Recent reports from scientists pursuing a new kind of nuclear fusion technology are encouraging, but we are still some distance away from the “holy grail of clean energy”. The technology developed by Heinrich Hora and his colleagues at the University of NSW uses powerful lasers to fuse together hydrogen and boron atoms, releasing high-energy particles
The effect that fossil fuels are having on the climate emergency is driving an international push to use low-carbon sources of energy. At the moment, the best options for producing low-carbon energy on a large scale are wind and solar power. But despite improvements over the last few years to both their performance and
To cram ever more computing power into your pocket, engineers need to come up with increasingly ingenious ways to add transistors to an already crowded space. Unfortunately there’s a limit to how small you can make a wire. But a twisted form of rare earth metal just might have what it takes to push the
Scientists have ‘puppeteered’ the movements of a jellyfish and made it even faster than the real thing. Taking artificial control with a microelectronic implant, researchers have increased the natural swimming speed of a live moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) by nearly threefold. What’s more, they achieved this with only a little bit of external power
Last month, SpaceX became the operator of the world’s largest active satellite constellation. As of the end of January, the company had 242 satellites orbiting the planet with plans to launch 42,000 over the next decade. This is part of its ambitious project to provide internet access across the globe. The race to put
An Australian fusion startup called HB11, a spin-off from the University of New South Wales, claims to have found a way to revolutionize current nuclear fusion technology, potentially laying the groundwork for a new era of power generation — without running the risk of a nuclear meltdown. The startup’s leadership doesn’t mince words. “We
If humanity fails to find a way through this train wreck of a climate crisis, we might want a form of record-keeping that doesn’t decay after a generation or two. You know, just to let future intelligences know we had some redeeming qualities. Artist Joe Davis from Harvard University thinks he has a solution.
Randomness is not always as random as you think. It’s actually very challenging for computers to generate true randomness, because algorithms introduce subtle patterns that can be detected, meaning the numbers they come up with are pseudorandom, and not ultimately unpredictable. Which is not to say machines can’t play a part. What if we
They found it buried in the muddy shores of the Potomac River more than three decades ago: a strange “sediment organism” that could do things nobody had ever seen before in bacteria. This unusual microbe, belonging to the Geobacter genus, was first noted for its ability to produce magnetite in the absence of oxygen, but with
Solar panels are fantastic pieces of technology, but we need to work out how to make them even more efficient – and last year, scientists solved a 40-year-old mystery around one of the key obstacles to increased efficiency. The 2019 study outlined a material defect in silicon used to produce solar cells that has
In the half-century since the historic Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969, computer technology has evolved in some pretty giant leaps itself. So much so, that even simple devices today are more powerful, in terms of raw processing power, than the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was – a machine that helped us to pull off
Have you ever used a public charging station to charge your mobile phone when it runs out of battery? If so, watch out for “juice jacking”. Cybercriminals are on the prowl to infect your mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers and access your personal data, or install malware while you charge them.
Tapping into the water cycle and generating electricity from rainy days could be one way to grow our renewable energy use. Until now, scientists have been unable to get water droplets to produce a significant amount of power – but we may finally have a breakthrough. While we’re still a long way from umbrellas
Released in 1896, L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat is one of the earliest examples of movie-making we have – the 50-second silent short, which shows a mail train pulling into La Ciotat station, seems humdrum by today’s standards, but would have wowed 19th century crowds seeing moving pictures for the first time.
A team of researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux have grown yarn from human skin cells that they call a “human textile” – and they say it could be used by surgeons to close wounds or assemble implantable skin grafts. “These human textiles offer a unique level
As beneficial as current solar panel technology has been in our quest to switch to renewable energy, such panels can’t generate electricity at night. Now, new research suggests it could be possible to design panels that can operate around the clock. Under optimum conditions, at night these specially designed photovoltaic cells could generate a