Tech universe: Thursday 19 August

By Miraz Jordan

A round-up of the latest technology news from around the globe.

Each glove contains custom-made electronics and sensors that allows communication between them via a wireless protocol. Photo / Supplied
Each glove contains custom-made electronics and sensors that allows communication between them via a wireless protocol. Photo / Supplied

KILLER PAINT: MRSA 'superbugs' don't stand a chance against a new paint. The paint binds carbon nanotubes to an enzyme called lysostaphin that slices open cell walls and within 20 minutes destroys only staph bacteria. This mix isn't an antibiotic, and is safe in the environment. It sounds too good to be true. More at IO9.

HAND IN GLOVE: It's very hard to hear or see in a smoke-filled room, as firefighters know only too well. Frontline gloves include sensors to capture the wearer's hand signals, while another person's glove receives the signals and displays them on ultra-bright LEDs. Two thumbs up for these gloves. More at CargoCollective.

WATCH HEAR: Video calls via cellphone could be perfect for deaf people who use Sign Language. But video often means reduced battery life and higher costs.

University of Washington's MobileASL optimises the video and also conserves battery by detecting whether a person is signing or not. Signups coming soon.

RAT POWER: If oxygen and sugar can generate electricity, and our bodies contain both, can we make electricity from our own cells? French researchers implanted glucose biofuel cells in rats and found they successfully generated power. Such biofuel cells could power pacemakers and insulin pumps. Glucose biofuel cells: surely another name for energy drinks. Details at Physorg.

CLOTHES SOURCE: The University of Southampton are researching how to capture the energy we create in our clothes or in carpets as we move around. The team aim to add energy harvesting inks to textiles, in hopes of doing away with the batteries we normally use to power devices. Batteries be gone!

- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz.

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