Most who have tried it would agree that dieting is a generally unpleasant, and an oftentimes ineffective way to lose weight in the long-term. The biggest hurdle for many is the constant hunger that comes from a change in their regular diet. Biotechnologists at ETH-Zurich have created a genetic helper that could one day put an end to the hunger pangs. Read More
Since installing your own personal weigh station in the driveway isn’t really practical, drivers basically have to guess whether or not they’re exceeding the vehicle’s maximum payload weight. For many, this probably comes down to whether or not the wheels are scraping the arches, but international automotive supplier Continental is set to offer a more accurate approach by developing tires with the ability to detect a vehicle’s weight. Read More
According to researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, the kilogram is very likely getting heavier. How can this be? Mainly because we’re talking about the definitive kilogram, the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris. But because this is the kilo against which all kilos are defined, in a theoretical sense at least, all kilograms will technically be heavier too. Read More

People being monitored for heart conditions currently have to go into a hospital or clinic on a regular basis, to have an electrocardiogram performed on them. That may be about to change, however, as researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have developed a bathroom scale that performs the procedure right in the user’s home. Read More

A sprocket of research engineers (yes, apparently that's the collective noun for a group of engineers) at the Catalan Institute of Technology (CIT) has succeeded in breaking the record for sensitivity of mass measurement. By measuring the resonant frequency of a short length of single carbon nanotube, masses as small as a single nucleon (proton or neutron), having a mass of about 1.7 yoctogram (1 yg = 10^-24 grams) were measured, thereby exhibiting a level of sensitivity several orders of magnitude better than previous devices. This new technology enables the detection and identification of individual atoms and molecules and tracing the fate of individual atoms in a chemical reaction. Read More
If you like to cook, and are just beginning the process of acquiring basic kitchen supplies, you’re probably planning on getting a measuring cup and a kitchen scale. Should you need to maximize space, however, you can now get both devices in one unit. It’s the Maxim 2 in 1 Jug and Scales, and it lets you measure both volume and weight. Read More
If you’ve seen Avatar or Aliens, then you’ve seen futuristic versions of exoskeletons – mechanical systems that human users wear over their bodies, to augment their own physical abilities. While exoskeletons are already available and in use today, they’re sometimes a bit more machine than what is needed. After all, why put on an expensive full- or half-body contraption, when you’re performing a task that mostly just requires the use of one arm? That’s where the x-Ar exoskeletal arm support comes in. Users wear it on their dominant arm, and it moves with them, providing support as they do things such as holding tools out in front of themselves. Read More
Although we hear about amazing advances in high technology every day, it’s often the really low-tech ones that most cause us to say “Why didn’t I think of that?”. A case in point is the MP4000 Personal Post Office portable scale – a product that's been around in its current incarnation since the 70s, but that we still thought was worth a mention. Designed primarily for weighing letters in order to determine postage, the non-digital, non-electronic, and barely even mechanical little gizmo is nonetheless accurate enough that its use has been approved by the US Postal Service. Read More
Of the various vehicles that were displayed at this month’s Detroit Auto Show, undoubtedly the biggest crowds were drawn to the cars with the most striking exteriors – witness the Porsche 918 RSR, for instance. Given that we drive our cars from the inside, however, isn’t the interior what’s most important? That’s what Johnson Controls seems to believe, as its ie:3 demonstrator vehicle showcased a number of the company’s innovations for vehicle interiors. According to Michael Warsaw, Johnson’s VP of Industrial Design and Marketing for North America, “Everything that you’ll see in this vehicle is ready for the next generation of automobiles.” Read More
It’s one of those things where if you think about it too much, your head might explode... we know there are 1,000 grams in a kilogram, and 1,000 kilograms in a metric ton, but how was it ever decided what any of these units actually physically weighed? Well... the modern metric system is part of the Système International d'Unités (International System of Units) or SI. It states that a kilogram is the weight of one specific 130 year-old platinum-iridium cylinder, which is kept in a vault at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France... and no, don’t ask how they knew if they’d got its weight right, when they were making it. The problem is, that cylinder’s mass changes slightly over time. Now, a worldwide effort is under way to change the definitive weight of a kilogram to something more permanent. Read More