Jul 24, 2014

Sainsbury’s supermarket to be powered entirely by its own food waste

posted by Larra Morris

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It's an unfortunate fact that every day around the world, supermarkets throw out tons of food that has spoiled before it could be purchased. While it would be best if that spoilage could be avoided in the first place, British grocery chain Sainsbury's is taking what might be the next-best approach – it's about to start using that unsellable food to power one of its stores.
via Gizmag

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Jul 24, 2014

5 man-made things you can see from space

posted by Laura Domela

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Which of mankind’s marvels can we actually spot from the final frontier? This question calls for a little perspective. Space is big. Sure, you might be able to gaze at the Amazon River while hovering a few hundred miles above sea level. But from the moon, you could barely even make out the continents! And our whole planet looks like nothing more than a dinky blue splotch from Mars’ surface. Still, astronauts traveling in Low Earth Orbit or on board the International Space Station can see quite a bit using nothing but their naked eyes.
via Mental Floss

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Image: Nicole Stott, via Universe Today

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Jul 24, 2014

The ice-diving robot that could look for alien life on Jupiter's moon

posted by Larra Morris

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it's an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter's moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans that could harbor alien life.
via Gizmodo

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Jul 24, 2014

Fly-inspired tech could find use in better hearing aids

posted by Larra Morris

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When it comes to animals with good hearing, flies might not be the first one you'd think of. The Ormia ochracea fly, however, has a unique hearing mechanism that allows it to precisely determine the location of a cricket based on its chirps ... it then deposits its larvae on the cricket, which ultimately consume the poor insect. Scientists at the University of Texas Austin have now duplicated that mechanism, with hopes that it could find use in applications such as next-generation hearing aids.
via Gizmag

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Image: Jpaur 

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Jul 23, 2014

Government turns to robots for security interviews

posted by Larra Morris

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When you apply for security clearance, you first have to fill out a form that requires you to disclose all past drug use, crimes and mental health issues. Those same subjects are then revisited with an actual human, but the NCCA thinks it might be more effective to jump straight to an interview with a computer. In a study Army trainees were put through a mock interview with a racially ambiguous avatar. Turns out the pretend applicants were much more likely to admit to mental health problems or alcohol abuse when speaking to the computer than they were when filling out a form. Not only that, but at the end of the interview they simply volunteered additional info after being asked if their was anything else they'd like to talk about.
via Engadget

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Jul 23, 2014

Build your own singing Tesla coil

posted by Laura Domela

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When it comes to science toys, few have the cachet of cool of the singing Tesla coil: a tower of copper wiring topped by a hollow metal toroid that fires out bolts of electricity in time to music. Building one, however, is a little on the complicated side for anyone who doesn't have the tools and the know-how; and buying one pre-made can get expensive.

Enter tinyTesla, currently seeking Kickstarter backing, a small, affordable singing Tesla coil that comes with all parts and build instructions necessary included in one handy kit, created by a team of MIT students who created oneTesla, a company to provide hands-on engineering education in the form of kits.
via cnet

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Jul 23, 2014

This pacemaker is made by injecting a virus right into a pig's heart

posted by Larra Morris

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Pacemakers are—even at their tiniest—intrusive bits of metal wired into the heart. But now scientists have come up with something completely different: a "biological pacemaker" in a pig made by reprogramming the heart's own cells with a modified virus carrying a specific gene.
via Gizmodo

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Image: Science Translational Medicine

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Jul 23, 2014

Researchers fully 'delete' HIV from human cells for the first time

posted by Larra Morris

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So far, HIV has eluded a cure because it installs its genome into human DNA so insidiously that it's impossible for our immune system to clear it out. While current treatments are effective, a lifetime of toxic drugs are required to prevent its recurrence. But researchers from Temple University may have figured out a way to permanently excise it using a highly-engineered HIV "editor." Here's how it works: the team analyzed a part of our immune system that fights infection and built a "guide RNA" strand consisting of 20 nucleotides (RNA building blocks). Those strands were then injected into cells typically infected with HIV, like T-cells. There, they targeted the end parts of the virus's gene and snipped out all 9,709 nucleotides that made up its genome. Since the guide RNA strand contained no human DNA sequences, it left the host cell intact -- but free from HIV.
via Engadget

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Jul 23, 2014

Multifunctional hybrid robot shovels snow and mows your lawn

posted by Larra Morris

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Modern technology has given us many ways of delegating menial tasks to automatic equipment and robots, freeing up more time. Such devices can vacuum our floors, wash our windows, clean out the gutters and more. The latest automated housework companion is multifunctional, helping you complete two tasks that few relish: shoveling snow and mowing the lawn.
via Gizmag

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Jul 22, 2014

This may be the greatest invention in the history of water balloons

posted by Laura Domela

100 balloons. 1 hose. Game over.

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If you've ever had the pleasure of participating in a water balloon fight, you will concur that the most frustrating part of battle is reloading. You think you've got an uninflated balloon securely attached to the end of a garden hose, and then as soon as you turn on the water, *snap*, the balloon comes flying off. Or maybe you don't even get that far — the balloon breaks as you're stretching it on. Or you get it all filled up, and then you can't tie it and it drops and breaks on the ground. Now some ambitious inventor has come up with a solution to all those problems: a device that lets you easily fill up 100 water balloons at once.
via The Verge

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Tags : for fun, inventions,    0 comments  
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