Technological innovation

  • Dutch police uses unmanned mini-helicopter to sniff out cannabis

    Police in the noerthwest region of the Netherlands asked their engineers to design an unmanned helicopter to hover over the region and sniff out traces of weed smell in the air samples it collects; new methods does not require a warrant to enter buildings

  • PrimerDesign to develop DNA tests for Mexican strain of swine flu

    U.K. company races against the clock to produce the world’s first DNA test for the Mexican strain of swine flu

  • Blast-proof CCTV tested by DHS's S&T

    CCTVs help the police identify terrorists who perpetrate an attack; trouble is, the blast set by the terrorists may destroy the camera and its video; there are two solutions: the more expensive one is a real-time streaming-video CCTV which sends images back to HQ until the moment the camera is destroyed; the cheaper alternative is an indestructible video CCTV

  • Bacteria prevents concrete from cracking

    Concrete is one of the most commonly used building materials. It is cheap, strong, and easy to work with; there is a catch, though: it cracks easily; Dutch researchers find that mineral grains formed in the cracks of concrete that had been seeded with bacteria would go a long way toward sealing those cracks and making them waterproof

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  • Making quantum cryptography's promise a reality

    New research details how quantum communication can be made possible without having to use cryogenic cooling or complicated optical setups, making it much more likely to become commercially viable soon

  • U.K. government in £100 million scheme to promote new ideas, products

    U.K. government launches a new 100 million scheme — the Small Business Research Initiative — to encourage public-sector organizations to invite British companies to submit ideas and develop technologies, which the public-sector organization could then buy to help improve public services

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  • Aussie company improves food pasteurizing

    Normally processors would have to use preservatives or heat the product and this inevitably changes the taste and destroys some nutrients; new method — called high-pressure processing (HPP) — uses pressure instead

  • Smart Grid offers savings, vulnerabilities

    A bill to be presented in Congress today aims to stop utility hackers; experts, legislators call for regulations on smart power meters to reduce new grid’s vulnerability to hacking

  • Skin-patch deliver flu vaccine

    Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech develop a microneedle skin patch that delivers flue vaccine; the patches contain an array of stainless-steel microneedles coated with an inactivated influenza virus

  • DARPA awards Lockheed $399.9 million for blimp

    Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, receives nearly $400 million from the Pentagon to develop a blimp-carrying radar; the radar would be about 6,000 square meters (7,176 square yards) in size

  • Dutch flying car company, well, takes off

    Dutch flying car company PAL-V is gearing up for market launch of its flying car; it is Europe’s response to Massachusetts-based Terrafugia’s Transition

  • Chemical robot shows possibility of electronics-free robots

    The Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction is one of a class of chemical systems in which the concentration of one or more compounds periodically increases and decreases; the oscillation thus generated creates an autonomous material that moves without electronic stimulation; door opens for future chemical robots: they will be “self organized” and generate their own control and mechanical signals from within

  • New sensor system protects ports, bridges, and distribution centers

    Sensor networks are an efficient, cost-effective way to monitor critical infrastructure facilities, distributions centers, and more; trouble is, to work effectively you need a very large number of them, and they all have to work collaboratively; a Dutch university researcher offers a better way of achieving this

  • Silk tougher and lighter than steel

    German scientists develop a technique to make silk tougher and lighter than steel — and even more elastic than spider’s silk; material may be used in surgical threats, bullet proof vests, and artificial tissue

  • DHS: brain music to relax first responders

    DHS to use technique which measures a first responder’s brain signatures by using an electroencephalogram, then turn them into synthesized piano music — either a stress-reducing relaxation track, or an alertness-boosting one “for improved concentration and decision-making”