of an Apple iPhone.  Read More

Dr Stefan Przyborski, Durham University, with the molecule EC23, in a laboratory setting.

U.K. Scientists have designed, developed and tested new molecular tools for stem cell research to direct the formation of certain tissue types for use in drug development programmes. A collaborative team of scientists from Durham University and the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI) has developed two synthetic molecules which can be used to coax stem cells to ‘differentiate’ - that is, transform into other forms of tissue. Their use could also help reduce the number of animals used in laboratory research.  Read More

The Anaconda device could be used in groups of 20 or more

A giant rubber tube known as the “Anaconda” may present an viable solution to the challenge of generating electricity from the power of ocean waves. Under development in the UK, the simple design means it would be cheap to manufacture and maintain, resulting in clean electricity at a lower cost than other types of wave based energy production.  Read More

The sensor fits snugly behind the athlete’s ear

September 14, 2007 Real-time athlete monitoring is now firmly entrenched as an essential tool for elite athletes, with a growing array of sports monitoring systems available for both top-level sportspeople and your average fitness fanatic. This new body sensor currently under development at Imperial College promises a new level of usability by virtue of its form – the cufflink sized device clips behind the ear so as not to impede performance and delivers extensive metrics on posture, stride length, step frequency, acceleration and the body's response to shock waves.  Read More

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