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The US Supreme Court has ruled that human genes cannot be patented Image: Shutterstock)

In what is being ballyhooed as a landmark decision likely to set the course of DNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic medicine for the next several decades, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided on June 13 that human genes are not patentable. Rather than objects invented or discovered, human genes are henceforth to be treated as "naturally occurring phenomena," and hence fail the patentability test under 35 USC 101. As is usual in patent cases, however, the ruling contains delicate shades of meaning.  Read More

Gizmag compares the specs (and other features) of the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One

Typically, E3 is all about new game announcements. Though we still had a few of those this year, 2013 was more about hardware: the Xbox One and PS4. Both push the technical boundaries of gaming consoles, offer their own mixes of strengths and weaknesses, and release at around the same time. So how do you choose? Allow Gizmag to lend a hand, as we compare the specs (and other features) of the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4.  Read More

An electrically-activated adhesive tape incorporating metal strips has been developed for ...

Prefabricated houses are made up of separate pre-assembled modules that are joined to one another on-site – those modules, in turn, are made up of various wooden components that are typically nailed (or sometimes stapled) together in a factory. The wood used in the frames of the modules must be reasonably thick, in order not to split when the nails are driven in. This places some limitations on design possibilities. Now, however, German scientists have developed an alternative to those nails: electrically-activated adhesive tape.  Read More

The newly renovated Prahran Hotel features the clever use of recycled concrete pipes

The newly renovated Prahran Hotel, located in Melbourne, Australia must not be confused with the Tube Hotel in Mexico. While they both share the use of gigantic concrete pipes in their architecture, the Prahran Hotel is not actually a “hotel” but a pub. Local architectural studio Techne was asked to re-think the facade and concept design of the pub’s adjoining premises. The project involved the demolition of the old additions, in favor of a dramatic double-story building with a central courtyard.  Read More

A glowing Japanese freshwater eel – it's more than just tasty

Just about any sushi-lover knows what unagi is – it’s eel, or more specifically, the Japanese freshwater eel Anguilla japonica. What those people might not know, however, is that the eel glows green in the dark. Now, it looks like the protein that allows the fish to do so could also help doctors to assess human liver function.  Read More

Robot Zoë in the Atacama Desert where it will test technologies and techniques to search f...

Scientists looking for life on Mars are studying the driest desert on Earth. This month, Carnegie Mellon University's Zoë robot will traverse Chile’s near-uninhabitable Atacama Desert as part of an astrobiology experiment aimed at testing technologies and techniques for NASA’s next rover to search for life on Mars at the end of the decade.  Read More

ESA’s Proba-V satellite pinpointed the location of aircraft in flight over the Atlantic ap...

When the ESA’s Proba-V was launched on May 7, its main mission was to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire surface of the Earth every two days. But the miniaturized ESA satellite is also casting its gaze higher, to test whether it is possible to track aircraft continuously from space. Proba-V has now shown this is indeed possible, by becoming the first satellite to pick up aircraft tracking signals from space.  Read More

Bentley Continental GT3 Concept

Bentley stormed into last year's Paris Motor Show with a hardcore, race-ready version of its Continental GT. Its first race car in a decade, the Continental GT3 Concept Racer didn't yet have an official engine, and it was unclear whether Bentley would go with a W12 or use its newer, more efficient V8. This week, Bentley said that it will be the 4.0-liter V8.  Read More

The Power Pocket woven into a sleeping bag

Vodafone is to trial prototype phone-charging technology at the Isle of Wight festival this weekend. Developed by the University of Southampton's Electronics and Computer Science Department, the Power Pocket exploits the Seebeck effect, exploiting the difference in temperature between the human body and its surroundings to generate an electrical current which can be used to recharge a smartphone. Vodafone has woven the pocket into a sleeping bag (called Recharge) and a pair of shorts (called Power shorts) to test the technology.  Read More

Volvo's Richard Sebestyen with the current collector connected to the rear of the test tru...

While quick charging technology installed at strategic points along a planned route might be a good fit for inner city buses, it's not going to be of much use to electric vehicles that stop infrequently. Volvo sees our future long-haul trucks and buses drawing the juice they need from the road itself, making large onboard batteries a thing of the past.  Read More

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