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Researchers have found that the language that the retina uses to communicate with the brai...

Our eyes extract a lot of information from visible light that enables us to see color, movement, shadows, highlights, shapes, and more, with each component processed separately and sent to the brain in parallel to the others. It was previously thought that the same scene would always be converted into the same pattern of activity. But research by scientists at the University of Tübingen in Germany and the University of Manchester in the UK suggests that the signals differ wildly as the brightness of the environment changes by even small amounts.  Read More

The humble asthma inhaler may be relegated from lifeblood of treatment to a mere backup de...

Asthma attacks are terrifying. They feel almost like the world is closing in around you as you wheeze and cough and gasp for breath. And they often strike suddenly, without warning, when an innocuous event stirs up dust or pollen around you. That terror of unexpected attack that we asthmatics feel every day may largely disappear if a novel new research project pans out. Scientists at the Universities of Cambridge, London, and Manchester have gone after the trigger allergens and developed an inhalable powder from a compound that binds to a major dust mite allergen. This powder could lead to a shift in focus for asthma treatment from relief to inhibition.  Read More

An x-ray displaying BoneFinder-enhanced hip bones

Despite what cartoons may have us believe, x-rays don't always show bones as being sharply defined from the surrounding tissue. It's often difficult to tell where the one ends and the other begins, requiring clinicians to go through the images and manually draw in the outlines of bones. Now, however, free software known as BoneFinder is able to do so automatically.  Read More

A bacteria found in England that can survive in harsh alkaline conditions could be used to...

"Extremophile" bacteria have been found thriving in soil samples from a highly alkaline industrial site in Peak District of England. Although the site is not radioactive, the conditions are similar to the alkaline conditions expected to be found in cement-based radioactive waste sites. The researchers say the capability of the bacteria to thrive in such conditions and feed on isosaccharinic acid (ISA) make it a promising candidate for aiding in nuclear waste disposal.  Read More

New research could help shift workers at travelers reset their body clock faster (Image: S...

The human body clock is the curse of any shift worker or traveler arriving in a new time zone. Although one's body clock can be adjusted by external cues, such as light – a factor that devices such as the Re-Timer and Litebook are designed take advantage of – the adjustment period can vary significantly for different people. Now researchers have discovered the mechanism that controls how easily such adjustments can be made.  Read More

Molecular assembler synthesized by Prof. Leigh of the University of Manchester and his gro...

Ribosomes are the main engines of creation of the proteins on which the body depends. Now, an artificial analog of the biological ribosome has been designed and synthesized by Professor David Leigh FRS and his team in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester.  Read More

Researchers have found that oxygen-containing free radicals aid rather than harm cell rege...

Researchers at the University of Manchester have found that Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) – oxygen-containing free radicals that are commonly believed to be harmful to cells – actually play a vital role in the regeneration of the tails of tadpoles. The finding could have profound implications for the healing and regeneration of human tissue.  Read More

The smart carpet uses embedded plastic optical fibers and electronics to detect a person's...

Researchers in the U.K. have developed a “magic carpet,” but not of the mythical flying variety. The new device consists of a carpet underlay embedded with plastic optical fibers and electronic sensors that can detect and map a person's walking patterns. With all of us progressing inexorably towards the age when the consequences of a fall can become much more serious than an embarrassing inconvenience, the researchers say the smart carpet is aimed at cutting the roughly 50 percent of hospital admissions in the over 65 age group in the U.K. that are the result of falls.  Read More

Mathematicians are proposing a cloaking system, which could allow buildings to be rendered...

While “cloaking” technology may have once been limited exclusively to the realm of science fiction, regular Gizmag readers will know that it is now finding its way into real life – just within the past few years, scientists have demonstrated various experimental cloaking systems that prevent small objects from being seen, and in one case, from being heard. Such invisibility systems involve the use of metamaterials, which are man-made materials that exhibit optical qualities not found in nature. These are able to effectively bend light around an object, instead of allowing it to strike the object directly. Now, mathematicians from the University of Manchester are proposing technology based on the same principles, that would allow buildings to become “invisible” to earthquakes.  Read More

Dr Nair shows his one micron thick graphene oxide film research sample (Photo: University ...

Ever since University of Manchester scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov first isolated flakes of graphene in 2004 using that most high-tech pieces of equipment - adhesive tape - the one-atom sheet of carbon has continued to astound researchers with its remarkable properties. Now Professor Sir Andre Geim, (he's now not only a Nobel Prize winner but also a Knight Bachelor), has led a team that has added superpermeability with respect to water to graphene's ever lengthening list of extraordinary characteristics.  Read More

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