javascript hit counter
Close

This site uses cookies. You can read how we use them in our privacy policy.

sunburn-sucks.jpgIf, like me, you've been cursed with skin so pale that simply stepping outdoors on a sunny day transforms you into a red walking man-lobster within minutes, this latest scientific innovation in the world of sunscreen could be the answer to your "I want to go on holiday in Barbados" prayers.

According to ScienceDaily, Norwegian researchers have uncovered a microorganisim living in Trondheim Fjord with incredible skin-protecting properties.

Micrococcus luteus, to give the bacteria its Latin name, possesses a carotenoid known to organic chemists as sarcinaxanthin that can absorb long-wavelength UV radiation in the range 350-475 nanometres - the same sort of radiation that causes skin cancer and malignant melanomas. By extension, it's also a superb sunscreen, protecting from burns on hot summer days.

After some "tricky genetic engineering", a commercially viable substance called UVAblue was synthesised, which is now in the process of being produced on a mass scale for inclusion in as-yet-undecided sunscreens. Norwegian company Promar AS has the patents for the substance, discovered with the help of researchers at SINTEF.

In other news, manufacturers of aftersun products the world over weep following the discovery of a new Norwegian bacteria that provides...

sony-medical-hmd.jpgSony have been touting Tron-like head-mounted displays since back in 2011, giving gamers and film fans a personal 3D viewing experience by sticking two tiny screens in front of their eyes in the HMZ-T1 and HMZ-T2 headsets. Having not exactly been roaring success with consumers, Sony are changing tact a bit, revealing the HMM-3000MT which is aimed instead at surgeons.

Acting as the viewing screen for the internal end of medical endoscope, the HMM-3000MT lets surgeons see inside a patient in 2D or 3D, with the added depth of three dimensional imagery said to allow for greater precision when working in tight quarters.

The use of head-mounted screens are also said to help doctors stay focussed, meaning they won't have to restrict their posture or turn away from the job at hand.

Packing in a pair of 0.7-inch 720p OLED panels (just like the headsets aimed at consumers), the design has been tweaked to allow use in a standing position to be more comfortable, while the software now allows for flipped camera views and picture-in-picture - handy for getting another angle of an operation.

Greenlit for use in Japan, there's no word yet on an international roll-out.

REVIEW: Netatmo Urban Weather Station

No Comments

Web-Hi_Netatmo_combo_no-Logo.jpgreview-line.JPGName: Netatmo Urban Weather Station

Type: Indoor and outdoor weather and environment monitoring sensor kit

Specifications: Click here for full specs

Price as reviewed: £139

review-line.JPG
Everywhere you go, you can always take the weather with you thanks to the Netatmo Urban Weather Station, tracking minute changes in humidity, temperature, CO2 levels and sound levels at your home while on the go through both iPhone and Android apps. But, for £139, can it glean any more information than a TV weather report or a quick glance out of the window already can? Read our full review to find out!

review-line.JPGThe Netatmo Urban Weather Station kit is made up of two aluminium cylinders, one intended for indoor use that hooks up to your mains, the other destined to brave the elements outside, powered by 4 AAA batteries (which should see out a year's worth of use). They're attractive and relatively discrete items that communicate with each other over Wi-Fi and send data to a set of free iPhone, iPad, Android and desktop apps, measuring everything from temperature to humidity, sound levels to CO2.

