Innovation

Here’s how our bodies change the organisms that try to infect us

Humans play host to many little passengers. Right now, you’re incubating, shedding or have already been colonised by viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal microorganisms – perhaps all of them! Are you sick? Maybe, maybe not. That’s partly because you have effective natural weapons and barriers…

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A startup is looking to rule India’s cow economy with dung soap and urine toothpaste

You’ve heard of ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical science. So have you about Unani, the Perso-Arabic healing science. Then there is homeopathy. Now prepare for Cowpathy. No, it is not a whole new medical system. It is a Mumbai-based company that makes consumer products said…

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It looks like a real heart, it beats like a real heart, but it’s made by a machine

ETH researchers from the Functional Materials Laboratory have developed a silicone heart that beats almost like a human heart. In collaboration with colleagues from the Product Development Group Zurich, they have tested how well it works. It looks like a real heart. And this is…

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Here’s how the light from your smartphone impacts your brain and body

The designers of our smartphones, tablets, and laptop screens have been able to create incredibly powerful lights. These screens glow bright enough to be seen during a sunny day. At night, they’re so strong that they’ve been compared to a « little window » that daylight can…

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This man has created a car that is powered by whisky

Alcohol and automobiles famously do not mix – but one Scottish scientist has disproved that maxim by driving a car powered by biofuel derived from making whisky. Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables has developed a process to manufacture the biofuel biobutanol from draff and pot ale –…

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Researchers have created a battery-free phone that is powered by sunlight

Instead of batteries, a new cell phone harvests the few microwatts of power it needs from a different source: ambient radio signals or light. Researchers were also able to make Skype calls using the battery-free phone, demonstrating that the prototype—made of commercial, off-the-shelf components—can receive…

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These futuristic spacecrafts could nudge asteroids away from us

NASA has given the go-ahead for work to design a spacecraft that will test nudging an Earth-threatening asteroid out of its menacing orbit. The space agency’s OK kicks off the preliminary design phase for DART, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission. “DART is a critical…

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How much screen time is too much?

In today’s media-rich world (or media-saturated, depending on your view), one rarely has to look far to find parents concerned about the ways that kids engage with technology. Recently, managing “screen time” seems to be on everyone’s mind – particularly during these summer months when…

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Why we might need an ‘interpreter’, to build our trust in AI

A team of researchers is working to build trust between humans and artificial intelligence (AI) by creating an “interpreter” that can explain how an AI arrived at the answer to a specific question. In an age of self-driving cars and autonomous drones, AI is becoming…

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Tech for dinner: how our food is changing as fast as our iPhones

A decade ago, the tech giant Apple released the first iPhone. Picture your life before then. Did you keep your personal calendar in a book? Did you own a camera or unfold a map when you got lost? A decade from now, the food we…

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