Sao Paulo mall grows roof-top vegetable patch for employees

A “green roof” atop a Sao Paulo shopping center uses compost made from food court leftovers to grow fresh produce for employees. Waste from the food court in a busy Sao Paulo shopping mall is being transformed into organic compost to grow vegetables and herbs for the mall’s employees, in a drive towards sustainability high…

Bionic hand uses smart wires to mimic muscle fibres

Using bundles of shape-memory wire to mimic muscle fibers, engineers have built an artificial hand that could lead to flexible and lightweight robot limb prostheses. Engineers in Germany have built a biologically inspired artificial hand with muscles made from bundles of ‘smart’ wires. An electric charge is all that’s needed to make these wires tense…

Stretchable mesh heater can be used for thermal therapy

South Korean scientists create a thin battery-powered mesh made from silver nanowires that generate heat so users can “wrap” therapeutic heat around body parts. South Korean researchers have developed a stretchable mesh heater which could allow people to efficiently use thermal therapy as part of their daily lives. Thermal therapy also called heat therapy, is…

Scientists control mouse brain by remote control

The device attached to this mouse’s head can wirelessly inject drugs deep into its brain at the click of a button. Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Illinois say it can both shine light pulses onto brain cells and deliver drugs. The remote-controlled device has an ultrathin probe – smaller…

Sole to soul – foot tapping to a new beat

If you like to march to your own beat, then this prototype sole sensor might be for you. Kristian Nymoen, associate professor in music technology in the University of Oslo, spent two years developing this wearable music sole. It creates interactive, flexible, music that’s controllable by the listener. The sole has three sensors, while a…

From skin cells to stem cells – new route to tackle brain cancer

Researchers at the University of North Carolina are converting skin cells into stem cells and loading them with anti-cancer drugs to use in the fight against brain tumors. Nathan Frandino reports. With intense concentration, student researchers at the University of North Carolina dissect mice brains. One slice at a time, students preserve the specimen under…

Mood-changing wearable tech sets pulses racing

The makers of ‘doppel’ call it the next generation of wearable technology – one that can actually change the mood of the user. Similar in size and shape to a wristwatch, doppel provides a tactile beat to the wearer’s wrist. Co-developer and Chief Technical Officer Andreas Bilicki:  “In the same way that upbeat music can…

The future of travel? A glass tube called Hyperloop

For those that dream of the future, even this might have seemed a long way off. Traveling in tubes of glass at nearly 800 mph an hour. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO, Dirk Ahlborn: “Imagine a capsule filled with people that are hovering inside the tube. Inside the tube, you create a low-pressure environment very similar…

Teaching old dogs new tricks with ‘smart harness’

North Carolina State University researchers have developed new technology designed to improve communication between dogs and humans. Nathan Frandino reports. They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but at North Carolina State University, it’s also a man’s best lab partner. Here researchers are dressing pooches with a computer-equipped backpack. And Diesel here gets…

Back-up electric power “will save pilots’ lives”

Light aircraft are exciting and convenient – but if an engine fails it can be disastrous. Seventy people every year die when two-or-four-seater aircraft crash. Spanish firm Axter Aerospace and researchers at Madrid’s UC3M University say they have the answer – a backup electric powered engine. Axter co-founder and pilot Miguel Suarez.:  “The worst case…

Stick-on smart sensor offers hassle-free car hire

A small sensor stuck to the windscreen could spell the end of liability disputes if a rented car is damaged while on loan. It continuously monitors a car’s accelerations and impacts, with the data gathered giving a clear picture of who is to blame in the event of an accident or if the car is…

Study discovers sharks with positive buoyancy

Two deep-sea shark species swimming in the waters off the Hawaiian Islands are having a difficult time diving to deeper depths. A joint study by the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Tokyo has found that the sixgill and prickly sharks have positive buoyancy, making it more difficult for the two predators…