Technology Tuesday: May 5
Artificial Muscles From Onions
The onion, a humble root vegetable, is proving its strength outside the culinary world — in an artificial muscle created from onion cells. Unlike previous artificial muscles, this one can either expand or contract to bend in different directions depending on the driving voltage applied.
Super Spider Silk
Spider-man would be so envious. Spiders have woven webs infused with carbon nanotubes and even graphene, raising the prospect of new materials with record-beating properties.
Graphene – sheets of carbon just one atom thick – is one of the strongest artificial materials, and spider silk is one of the strongest natural ones. So Nicola Pugno of the University of Trento, Italy, wondered what would happen if you combined them.
The Future of Solar Energy According to MIT
Solar energy holds the best potential for meeting humanity’s future long-term energy needs while cutting greenhouse gas emissions — but to realize this potential will require increased emphasis on developing lower-cost technologies and more effective deployment policy, says a comprehensive new study, titled “The Future of Solar Energy,” released today by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).
Flights of the Future
The future of flight looks surreal, at least judging by the patents filed by Airbus and Boeing. They might not get off the ground soon, but we’d like to imagine a future of flight shaped by these far-sighted ideas. READ MORE
Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos for the First Time
Chinese scientists have edited the genomes of human embryos for the first time, confirming a storm of rumors and igniting an ethical debate. Researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, used an experimental gene-editing technique to modify a gene in human embryos that causes a fatal blood disorder.
Know any interesting stories we missed?Let us know in the comments!
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