Taffykay writes: Science fiction popularized the tri-corder concept, but Stanford scientists have turned the idea into a real-world device with groundbreaking applications. In addition to detecting explosives, Stanford's technology "hears" cancer tumors through ultrasound waves by emitting electromagnetic energy.
Taffykay writes: A new breakthrough from Georgia Tech is likely to revolutionize the renewable energy industry. The optical rectenna is composed of tiny carbon nanotubes and rectifiers that capture light and convert it directly into DC current. The nanotubes create an oscillating charge that moves through the rectifier, switching on and off at high speeds, thereby creating a small electrical current. Billions of rectennas together can generate a more substantial current, resulting in renewable energy that is both significantly cheaper than conventional solar and more efficient.
Taffykay writes: Perhaps a sign of how badly American consumers want to get their hands on renewable energy they can afford, four models of portable Trinity wind turbines are killing it on Kickstarter. In just one day, the crowdfunding campaign raised almost its entire goal of $50,000. Lightweight, super efficient, and effective in low winds, these personal wind turbines should ship as soon as April 2016.
Taffykay writes: While the rest of America ate BBQ and drank beer, Kimberly and Rebecca Yeung, just 8 and 10 years old, successfully launched a DIY craft to the edge of space. With help from designs found on High Altitude Science, the pair sent their craft, the Loki Lego Launcher, 78,000 feet into the air with a photograph of their cat and R2-D2. And they've got a video to prove it.
Taffykay writes: Everybody loves the aesthetics of a teardrop camper, but sometimes they're just too small. Beauer from France solves that dilemma with the 3X camper, which telescopes to three times its size with the press of a button. After towing the trailer to their favorite camping destination, users can expand its interior space in 20 seconds flat.
Taffykay writes: Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) offers significant benefits, but it's often prohibitively expensive. Paul Gauché from Stellenbosch University in South Africa hopes to change that with Helio 100, a series of "plonkable" miniature heliostats that require no installation or concrete, and offer solar energy that's cheaper than diesel.
Taffykay writes: Researchers evaluating data streaming in from Comet 67P are convinced the presence of certain organic compounds — the building blocks of life — affirms the theory of panspermia. This theory suggests life may have originated from organic compounds hitching a ride on wayward comets.
Taffykay writes: The United Arab Emirates likes to be first when it comes to amazing feats of construction and technology, and it often is. Recently, it was announced that Dubai will be home to the world’s first floating luxury homes and the world’s tallest building already towers over the skyline. Now, plans have been released for the world’s first fully 3D-printed office building, and it’s a cool, space-age structure that will save a bundle on construction costs and material waste.
Taffykay writes: A biotech firm in San Francisco aims to save the rhinos by 3D-printing a synthetic horn that is eerily similar to the real thing. With just one predator--humans--rhinos could be wiped off the face of the Earth in part because their horns are highly prized as both status symbols and as an alternative “remedy.” Pembient's founders believe they can curb poaching with their new 3D-printed horn, but conservationists aren't so sure.
Taffykay writes: A woman and her parents are suing the makers of Kotex Natural Balance tampons after 24-year-old Lauren Wasser almost died from Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a rare and sometimes fatal disease caused by a cocktail of bacteria that collect on synthetic tampons. Once a model who had it all, Lauren lost half of a leg and her other foot is badly deformed as a result of gangrene.
Taffykay writes: The cost of solar power has declined dramatically over the past few decades, from $40 per watt in 1977 to $0.74 per watt in 2013. This trend is expected to accelerate as improvements in efficiency and new technologies come online. The shift to solar may be most dramatic for those living in developing countries. Thanks to inexpensive printed solar cells, 1.3 billion people currently without electricity may be able to plug in for the first time.
Taffykay writes: Two teens from Hong Kong have created a new door handle that wipes out 99.8 percent of all germs on contact, potentially revolutionizing the hygiene industry. Realizing the extent to which bacteria spreads on public door handles, shopping carts and other objects touched by hundreds if not thousands of people each day, 17-year-old Sun Ming (Simon) Wong and 18-year-old King Pong (Michael) Li sought a material that could eliminate bacteria. Turns out titanium oxide does the trick, but they had to come up with an innovative way to activate it.
Taffykay writes: The innovative Dutch company behind the smart highway and glowing Van Gogh-inspired bicycle paths has unveiled their latest project: a 3D-printed steel bridge in the heart of Amsterdam. Heijmans created the pedestrian bridge in collaboration with Dutch startup MX3D and Joris Laarman as part of their goal to build the “spatial contours of tomorrow.” Multi-axis industrial robots will construct the pedestrian bridge using cost-effective and scalable technologies.
Taffykay writes: Have you always wondered how to build the perfect fire? Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, knows how, and has shared his secrets in a new study. Bejan says with all variables equal, the best fire is the one that is as tall as it is wide.
Taffykay writes: Between 1976 and 2013, a small village in the Solomon Islands killed 15,400 dolphins—for their teeth. Prized for use as jewelry, currency and even as bride price, the teeth fetched about $0.70 apiece in 2013, according to a report published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.