Tech Universe: Thursday 17 May

Mosquitoes infected with malaria have reportedly killed some 655,000 people in Africa. Photo / Thinkstock
Mosquitoes infected with malaria have reportedly killed some 655,000 people in Africa. Photo / Thinkstock

HEALTH SUIT: Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people in Africa each year. But a couple of designers at Cornell University hope to reduce that number with their specially designed clothing. The hooded bodysuit is embedded at the molecular level with insecticides. Insect repellant and fabric are bonded at the nanolevel using metal organic framework molecules, meaning the effects last for a long time. In traditional treated mosquito nets, the repellant wears off within a few months. Taking small bites out of a big problem. Cornell University has more info.

TRUCKS ON THE LINE: We're familiar with electric trains and trams drawing their power from overhead lines. But how about if trucks could use a similar power delivery system on heavily travelled stretches of road? Siemens have devised such a system and the tech is to be tested in California soon. Specially equipped hybrid trucks will be able to switch from one power source to the other without interruption as they travel down the road.

The connecting gear, called a pantograph, is designed to allow for normal sideways movement during travel. It gets rid of CO2 pollution, but introduces a great deal of visual pollution. Designboom has more. Check out the video.

WATER FUEL: Scientists at the US Department of Energy have been looking for a low-cost way to safely create hydrogen. And they may have found it. Their new electrocatalyst uses nickel-molybdenum-nitride to generate hydrogen gas from water. The new catalyst is easier to use and far less expensive than the platinum that's used now. Cheaper fuels must be good. Visit Brookhaven National Laboratory for further information.

DRAGON ON BOARD: Very soon now the first private spaceship will dock with the International Space Station. The Dragon from SpaceX will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. After some intensive testing the robotic arm from the ISS will capture Dragon and the two craft will dock. After two weeks the Dragon will splash down in the Pacific off the coast of Southern California. Launch is scheduled for 19 May 2012. This is one dragon that shouldn't be slain. Gizmodo explains.

DIMPLE DASH: With the Olympics coming up there's a lot of emphasis on clothing an equipment. The Nike Pro TurboSpeed uniform material places patterns and dimples on key areas of an athlete's uniform. Wind tunnel tests helped Nike work out the best way to reduce aerodynamic drag. The principle is the same as for simples on a golf ball. Nike claim the material is up to .023 seconds faster over 100m than their previous track uniform. Go on, run like a golf ball! Nike elaborates.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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