Setting up the Netatmo kit is a relatively painless affair, though the supplied instructional documentation isn't all that helpful. You can pair the Netatmo to your router with either the desktop app with a USB cable (USB cabling is only needed during set-up) or through a similar process for iOS devices with iOS docking cables. Once connected to your Wi-Fi network, the sensors begin pumping environmental data to Neatmo's servers, which you can view via a web portal or the mobile apps through your user account, which is set-up during installation.Web-Hi_Product_no-logo.jpgNetatmo claim that the smaller outdoor sensor can be placed as far as 100m away from the indoor mains connected unit, but that distance is cut considerably once walls and other obstacles are placed in the way. In reality (unless you live under a wall-less gazebo), expect that range to be halved. It's also worth noting that the outdoor unit must be sheltered from harsh weather as it isn't waterproof. You'll have to find a little alcove outside for it to live in or face certain readings be skewed by factors such as heavy rain, for instance, a notable problem for a device that will spend almost all of its life outdoors.
Though the Netatmo kit offers forecast information provided by MeteoGroup, it's real USP is allowing you to disseminate the minute fluctuations of all manner of readings in your immediate environment. Indoor and outdoor temperature, air quality and humidity can be measured, while the indoor sensor also picks up pressure, sound and CO2 level readings.

All of these measurements can then be tracked and recorded through the desktop and smartphone apps, and even turned into XLS or CSV files for exporting into other applications. netatmo-iphone-screens.jpgIt's fascinating stuff, and at times a little too revealing! I got into a panic when I saw CO2 levels in my flat beginning to rise, though it turned out they were well within perfectly liveable ranges. But it proved to show just how muggy our indoors living conditions can be, let alone the pollutants outside. I'm just as concerned now with ventilation (especially around my kitchen's gas-powered oven) as I am with keeping the heating off.

Presented in modular charts and readings, flipping the smart device running the Netatmo app horizontally lets you see readings in granular detail through graphs, showing five minute incremental readings. Though working perfectly well on a smartphone, the iPad version of the app proved most useful, letting you cram more information onscreen at once and more easily compare and contrast data. The indoor sensor also has an LED indicator strip that, when activated by a tap of the top of the unit, glows red, yellow or green for a quick visual cue to indoor air quality levels.Netatmo_App_hd_curves-eng-metric.jpgEach version of the app can also be used to set up alerts, sent to your device of choice once the sensors pick up certain pre-determined readings. There are preset notification events that can be triggered, or you can create your own. For instance, setting the indoor sensor to pick up minute changes in sound levels when placed near your front door could well be used as a burglar alarm, or a way of letting you know your kids have got home safely from school. We can also see a busy market for the sensors for horticulturists with indoor greenhouse wares of the not-so-legal variety, too.

review-line.JPG
Verdict:

I have to admit to being quite skeptical as to the benefits of the unit when first setting the Netatmo kit up, but it's won me over during the last couple of weeks. The information each monitor offers is presented cleanly and in fine detail, with a flexible alert system that can give the Netatmo some unexpected secondary uses. It's very pricey, and as such will likely only be the reserve of budding meteorologists or demanding greenhouse gardners, but all will likely find the details of their immediate surroundings presented by the Urban Weather Station fascinating.review-line.JPG

4/5

review-line.JPG

Overnight smartphone charges may soon become a thing of the past thanks to a new invention by 18-year old high school student Eesha Khare.

The California resident received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for the invention of a tiny energy-storage device called the "supercapacitor".

With the potential to charge a smartphone in just 20 or 30 seconds and offering 10,000 charge/recharge cycles (10 times more than a standard rechargeable battery), it could remove the power bottleneck that has seen smartphone fans tied to their chargers over the past few years as mobile technology becomes increasingly more energy-hungry.

"My cellphone battery always dies," Khare told NBC News, revealing the inspiration behind her work. The project allowed her to focus on her interest in nanochemistry -- "really working at the nanoscale to make significant advances in many different fields."

"It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric," Khare added.

"It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense."

So far Khare has used the supercapacitor to power an LED, though all involved see the potential application within smartphone power sources.

And all at just 18! I'm pretty sure I was just sitting in my pants all day playing PlayStation at that age. Good on her.

Ray Harryhausen, eat your heart out! IBM have taken stop-motion video making to the atomic level, making the "world's smallest movie" with atoms.

