Empa

  • The gasoline age is giving way to electric, but there's still plenty of room for last-gasp improvements to the combustion engine.
  • ​Most people think of turmeric as a kitchen spice, or perhaps as a health supplement that's taken orally. Now, however, scientists have incorporated curcumin – a compound extracted FROM turmeric – into a porous foam that's designed to heal skin wounds with a minimum of scarring.
  • ​It was just this Wednesday that we heard about a non-toxic flame-retardant solution created by scientists at Texas A and M University. Well, researchers at Switzerland's Empa institute have also come up with one, which could be used to keep wood and wood-based building materials from burning.
  • Science
    Empa has developed a technique for growing tiny springs to specifications using photo-etching and electrochemical depositing in cold, aqueous saline solutions instead of conventional drawing and winding techniques.
  • Windows let light, warmth and a view into rooms, but we don’t always want all three of those at once. That’s why researchers in Switzerland are developing a relatively simple method to smarten up windows by embedding tiny mini-mirrors in them and keep rooms comfortable all year round.
  • ​While there are already various types of winter sportswear textiles that are claimed to draw sweat away from the skin while still keeping the wearer warm, HYDRO_BOT is certainly unique. Developed by a consortium that includes Switzerland's Empa research group, it utilizes gold and electricity.
  • Why bother adding a layer of insulation to a brick wall, if you can just build that wall using hollow bricks that are stuffed with insulation? That's the thinking behind bricks which incorporate materials such as perlite. Now, scientists have created the best-insulating brick yet, using aerogel.
  • Though infant jaundice can be treated with light therapy, this involves the baby lying alone and naked inside an incubator. A new material could replace this uncomfortable experience, by instead wrapping them inside snug pajamas that radiate light inwards.
  • Mining is inherently dirty work, but it is set to get a little cleaner on the back of a heavy duty electric vehicle currently under development. Some time in the next few months, the Komatsu HD 605-7 will start carting materials down from a Swiss mountain powered by a mammoth 4.5-ton battery pack.
  • ​Arthritis is a degenerative disease that eats away at the joints and is rather difficult to treat. But research has now uncovered a new glimmer of hope, in the form of molecule taken from algae that, when modified, might just stop the degenerative effects in their tracks.
  • Science
    ​Although there are already systems that allow us to control devices via hand gestures, they rely on sensors such as cameras, accelerometers and gyroscopes. A new technology goes about gesture control in a different way – it's integrated into a watch strap, and it's been used to control a drone.
  • Open wounds are something of a paradox – they need to be checked regularly, yet taking the dressing off too often just increases the risk of infection. That's why researchers have developed a new bandage that lets caregivers monitor the healing progress of wounds, from the outside.