Is Tractor Trailer Fuel Efficiency Blowing in the Wind?

Devices developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that could save the U.S. trucking industry $10 billion a year in diesel fuel are being tested at NASA Ames Research Center, home of the world’s largest wind tunnel.

LLNL and heavy truck and military vehicle-maker Navistar Inc. turned to NASA Ames to further develop and test the devices that are designed to sharply reduce the aerodynamic drag affecting semi-trucks, the project partners said this week.
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Biofuel Cell Cactus, A New Source of Electrical Energy?

Scientists in France have transformed the chemical energy generated by photosynthesis into electrical energy by developing a novel biofuel cell. The advance offers a new strategy to convert solar energy into electrical energy in an environmentally-friendly and renewable manner. In addition, the biofuel cell could have important medical applications.

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Non-Newtonian Fluid Sport Shoes

This is real thinking cap stuff but I like anything that uses a Non-Newtonian fluid. This could be a real winner and I’ll be interested in seeing how this works for athletes and what the benefits are, if any.  I’d be willing to give a pair of these shoes a try.  Non-Newtonian fluid also know as Ooblick is fun to play with and is also the inspiration for The Walking Lakes of Freggaire.

Brooks Sports, Inc. (, the only company in the world that offers footwear, apparel, and accessories exclusively for the runner, continues its pioneering history in the performance running industry by announcing today the launch of Brooks DNA, an innovative, first-of-its-kind cushioning system that adapts to the unique needs of each runner, offering customized cushioning and protection every step of every run.
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Low Cost Solar Cells, Finally?

Hopefully this is for real and not another hurry up and wait. We need solar now more than ever before.

IBM researchers have developed a new class of solar-powered electricity-generating cells that they claim will bring photovoltaic cells closer to cost parity with conventional energy sources.

The researchers from IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York have published their findings in a paper entitled “High-Efficiency Solar Cell with Earth-Abundant Liquid-Processed Absorber,” available here (PDF).
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Motorcycle Gel Helmets

Being a motorcycle enthusiast these are some amazing claims for a very unique helmet design.  If this works as described it could also make a real impact on sport helmets too.

With over 80% of fatal motorcycle accidents due to head trauma, rotational head injury is currently seen as the greatest cause of brain damage or death for motorcyclists involved in road accidents.

The new helmet, aptly named SuperSkin®, tackles this directly using a special new technology that mimics nature’s own simple design – skull and skin. Vastly superior in design compared to standard helmets, stringent tests show that the SuperSkin® product design reduces rotational impact by an unprecedented 50% and the subsequent possibility of brain damage by 67.5%*.
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Plasma Soap

Put that liquid soap away and wash your hands the 21st century way, with plasma!

Hospital workers often have to wash their hands dozens of times a day — and may need a minute or more to do the process right, by scrubbing with soap and water. But new devices could reduce the task to just four seconds, cleaning even hard-to-reach areas under fingernails.

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