Rather than toothpicks, clay and a hell of a lot of patience, the IBM team used a two-ton microscope (still with a lot of patience, naturally) that operates at a super-low negative 268 degrees Celsius. This is used to control a probe that dragged atoms around to create the 242-frame film.

Check it out in the YouTube video above, which also includes a making-of clip at the end.

When you're finished here, check out the same team's work on the world's smallest magnetic bit, and its potential application in storage devices - IBM tease that their research could eventually lead to an iPod that could hold every movie ever made.

nesbitt.jpg
We've all been there, having been out "on the lash" with our pals only to realise too late that we've had one drink too many. Short of a good night's kip and the promise of a banging headache the following day, there's not much you can do to sober yourself up at present. But that may soon change thanks to a new study by researchers in California.

UCLA professor Yunfeng Lu and USC's Cheng Ji have created a work-in-progress drug that's become known as the Booze Pill. It quickly sobers up a person suffering the effects of a heavy drinking session. As first spotted by Gizmodo, the pill uses a combination of two enzymes wrapped in a nanoscale shell.

Tested on mice, those injected with the enzyme nanocapsule saw blood alcohol levels drop at a significantly faster rate than those that had not been given the drug.

Though a long way off from widespread human use, Lu and Ji's work could lead to a pill designed for Joe Public, and could potentially lower accidents resulting from drunkenness and drink driving. Lu describes the drug's effect as "almost like having millions of liver cell units inside your stomach or in your intestine, helping you to digest alcohol."

There's still a problem here though. Drink driving is bad. BAD. We've had 30-odd years of public service campaigns to hammer home the point. The same goes for binge drinking; it may be fun on the night, but it leaves you vulnerable and over time does serious damage to your health. If we become so comfortable with being able to drink and pop a pill to fix all the side-effects, that undoes all the hard work done to educate people of the dangers. What then happens on those occasions were a person used to popping a pill finds their supply has run dry on a boozy night? It's a great idea, but could a booze pill ultimately do more damage than good?

richad_iii_skull_.jpgThe long-lost remains of King Richard III have been identified by archaeologists at the University of Leicester "beyond reasonable doubt", the team have today revealed.

The remains were found last year exhumed from under a car park near where the king's body was thought to be lost. Suspicions over the identity of the skeletal remains were initially raised based on the curvature of the skeleton's spine and battle wounds consistent with historical accounts of Richard III's death way back in 1485, as well as the nature of the burial.richard-iii-grave.pngNow a team led by Richard Buckley has used extensive radio carbon dating and DNA analysis comparisons with the king's living descendants to confirm that the remains are in fact those of Richard III, ending a 500-year mystery as to the location of his final resting place.

Descendants used in the DNA testing included four living males, as well as a sample from Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born carpenter and 17th generation descendent of the king's sister.

The team were also able to ascertain that the late king was killed between his late 20s and early 30s, further details that correlate with historical accounts, as well as signs of scoliosis and the ten points of battle-inflicted trauma that was said to have caused his death.

Richard III's death occurred at the conclusion of two years reign over Britain from 1483 to 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth. It marked the end of the War of the Roses and, for many academics, the closure of the medieval period. However, in modern times Richard III has become best known as depicted by William Shakespeare, one of the Renaissance playwright's most vile historical villains.

The remains will now be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral, close to the Greyfriars site where he was first discovered. The cathedral will also house a new monument to the king, and is expected to become a tourist hotspot.

To celebrate the news, here's Supergrass's classic tune, 'Richard III'. Enjoy!

Regardless of what you think about the ridiculously named Felix Baumgartner's (translates as tree gardener apparently) crazy stunt, there's no denying the guy has got some balls doing what he did.

Jumping out a balloon-powered space capsule from 128,000 feet, spinning apparently out of control for part of the plunge - yet still not passing out or screaming for your Mum - is a truly incredible feat. Personally I get a bit giddy on top of a kids' rollercoaster so I can't imagine what free falling at Mach 1.24 (833 miles per hour) at temperatures of -68 degrees centigrade must feel like. All on the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeagar breaking the sound barrier for the first time - though of course he did it in a plane, the wimp.

