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

TOUCHY FEELY:

Put on 3D glasses and hold hands with a robot. This could be a new way of training doctors and others who need to learn how things feel during surgery or medical exams. The HIRO III haptic interface robot gives kinesthetic feedback through your fingertips. Not just cold hands, but steely. Details at

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GROW YOUR OWN HOME:

Urban designer Mitchell Joachim would like us to grow our own homes by grafting living plants together, using a special scaffolding. The homes would also absorb carbon from the air. Do we get architects, landscapers or interior designers to help? More at

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ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE:

Microsoft InstaLoad lets you insert batteries in a device without worrying about which way round they should go. Both ends of the battery include both positive and negative terminals.

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YOU'RE SOAKING IT IN:

Sand may be just the thing to keep your skin supple. Coating droplets of skin cream with silica nanoparticles lets researchers control how the skin absorbs the cream. Wait, there's

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more: you can scrub and moisturise at the same time!

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ROUND CARBON:

A new method for recycling plastic turns it into tiny spheres of pure carbon. The spheres can be used in paint, batteries and filters or many other things. In my day it was called soot.

tells all.