Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If you’ve ever been too lazy to go and get something yourself then tractor beams are for you.   Hot on the heels of researchers in the UK and US who over the years have created a variety of different types of tractor beams that...

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Scientists jumped out of a plane to create a new wonder material

Scientists jumped out of a plane to create a new wonder material

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Everything is made from some form of material, whether it be organic or inorganic, which means the right breakthroughs can change industries forever.   Most people don’t care about materials – even self-healing materials, or state of the art programmable materials, or materials that will...

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Revolutionary injectable brain implant restores mobility in paralysed patients

Revolutionary injectable brain implant restores mobility in paralysed patients

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF People with paralysis or nervous disorders could soon be regaining their movement thanks to a revolutionary new form of wireless brain machine interface.   Imagine if a tiny matchstick sized brain implant could circumvent damaged spinal cords and help paralysed people, and anyone for that...

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Revolutionary blood test lets doctors see chronic pain in colour

Revolutionary blood test lets doctors see chronic pain in colour

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We all suffer from pain now and again, but for chronic pain sufferers the condition can leave them feeling depressed, disheartened, and isolated, this new test that lets people see pain could be a game changer.   Around 100 million Americans are in pain right now. Chronic...

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Scientists turn light into sound to create faster Photonic computers

Scientists turn light into sound to create faster Photonic computers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Photonic computers will boost the speed of modern day computing by at least twenty fold, but while converting data into light is easy, getting it back again has proved a challenge.   So far in the past few years we’ve turned light into a superfluid...

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New graphene filter turns filthy water into drinking water

New graphene filter turns filthy water into drinking water

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Millions of people around the world don’t have regular access to clean drinking water, and this breakthrough could help them.   Every year millions of people around the world die from diseases they’ve contracted from drinking unclean water but now researchers in Australia have developed...

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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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Researchers unveil the world’s first complete silicon quantum chip design

Researchers unveil the world’s first complete silicon quantum chip design

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Quantum computers promise unrivalled performance but all the chips designed so far are incompatible with today’s existing, silicon based legacy infrastructure, this breakthrough solves that and brings quantum computers with millions of Qubits within tantalising reach.   Researchers have been trying to build quantum computers...

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World’s first fully autonomous freight train goes for a spin in Australia

World’s first fully autonomous freight train goes for a spin in Australia

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF While every transportation company on Earth is racing to build fully autonomous vehicle they’ve all been beaten to market by the world’s first fully autonomous freight train   This week Rio Tinto, who are already operating the world’s largest autonomous dump truck, the 250 ton...

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Blockchain entrepreneurs are helping utilities re-invent the powergrid

Blockchain entrepreneurs are helping utilities re-invent the powergrid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The power grids used by most countries were born in a different era, but now, thanks to new technologies like blockchain, grid scale storage and renewables, they’re about to get upgraded.   Imagine the scene, a power pole collapses at 8PM on a hot night...

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New shark spotter algorithm saves lives, and sharks

New shark spotter algorithm saves lives, and sharks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Sharks get a bad rap and it’s in part because they eat people, not many and it’s statistically insignificant, but nevertheless people don’t like being eaten, now though an AI might finally put a stop to them snacking between meals   Artificial Intelligence (AI) and...

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Australian researchers claim a blockchain record of 440,000 transactions per second

Australian researchers claim a blockchain record of 440,000 transactions per second

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Blockchains relatively low transaction speeds could stop it from reaching its full potential, but now a research group from USYD claim to have smashed the performance barrier that could have held it back.   Researchers at Australia’s University of Sydney (USYD) announced this week that...

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Companies are racing to fill the seas with autonomous drone ships

Companies are racing to fill the seas with autonomous drone ships

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It seems like every mode of transport is going autonomous these days, and that’s because it is, and cargo ships of every kind are no exception.   Forget Uber’s itsy bitsy diddy self-driving cars, and Otto’s self-driving semi-trucks, if you want a robot to haul a...

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An Australian AI can predict when you’ll die with 70 percent accuracy

An Australian AI can predict when you’ll die with 70 percent accuracy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF How long you have left to live is determined by a whole range of factors and scientists in Australia are trying to work backwards from death to use AI to predict when you’ll die, and so far the results are impressive.   Scientists, data scientists...

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World’s biggest meat producer begins rolling out robot butchers

World’s biggest meat producer begins rolling out robot butchers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Lower cost robots are increasingly being augmented with advanced AI and that’s accelerating the rate at which human jobs are being automated.   Robots, which might get actual rights later this year when the EU votes on the issue, have been improving a lot lately...

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Robots are taking over and automating the world’s mines

Robots are taking over and automating the world’s mines

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Automation is taking the world’s mining operations by storm, and it will only be a matter of time before the only humans are the ones servicing the machines.   Every one of the giant Komatsu 250 ton trucks is the size of a two story family...

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Australia is building the world’s biggest solar farm

Australia is building the world’s biggest solar farm

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF With solar technology improving in efficiency, and reducing in cost countries now seem to be racing to embrace it and the projects are getting bigger and bigger   The record for the largest solar power plant keeps changing hands,. One minute it’s Africa, the next it’s...

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Researchers have created the highest quality hologram yet

Researchers have created the highest quality hologram yet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Holograms are a sci-fi staple but manipulating light to create 3D effects is one of the most complicated challenges scientists face, now a breakthrough might take us one step closer   As we move from the era of silicon based computing to photonics Holograms, which are...

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An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

An extinction gene and glowing mice help scientists eradicate invasive species

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The question of whether or not to use gene drives, an extinction technology, to eradicate pests and invasive species is divisive but it looks set to get the go ahead.   Scientists working with US conservation group Island Conservation say they’ve managed to establish an...

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Australia hails the end of passports as it rolls out biometrics at airports

Australia hails the end of passports as it rolls out biometrics at airports

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biometric border technologies can scan and authenticate you without you ever knowing, or needing to stop, now Australia are going to use them to replace passports, for good.   Australia, for those that have never been, is a beautiful country – and the last thing...

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