Spanish researchers at MIT have developed a system to produce electrodes for vanadium flow batteries, used in renewable energy storage. The electrodes are made from chitin, a polysaccharide found in the exoskeleton of crustaceans and insects. The advantage of this component is that it contains nitrogen in addition to carbon, which is then incorporated into the structure of the electron during the production process, improving electrode’s performance.
The Atlas of Inequality is an interactive map made from mobile geolocation data to determine where people of different incomes do (or not) encounter as they move around the city to work, shopping or during leisure time. The initiative, led by the Spanish researcher Esteban Moro, has already analysed the map of Boston and it will be extended to eleven other cities, including Madrid and New York.
Aisoy Robotics, a start-up based in Elche (Spain), develops robots capable of recognising the person with whom they interact and simulate emotions. A nurse from the USA, Juan’s mother, confirmed its potential in autism therapies three years ago. Now, the firm is preparing a clinical study to test its efficacy with 50 children.
Barcelona-born Carlos Abellán has developed a chip that combines photonic and quantum technology to generate unpredictable codes to protect any connected device. The technology can be used in current and future quantum computers.
Spanish researchers have developed a system that tracks human displacement caused by climate change using the tracks of mobile phones. With this model, which was tested during a severe drought in Colombia in 2014, it was determined that the portion of the population that migrated due to this event was 10% during the six months of the study.
The unpleasant odours generated by factories, livestock farms and landfills are warning signs of serious environmental problems. However, this type of pollution is largely forgotten by legislations. The chemical engineer Rosa Arias has decided to change this and has developed an app with which citizens can register the effluvia of their environment. Also, she is the leader of an European project that is preparing the first global odour map.
A group of researchers has analyzed 599 mobile applications for breast cancer found in Apple and Google stores, and has concluded that most have been developed with little medical criteria. The authors have observed different levels of disinformation in these 'apps', ranging from material of questionable origin, offering information without citing any sources, to dangerous prescriptions.
Ana Maiques founded Neuroelectrics in 2011 with the goal of treating brain diseases in a non-invasive way, with a treatment unique to each patient. Today, her brain reading and electro-stimulation headgear is used to measure the fatigue of NASA pilots and being tested on patients in the US for the treatment of epilepsy. In addition, the company is exploring applications in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
The long working hours and the discriminatory environment of the technology industry scare women away, despite the fact that the EU has an estimated employment growth of 8% until 2025 in the sector. A study by Catalan universities proposes measures to achieve greater equality of opportunities. According to the specialists, a cultural change in companies is necessary, with new rules for time management and counseling programs.
Video games to help children with dyslexia, chips that allow testing drugs without using laboratory animals, intelligent sensors that detect volcanic eruptions and data analysis to improve e-commerce are technologies developed by four Spanish entrepreneurs. These experts in engineering and computer science stand out in a field clearly dominated by men.