Innovation

Musical Chemical Detector

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have discovered the chemical detection abilities of an African musical instrument called a mbira. The instrument uses metal times connected to a wooden sounding board which produce a musical tone when plucked. The research has discovered that using a hallow U-shaped tine filled with different liquids produce notes of different frequencies. These differences can be used to detect different liquid samples such as sodium chloride or non-toxic glycerol.

1995 Blockchain

Before Satoshi and Bitcoin, researchers Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta invented the blockchain concept in a paper published in the Journal of Cryptography in 1991. They then went on to found a company called Surety which provided timestamping and digital seal services for digital documents.

Better Noise Cancelling

Researchers at the University of Illinois' Coordinated Science Laboratory have demonstrated a better mechanism for noise cancelling headphones that uses wireless signals to send sound data from microphones close to the sound source, allowing less processing and microphone hardware to be installed on the headphones themselves.

Cool Thing Of The Week: Printed Paper Actuator

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Morphing Matter Lab have created printed paper actuators. By coating paper with conductive thermoplastic, the paper can bend, fold or flatten in response to an electric current. The video demonstrates some interesting uses for this technology, as interface controllers and as a moving publishing medium. (H/T to Mikael for sharing this.)

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