Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

Nature's batteries

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Microbes feeding off hydrothermal vents transform the structures they inhabit into 'natural batteries'. Photo / NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory's Vents Program
Microbes feeding off hydrothermal vents transform the structures they inhabit into 'natural batteries'. Photo / NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory's Vents Program

A break-through by Harvard researchers of deep-sea "chimneys" indicates that chemotrophic organisms that call these areas of the sea home could be natural batteries. Although the electricity produced is minimal it could be harnessed to power deep sea research facilities.

Robotic assistants

The sleek hexapod robot design called MorpHex, when not shaped like a ball, reveals six scuttling legs that help it move around. Kare Halvorsen, who designed the bot, has plans to programme it with a rolling function, which could greatly improve its usefulness as a robotic assistant.

Colour-coded surgery

In her speech at TedMed, Quyen Nguyen points out that when surgeons first train in their profession, their textbooks colour-code vital components of the body. However, in reality the body is not so conveniently colour coded. Throughout her speech about colour-coded surgery, we are introduced to the idea of fluorescents being used to light up tumours and vital nerves during cancer surgery.

- NZ Herald

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