Apparently Baumgartner, his sponsor Red Bull and YouTube have set another record too. During last night's stunt there were more than two million concurrent livestreams of the event going out around the world. The previous record for a single web video service was around 500,000 concurrent streams, which Google served up during the Olympics this summer.

You can see the whole thing here:

And you can see highlights here:


(By the way rumours of RyanAir's Michael O'Leary introducing parachute drop offs from aircraft as a way of saving on landing fees are completely unfounded)

For more information on the world record breaking jump go here.

Via TV Scoop

large-hadron-collider.jpgThe Large Hadron Collider, the "Big Bang" particle accelerator that's the most breathtaking piece of engineering the world of physics has ever seen (and likely the device that will open up a wormhole to another dimension here on Earth, leading to an alien invasion and, inevitably, the Apocalypse. Maybe.) has completed its most monumental finding to date. The £2.6 billion installation has proved the existence of the "God particle", or "Higgs boson", a sub-atomic finding that gives matter to mass, physically holding the universe together.

"They have discovered a particle consistent with the 'Higgs boson'," said Professor John Womersley. chief executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council

"Discovery is the important word. That is confirmed. It's a momentous day for science."

The discovery of the Higgs Boson ties up one of the remaining loose ends in the Standard Model, the theory describing all particles, interactions and forces at play in the universe. Without the discovery, modern theories in physics, including Einsteinian theory, would have had to have gone back to the drawing board.

Today's news was broken at the Geneva headquarters of Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

The Large Hadron Collider is the the largest scientific instrument ever built. With a circumference of 17 miles, it lies deep underground across the French-Swiss border near Geneva.

swear-bubble.jpg
Are you prone to swearing after you've stubbed your toe or taken a knock while playing football? Chillout. Relax. Swear as much as you like; it's nature's natural painkiller.

That's the new finding from a study by the Keele University, whose research confirms that swearing can be an effective form of relief.

However, there is a stipulation to go along with the findings; according to Richard Stephens of Keele's School of Psychology, those who swear the most are likely to be able to withstand the least amount of pain.

While he admitted there was no "recommended daily swearing allowance", the team did state in America's Journal of Pain that those who controlled their outbursts also managed their pain better. Using the "ice-water challenge" to test subjects' pain-thresholds, researchers found that those who swore just a few times a day could handle the icy pain for twice as long. Those who swore frequently, pushing as many as 60 foul words out a day, found no benefits from their tirades.

According to the scientists, the relief comes from an emotional response called "stress-induced analgesia", also known as "fight or flight", which produces adrenalin. Swearing is an emotional manifestation of your desire to fight the pain, and your body reacts accordingly. Frequent swearers no longer associate their outburts with the same emotional response, and so don't reap the same benefits.

So, the next time you head down to the doctors with a sprained ankle, perhaps ask for a list of super-strong swear words to shout rather than a packet of paracetamol, providing you haven't the potty mouth of a South Park character.

Via: The Independent


Today car giant Ford announced that it is developing one of the world's first digital human child body models as part of their program to make car travel for young people safer.

The company has won numerous awards for the safety of their cars and now wants to increase their knowledge of how to create a safe travel environment for people of all ages from adults to young children. Specifically focusing on the impact of injuries to younger travellers are different to those of older passengers.

Dr Stephen Rouhana, Senior Technical Leader for Safety at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, said "Our restraint systems are developed to help reduce serious injuries and fatalities in the field, and they have proven to be very effective. But crash injuries still occur. The more we know about the human body, the more we can consider how to make our restraint systems even better."

