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University College London

Dyed-water droplets sit on the surface of treated cotton wool (Photo: Oli Usher/UCL)

How would you like to be able to wash your car by just hosing it off – no soap, scrubbing or drying? You may be able to in the not-too-distant future, thanks to research being led by a team at University College London. Drawing on earlier research, they've developed an ultra-hydrophobic (water-repelling) paint that can be applied to a variety of surfaces, and that stays on once applied.  Read More

The Twinkle satellite will look at the atmospheres of exoplanets to seek more definite sig...

One reason exoplanets are so fascinating is the possibility that they may harbor life, but the definition of habitable used by astronomers is so broad that it could include planets that obviously aren't. To help zero in on the more likely candidates, a British-built satellite called Twinkle will look at the atmospheres of exoplanets to seek more definite signs of life, as well as clues as to the chemistry, formation and evolution of exoplanets.  Read More

A new method developed by University College, London (UCL) has managed to double the dista...

A new method of processing signals via fiber optic cables could vastly increase the distance at which error-free data is transmitted via submarine cables without additional signal amplification. As the technique is capable of correcting corrupted or distorted data being transmitted, it may also assist in increasing the capacity of all optical fiber communications.  Read More

Sailors aboard the Mary Rose were suffering from rickets according to new analysis using l...

Lasers have been used to analyze the bones of sailors who drowned when the Royal Navy warship the Mary Rose sank in 1545. The new non-destructive technique carried out by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London, shows that the men suffered from rickets, shedding new light on nutrition in Tudor England.  Read More

The happiness blanket monitors brain activity and displays it on the fiber optic blanket

British Airways recently flew a group of volunteers on flight BA 189 Dreamliner from Heathrow to New York as part of an experiment to study how people react to the night-time flight across time zones. What made this particular flight unusual were the high-tech "happiness blankets" used to measure how relaxed passengers were as part of a study of how to combat jet lag.  Read More

Samples of the coating, which contains dyes that make bacteria die

Hospital-acquired infections are a major health threat, and have prompted the development of preventative measures incorporating things like blue light and selenium nanoparticles. One of the latest such developments is a light-activated antimicrobial surface coating made from silicone, dye and gold. For some reason, it also works in the absence of light.  Read More

The 3D model of the G-quadruplex, a four-stranded DNA sequence, that is already in use as ...

While two-dimensional modeling of double-stranded DNA molecules has been useful for the purpose of cancer research, the composition of the G-quadruplex, a four-stranded DNA sequence, has proven a different beast. A 3D printing lab at the University of Alabama has successfully produced a physical model of its molecular structure, improving understanding of its makeup and potentially, helping develop a treatment for pancreatic cancer.  Read More

Supernova 2014J (red circle and arrow) and the starburst galaxy M82 (Photo: NASA/Swift/P. ...

A cloudy night in London led to the discovery of the 21st Century's brightest supernova to date. The new supernova 2014J, the brightest since 1993, is located in the galaxy M82. This Type-Ia supernova has just reached its peak brightness of magnitude 10.6. M82 lies at a distance of only about 12 million light years, which explains the brightness of 2014J in our skies. 2014J is bright enough to be seen in small telescopes or perhaps in (very) large binoculars. We'll tell you how to find it.  Read More

UCL graduate student Alice Pyne works on a LEGO-based atomic force microscope (Photo: Inst...

Scanning atomic force microscopes, first introduced into commerce in 1989, are a powerful tool for nanoscale science and engineering. Capable of seeing individual atoms, commercial AFM prices range between US$10K and $1M, depending on the unit's features and capabilities. During the recent LEGO2NANO summer school held at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a group of Chinese and English students succeeded in making a Lego-based AFM in five days at a cost less than $500.  Read More

The Shipping Gallery was open for fifty years (Image: ScanLAB Projects Ltd)

At least one writer at Gizmag was saddened when the Science Museum in London removed its famous Shipping Gallery. Closed in May 2012, the venue of many a childhood rainy Sunday will be replaced by the new Information Age exhibit, which opens in September 2014. However, though the Shipping Gallery is gone, it’s also, paradoxically, still with us. That’s because the Science Museum, with the help of the University College London and ScanLAB, has created a virtual version of the gallery to make the exhibit available to future generations.  Read More

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