Photokina 2014 highlights

Magnetic

A newly-developed magnetic soap could be used to minimize the environmental impact of oil ...

When oil gets spilled in a waterway, clean-up crews will often introduce a solution known as a surfactant. This is a detergent that lessens the surface tension between the water and the overlaying oil slick, causing the oil to form into individual droplets which then sink or get dispersed by wave action. Unfortunately, such detergents aren’t entirely environmentally-friendly themselves, so the use of them on oil spills has been criticized as simply replacing one pollutant with another. Now, however, scientists from the University of Bristol have created a magnetic soap, that could be removed from the water once it had done its job.  Read More

Recent demonstration of quantum levitation during the 2011 Association of Science- Technol...

Maglev trains have been in development since before Luke Skywalker drove his first Land Speeder but, like personal rocket packs, the idea of levitating transport is taking a while to catch on. While this "quantum levitation" demonstration shown by the superconductivity group at Tel Aviv University at the 2011 ASTC annual conference in Baltimore doesn't mean we'll all be floating to work anytime soon, it does remind us of the amazing potential of this kind of technology.  Read More

A diagram depicting Tao's system for thinning blood using magnetic fields (Image: Temple U...

Overly-viscous blood can damage blood vessels and lead to heart attacks. Therefore, people who are at risk of heart attacks take medications such as Aspirin, in order to thin their blood. Such drugs can have unpleasant side effects, however, and can only be taken a certain number of times per day. Prof. Rongjia Tao, a physicist from Philadelphia's Temple University, now thinks he might have come up with a better way of thinning human blood - he subjects it to magnetic fields.  Read More

B-Squares are flat electronic modules that can be joined together in different configurati...

Connecting blocks are one of the all-time greatest types of toys. Unfortunately, when we grow up, many of us seem to think that it’s silly to make stuff just for the sake of making it – we still enjoy putting things together, but they have to be functional. That’s where B-Squares come in. The flat electronic modules serve a variety of functions, and can form a variety of devices when connected in different combinations.  Read More

A new discovery by U-M researchers could see energy from the sun harnessed without solar c...

It has long been thought that, even though light has electric and magnetic components, the effects of the magnetic field are so weak that they could effectively be ignored. Now researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) have discovered that under the right conditions, a light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. The researchers say the discovery paves the way for the creation of an "optical battery" that could harness power from the sun without the use of solar cells.  Read More

Brain slice of the frontal cortex of a rat showing nerve cells before and after treatment ...

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technology that temporarily activates – or inactivates – parts of the brain using magnetic stimulation. Its ability to selectively turn areas of the brain on or off allows the functions and interconnections of the brain to by studied in a noninvasive and painless manner. Now researchers have shown that the technology can be used to enable rats to learn more easily. While smarter rats probably aren’t high on anyone’s wish list, the technology shows potential for allowing TMS to better treat a variety of brain disorders and diseases in humans, such as severe depression and schizophrenia.  Read More

CAS technology could mean organ transplants of the future won't be the frantic race agains...

It has been possible to successfully cryopreserve semen, blood, embryos, oocytes, stem cells and other thin samples of small clumps of cells for a few decades now. However, cryopreservation of human internal organs, such as livers and hearts for storage and transplant, currently requires toxic doses of cryoprotectants – substances that protect biological tissue from freezing damage due to ice formation – in order to survive the cooling process. A solution could be at hand in the form of a technology used to preserve sushi that can instantly freeze water, meaning there is no time for cell damaging ice crystals to form. In fact, it’s already being used to preserve teeth.  Read More

Scientists at Brown University have developed a new drug delivery system to safely hold a ...

Many people take pills to help manage or cure serious illness, and some of these life-saving drugs can only be absorbed in very specific parts of the intestine. The problem with oral administration is that pills often don’t dissolve at exactly the right site in the gastrointestinal tract where medicine can be absorbed into the bloodstream. A new drug delivery system developed by scientists at Brown University uses a magnetic gelatin capsule and an external magnet that can precisely sense the force between it and the pill and vary that force, as needed, to hold the pill in place. The team has successfully used the technology with rats and in future it could provide a new way to deliver many drugs to humans, including those with cancer or diabetes.  Read More

The 3D-Spheric-Mouse from axsotic offers digital artists one-handed, high resolution manip...

Digital artists working in a three-dimensional graphic environment may find current input peripherals a little restricting. Before the creative juices can be let loose, the workspace needs to be moved, zoomed and rotated to the correct position for work to start. Then it's a case of repeatedly stopping to reposition before being able to apply just the right amount of texture, tone or shadow. The 3D-Spheric-Mouse from axsotic promises to make things a little easier by allowing for one-handed rotation and movement of the virtual object over six axes. Job done!  Read More

One of the NIST mini-sensors, capable of magnetically detecting a human heartbeat

Six years ago, America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed miniature sensors that each utilized about 100 billion rubidium atoms in gas form, a low-power infrared laser and optics to detect tiny magnetic fields. Until recently the sensors had been used almost exclusively for physics research, but now NIST has teamed up with the National Metrology Institute of Germany to successfully use one of the mini-sensors to track a human heartbeat – an accomplishment which could have medical applications down the road.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 28,548 articles