Thumbnail image for FordCrashTestDummies_05.jpg

Digital bodies are very hard to make, the work on Ford's adult human body took a staggering 11 years to complete. They aren't replacing test crash dummies, the digital bodies are used in research laboratories to further understand the effects of injuries caused by accidents and how they can be avoided.

The digital bodies take so long to create because a very large amount of information is included in every bone and organ included in the body and how it works and effected. The data is gathered with lots of different medical scans taken from patients, and the research team can build a perfect copy to research with.

With the child's body Rouhana said, "Building a digital human model of a child will help us design future systems that offer better protection for our young passengers."

FordCrashTestDummies_02.jpg

Of course, test crash dummies are still used in testing and development, and they have been for the past 70 years with Ford, the original design being created for the US Airforce to test ejector seats in jet fighters. However more modern crash test dummies have vinyl skin, a steel ribcage, a spine made of metal discs, moveable neck and knees that are designed to respond like the human equivalent. No longer are they just plastic figures bent into shapes.

Each test dummy has a variety of sensors built into the surface of the object to record impact crashes and pressure levels,"Today's crash test dummies are very complex devices, a Hybrid III costs approximately 34,000 Euros but with full instrumentation this can rise to more than 50,000 Euros." explained Senior Engineer for Safety Jake Head

It is life saving research that the team are doing and with these more insightful tools and equipment researchers will be looking for way to save more lives in the future and make it safer for everyone in cars.


NASA ready to send latest Rover to Mars

No Comments

nasa_curiosity.jpg

Despite having their budget cut to the bare bones NASA is still determined to go where no man has gone before, or in this case send a rover where no rover has gone before.

November 25th will see NASA launch their new rover mission to Mars. The new car sized robot called Curiosity will launch with an eye to land in August 2012. At 10 metres long and weighing in at 1 tonne this is the largest rover ever to go up into space as part of the mars missions.

Onboard the rover will be a 7ft mast which will carry cameras and laser firing equipment which will enable the robot to carry out a variety of tasks, or for a more personal approach it has a 7ft fitted arm to examine soil and rock samples.

It is being sent to Mars to further investigate the possibility of Mars one day being habitable. The sorts of experiments it will carry out while on the surface of the red planet will include studying soil and rock composition, gather weather information and test the radiation levels of the surface.

This experiment will lead the way to a manned mission to Mars in the future but also try to answer questions scientists have always wanted to know, the main one being whether life every existed on Mars.

Geologists are warning of major shortages of certain types of metals as an "inexorable demand for consumer goods" such as smartphones and laptops is meaning that gadget manufacturers are using up the resources far more quickly than they can be mined.img_zinc.jpg

A report in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience following a meeting of leading geologists warns of bottlenecks and low reserve stocks of key resources such as copper, nickel, silver and zinc.

Dr. Gawen Jenkin of the Department of Geology, University of Leicester, and lead convenor of the Fermor Meeting of the Geological Society of London, voiced concerns:

"Mobile phones contain copper, nickel, silver and zinc, aluminium, gold, lead, manganese, palladium, platinum and tin. More than a billion people will buy a mobile in a year - so that's quite a lot of metal. And then there's the neodymium in your laptop, the iron in your car, the aluminium in that soft drinks can - the list goes on...

"With ever-greater use of these metals, are we running out? That was one of the questions we addressed at our meeting. It is reassuring that there's no immediate danger of 'peak metal' as there's quite a lot in the ground, still - but there will be shortages and bottlenecks of some metals like indium due to increased demand."

Though the shortages lie in the near-future rather than the immediate present, Dr Jenkin still believes there is a pressing need for economic geologists to address the problem before it gets out of hand.

"Exploration for metal commodities is now a key skill. It's never been a better time to become an economic geologist, working with a mining company. It's one of the better-kept secrets of employment in a recession-hit world," concluded Jenkin.

bionic-hand-boy.jpgThe Formula One Mercedes GP Petronas team have helped a British teenager improve his quality of life by helping him grab an expensive bionic arm from Touch Bionics.

