Magnetic

  • ​While shape-memory materials do have some interesting applications, many of them require the application of heat in order to change shape – and that could cause problems, in environments such as the human body. A new material, however, relies instead on a magnetically-responsive liquid.
  • ​While many mountain bikers don't like the idea of having their feet mechanically fastened to clipless pedals, they do see the advantages of such a setup. Austria's magped set out to reach a compromise, with its magnetic platform pedals – I recently got to try a set out.
  • Magnetoreception, or the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field, pops up throughout the animal kingdom, but it’s generally thought to be something humans missed out on. But new research has found changes in human brain wave activity that seems to be in response to a changing magnetic field.
  • When you imagine robots, you probably aren’t picturing stretchy meshes that can float on water, but that’s exactly what researchers have developed. These soft structures are 3D printed and embedded with magnetic particles that let them stretch and compress to pick up and move small objects.
  • ​It's not unheard of for outdoorsy types to have a flashlight, headlamp and bike headlight. The HeadSpin is designed to function as all three, and more, thanks to a twisting magnetic mounting system.
  • ​Glaucoma occurs when a blockage causes aqueous humor fluid to accumulate within the eye faster than it can drain out. This increases intraocular pressure, which can in turn damage the optic nerve, causing blindness. A new implant, however, may be particularly effective at reducing that pressure.
  • Antsy Labs has introduced its own spin on classic DIY building toys with Pixl, a set of blocks with tiny embedded magnets to keep them stacked in 3D models or lined up in pixelated 2D artworks.
  • Brazilian researchers have created a new two-dimensional material called hematene, which is made up of sheets of iron ore just three atoms thick. And as is often the case with 2D materials, hematene seems to have different properties to its regular form.
  • Scientists are coming up with some creative ways to fight cancer. Researchers at the University at Buffalo have developed new kinds of nanoparticles that can infiltrate, heat up and kill cancer cells more effectively and efficiently than similar methods.
  • Harvard scientists have led an international team to develop a new surface that can reconfigure its shape, stickiness or slipperiness on demand, through the application of a magnetic field.
  • ​Some day, it may be possible for tiny squishy robots to make their way through people's bodies, without being tethered to an external power supply or control unit. We've recently gotten a step closer to that being a reality, thanks to 3D-printing tech that produces magnetically-responsive devices.
  • Science
    ​If wines such as cabernet sauvignon contain high amounts of chemical compounds known as alkylmethoxypyrazines (MPs), their fruity/floral bouquet can be overwhelmed, resulting in an off-putting flavor and aroma. Now, scientists have used magnetic nanoparticles to remove MPs from wine.