engineering
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This New Fake Leather Is Made From Tea

It’s tough. It’s thick. It’s brown. It’s a lot like leather — but in fact this new material is made in the lab using leftovers from a brew of kombucha tea.


This Futuristic Ion Thruster Will Take A Mission To Mercury

The very name of the T6 ion thruster sounds like something from sci-fi. But it’s very real, and this little engine will be one of four that take the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo spacecraft to Mercury.


New State For Water Molecules Behaves Unlike Any Solid, Liquid Or Gas

Water’s just plain old water, right? Not when you trap it inside a tiny channel, it seems, because then it behaves like no other solid, liquid or gas.


These Crazy Robots Are 3D Printers That Build Together

3D printers are getting way faster and more intricate. Now, Siemens has created a swarm of spider-like robots that can collaborate with each other to build large and intricate structures.


New Nanowire Batteries Can Be Charged More Than 100,000 Times

Li-on batteries gradually deteriorate as they’re repeatedly drained and recharged. But now researchers from University of California, Irvine have developed a new nano-wire battery that can survive hundreds of thousands of charging cycles.


Scientists Made LEDs 60 Per Cent Brighter By Copying Firefly Lanterns

A team of researchers has managed to boost the amount of light an LED emits by 60 per cent simply by etching its outer surface to resemble the outside of a firefly’s lantern.


The Air Force Smashed The MagLev Speed Record At 1019km/h

Hold on to your hats: The US Air Force has accelerated a sled down a magnetic levitation track at an incredible 1019km/h, setting a new world record in the process.


New Wi-Fi Chip Is Just As Fast With Half The Antennae

Usually removing hardware means removing functionality. But a team of researchers from Columbia University has created a new kind of Wi-Fi chip that uses just one antenna rather than two — and yet manages to be just as fast.


Nanotubes Self-Assemble Into Wires With A Blast From A Tesla Coil

From chaos, some order and energy — at least if you’re a bunch of carbon nanotubes being blasted by a Tesla coil.


Scientists Finally Made Carbyne, A Material Stronger Than Graphene, That Lasts

Several years ago, scientists calculated the properties of an exotic form of carbon — called Carbyne — and found that it promised more strength and stiffness than any other known material. Now, it’s finally been made in a stable form inside an Austrian lab.


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