Putting thousands of jellyfish in a blender to make a smoothie sounds like the start of bad joke. In fact, it's one way to source ingredients for a new generation of solar power solutions that could aid medical science and offer cheap energy.
On an April day in Boulder, Colo., Michael Laine sat onstage in front of a large audience, struggling to hold back tears. That afternoon he was supposed to be presenting to the attendees of the Conference on World Affairs, but at the moment, Laine was finding it hard to concentrate. "Two hours ago I lost a $3 million building," he declared to the room. "And now I don't have a place to live."
As a product designer, Agustin Otegui's has to "think big" about the objects he creates. From novel portable chairs made out of shovels to chrome radiators that look like modern works of art, he recasts the mundane in a modernist and functional new light.
Imagine walking down the supermarket aisle with a cheap device you could hold up to a tomato. If the sensor detects a pesticide residue, you'd know the "organic" label is a lie. Similar tools could track the chemical content of water in a stream, telling you if there was lead contamination and when it got there, or keep constant watch on a bridge and tell if a structural steel beam was at risk of collapse.
Gray goo or the future of medicine? CNN spoke to Naomi Halas, a professor at Rice University in Texas, about nanotechnology and her work on nanoshells, tiny particles that may hold the key to curing cancer.
The approach of flu season sends many people scurrying for vaccinations and vitamins. But what if you could avoid the flu and other viruses simply by getting dressed? That's the idea behind two garments that are part of the "Glitterati" clothing line designed by Olivia Ong, a senior design major at Cornell University.
Cleaning up contaminated water is big business. World demand for treatment is forecast to increase 6 percent per year through 2009 to more than $35 billion, according to a 2006 report by research firm Freedonia.
A new breed of nanobots is being designed to assist doctors by going where no surgeon or technology has gone before. Working at the scale of molecules, these micro-machines are taking their cues from bacteria and the way in which they find their way around the human body. If they are successful, they could bring about a new type of molecular surgery and a different perspective to our own inner space.
There's nothing tiny about the international controversy brewing over the safety of nanomaterials. In April, a German company recalled a tile sealant called Magic Nano after dozens of consumers suffered breathing problems while using it. Never mind that the product contained particles too large to actually count as nanomaterials (which must be smaller than a billionth of a meter) the scare was on, and European confidence in products labeled "nano" had already sunk.
Humanity is on the verge of an incredible future. Technologies that seem like science fiction are already becoming science fact as researchers develop innovations that will transform the very essence of what it is to be human.
A baseball zooms through clouds, straight through a wall and into the waiting hand of actor Adam Smith, who is tricked out like a magician, complete with wand, tuxedo and top hat. "How do you do it?" Smith asks conspiratorially. "You just need a small enough ball, of course."
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Nanotechnology, the science of manipulating matter at the sub-molecular scale, has gotten a lot of buzz in the mainstream media, but it's mostly been "ooh, ahh, gee-whiz" type coverage.
"I do not see much hope in the political domain, but a lot of hope in the technological domain," said Shimon Peres last week at a private breakfast he hosted in a knotty wood-paneled ski-hotel dining room in Davos, Switzerland.