Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Technology tidbits

From the Technology Quarterly report in the June 6-12, 2009 issue of The Economist, a few articles of interest:


Ktisophilos said...

The Revetech engine, first developed in Australia, is 60% more fuel efficient than conventional petrol engines. This one uses a three-loved cams instead of the grossly inefficient crankshaft. See how it works and a prototype in action.

The colour-changing cuttlefish has inspired a TV screen design that uses only 1% of normal power. In particular, one colour-change mechanism of the cuttlefish is the iridophore, tiny parallel plates that act a variable diffraction grating. The TV screen uses applies a voltage to thicken multiple polymer layers, which changes the observed light wavelength.

nolandda said...

There are mosquitoes in Phoenix? Wouldn't think that there was enough standing water.

Jim Lippard said...

There are lots of mosquitoes in Phoenix, and lots of standing water in swimming pools of foreclosed homes.

Maricopa County has regularly been a leader for number of cases of West Nile Virus.

We were just getting buzzed by them last night... a few years ago we had to use mosquito netting over our bed, it was so bad.

Magic Tony said...

Sure, Jim. If cockroaches had hearts, they wouldn't be constantly trying to invade my home. Nice try, Economist!

Ktisophilos said...

Queensland, Australia: experts “have created the world's first artificial heart which fits inside a human body and can mimic the pumping fluctuations of a healthy heart.”

This BiVACOR has a twin impeller mounted on both sides of a central wall; one half pumps deoxygenated blood from the body to the lungs, and the other half pumps oxygenated blood from the lungs to the body, just like our hearts. It works a bit like a revolving door, and has a variable speed and tilt, so it can cope with varying needs of the body. The tilting and spinning is achieved with electromagnetism, so the blades are not in contact with the walls, which minimizes damage to the blood cells.