Tech news stories

Future air conditioning could work by beaming heat into space
21st December 2016 | newscientist.com | Space, Tech

With temperatures as cold as -270 °C, space is one hell of a heat sink.

Physicists have achieved record levels of temperature reduction using the process of radiative cooling, by which heat is beamed from Earth’s surface into outer space.

Sunny Days: Solar is Officially Becoming the Cheapest Form of New Electricity
20th December 2016 futurism.com | Earth, Tech

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that, while coal and gas costs will stay low, renewables will do better and will be the cheapest in many countries between now and 2040.

Solar power is now around half the price of coal and gas, making it cheaper than wind energy, and ultimately the cheapest form of new electricity.

The ‘Miracle Material’ Strikes Again. Graphene Can Turn CO2 Into Liquid Fuel
20th December 2016 futurism.com | Tech

Scientists have discovered that “doping” graphene with nitrogen allows it to be an efficient electrocatalyst which can convert environmentally harmful CO2 into useful fuels.

The technology is far from being ready for large scale application, yet the research is useful in the development of new catalysts that could provide a variety of useful applications in the future.

Prostate cancer laser treatment ‘truly transformative’
20th December 2016 | bbc.com | Tech

Surgeons have described a new treatment for early stage prostate cancer as “truly transformative”.

The approach, tested across Europe, uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumours, but without causing severe side effects.

Antimatter atom trapped and measured with a laser for first time
20th December 2016 | newscientist.com | Space, Tech

Hydrogen’s antimatter counterpart has shown its true colours, and they are just what physicists ordered.


Alt: Laser helps unlock antimatter secrets

This Material Could Reveal the Link Between Classical Physics and the Quantum Realm
20th December 2016 futurism.com | Space, Tech

Scientists are a little bit closer to unlocking the mystery of how the rules of the quantum realm translate to the rules of the classical physics of the observable world.

Experts predict that the materials used in this research, topological insulators, will play a key role in furthering this development.

Launch of mini-satellites gives forecasters eye into hurricanes
19th December 2016 | yahoo.com | Tech

Eight small satellites, designed to improve hurricane forecasts by detecting the wind speeds within storms, blasted off on Thursday aboard an air-launched Pegasus rocket, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

This flying robot is the newest expert inspecting your city’s bridges
19th December 2016 phys.org | Tech

Imagine strapping on a harness and dangling yourself over the side of a bridge, 100 feet in the air—the wind whipping past you, the earth far below. It might sound like a scene from a spy movie, or a fun idea for a vacation activity. For a bridge inspector, however, it’s just another day on the job.

Amazon makes first drone delivery
19th December 2016 | bbc.com | Tech

Retail giant Amazon has made its first commercial delivery using a drone, in the UK.

The package arrived safely at its destination in Cambridge, 13 minutes after being ordered.


Related: Amazon just launched a cashier-free convenience store

Experimental Spinal Implant Improves Mobility and Grip 300% in Quadriplegics
19th December 2016 futurism.com | Tech

In an experimental new treatment, a 32-electrode stimulator was implanted near the C-5 vertebrae in the middle of a patient’s neck, below the site of his spinal injury.

This procedure was first used on two cervical spinal-cord injury patients who displayed a 300% increase in finger mobility and grip strength.

Aging Is Reversible—at Least in Human Cells and Live Mice
18th December 2016 | scientificamerican.com | Animal Life, Humans, Tech

New research suggests it is possible to slow or even reverse aging, at least in mice, by undoing changes in gene activity—the same kinds of changes that are caused by decades of life in humans.


Alt: Scientists Say the Clock of Aging May Be Reversible

Monster-wheat grown by Oxford could revolutionise farming
17th December 2016 | telegraph.co.uk | Earth, Tech

A crop spray which can boost farmer’s wheat yields by one fifth, without the need for genetic modification, has been developed by scientists at Oxford University.

Researchers have found a molecule which helps plants make the best use of the sugary fuel that they generate during photosynthesis. And with more fuel, the plants can produce bigger grains.

First UK baby with DNA from three people could be born next year
17th December 2016 | theguardian.com | Tech

The first British baby made with the DNA of three people could be born next year after the UK’s fertility regulator gave the green light for clinics to seek licences for the procedure.


Alt: U.K. Fertility Clinics Can Now Apply For Licenses To Create 3-Parent Babies

A Brave New World of Human Reproduction
17th December 2016 blogs.discovermagazine.com | Tech

Advances in reproductive technology may radically change the options we have for starting a family. We’re not too far from fundamentally redefining what it means to start a family.

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Spins to Life
16th December 2016 | nytimes.com | Earth, Tech

Until this week, all of the wind power generated in the United States was landlocked.

But in a first for America, the ocean breeze is now generating clean, renewable power offshore — electricity that will supply a small island community off the coast of Rhode Island.

U.S. Sets Staggering Record with 191% Growth in Solar Power Installations in 2016
16th December 2016 futurism.com | Earth, Tech

A new report shows that in the third quarter of this year alone, enough solar panels to generate 4,143 MW of electricity were installed in the United States.

This boom in installations contributes to the prediction that coal is a fading industry, and will never return to its former grandeur.


Related: The U.S. Could Generate 25% of Its Energy Needs From Solar Rooftops

Elderly dementia sufferers are tagged with barcodes in Japan so they can be identified and returned to relatives if they get lost
15th December 2016 | dailymail.co.uk | Tech

A Japanese city has introduced a novel way to keep track of senior citizens with dementia who are prone to getting lost: tagging their fingers and toes with scan-able barcodes.

News stories covering technology, and the latest inventions and medical advancements.