Tech news stories

New Window Screens Filter Pollution from Air
21st April 2017 | | Earth, Tech

New window screens with pollutant-trapping nanofibers may allow residents of smog-choked cities to breathe easier. The fibers are made of nitrogen-containing polymers and are sprayed onto screens in a technique called blow-spinning, in which a stream of air stretches out droplets of polymer solution in midspray to form an extremely thin layer of nanofibers.

Frog Slime Could Prevent the Next Pandemic
21st April 2017 | Animal Life, Tech

New research from Emory University School of Medicine shows that a chemical in the mucus of South Indian frogs is capable of killing certain strains of the influenza virus.

Is Komodo dragon blood the key to new antibiotics?
21st April 2017 | | Animal Life, Tech

Komodo dragon blood contains an important compound which scientists think could offer a new treatment for infected wounds.

The reptile’s saliva harbours many different types of bacteria, which somehow do not affect the dragon.

Computers Create Recipe for Two New Magnetic Materials
19th April 2017 | Tech

Material scientists have predicted and built two new magnetic materials, atom-by-atom, using high-throughput computational models. The success marks a new era for the large-scale design of new magnetic materials at unprecedented speed.

Physicists create time crystals: New form of matter may hold key to developing quantum machines
19th April 2017 | Tech

Harvard physicists have created a new form of matter – dubbed a time crystal – which could offer important insights into the mysterious behavior of quantum systems.

Traditionally speaking, crystals – like salt, sugar or even diamonds – are simply periodic arrangements of atoms in a three-dimensional lattice.

Virtual syringe lets surgeons practise piercing skin and muscle
19th April 2017 | | Tech

As my syringe presses against the skin and muscle surrounding a patient’s knee joint, I feel a brief resistance. A gentle increase in pressure, though, and the needle pops through, ready to inject the drug. But this isn’t a real patient or syringe – they’re both virtual.

Related: Computer game helps scientists understand animal camouflage

Robot being trained to shoot guns is ‘not a Terminator’, insists Russian deputy Prime Minister
18th April 2017 | | Tech

Russia’s space-bound humanoid robot FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands.

The activity will help improve the android’s motor skills and decision-making, according to its creators, who have also tried to address concerns that they’re developing a real-life Terminator.

Researchers link robots into surveillance teams
18th April 2017 | | Tech

If you were monitoring a security camera and saw someone set down a backpack and walk away, you might pay special attention – especially if you had been alerted to watch that particular person. According to Cornell researchers, this might be a job robots could do better than humans, by communicating at the speed of light and sharing images.

Alt: U.S. Navy ploughs $1.7 million into research to create network of spy robots that can snoop on humans ‘as a single entity with many eyes’

A group of engineers just submitted this incredible proposal for Trump’s border ‘wall’ that’s actually a $15 billion hyperloop
18th April 2017 | | Misc., Tech

The Trump administration is reviewing design bids for its proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. But not all plans are interpreting the word “wall” literally.

Alt: Trump Asks For “Border Wall” Designs. Engineers Create Hilarious (And Useful) Alternative

Physicists Say They’ve Created a Fluid With ‘Negative Mass’
17th April 2017 | | Tech

Researchers in the US say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass in the lab… which is exactly as mind-bending as it sounds.

What it means is that, unlike pretty much every other known physical object, when you push this fluid, it accelerates backwards instead of moving forwards.

New infrared-emitting device could allow energy harvesting from waste heat
17th April 2017 | Tech

A new reconfigurable device that emits patterns of thermal infrared light in a fully controllable manner could one day make it possible to collect waste heat at infrared wavelengths and turn it into usable energy.

Device pulls water from dry air, powered only by the sun
17th April 2017 | Tech

Imagine a future in which every home has an appliance that pulls all the water the household needs out of the air, even in dry or desert climates, using only the power of the sun.

Fungal Pesticides Offer A Growing Alternative To Traditional Chemicals
17th April 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Pesticides based on fungi are just one example of biopesticides, a group that also includes bacteria and biochemicals derived from plants.

Biopesticides are a tiny segment of the market for now – but their use is projected to grow at a faster rate than traditional synthetic pesticides over the next few years.

Glowing bacteria offer hope for safe detection of 100m landmines
17th April 2017 | | Tech

A team of researchers at an Israeli university has successfully tested a technology using fluorescent bacteria and lasers that could become a safer system for detecting buried landmines.

An estimated 100m landmines are scattered in some 70 countries, a legacy of often long-past conflict, and the devices injure up to 20,000 people a year.

Sperm Are Being Turned Into Tiny Weapons to Attack Gynaecological Cancer
17th April 2017 | | Tech

Getting enough toxic material to the right place in your body for it to kill tumours – while not damaging anything else – has always required thinking outside of the box.

Google’s AI has learned how to draw by looking at your doodles
17th April 2017 | | Tech

Remember last year when Google released an AI-powered web tool that played Pictionary with your doodles? Well, surprise! Those doodles you drew have now been used to teach Google’s AI how to draw.

Muons Bring New Physics within Reach
17th April 2017 | | Space, Tech

In the search for new physics, experiments based on high-energy collisions inside massive atom smashers are coming up empty-handed. So physicists are putting their faith in more-precise methods: less crash-and-grab and more watching-ways-of-wobbling.

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