Researchers invent super-elastic conducting fibers to make artificial muscles, sensors, and capacitors

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A University of Texas at Dallas research team has made electrically conducting fibers that can be reversibly stretched to more than 14 times their initial length and whose electrical conductivity increases 200-fold when stretched.

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Groundbreaking new battery charges to 70% in 2 minutes, and lasts 20 years

battery life

The battery is expected to be on the market in 2 years.

Are you tired of waiting an hour for your phone to charge before you leave the house? Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have come up with the best solution yet – a lithium ion battery that charges to 70 percent in just two minutes.

 

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Graphene supercapacitors could provide energy for flexible electronics

inkjet-graphene

A research team has created an energy storage device that is highly flexible and stretchy.

How long would your battery last if your phone was always awake and processing data? Would the battery last three hours? One hour? The next generation of electronics will require that kind of always-on energy consumption, but our current batteries are far from powerful enough to accommodate that.

 

 

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Japanese company Obayashi plans to have a space elevator up and running by 2050

space elevator

Space elevator

The Japanese construction giant Obayashi has announced they will have a space elevator up and running by the year 2050. If successful it would revolutionize space travel and potentially transform the global economy. (Video)

 

 

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Commercial nanotube transistors could be ready by 2020

nanotube

Each chip on this wafer has 10,000 nanotube transistors on it. 

For more than ten years, engineers have been worrying that they are running out of tricks for continuing to shrink silicon transistors. Intel’s latest chips have transistors with features as small as 14 nanometers, but it is unclear how the industry can keep scaling down silicon transistors much further or what might replace them.

 

 

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Bionic plants use nanotechnology to boost photosynthesis

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Researchers embedded carbon nanotubes in the chloroplasts of the plants to create “artificial antennae.”

Plants make life possible. Chloroplasts are the tiny organelles with a plant’s leaves. The chloroplasts use incoming sunlight to split water molecules and then knit together the energy-rich carbon and hydrogen compounds found in everything from food to fossil fuels. The leftover “waste” is the oxygen that we and the rest of the animal kingdom depend on to survive and thrive.
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Researchers develop ‘smart paint’ that monitors structural damage

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Dr Mohamed Saafi and David McGahon have developed a smart paint that can detect microscopic faults in large structures.

Researchers have developed a ‘smart paint’ able to detect tiny faults before damage can occur, and at a fraction of the cost of current methods.

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Scientists have used carbon nanotubes to engineer the most powerful artificial muscles ever

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Nanotubes contribute to another breakthrough.

Will the wonders of carbon nanotubes never cease? Engineers have now used everyone’s favorite cylindrical übermolecules to create artificial muscles that can contract and twist, in a manner not unlike like the muscles found in elephant trunks and squid tentacles. The upshot? Researchers say these tiny little motors could soon be used to propel microscopic nanobots throughout your bloodstream.

In nanoscale engineering, the term “artificial muscle” is used to refer to materials that can change their shape in response to stimuli. The mechanical movements created by these muscles have potential applications in everything from cancer therapies to portable electronics…

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Carbon Nanotube Patch Could Help Heal the Heart

nanopatch

A tiny patch made out of carbon nanotubes may help regenerate heart cells.

According to research from Brown University, a conductive patch of carbon nanotubes can regenerate heart tissue growing in a dish.  The patch, made of tiny chains of carbon atoms that fold in on themselves, forming a tube, conducts electricity and mimics the rough surface of natural tissue. The more nanotubes the Brown researchers added to the patch, the more cells around it were able to regenerate.

 

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Explosives and Pesticides Can be Detected by Using Bee Venom

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MIT scientists discover that bee venom can detect explosives and some pesticides.

Scientists from MIT have discovered that by coating carbon nanotubes in bee venom, they can create ultra-sensitive detectors for explosives such as TNT, as well as at least two different types of pesticides. This means that bees and their stingers could become important to making better environmental sensors.