Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

Mind-reading: A reality?

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A recent proof-of-concept by scientists working from University of California, could allow patients who have lost the capacity for speech the opportunity to communicate with loved ones. Using electrodes, the scientists played a sound to a subject, and then a computer interpreted which sound the patient heard by reading their brain waves.

Eco-toys for the kids

It's brown; it's eco-friendly; it's every tree-hugging parents' dream. These earth blocks are a sustainable alternative to popular plastic children's toys. The waste products that make up the toys are blended with polypropylene to solidify them and they can be used in the same way as regular stackable, brick-shaped blocks.

Improved photovoltaic cell production

A company called AstroWatt has devised an improved method of creating wafer-thin photovoltaic cells that makes manufacturing them more efficient and economical. Instead of slicing silicon, which is one current method, they coat a block of silicon with metal, heat it and then peel off a layer. This process will mean five or more photovoltaic cells being created from a block of silicon, instead of only three.

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