Researchers developing natural pesticide alternative to target pests without harming honeybees (23/08/2019)

A natural, sustainable alternative to pesticides that targets specific pests, without harming beneficial pollinators such as honeybees, is being developed with the help of researchers from the Institute for Sustainable Food at the University of Sheffield.

Breakthroughs seen in artificial eye and muscle technology (23/08/2019)

Inspired by the human eye, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an adaptive metalens that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required (23/08/2019)

Smartphones that don't scratch or shatter. Metal-free pacemakers. Electronics for space and other harsh environments. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ceramic welding technology developed by a team of engineers at the University of California San Diego and the University of California Riverside.

Researchers reveal plant defense toolkit and insights for fighting crop diseases (23/08/2019)

At an unprecedented scale, researchers have now cataloged the array of surveillance tools that plants use to detect disease-causing microbes across an entire species. Representing a major advance for plant biology, the findings have important implications for the management of dangerous crop diseases which represent significant threats to food security.

Nanowire arrays could improve solar cells (11/08/2019)

Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact, like a metal, but you also need to be able to let light in (for solar cells) or out (for displays).

Power generation achieved by a self-assembled biofuel cell (11/08/2019)

Researchers have developed the first fully functional biofuel cell whose biocatalysts (enzymes that play a critical role in power generation) directly self-assemble onto the electrodes. In about 5 minutes, enzyme-nanoparticle hybrids added to a biofuel cell solution selectively bind to either the anode or the cathode, and in doing so form the key components of the biofuel cell.

Ultrathin transistors for faster computer chips (11/08/2019)

For decades, the transistors on our microchips have become smaller, faster and cheaper. Approximately every two years the number of transistors on commercial chips has doubled—this phenomenon became known as "Moore's Law." But for several years now, Moore's law does not hold any more. The miniaturization has reached a natural limit, as completely new problems arise when a length scale of only a few nanometers is approached.

Technique uses magnets, light to control and reconfigure soft robots (05/08/2019)

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Elon University have developed a technique that allows them to remotely control the movement of soft robots, lock them into position for as long as needed and later reconfigure the robots into new shapes. The technique relies on light and magnetic fields.

A wearable device so thin and soft you won't even notice it (05/08/2019)

Wearable human-machine interfaces—devices that can collect and store important health information about the wearer, among other uses—have benefited from advances in electronics, materials and mechanical designs. But current models still can be bulky and uncomfortable, and they can't always handle multiple functions at one time.

'Limitless potential' of artificial protein ushers in new era of 'smart' cell therapies (28/07/2019)

A first-of-its-kind artificial protein -- designed on a computer and synthesized in the lab -- can be used to build brand-new biological circuits inside living cells. These circuits transform ordinary cells into smart cells that are endowed with remarkable abilities.