14-year-old Matthew James was born without a left hand, and had been using a crude bionic arm which he described as "like a claw", which only allowed for simple gripping techniques.

He'd been dreaming of having an i-Limb Pulse from Touch Bionics fitted, a far more advanced arm and hand combo that allowed for individual finger movements. However, priced at £30,000 and unavailable through the NHS, the teen seemed out of luck.

That was until he came up with the ingenious plan of approaching the Mercedes team for funding, in exchange for advertising space on the side of his futuristic limb.

While Mercedes declined the advertising offer, they did manage to broker a deal for £25,000 off the price of the arm for Matthew by offering an exhcange of technologies between themselves and Touch Bionics. Mercedes are also helping raise the final £5,000 needed.

A great feel good story, with a sci-fi happy ending.

Well almost; Matthew one regret:

"Unfortunately there's one downside to it, I'm having to do more chores," he said.

Via: BBC

Futur Fusion helix.jpgWe're suckers for robots, cyborgs and visions of the future here at Tech Digest, so we jumped at the chance to get a closer look at the new Futur Fusion exhibition taking place in London's Covent Garden area. A showcase of sculpture, illustration and photography, the exhibition explores issues surrounding nanotechnology, bio-technology and sustainability, with a healthy dose of sci-fi chic thrown in for good measure.

Collecting work from illustrator Sebastian Clark, photographer Stephane Grand and sculptor Dominic Elvin (whose previous work includes the world famous design of Camden's Cyberdog store) it's a vibrant, futuristic exhibition galaxies apart from the sort of work you'd find in the Tate Britain.

"I'm obsessed with frontier science," enthused Elvin, "so I try to incorporate its ideas into my work."

"Isaac Asimov (pioneering sci-fi author - Ed.) was my original inspiration though, going back to when I was 12 or 13. My father gave me the Asimov "Foundation" books, and they transported me to this incredible world, filling me with ideas that never left my mind."

As much as the exhibition revels in visions of the future, the artists exhibiting also have one eye firmly fixed on the present. Specifically, Futur Fusion also looks at the way we're still failing to take green issues seriously.

As a result, much of Elvin's work uses recycled and reclaimed materials, the percentage of which in each work he proudly presents alongside his pieces.

SANY0108.JPG

"We're trying to show people that recycled art pieces don't have to be old washing machines looking like clunky robots, it can be really polished and cool. It's also about seeing materials in a different way - rubbish doesn't always have to be landfill waste," said Elvin.

Likewise, photographer Stephane Grand's work often acts to highlight the wasteful, destructive nature of consumerism, with a playful installation called "Mr Splatz" mimicking a chalk-line crime scene with garbage materials.

Despite the serious issues explored, the Futur Fusion team still exude playful enthusiasm for the works on show, keen to stress that the exhibit is fun and suitable for the whole family.

"Yesterday we had a big group of fifty kids with their teachers come in. They went crazy, you'd have thought they were at Disney Land! The teachers were really positive too as they're increasingly teaching about sustainability in lessons," said Elvin.

"For me that sort of response is fantastic, because they're exactly the people we're doing this for. They're the next generation, and they're going to have to pick up the shit left by this generation."

The exhibition kicked off on June 13th and runs until Saturday 18th June 2011. The Futur Fusion collection can be found at I.N.C Space, 9-13 Grape Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 8ED and is open to the public, free of charge, from 9am to 7pm.

For more info on the event, visit www.facebook.com/futurfusion. Alternatively, send the Futur Fusion team a message via Twitter by using the #FuturFusion hashtag.

Brain-stimulation2.jpgThe first comprehensive gene mapping of the human brain has been carried out by the The Allen Institute for Brain Science, showing that our think-boxes are far more similar than anyone first thought.

Working with two normal adult brains, the team discovered that there is a 94% similarity in the bio-chemistry of human brains, which could potentially lead to great advances in the treatment of degenerative brain diseases. The team also found that 82% of all human genes can be found within the brain, further highlighting just how complex an organ it is.

