Inspiration


Towards green, lightweight and highly efficient nanosilk air filters

  The serious threat of air pollution to human health has spurred the development of advanced filter technologies. Efforts have been made in designing air filters for particulate matter (PM), which feature both high filtration efficiency and low airflow resistance by utilizing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and electrospun polymers and inorganic nanofibers. To date, the development of CNT-based air […]


A scarf that intentionally ruins paparazzi photographs

  This line of clothing accessories has a bold claim: “Privacy is back.” Using fabric patterned with a special material, ISHU scarves protect the wearer from unwanted photography by harshly reflecting flashes back to the lens. The photos just turn out as floating glowing scarves while everything else would turn black. This is because under a […]


Researchers develop shape-changing smart material

  Washington State University researchers and scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a unique, multifunctional smart material that can change shape from heat or light and assemble and disassemble itself. This is the first time researchers have been able to combine several smart abilities, including shape memory behavior, light-activated movement and self-healing behavior, into […]


Genetically engineered rat cells make robot stingray swim

  Scientists have built a robotic stingray made of heart muscle cells from a rat, a skeleton of gold, plastic fins, and light-activated algae proteins. Developed by Sung-Jin Park at Harvard University, the tiny, 16-millimeter-long robots take about a week to make, mostly because of the time it takes to grow the heart muscle cells in […]


Engineers create collapsible battery powered with the help of dirty water

  Two engineers at Binghamton University have developed a collapsible, bacteria-powered battery that uses the ancient Japanese paper folding art of origami. A drop of bacteria-laden liquid acts as a catalyst to power the paper battery, which folds into a square and costs five cents to make, according to its creator. “Our simple and cheap […]


  University of Pennsylvania engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for the Zika virus. The $2 testing device, about the size of a soda can, does not require electricity or technical expertise to use. A patient would simply provide a saliva sample. Color-changing dye turns blue when the genetic assay detects the presence […]


Artificial leaf makes liquid fuel from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water

  Daniel Nocera, a professor of energy science at Harvard who pioneered the use of artificial photosynthesis, says that he and his colleague Pamela Silver have devised a system that completes the process of making liquid fuel from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. And they’ve done it at an efficiency of 10 percent, using pure […]


Solar-driven water purification with multifunctional papers

  Inspired by the multiple water purification mechanisms of water hyacinth, a group of Chinese researchers, led by Dr. Peng Tao and Dr. Wen Shang, has combined different decontamination techniques (adsorption, photocatalytic degradation, distillation) into a single paper-based composite system for water purification by using solar light as the clean energy input. Compared with water […]


Contact lens works as self-powered biosensor

  The latest example of a graphene-based wireless sensor is a device that could make 24-hour healthcare easier to achieve by enabling wireless monitoring of various biomedical events in order to gain a more comprehensive assessment of the wearer’s healthcare status. This novel device, which detects chemical/molecular agents and lengths of exposure, can be used as […]