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Engineers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina (USA), have developed a 3D acoustic cloaking device that redirects sound waves, giving the illusion that whatever it covers is not there. Made of porous plastic sheets created with a 3D printer and stacked to form a pyramid, the technology has numerous potential applications, including avoiding sonar detection and improving sound quality in auditoriums by cloaking structural elements that impede acoustic perfection.
Referees at elite sporting events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil receive high-tech help for making tough calls. GoalControl GmbH, based in Würselen, Germany, has developed a real-time analysis system called GoalControl-4D that tracks moving objects in sporting events. With the help of 14 high-speed cameras installed in strategic locations, the system transmits a precise goal/no goal reading to the referee’s watch in less than one second.
The Panama Canal is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with numerous events and an ambitious expansion program to add a third shipping lane and a new set of locks to accommodate wider ships. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the US$5.2 billion project will more than double the canal’s capacity, from the current 5,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) maximum to 13,000 TEUs, directly impacting international maritime trade.
NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism firm founded by Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi, has proposed to address the challenges
of rising water levels and rapid urbanization in the informal coastal settlement of Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria, by building a floating school. Increased rainfall and flooding threatened the settlement’s structurally unsound school, so the firm designed and, together with a team of local builders, built a floating, three-level building supported by empty plastic barrels. With a triangular shape, the school has a low center of gravity, providing stability even in extreme weather conditions. The eco-friendly prototype is powered by renewable energies and equipped with a water and sewage treatment system. The project was nominated for the Design Museum of London’s “Designs of the Year 2014” award.
Scientists and engineers at Pennsylvania State University (USA) have successfully inserted metal particles called nanomotors into live human HeLa cervical cancer cells. Powered into action by ultrasonic waves, the nanomotors can be further controlled using magnetic fields. The breakthrough puts medicine closer to never-before-possible therapeutic applications and treatments, including the potential to perform intracellular surgery and to non-invasively deliver medication directly to living tissues.Back to top