Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

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The CLA Shooting Brake's front styling is almost identical to the styling on the coupe

Mercedes continues to expand its lineup into new niches. The movement started in 2004 with the CLS four-door coupe, and continued when the range expanded to include a shooting brake model. Now, the CLA range has followed suit, with the new compact CLA Shooting Brake, for people who want the practicality of a wagon coupled with the CLA's slick styling.  Read More

The Miito is an induction kettle that heats only the liquid you need (Photo: Miito)

We all know that you should boil only what you need in a kettle to avoid wasting energy, but overfilling is still very common. The Miito combats this problem by using induction heating to boil just the water you need.  Read More

The Stanford material cools buildings by both reflecting sunlight and radiating interior h...

Keeping buildings cool isn't easy. In fact, conventional air conditioning methods are very energy intensive and account for up to 15 percent of the energy used in buildings in the United States alone. However, engineers at Stanford University have come up with a new ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings, but also directs heat from inside out into space, cooling both the building and the planet as well.  Read More

Pratap Pullammanappallil poses with an anaerobic digester used in a process that turns hum...

Flushing the human waste produced on space missions out an airlock isn't an option for astronauts. Currently its stored in containers before being loaded into cargo vehicles that burn up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere, but researchers at the University of Florida (UF) have found a better use for the material, by developing a process to turn it into rocket fuel.  Read More

Sawdust can be converted into a fuel additive – among other things – using a new chemical ...

This is science at its best: Decades ago, the only practical use for sawdust was to soak up vomit, but thanks to scientists at a Belgian university who developed a new chemical process, that same sawdust could soon be used to create gasoline and other products normally derived from petroleum.  Read More

Launch of the rocket TEXUS-49 (Image: Adrian Mettauer)

It may sound like the first chapter of a Quatermass thriller, but scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered that DNA can survive not only a flight through space, but also re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, and still remain active. The findings are based on suborbital rocket flights and could have considerable impact on questions about the origins of life on Earth and the problems of terrestrial space probes contaminating other planets.  Read More

The POD-Indawo was designed by architect Clara Da Cruz Almeida (Image: Brett Rubin)

A team of designers and architects based in South Africa has produced this charming prefabricated tiny home designed especially for the climate and conditions of their country. The versatile POD-Indawo can operate on or off-grid, and sports a decent-sized porch and an upstairs sleeping area.  Read More

Reiter Engineering has announced a new version of the its Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 racecar

Lamborghini's Gallardo GT3 partner Reiter Engineering has announced a new version of the car. The GT3 is a modified race-spec version of the famous Gallardo. The new upgrade will make the car wider, lighter and more powerful than the existing Gallardo FL2 GT3 version.  Read More

Plan V, by Sydney-based Flintu

Smartphones are more powerful than ever, but they still have an annoying tendency to run out of juice just when you need them most. The Kickstarter-backed Plan V could get you out of such a fix, as it's a small and light keyring-based device that can be used to charge your smartphone from a 9-volt battery.  Read More

WaveNET - a floating, flexible, modular and massively scalable wave power generation idea ...

Scotland's Albatern is putting a new, modular spin on renewable energy generation. WaveNET is a scalable array of floating "Squid" generator units that harvest wave energy as their buoyant arms rise and fall with the motion of the waves. Each Squid can link up to as many as three others, effectively creating a large, floating grid that's flexible in every direction. The bigger this grid gets, the more efficient it becomes at harvesting energy, and the more different wave movements it can extract energy from. Albatern's 10-year target is to have 1.25 kilometer-long floating energy farms pumping out as much as 100 megawatts by 2024.  Read More

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