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Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices

Mute the song playing on your smartphone in your pocket by flicking your index finger in the air, or pause your “This American Life” podcast with a small wave of the hand. This kind of gesture control for electronics could soon become an alternative to touchscreens and sensing technologies that consume a lot of power … Continue reading

MSU advances algae’s viability as a biofuel

Lab success doesn’t always translate to real-world success. A team of Michigan State University scientists, however, has invented a new technology that increases the odds of helping algae-based biofuels cross that gap and come closer to reality. The current issue of Algal Research showcases the team’s invention — the environmental photobioreactor. The ePBR system is … Continue reading

Global Forest Watch: Dynamic New Platform to Protect Forests Worldwide

For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites the latest satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. The World Resources Institute (WRI), Google, and a group of more than 40 partners launched Global Forest Watch (GFW), a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers … Continue reading

Another Soft Robotics Breakthrough: Artificial muscles that do the twist

“It could inspire a whole new class of cardiac therapies, such as improved ventricular assist devices that mimic natural heart motion.” In the heart, as in the movies, 3D action beats the 2D experience hands down. In 3D, healthy hearts do their own version of the twist. Rather than a simple pumping action, they circulate … Continue reading

A paper diagnostic for cancer

Low-cost urine test developed by MIT engineers amplifies signals from growing tumors to detect disease. Cancer rates in developing nations have climbed sharply in recent years, and now account for 70 percent of cancer mortality worldwide. Early detection has been proven to improve outcomes, but screening approaches such as mammograms and colonoscopy, used in the … Continue reading

3-D printer creates transformative device for heart treatment

Using an inexpensive 3-D printer, biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders. Igor Efimov, PhD, at the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis and an international team of biomedical engineers and materials scientists have created a … Continue reading

New technique promises cheaper second-generation biofuel for cars

Now scientists have a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly — but it is also expensive because the process, as used today, needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market. Now scientists have a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production … Continue reading

Toilet? Planter? Urinal uses bamboo to deal with waste

It is almost impossible to find a public toilet in the US – and that creates problems. When desperate people pee in doorways and alleys, it offends residents and drives customers away from local businesses. Enter the PPlanter, a public urinal with an ecological twist. It uses biofilters – plants in a growing medium – … Continue reading

Scientists demonstrate first contagious airborne WiFi virus

  Scientists demonstrate first contagious airborne WiFi virus Researchers at the University of Liverpool have shown for the first time that WiFi networks can be infected with a virus that can move through densely populated areas as efficiently as the common cold spreads between humans. The team designed and simulated an attack by a virus, … Continue reading

Portable hydrogen fuel cell unit to provide green, sustainable power to Honolulu port

Young Brothers could save fuel and energy while greatly reducing emissions, if it switched primarily to fuel cells Clean hydrogen power that’s expected to lower emissions and reduce energy consumption will be coming to the Port of Honolulu in 2015 after the completion of a new fuel cell technology demonstration, one that could lead to … Continue reading