MIT researchers have turned WiFi signals into electricity

MIT researchers have turned WiFi signals into electricity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Wireless charging is becoming more popular, which is why we’re seeing breakthrough after breakthrough in the space, and new innovations.   Noone likes having to shove a battery into things or plug everything they own into an electrical plug socket, whether it’s your phone, your...

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NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft wings are subject to different conditions during flight, but until now rigid wings weren’t optimal for any of them.   A team of researchers led by NASA and MIT in the US have come up with a radical new aeroplane wing design that is...

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Experts believe Chinese scientist who Gene-Hacked twins “likely boosted their brainpower”

Experts believe Chinese scientist who Gene-Hacked twins “likely boosted their brainpower”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Genetic enhancement has a variety of unknown impacts on human biology and cognition, and we are no where near to understanding them.   When now infamous Chinese scientists He Jiankui edited the genes of human twin babies last year, he was reportedly trying to make them immune...

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MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI gets more deeply embedded into the world’s digital fabric, in everything from self-driving cars to high frequency stock trading, it’s crucial we know how it makes its decisions.   A child is presented with a picture of various shapes and is asked to...

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MIT discover a way to mass produce cell sized robots

MIT discover a way to mass produce cell sized robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Small robots have their benefits too, in everything from the oil and gas industries to healthcare, now we can manufacture them en masse.   Recently I’ve written about not just tiny robots, but microscopic ones – tiny molecule sized robots that are being used to...

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RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

RNA breakthrough makes it possible to cure Cystic Fibrosis with an inhaler

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A revolutionary new way to deliver mRNA into the body in aerosol form makes genetically editing faulty genes easier than ever before.   Recent there have been some almost miraculous medical breakthroughs, from treating patients with inherited genetic diseases with in vivo gene therapy treatments...

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The world’s first silent, engineless aircraft takes flight at MIT

The world’s first silent, engineless aircraft takes flight at MIT

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF This new type of engine, an ion engine, could one day be a useful propulsion system for drones and small aircraft but a lot of work remains to be done.   Since the first airplane took flight over 100 years ago, virtually every aircraft in...

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MIT trained an AI to spot fake and biased news stories

MIT trained an AI to spot fake and biased news stories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to detect and weed out fake news is quickly rising up the political agenda, and companies are in an arms race to try to find solutions fast.   Any fact-checker who works in the media has a straightforward but challenging job – make...

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A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters and it’s getting worse as air travel increases, electric aircraft will reverse that trend.   Over the past year or so I’ve been discussing the eventual emergence of fully electric aircraft and sky taxis, such...

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The web is broken so it’s founder is re-inventing it

The web is broken so it’s founder is re-inventing it

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The internet was supposed to empower people, but so far most of that power is being concentrated in big centralised platform companies instead.   The founder of the World Wide Web thinks it’s broken and has a plan to fix it. Tim Berners-Lee, the British...

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Doctors will soon be able to track your health through walls using your wifi

Doctors will soon be able to track your health through walls using your wifi

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Imagine being able to have your health and emotions monitored wirelessly wherever you were, whether it’s in your house or even out in the street, that’s the promise of this new technology.   Imagine a box, yes, that’s it, similar to the wifi router you...

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A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots that can autonomously identify and skill-fully manipulate objects without needing to be previously trained could revolutionise the robotics industry.   Human dexterity is an impressive skill that requires both our body’s fine motor skills and highly efficient visual acuity, and despite recent advances from...

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MIT created a nanobot spray that gives dumb objects superpowers

MIT created a nanobot spray that gives dumb objects superpowers

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to spray nanobots onto surfaces and objects is a fast way to turn them from dumb objects into smart ones that have new sensing capabilities.   You may have sworn off aerosol sprays back in the 1990’s when everyone was talking about the hole...

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MIT researchers have taught their AI to see through solid walls

MIT researchers have taught their AI to see through solid walls

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are times when seeing through walls is useful, for example in hostage negotiations, search and rescue, and to see when mum and dad are about to bust in on your gameplay.   Recently we’ve seen camera developments from both China and MIT that help...

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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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New battery technology triples the ranges of electric vehicles

New battery technology triples the ranges of electric vehicles

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the world starts to move away from fossil fuels we need to find new ways to squeeze more power from our batteries, and innovations like this one help us achieve that.   In the latest battery breakthrough claim researchers from the University of Waterloo...

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US military and DARPA team up to develop tech to uncover fake news

US military and DARPA team up to develop tech to uncover fake news

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The advent of powerful AI tools, adaptable neural networks and the democratisation of hi definition rendering have taken fake news to a new level and this program aims to unmask the fakes.   We’ve all seen that video where Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered algorithms make it seem like Barack...

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BMW and MIT create the world’s first 3D printed inflatable material

BMW and MIT create the world’s first 3D printed inflatable material

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to 3D print materials with different and unique properties opens up a whole new range of use cases and applications, from car design to implanted medical devices, to soft robots and beyond.   A two year collaboration between BMW and MIT has produced...

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Lamborghini’s futuristic all electric, self healing hyper car won’t have batteries

Lamborghini’s futuristic all electric, self healing hyper car won’t have batteries

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It’s likely that our flirtation with battery packs in cars won’t last as long as we think as new wirelessly charged cars start emerging, and as new materials let the cars themselves become the batteries.   Lamborghini and MIT recently introduced the Terzo Millennio concept, which...

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Two breakthroughs make it impossible to fake nuclear weapon decommissioning

Two breakthroughs make it impossible to fake nuclear weapon decommissioning

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Making sure countries subject to nuclear disarmament treaties are actually decommissioning real, not fake, nuclear weapons has always posed a problem, this breakthrough will no longer let the fakers get away with it.   In past negotiations aimed at reducing the arsenals of the world’s...

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