Electric buses to ply Brampton as early as spring 2018

By A Staff Reporter Brampton City Council has approved the purchase of up to 10 battery-electric buses and four high powered overhead on-street electric charging stations. The fully electric buses my hit city streets as early as spring 2018. The Pan-Ontario Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial under which the program is being rolled out is being claimed to be a first-of-its-kind partnership...

Improved sperm diagnostic test to help couples conceive

Washington — Giving hope to childless couples, a team of scientists has developed the first diagnostic test for sperm RNA based on next-generation sequencing. The test may help determine the best infertility treatment for couples having difficulty conceiving. “Upon validation, this discovery may help to identify those couples who may benefit from assisted reproductive technologies and those couples...

Now, charge your cellphone without any wires

London — Now, you won’t have to look for a socket to charge your phone or a laptop. Researchers have developed a wireless-power transfer (WPT) technology that can charge mobile phones from a distance. The WPT technology developed by researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) works just as Wi-Fi works for internet connections. It allows mobile devices to be charged...

NASA may nuke-blast stray asteroids headed for Earth collision

Washington — If a large interplanetary rock veers onto a collision course with the Earth, how would we defend ourselves? Well, scientists are not really sure, but one solution could be using nuclear weapons to destroy them. In a bid to beef up defence against errant heavenly bodies, NASA has forged collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), according to a New York Times...

Smartphones may pose danger for cardiac devices

London — If you wear a cardiac device such as a pacemaker, better keep away from smartphones, researchers say. “Pacemakers can mistakenly detect electromagnetic interference (EMI) from smartphones as a cardiac signal, causing them to briefly stop working,” said first author Carsten Lennerz from German Heart Centre, Munich. “This leads to a pause in the cardiac rhythm of the pacing dependent...

Smart insulin patch may help diabetics

New York — Managing diabetes could soon become a lot easier as researchers have developed the first “smart insulin patch” that can detect increases in blood sugar levels and secrete doses of insulin into the bloodstream whenever required. The patch — a thin square no bigger than a penny — is covered with more than 100 tiny needles, each about the size of an eyelash. These “microneedles”...

10 new spider species found in Madagascar

Washington — As many as 10 sub-social cobweb spider species have been spotted during research on nearly 400 Madagascar colonies. The research was conducted by a California Academy of Sciences team led by Agnarsson, as outlined in ZooKeys. Interestingly, five of the new species are named after famous evolutionary biologists. These include Wallace, Huxley, Buffon, Hooker and Lamarck. The Anelosimus...

Modern humans had sex with Neanderthals in Europe

New York — Modern humans inter-bred with Neanderthals after they had arrived in Europe and they lived together as recently as 40,000 years ago, says a study. The study involved the genetic analysis of the jawbone of a human who lived in Europe about 40,000 years ago and found that he might have had a Neanderthal ancestor just a few generations back. “In the last few years, we have documented inter-breeding...

‘Talking neurons’ created in lab

Washington — Scientists have perfected mini-cultured 3D structures that grow and function much like the outer tissue (cortex) of the brain of the person from whom they were harvested. Strikingly, these “organoids” buzz with neuronal network activity where cells talk with each other in circuits much as they do in our brains. This evolving “disease-in-a-dish” technology is bringing closer the...

Wood pulp holds promise for high capacity batteries

New York — Ever heard of a battery made of wood pulp? Here is one, developed by researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and Stanford University, US. Using nanocellulose broken down from tree fibres, the researchers produced an elastic, foam-like battery material that can withstand shock and stress. “It is possible to make incredible materials from trees and cellulose,” said...