ENDLESS FRONTIER:
INNOVATIONS IN SCIENCE & ENGINEERING

May 2014

Convergence/Health

Why eumelanin is such a good absorber of light
Researchers uncover the secret of a ubiquitous pigment’s ability to absorb a broad spectrum of light, solving the mystery of how it protects the body from the hazards of radiation.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLOPWI

Illuminating neuron activity in 3-D
New imaging system reveals neural activity throughout the brains of living animals, is the first that can generate 3-D movies of entire brains at the millisecond timescale, and could help scientists discover how neuronal networks process sensory information and generate behavior.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLNoHP

Energy & Environment

A new way to harness waste heat
Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants; researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy. A new electrochemical approach has potential to efficiently turn low-grade heat to electricity.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLLx5O

High-flying turbine produces more power

MIT alumni develop airborne wind turbine that floats 1,000 feet aloft to capture stronger, steadier winds.  Proven to produce double the energy of similarly sized tower-mounted turbines, the system, called Buoyant Air Turbine (or BAT), is now readying for commercial deployment.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLO9k9

Forecasting temperature extremes with ozone
MIT study finds that springtime ozone levels are good predictors of summertime temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLPgAr

Science & Tech

Glasses-free 3-D projector
A new design could also make conventional 2-D video higher in resolution and contrast, and provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to holographic video.  Multiperspective 3-D could have applications in collaborative design and medical imaging, as well as entertainment.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLN0Jf

A new way to make sheets of graphene
Graphene’s promise as a material for new kinds of electronics and other uses has led researchers around the world to study the strong, lightweight, highly conductive material in search of new applications. A newly-discovered technique could enable advances in display screens, solar cells, and other devices.
Read more at http://bit.ly/1kLMnPZ