Sewage The New Fuel?

If only we could think up ways to make use of all our sewage and everything else we throw away.

If we’re ever to build a society of autonomous, fully-functional robots that don’t need us humans to supervise and control their every move, we’re going to have to teach them to fuel themselves. The Ecobot III brings us a step closer to living in a world of self-feeding robots that will (probably) eventually overthrow the reigning humans and take over Earth. It’s a small robot developed at the Bristol Robotics Lab in the UK that takes meals and sips of water, extracts energy from the food, and expels waste through an artificial digestive system.

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A New Skin Game

Not so much an invention but a product with possibility of  real benefits to healing.  Imagine if we had skin banks like we do blood banks, you could donate skin grafts and in the event of injury you had a ready supply of your own skin to help in recovery.

Products by two Hampton Roads organizations are on the cutting edge of wound care.

The nonprofit LifeNet Health in Virginia Beach offers TheraSkin, a graft made of real skin that stimulates your body to heal itself. Soluble Systems of Newport News sells TheraGauze, a covering that regulates the moisture within a wound.
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Sky Power at 230 Feet!

Here’s a big way to traverse the sky!

More than 70 years after the Hindenburg disaster ended the golden airship era, giant blimps will take to the skies again with the launch of the world’s largest inflatable craft.

The pioneering Bullet 580 is a 235ftlong and 65ft in diameter ship that can lift payloads of 2,000lbs up to 20,000ft in the air.
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Air Power!

The lithium ion batteries used in laptops and cellphones, and tipped for future use in electric cars, are approaching their technological limits. But chemists in the UK say that there’s a way to break through the looming energy capacity barrier – let the batteries “breathe” oxygen from the air.

A standard lithium ion battery contains a negative electrode of graphite, a positive electrode of lithium cobalt oxide, and a lithium salt-containing electrolyte. Lithium ions shuttle between the two electrodes during charging and discharging, sending electrons around the external circuit to power a gadget in the process.

The problem with that design, says Peter Bruce at the University of St Andrews, is that the lithium cobalt oxide is bulky and heavy. “The major barrier to increasing the energy density of these batteries is the positive electrode,” he says. “Everyone wants to find a way to push up the amount of lithium stored there, which would raise the capacity.”

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How Those Memories Stick in Your Noggin

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 29 (UPI) — Scientists in Israel say they’ve identified a chemical in the human brain that helps brain cells store new memories and allows them to “stick.”

A study by researchers at Tel Aviv University says a natural molecule occurring in the brain, called Aminobutyric acid, could be the main factor in regulating how many new memories one can generate and permanently store, a university release said Thursday.

Memories are stored in highly variable synaptic connections between neurons in the brain, study leader Dr. Inna Slutsky said, and the variability ultimately determines whether and how memories are stored.
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Unmanned Phantom Eye

More unmanned vehicles, pretty soon everything in the sky will be flown from the ground and the next step. autonomous.  The only pilots will be ground based and there is a good chance if you spent your childhood using a joystick you have a career in flight ahead of you!

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today unveiled the hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system, a demonstrator that will stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to four days.

“Phantom Eye is the first of its kind and could open up a whole new market in collecting data and communications,” Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, said today at the unveiling ceremony in St. Louis. “It is a perfect example of turning an idea into a reality. It defines our rapid prototyping efforts and will demonstrate the art-of-the-possible when it comes to persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The capabilities inherent in Phantom Eye’s design will offer game-changing opportunities for our military, civil and commercial customers.”
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