"Until now, a definitive map of the human brain, at this level of detail, simply hasn't existed," said Allan Jones, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. "The Allen Human Brain Atlas provides never-before-seen views into our most complex and most important organ. Understanding how our genes are used in our brains will help scientists and the medical community better understand and discover new treatments for the full spectrum of brain diseases and disorders, from mental illness and drug addiction, to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis, autism and more."

For more info, visit www.brain-map.org.

virgin-oceanic.jpg

Jules Verne would be proud of Richard Branson's latest venture: the Virgin Oceanic submarine.

The project aims to explore "the last frontiers of our own Blue Planet: the very bottom of our seas". Google is even involved with its mapping technology:

"Using their mapping technology, Google hopes to chronicle the dives as they happen and share discoveries, footage and record breaking achievements with the world" Richard Branson said in a statement.

Along with explorer Chris Welsh, Branson intends to take a solo piloted submarine to the deepest points in each of the world's five oceans. It is the first time anyone has ever attempted to do this. It includes diving into the 36,201ft deep Mariana Trench, and the 28,232ft deep Puerto Rico Trench.

Unreached depths
It may not be possible to go this deep - and if Branson is successful there is no way of knowing what is down there. Millions of year's worth of biological "soup" is expected to be the bottom of these deep trenches though.

Branson's submarine utilises the latest in composite technology, including a unique wing to "fly" within the Ocean environment.

Branson said:

"What if I were to tell you about a planet, inhabited by 'intelligent' beings that had, in the 21st Century, physically explored 0% of its deepest points and mapped only 3% of its oceans by unmanned craft, when 70% of that planet's surface was made up of water. Then I tried to convince you that only 10% of the life forms inhabiting that unknown world, are known to those on the surface - you'd think I'd fallen asleep watching the latest sci-fi blockbuster! Then you discover that planet is Earth..."

Well we can't have that can we! Bon Voyage, Sir Richard!

spaceshuttle.jpg

Awesome news from Kansas State University and their, eh, glue department - an adhesive that doesn't go brittle when it dries.

Usually, glue loses its stickiness when it loses moisture, but not anymore! This will make it so much easier to glue things in outer space.

According to PopSci, the new glue is made up of peptides, an amino acid, that become increasingly sticky when their pH reaches a level of about 9. Then these peptides form long fibrils that get tangled up in each other and the surfaces they are attached to.

It's not great for non-porous, smooth surfaces, and there are stronger glues out there. But next time you need to re-attach some heat-resistant tiles on the space shuttle, you will be a happy bunny indeed.

Coffee-Joulies.jpg

Dependant on the black stuff to get going in the morning? Me too. Here's a little something if you are finding it too hard to wait for your coffee to cool down enough for it to be drinkable (or should we say, gulpable): Coffee Joulies.

They are basically stainless steel coffee beans that you put in your drink - the secret is the insides of these metal nuggests, where some fancy material will suck up heat from the liquid and make it cool down three times faster than normal, apparently.

And! Once your drink has reached a certain cool, the clever little 'thermodynamic heat storage device' beans will then release back some of the heat, keeping your drink warmer for longer - twice as long as if you did nothing. It's the Goldilocks of coffee, this.

The-Transition-flying-car.jpg

It's a dream that's been a long time coming - the flying car. The credit goes to Terrafugia, a US company, which has created the car called "Transition".

This is a "roadable aircraft", according to a company - so less a flying car than a drivable airplane, in fairness. You will need an airstrip to take off, but the wings will get folded up when you land and the engine will motor the wheels instead of the propellers as you whizz down the street.

The cost will be about £120,000 though, so it may be a while before we're all flying yet.

(Image via the Guardian)

©2014 Shiny Digital Privacy Policy
Related Posts with Thumbnails