14 Feb

Researchers at UCLA have come up with a contraption that can use the rays of the sun to cheaply and efficiently make and stockpile energy that could be used to fire up hydrogen cars as well as to power electronic devices.

One key to the device is its cost-effectiveness, which would permit more people to afford hydrogen cars. It makes hydrogen from a mixture of cobalt, iron, and nickel -- all of which are more readily found and cheaper than other precious metals, such as platinum, that are currently used to provide fuel for hydrogen vehicles.

In a press release, Richard Kaner, the study’s senior author and a UCLA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and of materials science and engineering, said, “Hydrogen is a great fuel for vehicles: It is the cleanest fuel known, it’s cheap and it puts no pollutants into the air — just water. And this could dramatically lower the cost of hydrogen cars.”

The technology could be a boon to those in remote locations.

12 Feb

Data Privacy Day happened on January 28 this year. It's an observation that's intended to encourage organizations and people to protect data, respect privacy, and grow trust.

When it comes to protecting data, though, it can sometimes prove difficult to know what, exactly, you're up against or dealing with -- because methods and techniques for stealing or compromising your data cover a broad spectrum.

According to data security company Yubico, slightly more than 8 in 10 instances of hacker-related breaches can be traced to the theft and misuse of credentials, the logins and passwords you use. And since the hackers can do that from halfway around the world, it's not so easy to catch them.

10 Feb

Plastic surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years, with breast and butt augmentations especially trendy. But developments in stem cell research could permanently change the concept of cosmetic surgery.

Researchers in England say they’ve found a way to use a combination of a patient’s stomach fat cells and stem cells to perform augmentations like penis, breast, and buttock enlargements. The stem cells would serve as a replacement for silicon and other fillers. In doing so, researchers believe surgeons could provide a safer alternative to traditional procedures.

08 Feb

NASA continues to try to find ways that man could set up a permanent home on Mars, but there are many challenges related to taking up residence on the Red Planet. But new research into a possible power source could solve one of the main problems with long-term residency there.

In order to live on Mars, explorers will need an electricity source, but setting up a power station on the planet would be complicated, especially without the supplies and equipment necessary. New research from NASA has discovered a potential answer to that in the form of small nuclear reactors. Called the kilopower reactor, these devices would provide enough power for settlers to set up a home on the planet.

06 Feb

Options available for dental patients with needed restorative or serious cosmetic work abound. But one difficulty inherent in the process is trying to envision what those new choppers will actually look like once they're manufactured and installed into your (likely) re-excavated mouth. Worse, some patients catch a glimpse of the prep work being done, which sometimes can make a challenged smile look worse before it looks better.

And molds and casts can only do so much. After all, what people want to see is how the new dental work will look in their mouth, not on a disembodied model.

Now, though, a Swiss startup called Kapanu has chosen to use augmented reality (AR) to show patients the "after" look before the prep work begins.

Here's how it works: The system matches a 3D scan of the patient's mouth with sets of teeth from other people where the procedures are known to have had success. As soon as the software homes in on the patent’s mouth and teeth, it then places a layer of the improved teeth onto the image.

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