Sunday, 18 November 2012

Synapse science news #7

Too busy to keep track of all the science news during the week? Don’t fear Synapse is here. Check out this week's news.

3D printing for the future - 3D printing, which can rapidly create complex products through either printing 3D "layers" or by removing material, has started to arrive in homes. With the first model being very expensive and time consuming, the possibility of being able to print out basic parts for the home without leaving your armchair is only just becoming reality - from a wider scope though, the new technology of additive layer manufacturing (ALM), on which some 3D printers operate, offers a revolution in how millions of items are manufactured. Read more

Rogue planet - Astronomers have discovered a "rogue planet" wandering around the cosmos without a star to orbit, around 100 light-years away. Find out more.

Goodbye coffee? - If climate change isn't enough of a serious issue, then the news that coffee is now under threat from this problem should worry all of us who depend on this substance to survive early morning lectures. Rising temperatures are meaning many of the world's traditional areas for Arabica bean growing may become unsuitable by 2080. Fortunately I only drink tea! Read more.

Antibiotic resistance fears - Experts believe resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to modern health. Reports suggest resistant to strains of  E. coli and gonorrhoea are increasing because antibiotics arebeing used unnecessarily for mild infections. Find out more

Total eclipse - Sunny Australia was momentarily in the shade earlier this week following a total eclipse. Read more.

Run out of batteries - The end for pesky batteries may not be too far off as scientists create an electronic transmitter from electromagnetic fields naturally generated in the ear. Whilst the available voltage is currently tiny, there is hope that further research can start to examine cell energy extraction- though health risks for humans will obviously have to be examined. More information here.

Beta Blockers don’t work - Beta Blockers have been a standard part of treat for patient’s suffering with heart problems such as angina since the first was launched in 1964. However two papers released within days of each other have both shown damning evidence that beta blockers did not prolong the lives of patients. This evidence has come as a shock to a lot of cardiologists and this may shape the drugs with give patients in the future. Find out more.

Hovering moon base - There are rumors that NASA plans to build a hovering moon base that will be held in place by gravity. Read more.

Oliver Ford, Felix Kennedy and Tom Stubbs