Tech Universe: Tuesday 28 August

By Miraz Jordan

DREAM SCENE: NASA has awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation funding to help in developing its Dream Chaser spacecraft. The craft is a small shuttle that could carry seven people and some cargo to and from the International Space Station. It'll be launched on top of a rocket and after its visit to the ISS will fly to a landing on a conventional runway. Leaving the planet it almost becoming routine, it seems. DVICE has further info.

HEALING HEAT: If you have a wound stitched up you have to keep looking at it to see how things are going. But what say the sutures themselves could report back on progress? US researchers have developed a new suture that contains ultrathin silicon sensors integrated on polymer or silk strips. They can precisely measure temperature that could indicate infection, and deliver heat to help with healing. The sutures can even be knotted without degrading the device. Delivering healing heat too is a nice touch. Technology Review has more.

COOL CAMO: Bomb blasts release intense heat, and that heat may burn the faces of soldiers or firefighters. If the soldiers are wearing camouflage face paint the burns may be made worse as the paint is often based on oils and waxes. Researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi have come up with a camouflage face paint based on silicone that could protect its wearer for a vital few extra seconds.

Silicone absorbs heat outside of the spectrum produced by the intense flames of a bomb blast. The paint could also be further developed to help fireproof clothing and other fabrics. New Scientist details. Check out the video.

THE KEY TO CLEAN: Dropped half your lunch on the keyboard again? Logitech's Washable Keyboard K310 is what you need. It's designed to be dumped into a sink full of cool water if you spill food or drink on it. Then give it a bit of a wash by hand. Drainage holes at the back help it dry off quickly too. Or just eat your lunch elsewhere. Logitech explains. Video here.

AIR CAR: The tiny three-wheeled two-door AirPod car from MDI in France runs on compressed air rather than on electricity or conventional fuels.
The car can travel at up to 80 Kph and run for 150 to 200 Km, at a cost of only 1 Euro for fuel. The car itself produces no pollution, but compressing the air in the first place relies on power whose generation may create carbon emissions. It also doesn't have a steering wheel. Instead it uses a joystick. Yes, the car does run on air. MDI elaborates. Here's the vid.

Miraz Jordan,

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