Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

Changespotting: Spider people get bulletproof skin

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Are bulletproof vests almost a thing of the past? Photo / Thinkstock
Are bulletproof vests almost a thing of the past? Photo / Thinkstock

The bulletproof vest will be obsolete if scientists succeed in genetically modifying human skin to make it bulletproof. By splicing human genes with those of spiders, researchers in the Netherlands believe they could recreate the extreme strength of spider silk in a way that can protect humans from gunfire.

Car to assist those in crisis
When strange symbols light up, smoke emanates from under the bonnet and your emergency horn is constantly sounding - it can make driving more stressful than convenient. With this in mind, Audi are installing a soothing, helpful crisis-management assistant who will be present as an animation on your dashboard. Called AviCoS, it will counsel you in times of stress and even adjust its tone of voice when you sound angry and upset.

No falling with new energy relaxed leg
Engineers at Vanderbilt University have built a powered prosthetic lower leg that is more machine than prosthetic. One of the biggest benefits of this new design is that using the leg will demand 30 to 40 per cent less energy from the user. The technology also has a built-in anti-stumble capability. One of the main shortcomings at this stage is the volume of sound the leg produces.

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