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Jul 6, 2016

Big Bang – Or Big Bounce?

Posted by in category: cosmology

Was our universe born from the one before it? Neil Turok and Steffen Gielen explore the “big bounce” in the latest edition of Physical Review Letters.

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Jul 6, 2016

Hanergy’s solar-powered electric cars can charge themselves while driving

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

In just a few years, we could see an electric car on the market that doesn’t need a charging station to ‘fuel up.’

The biggest apparent stumbling blocks for electric vehicles (EVs) seems to be their range — the distance that can be driven between charging — and the time it takes for an EV battery to be charged. When competing against gas cars, which can be filled up in just a few minutes, and can cover a range of several hundred miles per tank, the idea of having a limited range and a longer ‘fueling’ time with an EV isn’t one that most of us are comfortable with. And when considering the easy availability of fuel from the vast number of gas stations (as opposed to the EV charging stations that are few and far between in most areas), switching from gas to electric mobility is a bit of a stretch for many people (not even taking into account the higher cost for EVs).

However, as costs go down, and as EV ranges increase (along with the growing numbers of dedicated EV charging stations), electric transport options will start to become more and more desirable (especially in times of rising gas prices), but will still most likely need to be tethered to charging points, unless the next generation of electric cars follows in the footsteps of one Chinese company.

Continue reading “Hanergy’s solar-powered electric cars can charge themselves while driving” »

Jul 6, 2016

A new look at the galaxy-shaping power of black holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, satellites

Data from a now-defunct X-ray satellite is providing new insights into the complex tug-of-war between galaxies, the hot plasma that surrounds them, and the giant black holes that lurk in their centres.

Launched from Japan on February 17, 2016, the Japanese space agency (JAXA) Hitomi X-ray Observatory functioned for just over a month before contact was lost and the craft disintegrated. But the data obtained during those few weeks was enough to paint a startling new picture of the dynamic forces at work within galaxies.

New research, published in the journal Nature today, reveals data that shows just how important the giant black holes in galactic centres are to the evolution of the galaxies as a whole.

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Jul 6, 2016

By data mining a vast collection of novels, researchers have identified the six basic plots that all stories follow

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists at the Computational Story Laboratory have identified the six emotional arcs that form the building blocks of all stories.

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Jul 6, 2016

Star Trek Competition Takes 3D Printing to Space

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, education, food, space, sustainability

Space and technology have collided in a recent design challenge hosted by Star Trek and NASA. Future Engineers has once again called upon students to push their creative boundaries. Since February 2016, they have been working hard to engineer 3D printable design concepts aimed at food sustainability in space. More than 400 students from 30 US states created amazing solutions that would aid astronauts in harvesting, preparing, eating and disposing of food while on long-duration space missions. A panel of judges from NASA, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation, and Made In Space, Inc. selected Kyle Corrette from Phoenix, Arizona and Sreyash Sola from Asburn, Virginia as winners of their respective Teen Group and Junior Group. Judges also selected three finalists from each group, who were each awarded a MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D printer for their school and a PancakeBot for their household. Winners Corrette and Sola received a grand prize trip to New York City for a private viewing of the Space Shuttle Enterprise with astronaut Mike Massimino at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, as well as a VIP tour of MakerBot’s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.

Read more about each finalist’s innovative design concept below:

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Jul 6, 2016

Can we really grow aircraft?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, drones, transportation

BAE systems and a professor at Glasgow University have revealed a way to really grow drones with an advanced form of chemical 3D printing.

The news has already swept the mainstream news sites, even though this is little more than a theoretical exercise right now. Professor Lee Cronin, the man behind the concept, freely admits that he has a mountain to climb to turn this dream into a reality.

The video, then, which depicts a pair of printer heads laying the absolute basics in a vat before the drone literally grows from almost nothing, is really a pipe dream right now.

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Jul 6, 2016

Innovative Plastic Material has Ability to Move Spontaneously in Visible Light

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

It would be interesting to see how this could be used in solar panels that can adjust themselves to capture the best/ high quality sun rays;


Written by AZoM

A team of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Humboldt University in Berlin showcased a thin layer of plastic material in the Nature Communications journal, which has the capacity to move spontaneously under the influence of daylight. The researchers feel that this flexible plastic is appropriate as a self-cleaning surface, for example it can be used in solar cells.

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Jul 6, 2016

GM working on ‘robo-glove’ for factories

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

General Motors is working with NASA and medical technologies company Bioservo to develop a battery-assisted robotic glove that can be used in assembly plants.

The technology was initially developed from a partnership between GM and NASA that resulted in RoboGlove, a force-multiplying tool that looks like a large electrified work glove.

The RoboGlove uses sensors and actuators comparable to the nerves, muscles and tendons in a human hand.

Continue reading “GM working on ‘robo-glove’ for factories” »

Jul 6, 2016

Super-strong and airy 3D-printed supermaterials inch closer to reality

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

Researchers at the Masdar Institute are creating 3D printed high performance materials with custom-designed mechanical, thermal and electrical properties by manipulating the materials’ internal structures.

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Jul 6, 2016

Paralyzed chimp walks, courtesy touch screen tech

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing

In a first, Japanese scientists have used a computer programme and a touch screen device to encourage a paralysed chimpanzee to walk again, showing that euthanasia need not be the only option for animals injured in captivity.

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