Articles by Matt Safford

Cellulose nanofibril (CNF) chips made from wood could lead to flexible, biodegradable electronics that leach far less potentially toxic chemicals into the environment.

These New Computer Chips Are Made From Wood

A new technique replaces the bulk of smartphone-friendly microchips with a transparent, flexible material made from wood pulp

Steven Devor, front, developed the automated treadmill using off-the-shelf parts, including an inexpensive sonar range finder and an existing treadmill. (Photo by Jo McCulty, Courtesy of Ohio State University)

This New Treadmill Automatically Adjusts to Your Speed

A prototype developed at Ohio State makes indoor workouts more like outdoor runs by using sonar to detect where you are on the belt and keep pace

MIT Researchers Think They Can Spot Early Signs of Parkinson's in the Way People Type

By monitoring how long we hold down keystrokes, it may be possible to detect neurological diseases years before other symptoms appear

Using millions of images and machine learning, Orbital Insight is able to estimate global oil surplus, weeks ahead of traditional estimates, by analyzing the shadows on the floating lids of oil tanks.

A Startup Wants to Track Everything From Shoppers to Corn Yields Using Satellite Imagery

Orbital Insight, founded by a NASA and Google veteran, is quick to predict crop failures and estimate the current global oil surplus

Solar Panels in the Screens of Smartphones Could Power the Devices

Kyocera unveils a prototype for a phone with a layer of transparent crystals in its screen that helps to charge it both indoors and outside

This Dutch Wind Wheel Is Part Green Tech Showcase, Part Architectural Attraction

A giant structure proposed in Rotterdam puts cutting-edge energy tech inside a rotating observation wheel, with room for a hotel and apartments

The lab-on-a-chip gets the power it needs for testing though the headphone jack on a smartphone, and sends the results through the port to the phone for computation, display and storage.

This $34 Smartphone-Assisted Device Could Revolutionize Disease Testing

A new low-cost device that plugs into a smartphone could cut down on expensive lab tests

Spire’s Austin Ellis shows off a satellite frame at Spire's San Francisco headquarters. Components, like the weather sensor, stack on top of each other inside the frame. Solar panels and antennae fold out from the frame once the device is in orbit.

New Satellite Network Launching This Year Aims to Improve Weather Forecasting

With a network of compact, low-cost weather satellites with smartphone-like internals, startup Spire plans to make future forecasts a lot more reliable

The Eko Core Bluetooth-enabled stethoscope accessory will let doctors share heart sounds for virtual consultations.

Tech Watch

This Smart Stethoscope Attachment Could Lead to More Accurate Diagnoses

Eko Core clips on to existing stethoscopes and lets physicians share heart sounds through their smartphones and the Web

A startup called Roost is developing a WiFi-enabled battery that listens for an alarm and sends a message to your phone when your smoke detector blares.

Tech Watch

This Smart Battery Sends a Message to Your Phone When Your Smoke Detector Sounds

It also alerts you weeks in advance of dying—sparing you from that annoying chirp

Call it eco-friendly synergy: Scientists have found a cheaper, greener way to make biodegradable plastic from a common waste product of biodiesel production. (Photo: Bo Cheng / ETH Zurich)

Swiss Researchers Create Eco-Friendly Plastic From Biofuel Waste

A new method for making biodegradable plastic could mean more free farmland for food

This Plant-Based Gel Stops Bleeding in Seconds

A salve that seals severe wounds is making its way to veterinary clinics. Military and trauma testing may soon follow

Microbes were used in the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

New Understanding of Toxin-Loving Organisms May Help Tackle Pollution

A breakthrough in the understanding of how bacteria break down toxins using vitamin B12 could lead to improved cleanup methods

There are more than 400 species of mantis shrimp, including some with claws that can strike with the speed of a bullet and crack glass. But it’s the animal's vision, sensitive to polarized light, that is helping scientists build a compact camera that can see cancer.

A Mantis Shrimp Inspires a New Camera for Detecting Cancer

The mantis shrimp's eyes, which can see differences in polarized light, are informing researchers building a tiny, easy-to-use camera that can spot cancer

The transparent solar concentrator material doesn’t block visible light, but turns light in other parts of the spectrum into electricity.

Tech Watch

This Clear Plastic Material Harvests Solar Energy Without You Even Knowing It's There

Researchers are developing transparent solar collectors that let sunlight in, while turning ultraviolet and near-infrared light into electricity

A bobtail squid hides on the ocean floor.

Research Into How Squid Camouflage Leads to An Ultra-Sharp Display for Televisions and Smartphones

Researchers at Rice University have created pixels 40 times smaller than those found in today's LCD displays

Scientists hope to make the process of producing engine-ready propane from E. coli bacteria commercially viable in 5 to 10 years.

Anthropocene

Researchers Trick E. Coli Into Making Propane

European researchers have taken an important first step toward renewable propane, powered by the sun

Apple recently announced three models of its Apple Watch.

Tech Watch

The 5 Biggest Challenges to the Success of the Apple Watch

Even though wearables are on the rise, Apple's newest product has its obstacles, from limited battery life to a hefty price tag

Qnovo claims its technology will let you plug your phone in for 15 minutes at lunch and get an extra six hours of use time.

Tech Watch

Your Next Smartphone Could Charge Six Times Faster

A California startup is implementing faster, smarter charging for next year’s mobile devices

South Korean researchers have come up with a one-step process for turning cigarette filters into a material that can be used to store energy in supercapacitors.

Cigarette Butts Could Help Power Future Devices

South Korean researchers have found a simple way to turn toxic trash into high-performance supercapacitors

loading icon