• Day of "solar" soldiers nears

    Researches develop wearable light-weight solar panels which will allow soldiers to generate power in the field and reduce the need for batteries for their electronic devices; they will also establish a power supply that keeps electronic devices operational throughout the duration of missions

  • Portable, super-high-resolution 3-D imaging

    A simple new imaging system could help manufacturers inspect their products, forensics experts identify weapons, and doctors identify cancers.

  • Aussies to clone explosives sniffer dogs

    Two Aussie dog-breeding companies will collaborate with South Korean scientists on cloning explosives and drug sniffer dogs; the first batch of ten dogs will go into service in 2013; the Australians cloned dogs would be made from tissue samples taken from a German shepherd called Hassan von Gruntal, who died in 2001; cloned sniffer dogs have already been used in South Korea and the United States

  • Software successfully predicted spread of West Nile virus in California

    A computer model of the spread of West Nile virus was able to predict areas where human cases would be concentrated, especially around Sacramento in 2005; the success of the model, say researchers, depended on its focus on biological factors and on a high volume of reports from members of the public

  • New material dramatically increases explosive force of weapons

    A revolutionary material that will replace steel in warhead casings will bring added lethality and increase the likelihood of a hit on an enemy target; by combining several metals with standard manufacturing techniques, High-Density Reactive Material (HDRM) has the potential dramatically to increase the explosive impact of most weapons with little or no compromise in strength or design

  • Reversing metabolism to make biofuels at breakneck pace

    Engineers reverse E. coli metabolism for speedy production of fuels, chemicals; a Rice University’s team reversed one of the most efficient of all metabolic pathways — the beta oxidation cycle — to engineer bacteria that produce biofuel at a breakneck pace

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  • Self-assembled "micro-robots" designed

    Tiny micro-robots — just half a millimeter wide — assemble themselves into star shapes when an alternating magnetic field is applied; the robots can pick up, transport, and put down other non-magnetic particles — potentially enabling fabrication of precisely designed functional materials in ways not currently possible

  • Storing CO2 underground to extract electricity

    A team of scientists, led by the Berkeley Lab, hopes to become the first in the world to produce electricity from the Earth’s heat using CO2; They also want permanently to store some of the CO2 underground, where it can not contribute to climate change

  • London police use smartphones, social network to identify rioters

    The rioters in London — and now, in other British cities — have been using Blackberries to outmaneuver the police; communicating via BlackBerry instant-message technology, as well as by social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the rioters repeatedly signaled fresh target areas to those caught up in the mayhem; RIM has now agreed to cooperate with Scotland Yard to turn over protestors using the service to coordinate their assaults; the police is also releasing CCTV images of the rioters to a group using face recognition technology to identify and condemn rioters; the police is also using Flickr, Tublr, and Twitter to spot and identify participants in the riots

  • Undergraduate student overcomes major hurdle to invisibility cloak

    An undergraduate student has overcome a major hurdle in the development of invisibility cloaks by adding an optical device into their design which not only remains invisible itself, but also has the ability to slow down light; the innovation open up the possibility for a potential invisibility cloak wearer to move around amongst ever-changing backgrounds of a variety of colors

  • Towing icebergs to provide fresh water for parched regions

    A third of the world’s population — more than two billion people — lives without access to clean drinking water, and studies show that the situation will only get worse; a French innovator has an idea: towing icebergs from the Greenland and Antarctica to regions most in need of fresh water; a computer simulation shows this solution to be viable and affordable

  • Solar-based method to provide safe water

    A revolutionary low-cost technique that uses sunshine to provide safe drinking water; solar disinfection (SODIS) of drinking water is an effective way of preventing water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery or polio — especially important in developing countries, where safe drinking water is often a precious rarity

  • U Maryland students design record-breaking helicopter

    University of Maryland students flew past a world record after their human-powered helicopter hovered more than twelve seconds inside a campus building; the team’s goal is to win the Sikorsky Prize, a $250,000 reward given by the American Helicopter Society; in order to win, a human-powered helicopter must fly at least thirty seconds, hover at least three meters above ground, and not drift outside a ten-meter square

  • DHS "pre-crime" detectors draw criticism

    A plan by DHS officials to use automated machines to identify people before they commit a criminal or terrorist act is drawing sharp criticism from privacy advocates; DHS is currently developing intention detectors under the Future Attributer Screening Technology (FAST) program; the FAST security checkpoints are outfitted with a sophisticated suite of sensors that are designed to identify several physiological indicators like heart rate or the steadiness of a person’s gaze

  • Beachball-like observation UAV developed

    A beach ball-size drone can fly down narrow alleys, hover on the spot, take off vertically, bounce along the ground like a soccer ball — all the time transmitting live images from a video camera; it can travel above traffic or spy on a target through a window — and can also be used in search and rescue in disaster zones, where it could fly through buildings and even up and down stairways