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+ - Laser-Propulsion Could Give Space Rockets a Serious Boost->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Russian scientists have proposed a novel way to accelerate a spaceship while in flight – firing a ground-based laser up its backside. The new technique uses a plasma flow caused by laser ablation to increase the exhaust efficiency of a traditional rocket propulsion system, and could theoretically accelerate an aircraft beyond Mach 10."
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+ - HaptoMime Lets Users "Touch" a Mid-Air Display->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Touchscreen interfaces may make our lives easier, but the things do tend to get smeared with finger oil and whatnot, plus they're notorious for spreading germs. That's why a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, led by assistant professor Yasuaki Monnai, have developed the HaptoMime. It's an ATM-like interface that lets the user feel like they're touching a glass screen, when in fact they're touching nothing at all."
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+ - UK's New Weather Supercomputer Will Give Street-by-Street Forecasts->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The UK's obsession with the weather has just been stepped up a gear. The Met Office has announced that it will begin using a new supercomputer enabling highly detailed forecasts. The Cray XC40TM will cost £97 million (US$156 million) and is aimed at making the UK a world leader in weather and climate science."
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+ - Bird-Inspired Tech Could Result in Smoother Airline Flights->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Turbulence can be unpleasant enough for passengers in full-sized aircraft, but it's even more of a challenge for unmanned micro air vehicles (MAVs) – a good gust can blow one of the little drones completely off course, or even cause it to crash. That's why a team from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, has looked to birds for a solution. The result is a system that detects turbulence before it buffets the MAV, allowing the aircraft to anticipate it and thus maintain a smoother flight. The technology could also be applicable to regular airplanes."
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+ - Google Exec Sets New High-Altitude Skydiving World Record->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Google exec Alan Eustace has broken the 128,100-ft (39,045-m) high-altitude skydive record set by Felix Baumgartner in October, 2012 (with much less fanfare). Jumping from a balloon at 135,890 ft (41,419 m) above Roswell, New Mexico, Eustace also set new world records for vertical speed and freefall distance."
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+ - Cell Transplant Enables Paralyzed Man to Walk Again->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "In 2010, Darek Fidyka was paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a knife attack that left an 8 mm gap in his spinal column. Now surgeons in Poland, working in collaboration with scientists in London, have given Fidyka the ability to walk again thanks to a new procedure using transplanted cells from his olfactory bulbs."
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+ - Radical 4-in-1 Piston Engine Promises Hybrid-Like Efficiency->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "One of the many challenges facing engine designers is the need to increase power output while simultaneously retaining or improving efficiency. Although a four-cylinder engine is still an engineering marvel, there remain many friction points that reduce energy output. Namikoshi Electronics of Japan believes its unorthodox 4-in-1 concept engine could provide an alternative powerplant to the automobile industry."
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+ - New Li-ion Anode Achieves 70 Percent Charge in Just Two Minutes->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a new, proof-of-concept anode for lithium-ion batteries that can charge to 70 percent of its capacity in only two minutes and has a very long lifespan of ten thousand charge/discharge cycles. The advance could lead to the production of high-rate lithium-ion batteries, with interesting implications for personal electronics and, perhaps, even electric vehicles."
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+ - Wasp's 3D Printers Produce Low-Cost Houses Made From Mud->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "A need to address a lack of housing for the globe's growing population has turned up some eye-catching efforts, blending creative architecture with new, sustainable technologies. And it is increasingly looking like 3D printing could have a role to play. Italian firm Wasp is the latest to explore the potential of additive manufacturing in this area, developing a super-sized 3D printer capable of producing low-cost housing made from mud."
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+ - Turning up the Heat to Make Kelp a Viable Source of Biofuel->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Biofuels may indeed offer a greener alternative to fossil fuels, but they do raise at least one concern – crops grown as biofuel feedstock could take up farmland and use water that would otherwise be used to grow crops for much-needed food. That's why some scientists have looked to seaweed as a feedstock. Kelp is particularly attractive, in that it's abundant and grows extremely quickly, although its fuel yields haven't been particularly impressive. That could be about to change, however, thanks to a newly-developed hydrothermal process."
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+ - Scientists Create World's Thinnest Electric Generator-> 1

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Researchers from Columbia University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are laying claim to having observed piezoelectricity in an atomically thin material for the first time. The effect was demonstrated in the world's thinnest electric generator made from a two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) material, which had previously been predicted to exhibit such properties."
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+ - Earth's Magnetic Field Could Reverse in Just One Lifetime->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "A new study by a team of scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the Earth's magnetic field could change polarity in less than 100 years. The last magnetic reversal occurred some 786,000 years ago and was previously thought to have taken several thousand years but, if the researchers are right, the real time it may take for the flip to occur could actually be closer to the span of a human life."
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+ - Samsung Announces Super Fast, 4.6 Gbps Wi-Fi Technology->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Samsung Electronics has developed a new Wi-Fi technology that it says will soon allow users to download a 1 GB movie in less than three seconds, or stream uncompressed high-definition videos from mobile devices to TVs in real-time. The company also claims that the 802.11ad standard, 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology will to enable maximum speed irrespective of the number of devices connected to the same network."
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+ - Submersible Exosuit Lets Divers Plunge to 1,000 ft Below the Surface->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Thanks largely to Hollywood blockbuster franchises, humanity seems to be in the grips of a global obsession with exosuits. The fixation is informing the designs of future military tech and may even play a role in how we operate in space. Canadian based Nuytco Research hopes to bring its own Exosuit to the sea floor, allowing divers to safely operate at depths of up to 1,000 ft (305 m) with none of the nasty pressure-induced side effects that so often ruin a deep sea diver's day."
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+ - Prosthetic Hand Capable of Delivering Texture Sensations->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "A new prosthetic system allows amputees to feel familiar sensations and also, somewhat unexpectedly, reduces their phantom pain. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center developed the system to reactivate areas of the brain that produce the sense of touch, but recipients of prosthetic hands reported their phantom pain subsiding almost completely after being hooked up to the system."
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