Materials, News

Scientists find highest melting point ever

Pictured above, hafnium was a key element in the mixture. Picture credits: Images of Elements.

Using computer simulations, Brown University researchers identified the material with the highest known melting point. The material, made with just the right amount of hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have a melting point of more than 4,400 kelvins (7,460 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s almost as high as the temperature at the surface of the Sun, and more than the highest temperature ever achieved by humans.

Inventions, Offbeat

The world’s smallest functional drill is cute and smaller than a coin

drill1

Few people can claim to have built their own dream, but New Zealander Lance Abernethy can – he has taken his passion for small things to the next level and built the smallest functional drill. With the help of technology (in the form of 3D printing), his passion and patience created this new device based on the design of a conventional

Environment, Inventions, News

Japan opens up a hotel run entirely by robots – and yes, there are dinosaurs

Japan-Henn-na-Hotel-is-run-by-robots-21-537x359

If you’re thinking about the future days when robots will replace humans, well… those days are already here. The Henn-na Hotel (“Strange Hotel”) is staffed entirely by robots, including a dinosaur receptionist. They also have no room keys and a remarkable energy efficiency. ‘What we have strove to achieve with Henn-na Hotel is “The Ultimate in Efficiency,” ‘they write on

Inventions, News

3D-Printed Bottle Caps Will Let You Know When the Milk Has Gone Bad

UC Berkeley engineers created a ‘smart cap’ using 3D-printed plastic with embedded electronics to wirelessly monitor the freshness of milk.(Photo and schematic by Sung-Yueh Wu)

A new study published in Nature describes the creation of a new sensor which will allow us to know when our liquid food has gone bad – and it may not be long until we can all 3D print bottle caps with these sensors at home.

Inventions, News

Revolutionary lamp works 8 hours on 1 glass of salt water

Image via SALt.

Artificial light is something we take for granted and simply don’t think about – but for some communities, light can be a luxury. In the 7,000 scattered islands of the Philippines, light can be very scarce, and saltwater is abundant. With that in mind, SALt engineers have designed a lamp that runs on salt water. Lipa Aisa Mijena combined her

News, Technology

New WiFi chip uses 100 times less power with minimal loss of quality

The microchip for wearable devices developed by researchers at JPL and UCLA reflects wireless signals instead of using regular transmitters and receivers. Credit: JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Nearly all communication devices today, whether we’re speaking of smartphones, tablets or notebooks, rely on WiFi signal to connect to the internet and transmit data. With the rise of the Internet of Things, WiFi will become even more ubiquitous. However, enabling an active WiFi connection also eats up a lot of power. When I have WiFi on, my smartphone goes dead in under 24 hours, compared to 48 or more otherwise. In fact, according to a report, the routers that keep us constantly connected to the Internet – now in nearly 90 million American homes – uses about $1 billion worth of electricity annually. But in a bid to cut WiFi power waste in space, NASA might inadvertently change this situation forever.

Archaeology, Discoveries

A Second Look at the Iceman – New discoveries motivate new analyses

Ötzi Reconstruction (© South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology – www.iceman.it)

Hikers discovered Ötzi the Iceman in the Ötztal Alps of Tyrol, Austria in 1991. Forensic analysis showed that he died around 5,300 years ago, making his the oldest intact human body every found. Ötzi had been preserved by glacier ice and was found with his tools, clothes, and weapons – a time capsule of Copper Age life. While years of

Health & Medicine, News, Technology

Blind pensioner can see again following bionic eye implant

Ray Flynn, 80

An 80-year-old man suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – the most common cause of sight loss in the world – can now see again after being fitted with a bionic eye. The technology was developed at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, and the implant marks the first trial for the Argus II system for AMD.

News, Technology

Neural network image processor tells you what’s going in your pictures

zombie

Facial recognition and motion tracking is already old news. The next level is describing what you do or what’s going on – for now only in still pictures. Meet NeuralTalk, a deep learning image processing algorithm developed by Stanford engineers which uses processes similar to those used by the human brain to decipher and interpret photos. The software can easily describe, for instance, a band of people dressed up as zombies. It’s remarkably effective and freaking creepy at the same time.

Discoveries

World’s oldest pair of pants, found in a tomb in China

pants

If you’ve ever wondered when was the first time that ancient people decided to wear pants like we do today instead of large pieces of coatings to cover their nudity, the scientists found the answer to that one. It seems that it’s somewhere between 3,000 and 3,300 years ago, somewhere around the 13th to 10th century B.C. that ancient nomadic