Science

Ten Inventions From the James Dyson Award 2014 To Watch Out For

It’s not all about bagless vacuum cleaners, bladeless fans and blow-the-skin-off-your-fingers hand dryers at Dyson. Each year, the iconic brand holds the James Dyson Award, an international student design and innovation competition which aims to find the most promising young inventors and potentially bring their concepts to life.


CSIRO's New $122m Research Ship Is Ready For Service

The $122 million RV Investigator, CSIRO’s new blue-water research ship, has completed construction and sea trials and is about to make its first journey from Singapore’s shipyards to its new home in Hobart. Although it’s 11 months late for action, Investigator will add significant research capacity to Australia’s scientific endeavours.


This Alien Looking Creature Lives Right Here On Earth With Us

Briefly: When I first saw this X-ray photo I thought it was some frame from a sci-fi movie but I was wrong. It’s actually the embryo of a bat, from the Society Française de Biologie.


150 Neuroscientists Have A Problem With The EC's Human Brain Project

With the mysteries of particle physics well in hand, the European Union is moving onto another big fish in the realm of science: the human brain. The aptly-named “Human Brain Project” is aimed at figuring out how our grey matter works by using supercomputers to simulate its inner-workings. Not everyone is happy with the way the EU is going about the project however, with 150 neuroscientists publishing an open letter denouncing the HBP’s “overly narrow approach”, dramatically increasing its risk of failure.


Change Your Hair Colour By Etching Nano-Patterns Into Each Strand

In a weirdly serious bit of hair research, engineers have figured out how to change hair colour without an ounce of hair dye. The only catch? You need a focused ion beam. Colour is in the eye of the beholder after all. When microscope spirals and hyperbola are etched into strands of hair with a focused ion beam, those tiny ridges work together to diffract light. Certain wavelengths are cancelled out, others amplified and you get a whole new colour. No hair dye needed.


How Can We Better Spend Australia's $9 Billion In Research Funding?

Australia allocates around A$9 billion a year of taxpayers’ money for research, but how do we know if that money is being spent wisely? With the Australian Government threatening to reduce the amount of money allocated to research, it is time for researchers to take a more serious look at how to improve the research funding system.


UV-Powered Blood Test Could Make Universal Cancer Detection Possible

Early detection is the best tool to fight cancer, but biopsies can be painful and inconclusive. New research shows a simple blood test can detect cancers by blasting white blood cells with UV and seeing how they respond. Painless, universal cancer detection could be a drop of blood away.


The Webb Space Telescope's Sunshield Is Complete And It Looks Amazing

NASA has finished and stacked the Sunshield for the Webb Space Telescope and it’s now getting ready to test it. Look at this huge thing. That’s enough tinfoil to cover a roasted chicken — if the chicken was the size of Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to NASA, it provides the equivalent of a 1,000,000 Sun Protection Factor.


The AFL Is Testing Smart Footballs That Know Where They Are

We’re pretty comfortable with the idea of involving technology in sports, from the mundane usage of broadcast footage to aid a score review to full-blown, dedicated solutions like Hawk-Eye for tennis and cricket. The Australian Football League (AFL) has a reputation for being more measured when it comes to introducing such aids, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t investigating its options, with the most recent research involving “smart” footballs that can communicate their position via GPS.


The Rotating Globe Of Mars Geology Looks Pretty Much Like The Earth

Video:We’ve already seen the detailed map of Mars but now the US Geological Service just released this video that integrates that map into a rotating Martian globe. It’s amazing to see how similar the red planet looks to Earth when you see it spinning.


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