Tech Universe: Wednesday 4 July

By Miraz Jordan

Nanodiamonds can be used to keep clothes clean and bright. Photo / Thinkstock
Nanodiamonds can be used to keep clothes clean and bright. Photo / Thinkstock

24 CARAT WHITE: Scientists at the University of Warwick reckon that nanodiamonds can get the washing cleaner. A nanodiamond is a piece of carbon less than ten-thousandths the diameter of a human hair, and it can help loosen crystallized fat from surfaces. That means that when you wash your clothes in cold water they'll come out cleaner with nanodiamonds than without. Nanodiamonds sounds so much better than 'tiny bits of carbon'. University of Warwick has more.

BLOOD BUBBLES: Our bodies need oxygen, and that's usually delivered via the lungs to the blood and then to the cells that need it. But if the lungs don't work, then what? A doctor in Boston found a way to inject oxygen directly into the bloodstream using oxygen-filled microspheres. An injection could give doctors enough time to hook up a heart-lung bypass machine without damage to the patient's organs. I'm sure before long athletes will find a way to use this too. Technology Review explains.

TELLING VOICES: Diagnosing Parkinson's is a bit tricky, but a researcher from the UK created a computer algorithm to detect changes in voice that can reveal who's at risk. The algorithm analysed detailed voice recordings from 50 people with Parkinson's and was able to use differences in voice patterns to predict with 86% accuracy who developed the disease. It's almost scary what we can reveal without knowing. BBC details.

BIG PICTURE: The Flea3 FL3-U3 camera easily fits in the palm of your hand, yet it captures video at 4K resolution. The camera can send video to any compatible USB 3.0 equipped device in real-time. The gadget is only around 30 mm on each side and has a maximum resolution at 21 frames per second of 4096x2160 pixels. Does size matter or not? Gizmodo elaborates. Check out the video.

OUT OF THE POO: The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore turns human waste into electricity and fertilisers. It also reduces the amount of water needed for flushing by up to 90%. Two chambers separate the liquid and solid wastes, and a vacuum system like those used on aircraft reduces the amount of water needed for flushing. The toilet system sends liquid and solid wastes for separate processing, to be turned into useful products such as fertiliser and methane. Installing such toilets in public restrooms or institutions like universities could save a lot of resources. And it beats just dumping all the waste. Nanyang Technological University has further info.

Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz

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