Volkswagen Expandable Camper

Volkswagen teases the expandable tent system of its new Caddy Mini-Camper
Volkswagen teases the expandable tent system of its new Caddy Mini-Camper
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Following up on the full-size Grand California it launched in 2018 and the updated midsize California it launched last year, Volkswagen now turns its vehicle-camping mastery to its smallest van. A new-generation Caddy calls for a new-generation Caddy Beach camper, and in this case, a new name: the Mini-Camper. One of the smallest, cutest camper vans we’re likely to see until the eBussy Camper comes rolling into the real world, the new Caddy Mini-Camper sleeps adventure-loving couples and turns into a larger “glamping lodge” on demand. read more

Stunning Alzheimer’s Research Breakthrough

Research into Alzheimer's-related memory loss has uncovered an exciting new breakthrough in the form of a world-first gene therapy
Research into Alzheimer’s-related memory loss has uncovered an exciting new breakthrough in the form of a world-first gene therapy

Scientists in Australia have made an exciting breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research, demonstrating what they describe as the first gene-therapy-based approach for treating advanced forms of the disease. Through experiments in mice, the team was able to show how activating a key enzyme in the brain can prevent the kind of memory loss associated with advanced forms of Alzheimer’s, and even reverse it. read more

Lego-Like Bioscaffolding for Healing Bones

A connected group of the individual blocks, each one measuring just 1.5 millimeters cubed
A connected group of the individual blocks, each one measuring just 1.5 millimeters cubed
Oregon Health & Science University

More and more, we’re hearing about scaffolding-like materials that are used to help heal bone injuries. A new one is claimed to be particularly versatile, as it’s inspired by Lego building blocks. read more

The Record Smashing Gordon Murray T.50

One of the most extreme and remarkable supercars ever built, the Gordon Murray T.50 pushes boundaries in many directions
One of the most extreme and remarkable supercars ever built, the Gordon Murray T.50 pushes boundaries in many directions
Gordon Murray Design

If you haven’t been following, Formula One wizard Gordon Murray is designing a supercar from the ground up, and everything about it is looking utterly bonkers in the best possible way.

To briefly recap, this three-seater will weigh just 980 kg (2,160 lb) – that’s less than five fast motorcycles. It’ll have the same “jet fighter” cabin arrangement as Murray’s own McLaren F1 design and the more recent McLaren Speedtail: a driver’s seat front and center with two passenger seats behind and to the sides.

Murray has also applied the “Brabham BT46 fan car” concept to the T.50’s aerodynamics: a whirling 15.7-inch (40-cm) underbody fan that literally sucks the car down onto the road when it’s running, while also using this flow of air to cool the engine and fire out the back to fill in a negative pressure area behind the car and reduce drag.

It was an international outrage when Murray put this system on an F1 car back in 1976. The other teams’ eyes were on stalks watching the suspension compress when the engine was revved at a standstill, and the Brabham team withdrew it as an act of good faith after winning the only race it competed in. But there’s no sportsman’s code stopping Murray from doing it on a street car, so by gum he’s going for it.

The T.50's outrageous aero system was too extreme for Formula One

The T.50’s outrageous aero system was too extreme for Formula One
Gordon Murray Design

Today we learn more about the engine in this thing, and while it doesn’t go for huge power, this is sure to be an absolute classic, and the answer to many petrolhead trivia questions in future decades.

Read more

Weapon Wednesday – Man vs. AI Dogfight coming in 2021

Next year may see man vs machine in aerial dogfights for the first time
Next year may see man vs machine in aerial dogfights for the first time

The first aerial showdown between a human fighter pilot and an autonomous aircraft is slated for July 2021, according to a fascinating interview with the outgoing Director of the US Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). read more

Proteus – An Undersea Space Station of sorts

Fabien Cousteau's Proteus underwater research lab will be three times bigger than any previous design
Fabien Cousteau’s Proteus underwater research lab will be three times bigger than any previous design
Fuseproject

It’s been a big week for inventions named for the shape-shifting, fortune-telling Greek sea god, Proteus. On Monday we looked at Proteus, the world’s first manufactured non-cuttable material, and now there’s Proteus, the world’s most advanced underwater research station and habitat – though in this case the naming is probably more to do with Proteus’ status as the grandson of Poseidon himself. read more

World’s First Non-Cuttable Metal

That's as far as an angle grinder made it through this Proteus non-cuttable bar
That’s as far as an angle grinder made it through this Proteus non-cuttable bar
Dr. Florian Bittner, Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy IKK, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany / Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, Hannover, Germany

Researchers from the UK’s Durham University and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute claim they’ve come up with the world’s first manufactured non-cuttable material, just 15 percent the density of steel, which they say could make for indestructible bike locks and lightweight armor. read more

Another Milestone for SpaceX

A screen grab showing a rocket fairing recovered by a SpaceX ship during an earlier mission
A screen grab showing a rocket fairing recovered by a SpaceX ship during an earlier mission
SpaceX

Using a ship out at sea to catch pieces of falling pieces of rocket might not be the most sophisticated of SpaceX’s recovery techniques, but it is a key part of its mission to recycle as many materials as possible. The company has today ticked off this significant milestone, after its Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a satellite into orbit for South Korea. read more

Yummy – KFC ‘s LGC (Lab Grown Chicken)

KFC's existing Chicken Tenders, made directly from non-lab-grown chickens
KFC’s existing Chicken Tenders, made directly from non-lab-grown chickens
KFC

Last year, we heard how KFC was introducing a plant-based chicken substitute on its menu. Now, the company is going a step further, by looking into bioprinted meat made from lab-grown chicken cells. read more

Weapon Wednesday – The F-15 is Back

An F-15EX fighter jet under construction in St. Louis
An F-15EX fighter jet under construction in St. Louis
USAF

Boeing has won a contract worth almost US$1.2 billion from the US Air Force to build the first tranche of eight F-15EX fighter jets. The most advanced version of the venerable F-15 that began production in the 1970s, the first two jets are already under construction at Boeing’s St Louis facility and are expected to be delivered in 2021. read more