Midnight In The Desert — inventions

Science fiction: Boldly going for 50 years

Posted by K R on

Science fiction: Boldly going for 50 years

Half a century ago, in September 1966, the first episode of Star Trek aired on the US television network NBC. NASA was still three years short of landing people on the Moon, yet the innovative series was soon zipping viewers light years beyond the Solar System every week. After a few hiccups it gained cult status, along with the inimitable crew of the starship USS Enterprise, led by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner). It went into syndication and spawned 6 television series up to 2005; there are now also 13 feature films, with Star Trek Beyond debuting in July...

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Portable fridge invention by a British student could save millions of lives across the world

Posted by K R on

Portable fridge invention by a British student could save millions of lives across the world

Will Broadway's "Isobar" has been designed to keep vaccines at the ideal temperature while in transit in developing countries. And Will doesn't plan to make money from his creation. His focus is to get it to people who need it, which is why he won't be trying to get a patent. "I make things every day for people who have everything," Will, an industrial design and technology graduate from Loughborough University, tells Newsbeat. "I wanted to make something for people who have next to nothing. It should be a basic human right, in my opinion, to have a vaccination. "I...

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Spider Silk Inspires Creation of ‘Liquid Wire’

Posted by K R on

Spider Silk Inspires Creation of ‘Liquid Wire’

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown property of spider silk, and used it to create a remarkable new “hybrid” material. The new bio-inspired thread, which acts like both a solid and a liquid, could lead to a host of new materials and technologies. Spider silk is one of the most extraordinary materials found in nature, featuring tensile strengths comparable to steel, and elasticity commensurate with rubber (at least on a weight-to-weight basis). Together, these two properties make it two to three times tougher that some of the strongest synthetic materials, including Kevlar and nylon. What’s more, spider silk is sticky...

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NASA picks eight innovative tech projects to fund for future

Posted by K R on

NASA picks eight innovative tech projects to fund for future

The future is now for eight technology innovators whose projects were selected for funding through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program this past week. The NIAC funding was granted to proposals "that have the potential to transform future aerospace missions, introduce new capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems," according to the agency. During this second phase of the program the developers could each be awarded up to $500,000 to launch a two-year study, which NASA hopes could eventually lead to improvements of its own operations as well as contributing to advances in aerospace...

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Star Wars style sonic tractor beam invented

Posted by K R on

Star Wars style sonic tractor beam invented

Darth Vader’s Death Star and Captain Kirk’s Starship Enterprise both had one. Now the tractor beam, that science fiction favourite deployed to memorable effect in numerous films and television series over the years, has finally arrived on Earth. A team of researchers at two British universities has created the world’s first fully functioning sonic tractor beam, capable of suspending, moving and manipulating small objects using only the power of sound waves. Previous studies have shown that tractor beam technology is possible, but the new study is significant as it is the first time an object has been successfully held and...

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