Advancing wireless power transfer for vehicles

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed new technology and techniques for transmitting power wirelessly from a stationary source to a mobile receiver – moving engineers closer to their goal of creating highway “stations” that can recharge electric vehicles wirelessly as the vehicles drive by.

Evolution can select for evolvability, biologists find

Evolution does not operate with a goal in mind; it does not have foresight. But organisms that have a greater capacity to evolve may fare better in rapidly changing environments. This raises the question: does evolution favor characteristics that increase a species' ability to evolve?

Mind-reading robots are on the way

If you think with the release of every new i-device the world is getting closer to thought-controlled smart tech and robotic personal assistants, you might be right. And thanks in part to work led by the University of Cincinnati's Anca Ralescu, we may be even closer than you realize.

Quantum world record smashed

A normally fragile quantum state has been shown to survive at room temperature for a world record 39 minutes, overcoming a key barrier towards building ultrafast quantum computers.

Are social networks making us smarter?

The secret to why some cultures thrive and others disappear may lie in our social networks and our ability to imitate, rather than our individual smarts, according to a new University of British Columbia study.

'Missing heat' discovery prompts new estimate of global warming

An interdisciplinary team of researchers say they have found 'missing heat' in the climate system, casting doubt on suggestions that global warming has slowed or stopped over the past decade.

Melting the secrets of Great Lakes ice

Two scientists from NASA and NOAA have developed a new space-based technique for monitoring the ice cover of the Great Lakes that is so accurate it can identify a narrow channel of open water cut through the ice by an icebreaker -- even at night.

Riding an electron wave into the future of microchip fabrication

Advanced plasma-based etching is a key enabler of Moore's Law that observes that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles nearly every two years. It is the plasma's ability to reproduce fine patterns on silicon that makes this scaling possible and has made plasma sources ubiquitous in microchip manufacturing.

Thin, active invisibility cloak demonstrated for first time

Invisibility cloaking is no longer the stuff of science fiction: two researchers in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering have demonstrated an effective invisibility cloak that is thin, scalable and adaptive to different types and sizes of objects.

Bring a 50,000-degree plasma into your living room

With the rise of online open course platforms such as Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare and iTunes U, it has never been easier to teach yourself everything from American history to semiconductor manufacturing. These courses enable students to advance at their own pace while accessing the limitless resources available on the internet for supplemental material.

MAVEN solar wind electron analyzer seeks answers at microscopic levels

When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission launches in November to study why the Red Planet is losing its atmosphere, one of its instruments will look to electrically charged particles called electrons for answers.

Understanding public perceptions of future wearable computing

As scientists develop the next wave of smartwatches and other wearable computing, they might want to continue focusing their attention on the arms and the wrists. According to a recent Georgia Tech study, portable electronic devices placed on the collar, torso, waist or pants may cause awkwardness, embarrassment or strange looks.

All aboard the nanotrain network

Tiny self-assembling transport networks, powered by nano-scale motors and controlled by DNA, have been developed by scientists at Oxford University and Warwick University. The system can construct its own network of tracks spanning tens of micrometres in length, transport cargo across the network and even dismantle the tracks.

Novel LEDs pave the way to cheaper displays

OLEDs are already used in the displays of smart phones or digital cameras today. They offer an especially bright image with high contrast, but come with a serious drawback: typically, only one quarter of the electrical energy invested in running the device is actually converted into light.

Wireless device converts 'lost' energy into electric power

Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture microwave signals, researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels.

Slacktivism: 'Liking' on Facebook may mean less giving

Would-be donors skip giving when offered the chance to show public support for charities in social media, a new study from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business finds.

For robots and humans, urine could be electric

Researchers have created a mechanism whereby human waste can be digested by microbes leading to a process of generating power from electricity. The first test involved using urine in microbial fuel cells to charge a mobile phone.

World’s First 3D Printed Metal Gun: Suck it, Gun Control!

Solid Concpets, a Texas based 3D printing services company, has a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and legitimacy. Based on over 30 printed components, its 3D printed gun has fired 50 rounds in tests.

Researchers use inkblots to improve security of online passwords

Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists have developed a new password system that incorporates inkblots to provide an extra measure of protection when, as so often occurs, lists of passwords get stolen from websites.

Tricking algae's biological clock boosts production of drugs, biofuels

Tricking algae's biological clock to remain in its daytime setting can dramatically boost the amount of valuable compounds that these simple marine plants can produce when they are grown in constant light.