Tech Universe: Wednesday 27 March

By Miraz Jordan

Researchers have created a gel that helps stop bleeding and initiate healing. Photo / Thinkstock
Researchers have created a gel that helps stop bleeding and initiate healing. Photo / Thinkstock

QUICK STOP: Veti-Gel is a liquid that can not only immediately stop bleeding but also initiate healing. The plant-based polymer holds its own pressure onto the wound and at the same time activates Factor 12 and platelet cells, creating a tight seal. While it has obvious military applications, it could also be useful for any of us to stop bleeding after a cut or scrape. Though the name is more suggestive of animal care.

NEURONS IN SIGHT: Stanford's new micro-endoscope lets a doctor not just look inside your body without cutting you open, but see with astonishing resolution. The new endoscope is as thin as a human hair with a resolution four times better than previous devices of similar design. The prototype can resolve objects about 2.5 microns in size.

With further development this single-fibre endoscope could let doctors analyse neuronal cellular biology in brain tissue or perhaps detect various forms of cancer. Handling the device must be a challenge.

HUB HOPES: Construction should start soon on Hope City, an ICT hub just outside Accra in Ghana. The aim of the new city is to bring together and promote technology and innovation in Africa. The plans include a university and hospital, as well as housing, recreation and everything a city needs. The technology park will also include a 75 story 270 metre high building expected to be the highest in Africa. Other African countries have already developed their own IT hubs, so this one is part of a growing trend. Meanwhile, back on the farm...

FAST ONE: The Colibri electric car recharges in 2 hours from a domestic power point, but 20 minutes at a public charging station will bring the battery up to 80%. The car's range is 100 Km, while its top speed is 120 Kph. The 3 door electric vehicle is a single-seater, with room in the boot for a bag and a couple of crates. Gull-wing doors on the sides help protect you from the rain as you get in and out. This is the kind of vehicle that would be perfect for city-wide car-sharing schemes.

UP AND AWAY: The Swiss have plans for getting into space. Swiss Space Systems plan to launch small satellites into orbit from the back of an A300 aircraft. A test flight should run in 2017, departing from the airport in Payerne, Switzerland. The plane will carry a small shuttle to around 10 Km, after which the shuttle will use its own rockets to climb to 80 Km. Finally a small upper-stage rocket will then boost the 250 Kg payload to 700 Km where it will orbit. Both the A300 and the shuttle will then land back at base. Perhaps all those Swiss mountains give them a bit of a head start too.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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