Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

Solar panels made from cyborg bacteria promise even cheaper energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyborg bacteria could be used to replace today’s silicon solar panels with higher efficiency, lower cost panels that help accelerate the renewable energy revolution.   Although most life on Earth relies upon photosynthesis as its sole source of energy, the process has a weak link...

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This new metamaterial could turn your car into its own airbag

This new metamaterial could turn your car into its own airbag

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create materials that can transition between hard and soft states could open the door to a whole host of new applications.   I think you’ll agree with me that rubber and steel are at different ends of the spectrum when it comes...

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Scientists push the boundaries of nanotech to build the world’s smallest house

Scientists push the boundaries of nanotech to build the world’s smallest house

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to create increasingly small nanoscale structures will help us create more advanced nanobots and nanomachines in the future.   Recently we’ve seen a spate of new ways to build houses, whether they’re 3D printed, or built using autonomous drones, robots and vehicles, but...

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Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

Biodegradable plastics made from “Tree glue” could hit the shelves in five years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today plastics are the scourge of the environment so now companies around the world are racing to create environmentally friendly alternatives, and plastics made from true glue could be near the top of the list.   Plastic’s fall from grace in the past couple of...

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Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are an increasing number of billionaires who believe heavy industry should be moved off of Earth and onto the Moon, and Bezos might be one to help make it a reality.   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going...

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Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

Nike’s new 3D printed kicks get set to revolutionise retail

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Retail will soon be going through another disruption, one where personalised products are made on demand in the back of stores, and the sportswear industry are leading the charge.   We’re facing a retail revolution, another one, and this time it’s not e-commerce, one where...

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A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our optical technologies improve we’re increasingly able to see the universes building blocks in ever more minute detail.   If you paid attention in science class you know that atoms make up everything. They’re the smallest unit of matter, and everything you’ve ever touched,...

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Fantastic self-healing material regenerates after suffering “catastrophic damage”

Fantastic self-healing material regenerates after suffering “catastrophic damage”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are lots of dangerous industrial applications, and other use cases, where equipment of all kinds suffer extreme wear and tear, this new material could extend the life of products by multiples of time.   The idea of creating self-repairing machines has been a popular...

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Stab these soft robots and they’ll self-heal instantly

Stab these soft robots and they’ll self-heal instantly

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Materials are an integral part of many products, and ones that can self-heal will help extend the life and usefulness of the products they’re used to make.   Robots already seem to have a great bag of tricks to draw on. They can balance, run,...

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Futurist keynote, Reading: Adapt or Die, Cherwell European Conference

Futurist keynote, Reading: Adapt or Die, Cherwell European Conference

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The pace of change, and disruption, is accelerating. In this presentation I show just how fast, and how crazy, the world’s business environment is getting, it’s impact on every sector, and what you can do to future proof yourself.   Firstly, I’d like to thank...

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UC Berkeley’s atom thin display paves the way for truly invisible displays

UC Berkeley’s atom thin display paves the way for truly invisible displays

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We’re traditionally used to displays being bulky and stiff, but increasingly scientists are finding new ways to create new types of displays that break the status quo, and which will open up millions of new use cases, from health monitoring to way beyond.   We’ll...

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Semi-synthetic cells could revolutionise everything from sensors to healthcare

Semi-synthetic cells could revolutionise everything from sensors to healthcare

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The ability to create semi-synthetic cells that have both organic and inorganic properties opens up a whole world of new use cases that span everything from biotech to new forms of manufacturing.   The more we study natural biological cells, the more we learn about...

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Under Armour’s new clothes help heal your body while sleeping

Under Armour’s new clothes help heal your body while sleeping

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we develop new materials, and find new ways to use them for our benefit, one day in the future we’ll suddenly discover that clothes can do much more than clothe us.   Could the right clothes, in this case pyjamas, help athletes, and the...

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MIT invents a 3D printed dye that lets objects change colour on demand

MIT invents a 3D printed dye that lets objects change colour on demand

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is nothing to say that tomorrow’s products can’t change their colour, or even their functionality, on demand, and this is one of the first steps in helping achieve that goal.   Do you remember the colour changing dress that took the internet by storm and went...

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Blackberry’s AI Robo-hacker gets to work finding bugs in connected cars code

Blackberry’s AI Robo-hacker gets to work finding bugs in connected cars code

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more products become reliant on software to function, and as  programs get increasingly complex, human developers are finding it increasingly difficult to find and patch all the bugs and vulnerabilities.   As cars, especially self-driving ones, become more reliant on software it’s critical automakers...

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Molecular programming breakthrough could create better molecular assemblers

Molecular programming breakthrough could create better molecular assemblers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we learn how to create and build new, smaller molecular sized machines and robots being able to manipulate matter at the molecular scale will become increasingly important.   Over the past couple of months there have been world firsts in the creation of DNA...

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Chinese scientists unveil a new material that heals itself like human skin

Chinese scientists unveil a new material that heals itself like human skin

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Up until now most self-healing materials have either been hard, or soft, and that narrows their number of applications, this new material is the first to have the best of both worlds.   Imagine a smartphone, or window, that can heal from cuts and scratches...

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Harvard’s Metalense breakthrough could pave the way for real invisibility cloaks

Harvard’s Metalense breakthrough could pave the way for real invisibility cloaks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Our ability to manipulate light is improving with every passing month, now a new Metalense breakthrough could help scientists create the first generation of genuine cloaking devices.   For as long as human beings have been writing science fiction the dream of being able to...

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Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

Bioengineers hack biology to turn living tissue into any shape they want

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of the largest ascending mega trends is Synthetic Biology, and as our command and understanding of the natural world increases it will help transform our world in ways you never thought possible.   It turns out that many of the complex folded shapes that...

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World first as scientists manage to make carbon fiber using plants, not oil

World first as scientists manage to make carbon fiber using plants, not oil

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The knock on impact of being able to produce cheap carbon fiber at scale could help us create stronger, lighter  drones, prosthetics and robots, as well as improve the fuel economy of all manner of vehicles, from aircraft to cars.   Carbon fiber is the...

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