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Newcastle University

Medical

Nanotube film could replace defective retinas

A promising new study suggests that a wireless, light-sensitive, and flexible nanotube-semiconductor nanocrystal film could potentially form part of a prosthetic device to replace damaged or defective retinas. The film both absorbs light and stimulates neurons without being connected to any wires or external power sources, standing it apart from silicon-based devices used for the same purpose. It has so far been tested only on light-insensitive retinas from embryonic chicks, but the researchers hope to see the pioneering work soon reach real-world human application.Read More

Environment

All-in-one system uses plant oils to power, heat, and cool the home

A team of researchers led by Newcastle University has produced an all-in-one Biofuel Micro Trigeneration (BMT) prototype system fueled entirely by unprocessed plant oils that provides combined cooling, heating, and electrical power. This first-generation system is designed for use in homes, with the potential for up-scaling for larger commercial and industrial applications. Read More

Science

New discovery could pave the way for glues that stick like barnacles

If you place pretty much any type of solid material in the ocean, barnacles will firmly attach themselves to it. If you were to try applying a glue to any of those materials while they were underwater, however, it likely wouldn't stick. So, what do barnacles know that we don't? Scientists have recently discovered the answer, and it could lead to advances in human technologies. Read More

Science

Praying mantises outfitted with tiny 3D glasses

Although us humans take 3D vision for granted, it's not a standard feature throughout the animal kingdom. In fact, praying mantises are the only invertebrates known to possess it – a fact which makes them excellent hunters. Scientists at Britain's Newcastle University are now studying the insects' ability to see in 3D, to determine if it could be copied in human technologies such as robot vision systems. As part of that study, they're equipping mantises with the smallest pairs of 3D glasses ever made. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Sensors on dogs could help monitor their elderly owners' well-being

In an age when an increasing number of seniors live by themselves, dogs often provide strong emotional support to those people. Such a strong bond could also be useful for monitoring both the dog’s and its owner’s well-being, according to new research conducted by scientists at Newcastle University. They've developed a sensor to monitor the dog’s movements at home and out of the house.Read More

Good Thinking

App allows art viewers to virtually peel back layers of a painting

People have come to expect “making-of” documentaries to be included when they watch a movie on DVD or Blu-ray. Thanks to research being conducted in the UK, similar expectations may soon be coming to the viewing of paintings. The experimental Repentir app is currently allowing users to digitally remove layers of British artist Nathan Walsh’s “Transamerica” painting, to see how he put it together. Read More

Environment

Sea urchins reveal promising carbon capture alternative

Carbon capture and sequestration in underground reservoirs isn’t the most practical or cost effective way to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. It would be much simpler if CO2 could be quickly and cheaply converted into a harmless, solid mineral before it is released into the atmosphere. A team from the U.K.’s Newcastle University may have stumbled across a way to achieve this thanks to the humble sea urchin.Read More

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