German researchers have built a quantum transistor using just a single atom

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A team of researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have developed a quantum transistor using just a single atom, and capable of operating at room temperature.

The device points toward major new frontiers in computing power and efficiency. Transistors, which control the flow of electronic signals, are the basis of modern electronics. The steady reduction in the size and energy consumption of transistors has been the fundamental driver of advances in computing power for more than half a century.

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Cell-sized robots can sense their environment

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Made of electronic circuits coupled to minute particles, the devices could flow through intestines or pipelines to detect problems.

Researchers at MIT have created what may be the smallest robots yet that can sense their environment, store data, and even carry out computational tasks. These devices, which are about the size of a human egg cell, consist of tiny electronic circuits made of two-dimensional materials, piggybacking on minuscule particles called colloids.

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Rolls-Royce is developing tiny ‘cockroach’ robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines

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The U.K. engineer said the miniature technology can improve the way maintenance is carried out by speeding up inspections and eliminating the need to remove an engine from an aircraft for repair work to take place.

To explore the concept, the Rolls-Royce has teamed up with robotics experts at Harvard University in the U.S. and the University of Nottingham in England.

Rolls-Royce said Tuesday it is developing tiny “cockroach” robots that can crawl inside aircraft engines to spot and fix problems.

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All-electric flying car is clear for takeoff in the U.S. and Canada

The future is shaping up to be a serious trade-off instead of the tech-powered paradise we were promised in the 1950s. Case in point: the year 2018 should be shot into the Sun to ensure complete and total disintegration, but in 2018 we’re also finally realizing our vision of flying cars. Yay?

“BlackFly” is the latest flying car with a flashy demo reel, and it certainly does look impressive. All-electric, operable without a pilot’s license (unless you’re in Canada), and, according to the press release, fully amphibious? Sign us up. Silicon Valley company Opener—funded by Google co-founder Larry Page—is producing the vehicle in the hopes of revolutionizing personal travel by allowing users to travel at over 60 miles per hour for 25 miles at a time, and all at the price point of an SUV.

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These mind-blowing images of the human body were made by a new kind of scanner

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Phil and Anthony Butler aren’t just father and son. The physics professor and bioengineering professor (respectively) are also business partners. And this week, their company, MARS Bioimaging, unveiled a first-of-its-kind x-ray scanner 10 years in the making.

First, a quick recap of how x-ray imaging works. When x-rays travel through your body, they’re absorbed by denser materials (bones) and pass right through softer ones (muscles and other tissues). The x-rays that pass through unimpeded hit a film on the opposite side of your body. These show up as areas of solid black. The places where the x-rays couldn’t pass through appear solid white.

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CERN chip enables first 3D color X-ray images of the human body

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Using CERN technology, Mars Bioimaging has created the first 3D, color X-ray images of the human body.

Medical X-ray scans have long been stuck in the black-and-white, silent-movie era. Sure, the contrast helps doctors spot breaks and fractures in bones, but more detail could help pinpoint other problems. Now, a company from New Zealand has developed a bioimaging scanner that can produce full color, three dimensional images of bones, lipids, and soft tissue, thanks to a sensor chip developed at CERN for use in the Large Hadron Collider.

Mars Bioimaging, the company behind the new scanner, describes the leap as similar to that of black-and-white to color photography. In traditional CT scans, X-rays are beamed through tissue and their intensity is measured on the other side. Since denser materials like bone attenuate (weaken the energy) of X-rays more than soft tissue does, their shape becomes clear as a flat, monochrome image.

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This flying ‘dragon’ drone can change shape in midair

Researchers at the University of Tokyo’s JSK Lab have developed a “dragon drone,” made up of several small drones and capable of transforming on the fly, as reported by IEEE. Not only can the drone change into different shapes, like a square or curved line, it can also autonomously decide what shape it needs to change into depending on the space it’s required to navigate.

The name of the drone is actually an acronym, standing for “Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON,” or DRAGON for short. Its design was modeled off of traditional dragon kites, where the tail is made up of a series of smaller, interlinked kites.

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A German student has invented an airbag for your phone: a case that detects when it’s falling and deploys springs to prevent breaks

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The active dampening (AD) phone case, patented by German student Philip Frenzel, is a slim alternative to bulky phone cases, but comes with a nifty trick.

So far it’s only a prototype — but the AD case can detect when the phone is falling and protract springs to make the phone bounce when it hits the ground, which should prevent any scratches or cracks on flat surfaces.

Once you pick the phone back up, you just fold the springs back in.

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This beautiful golden chamber contains water so pure it can dissolve metal

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It can detect dying stars.

Hidden 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) under Mount Ikeno in Japan is a place that looks like a supervillain’s dream.

Super-Kamiokande (or “Super-K” as it’s sometimes referred to) is a neutrino detector. Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles which travel through space and pass through solid matter as though it were air.

Studying these particles is helping scientists detect dying stars and learn more about the universe. Business Insider spoke to three scientists about how the giant gold chamber works – and the dangers of conducting experiments inside it.

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New eyedrops could repair corneas, make glasses unnecessary

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“This is a new concept for correcting refractory problems.”

A Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar-Ilan University ophthalmologist has invented and patented “nanodrops” which – when placed on pigs’ corneas – have produced improvements in short-sightedness and long-sightedness.

If they improve vision in humans when clinical testing is carried out later this year, the nanoparticle solution could eliminate the need for eyeglasses, Dr. David Smadja said on Wednesday.

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