Blow-up space shield beats heat

Materials World magazine
A mushroom-shaped inflatable shield could protect spacecraft from the intense heat of atmospheric re-entry, says NASA.
Oscar Pistorius (Wikimedia Commons/Erik van Leeuwen)

All in the game - to what extent is technology taking the skill out of sport?

Materials World magazine
In July the Institution of Mechanical Engineers released a report entitled Sports Engineering: An Unfair Advantage? that traced the role of technology in the games we play. It found that some sports have become far more reliant than others.

Steering clear of charge traps - plastic electronics

Materials World magazine
Cheap, mass-producible devices made from plastic electronics could be the future, now that researchers have found a way to clear of troublesome charge traps.

Living energy - microbes for renewable energy storage

Materials World magazine
Researchers at Stanford and Penn State Universities, both USA, have raised colonies of microbial communities including methanogens that can turn electrical energy into carbon-neutral methane.

Fungus cleans up radioactive waters

Materials World magazine
Fungus could act as an environmental sponge and remove radioactive waste from polluted waters, say Harvard researchers.