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Researcher: 'Magnetic Turd' Is No April Fool's Joke

'Magnetic slime robot' could be used for minimally invasive surgery

(Newser) - Yes, it's April Fools Day and, no, this is not a joke—at least according to the inventors of what has been dubbed "magnetic turd." A study published last week in Advanced Functional Materials instead refers to a "magnetic slime robot," a dark-colored, goo-like blob...

Teen's Idea May Reduce Infections in Sutures

Dasia Taylor, take a bow

(Newser) - A 17-year-old high school student and finalist in a national science competition has come up with an impressive invention she hopes can save lives, particularly in developing countries. Dasia Taylor of Iowa City, Iowa, had read about "smart" sutures coated with a conductive material that can relay changes in...

He Invented the Cassette Tape. There Were 'Mixed Emotions'
Guy Who Invented
the Cassette
Tape Had One
Big Regret
in case you missed it

Guy Who Invented the Cassette Tape Had One Big Regret

Philips engineer Lou Ottens, dead at 94, said he wished Philips, not Sony, created Walkman

(Newser) - Sad news today for anyone who ever recorded a mixtape off the radio (complete with DJ interruptions and cut-off songs) or knows what this picture means. Lou Ottens, a Dutch engineer who invented the cassette tape, has died at the age of 94, per NPR . Local media reports Ottens died...

Other Creations of Famous Inventors

Mental Floss is out with a list featuring Edison, Tesla, others

(Newser) - You know all about Alexander Graham Bell's telephone. But did you know Bell also made a metal detector in an unsuccessful attempt to find the bullet in President James Garfield after he was shot in 1881? The device (which came along after one developed earlier in France) is one...

Gore-Tex Inventor Realized Something Making Plumber's Tape

Robert W. Gore's resulting product is now used in medical devices and guitar strings

(Newser) - Robert W. Gore, whose invention of what created the breathable-yet-waterproof fabric known as Gore-Tex revolutionized outdoor wear and helped spawn uses in numerous other fields, has died. He was 83. Gore, who was president of W.L. Gore & Associates for almost 25 years and company chairman for 30 years,...

Quest for Faster COVID Test Spurs $5M Contest

XPrize is offering big bucks to innovators who can come up with rapid-result virus testing

(Newser) - Last week, the Trump administration's point man on COVID-19 testing acknowledged that turnaround times for test results have been too slow , noting that "we are never going to be happy with testing until we get turnaround times within 24 hours." Now, a nonprofit hopes to help expedite...

You Can Open This Window and Still Block the Noise
Bothered by Street Noise?
Open Up This Window

Bothered by Street Noise? Open Up This Window

But it could be years before the Anti-Noise Control Window is available for sale

(Newser) - City dwellers know just how irritating a jackhammer can be. Now there's a way to drone out the racket without closing your window. Scientists have developed a window system that's a gift for your ears, even if it is a bit of an eyesore. Described in Scientific Reports...

With His UPC, George Laurer Solved Several Retail Problems
UPC Inventor Was Amazed
at How Well It Works

UPC Inventor Was Amazed at How Well It Works

Development solved several problems for retailers

(Newser) - George J. Laurer, whose invention of the Universal Product Code at IBM transformed retail and other industries around the world, has died. He was 94 and died at his home in Wendell, North Carolina, the AP reports. Laurer was an electrical engineer with IBM in North Carolina's Research Triangle...

Hate Blind Spots While Driving? This Teen Has a Solution

14-year-old Alaina Gassler created innovative workaround

(Newser) - A Pennsylvania teen has won $25,000 and, perhaps soon, the gratitude of every driver in America with what Mashable calls a "simple but innovative" invention that gets rid of blind spots. A release from the Society for Science & the Public announced that the "girls shine" in...

French Daredevil Makes It Across the English Channel

Inventor Franky Zapata hit speeds of up to 106mph on kerosene-fueled flyboard

(Newser) - It was neither a bird nor a plane buzzing over the English Channel on Sunday, but rather a French dude on a flyboard. As the BBC reports, inventor Franky Zapata made it across the 22-mile channel in an equal number of minutes, powered by a kerosene backpack and including one...

Paris Crowds Astonished by Man on Hoverboard

Inventor Franky Zapata wowed the crowds with his Flyboard

(Newser) - The Bastille prison was stormed via land in 1789 during the French Revolution. Sunday's commemoration of it involved the air in the most attention-grabbing of ways. French inventor Franky Zapata soared over astonished crowds in Paris on his turbine engine-powered Flyboard Air prior to the start of the military...

It's a Chair. No, It's a Bulletproof Vest

Seattle inventor's seat converts into a life-saving device

(Newser) - An enterprising attorney has created a portable chair that converts to a bullet-proof vest, for use in schools and entertainment venues. Aaron Ansel came up with the idea for the CoverMeSeat following the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. "I just thought, is there any sort of technology-based...

Shark Tank Didn't Want It. Amazon Just Paid Big Bucks for It

'Smart' doorbell company Ring scooped up for a reported $1B

(Newser) - Five years ago, Jamie Siminoff left the ABC show Shark Tank "in tears" after a "smart" doorbell he created was spurned. On Tuesday, Ring, the company he built around that invention, was sold to Amazon in a deal Reuters reports as being worth more than $1 billion—one...

Patent-Pending Straw Does What Other Straws Can't

High schoolers' invention tests for date rape drugs

(Newser) - Victoria Roca, Susana Cappello, and Carolina Baigorri immediately bonded in their entrepreneurship class. For one thing, they were the only females in the class at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, reports USA Today , so when asked to create a product and business plan, they teamed up to address an issue...

Amid Craze, Fidget Spinner Inventor Makes Nothing

A cash-strapped Catherine Hettinger let the patent expire

(Newser) - It's hard to make money if you don't have any. That's the lesson from Catherine Hettinger, who is credited with inventing the original fidget spinner about three decades ago. In 2004, she says she could not afford the $400 patent renewal fee and thereby had to surrender...

Scientist: I've Fixed Age-Old Problem of Wine Bottles

A small groove eliminates drips after a pour

(Newser) - It may be a first-world problem—that little drip of wine that slides annoyingly down the neck of a bottle after it's been poured—but to one scientist, it was simply a physics challenge waiting to be overcome. Biophysicist Daniel Perlman at Brandeis University, an inventor with more than...

NY Factory Turns Fungus Into Furniture

They're making footstools from toadstools

(Newser) - The sturdy stools and spongy cushions made at an upstate New York factory are formed with fungus. Ecovative Design is a business staking its growth on mycelium, the thread-like "roots" of mushrooms, the AP reports. The mycelium grows around small pieces of stalks and stems to create a material...

Oregon Girl Invents 'Smart Bandage,' Wows Google

13-year-old's invention wins her $15K scholarship

(Newser) - An Oregon teenager has invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed, impressing Google judges and securing a $15,000 scholarship. Anushka Naiknaware, 13, placed in the top eight in an international science contest run by Google, the AP reports. She won the Lego Education...

Finally, an Alarm Clock That's Good for Something (Coffee)

Barisieur is designed to 'stimulate the senses'

(Newser) - How soon after waking up do you like your morning coffee? If your answer is "before I wake up," then the Barisieur may be for you. The "designer coffee and tea alarm clock" will gently rouse you from your slumber with the sounds and aroma of coffee...

These Gloves Turn Sign Language Into Speech

College students awarded $10K prize for invention

(Newser) - Some half a million people use American Sign Language to communicate. Now, communicating with others who don't know ASL could be as easy as donning a pair of gloves. Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor, undergraduates at the University of Washington, were recently awarded a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize...

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