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.
French scientists at the Neel Institute have produced a graphene patch that records the condition of chronic wounds, such as ulcers suffered by the elderly or those with diabetes, at any time. The data can be sent from home to the hospital via mobile phone, facilitating a rapid response to possible infections.
One of the most difficult parts of the human body to imitate due to its complexity is the hand. The Shadow Robot Company designs and develops highly dexterous robotic hands that are as realistic as possible to human hands and makes them available to researchers within the framework of the Human Brain Project. The goal is to integrate them into the robots of the future.
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.
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.
The Spanish firm Sylentis has developed a compound to treat diseases of the retina, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which will be administered by ophthalmic drops instead of intraocular injections. The drug, which has been tested in animals, is a small interfering RNA capable of penetrating the cells of the retina and blocking the formation of new blood vessels.
In the future, the exceptional properties of graphene will make car seats and aircraft antenna protection enclosures lighter, which will reduce fuel consumption. These are just two examples of the uses of this revolutionary material exhibited during the last week of September in Athens, where companies and research centres presented their latest results for producing it at an industrial level.
Researchers at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Denmark have developed a method of producing P450 enzymes – used by plants to defend against predators and microbes – in bacterial cell factories. The process could facilitate the production of large quantities of the enzymes, which are also involved in the biosynthesis of active ingredients of cancer drugs.
The gelatinous jaw of a sea worm, which becomes hard or flexible depending on the environment around it, has inspired researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a new material that can be applied to soft robotics. Despite having the texture of a gel, this compound is endowed with great mechanical resistance and consistency, and is able to adapt to changing environments.
Researchers from the Tokyo-based company Silicon Studio, led by Spanish data scientist África Periáñez, have developed a new algorithm that predicts when a user will leave a mobile game. This information is useful for game studios so that they can design strategies to maintain the player's interest.