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Imperial College

Space

Red dwarf exoplanets not as habitable as once believed

Fresh research is pouring cold water on the hopes of discovering life on distant exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars. It had previously been thought that Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones (HZs) of the small stars could provide a possible haven for life, but sophisticated computer models suggest that these planets are likely rendered uninhabitable by their super-dense atmospheres.Read More

Medical

Repairing damaged cartilage with a man-made bio-glass

Pioneering technologies like 3D printing have had a huge impact on the medical world, and now a unique material developed by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Milano-Bicocca could lead to all-new implants for replacing damaged cartilage, including discs between vertebrae. The new material mimics the properties of the real thing, while encouraging the re-growth of natural cartilage.Read More

Robotics

Robot artists compete for cash

While people sometimes worry about robots taking away human jobs by automating and executing various tasks, it's been generally accepted that in the realm of creative endeavors like art and music, the machines will always lose to the man (or woman, of course). But, as we reported last year, robots paired with ever-more advanced algorithms are starting to become quite the painters. A robot even created a brand-new Rembrandt work earlier this year. To recognize this burgeoning field of robot art, a new contest has been launched by website RobotArt.org, and you can help determine which mechanical painter will win.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Silencing breast and lung cancer's ability to spread

As a tumor grows, cells can break off it and move around the body, potentially spreading the disease to other organs. Known as metastasis, this process significantly lowers the patient's likelihood of survival, but a new discovery could help doctors tackle it, with researchers form Imperial College London identifying a molecule that shows promise in switching off the process altogether.Read More

Environment

Backpack-wearing pigeons tweet London air quality readings

Wondering what the air quality is like in London? Well, over the next three days, you can ask a pigeon. More specifically, you can tweet your location to 10 pigeons located throughout the city, each one of which is equipped with a lightweight backpack that monitors ozone, nitrogen dioxide and volatile compounds. You'll receive a tweet back, letting you know just how safe it is to breathe the air in your region.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Sensor-laden connected sleeve designed to boost stroke rehab

Patients recovering from strokes are often released from the hospital with exercises to do, in order to recover full function of their arm/hand. The problem is, doing those exercises alone and at home, they may not even know if they start doing them incorrectly. That's why a team of scientists in the UK is creating an electronic sleeve-based system, that ensures everything is getting done right.Read More

Medical

Exposé of flu's cell hijacking tactics could stop viruses taking hold

It's not easy for bird flu to migrate to humans, but once there it can have wreak considerable havoc, with consequences that include death. For the first time scientists have zeroed in on the very narrow pathway that allows the passage of this type A influenza virus from birds to mammals, a discovery they say could one day enable them to shut the gate on the flu virus altogether. Read More

Biology

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes genetically modified to pass on infertiity

The old joke says that infertility isn't hereditary, but a team of scientists at Imperial College London is proving it wrong as a way to fight malaria. Using gene splicing, the team is working on a way to introduce a strain of infertility into female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes that can be passed from one generation to the next to significantly cut, if not eradicate, local populations of the malaria-carrying insect.Read More

Materials

New technique may make materials hotter than the Sun's core in 20 quadrillionths of a second

If some people get impatient waiting for a soft-boiled egg to cook, that's nothing compared to a group of theoretical physicists at the Imperial College London. They've come up with a new method that could allow lasers to heat certain materials to temperatures hotter than at the Sun's core in 20 quadrillionths of a second. The new technique would reportedly be 100 times faster than the world's most energetic laser system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, and may one day have applications in future fusion research.Read More

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