World’s most powerful laser will be able to rip matter out of a vacuum

World’s most powerful laser will be able to rip matter out of a vacuum

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As laser technology develops at an accelerating rate it’s increasingly being used to help scientists unlock the mysteries of the universe, and many other things besides.   Amazingly physicists are getting close to building lasers powerful enough to rip matter out of a vacuum, yes,...

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US startup secures $200m in funding to build 300 vertical farms across China

US startup secures $200m in funding to build 300 vertical farms across China

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s population will grow by another 2 billion by 2050 and many think today’s agricultural systems won’t cope, as a consequence we need to embrace new forms of sustainable, high yield agriculture.   The agricultural industry is going through a revolution, everything from robotic...

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ORNL’s new super fast ultrasonic dryer uses 70 percent less energy

ORNL’s new super fast ultrasonic dryer uses 70 percent less energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tumble dryers account for more than 4 percent of the world’s energy consumption, so cutting that figure by 70 percent could be a big deal.   Forget heat, drying laundry in the future is all about cranking up the volume. At least, that’s how the folks at...

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Electric eel inspired bio-batteries could revolutionise pacemakers and wearables

Electric eel inspired bio-batteries could revolutionise pacemakers and wearables

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new type of ultra thin biological battery could replace batteries in pace makers, and power smart contact lenses, but their use cases don’t stop there.   New artificial organs may have a familiar, slimy face to thank for their near future prospects in the...

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NASA inspired tech designed for outer space triples crop yields on Earth

NASA inspired tech designed for outer space triples crop yields on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As Earth’s population grows by another 2 billion in the next few decades scientists are coming up with new ways to feed them and produce food in previously unimaginable ways.   Over the next few decades it’s estimated that the Earth’s population will grow by...

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UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF More companies are showing interest in wireless charging and the pace of development and investment in the sector is accelerating, but this is one wireless charging technology that the experts say shouldn’t work, but it does.   Unlike Energous, a company that a few weeks...

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Wirelessly charged smart underpants hit the floor at CES

Wirelessly charged smart underpants hit the floor at CES

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we become ever more reliant on the electron shuffling marvel that is electricity, we’re rapidly getting to the point where we no longer have to tether all our gadgets and devices to our wall sockets to charge them.   This year could well prove...

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Washing machines get a whole lot greener thanks to new Xeros polymer bead system

Washing machines get a whole lot greener thanks to new Xeros polymer bead system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Doing the laundry uses lots of detergent, energy and water, and creates grey water by product, but Xeros’ new polymer bead washing system cuts this down by over 80 percent.   Sometimes it’s easy to forget that products we take for granted, and use every...

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Scientists have created the world’s first wormhole in a lab

Scientists have created the world’s first wormhole in a lab

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Wormholes that transfer electromagnetic signals, energy and other “stuff” via an unknown dimension are the stuff of science fiction, but they also have practical applications in healthcare, apparently.   Sci-fi fans around the world have long been waiting for the news that we can, finally...

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Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As transistors and computing devices continue to shrink it is inevitable we’ll bake more computing power into our clothing, and all that extra compute will need some way to power it.   Today, the majority of smart clothes we use to monitor a person’s vital...

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Nanogenerator breakthrough generates electricity from the blood in your veins

Nanogenerator breakthrough generates electricity from the blood in your veins

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As researchers continue to develop micro-machines and implanted medical devices that live within our bodies we might need to find new ways to power them.   Humanity has been generating electricity from flowing water for millennia using everything from watermills to huge hydro-electric dams, but...

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MIT breakthrough creates glowing plants that could replace street lights

MIT breakthrough creates glowing plants that could replace street lights

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Around a fifth of all the world’s energy production is consumed by lighting, but in the future glowing plants could help provide us all with an infinite, renewable source of light.   Plants at the moment are getting the royal treatment. They’re being turned into...

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Companies have a plan to fix blockchain’s massive energy problem

Companies have a plan to fix blockchain’s massive energy problem

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Processing Bitcoin is now consuming more energy than Denmark uses in a year, and as cryptocurrencies become increasingly popular their energy consumption is, literally, starting to affect the planet.   You’d have to be almost deaf and blind to not notice that at the moment...

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Samsung unveils their new ultra fast charging, energy dense battery

Samsung unveils their new ultra fast charging, energy dense battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When asked what irritates them most about their smartphones most people reply battery life, but Samsung’s latest breakthrough might mean we have to moan about something else.   All our mobile devices have been hamstrung for ages by their reliance on traditional Lithium-Ion (LiOn) batteries...

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New solid state coolant could spell the end of exploding batteries

New solid state coolant could spell the end of exploding batteries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world has an insatiable thirst for cooling, whether it’s cool fridges and freezers, or as a way to cool our gadgets increasingly powerful batteries and electronics, now solid state cooling could put an end to things that go boom in the night.   There...

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Wireless charging, the next frontier for electric vehicles gains traction

Wireless charging, the next frontier for electric vehicles gains traction

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Just as countries are starting to get used to the idea of rolling out fixed electric vehicle charging stations a new technology is emerging on the scene that could quickly render them obsolete.   Just as we are beginning to get used to the idea...

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Researchers have discovered how to build self-healing fusion reactors

Researchers have discovered how to build self-healing fusion reactors

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Nuclear fusion is being hailed as the next revolutionary power source but the reactions are tearing the reactors apart, but now researchers have found a way to create the first generation of self-healing fusion reactors.   As anyone in the energy business will be able...

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Elon Musk beats his 100 day deadline to power up the world’s biggest battery

Elon Musk beats his 100 day deadline to power up the world’s biggest battery

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world’s thirst for renewable energy is increasing, almost  exponentially, and dips in supply have to be met from battery storage systems like these.   Elon Musk started building a giant mega battery for the South Australian outback earlier this year with the aim of preventing the...

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Scientists discovered a new energy source eight times more powerful than nuclear fusion

Scientists discovered a new energy source eight times more powerful than nuclear fusion

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Scientists have found new evidence of a new, theoretical power source that is eight times more powerful than nuclear fusion, and if the theory is proved it will prove to be a revolutionary power source.   This week a team of researchers from Tel Aviv...

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China unveils the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network

China unveils the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF China’s ambitions to embrace renewable energy and electric vehicles shows no signs of slowing down, and they’re leaving other countries in the dust.   Last year the US Government announced it was going to start rolling out a huge network of electric charging points across...

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