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World’s Largest Oil/Gas Field Found

Some 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion...
Some 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids are estimated to be underTexas and New Mexico(Credit:bluebay2014/Depositphotos)

As the United States becomes a net oil exporter for the first time in 75 years, the US Department of the Interior has announced the discovery of the largest continuous oil and gas field ever found. Situated in the Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in Texas and the Permian Basin in New Mexico, the new resource is estimated to contain 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cu ft of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids worth trillions of dollars. read more

Super-Strong Metallic Wood

A microscopic sample of the researchers’ "metallic wood"
A microscopic sample of the researchers’ “metallic wood”(Credit: University of Pennsylvania)

A new technique has been used to turn ordinary metals into “metallic wood” with a greatly improved strength-to-weight ratio. By manipulating materials at the atomic scale, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and the University of Cambridge claim to have created a sheet of nickel that is as strong as titanium, but up to five times lighter. read more

Robot Parking Valet

These cute valet parking robots make travel more convenient while making more efficient use of parking...
These cute valet parking robots make travel more convenient while making more efficient use of parking space. They’re coming to Gatwick airport this August.(Credit: Stanley Robotics)

Airport parking sucks, but a little French robot parking valet wants to make it better for everyone. After successful trials in Paris and Lyon, the Stan autonomous parking system is on its way to Gatwick, London – and it looks like a terrific idea. read more

SoundEnergy’s Thermoacoustic Cooling System

SoundEnergy's THEARC-25 thermoacoustic cooling system is claimed to take heat and turn it into sound, before...
SoundEnergy’s THEARC-25 thermoacoustic cooling system is claimed to take heat and turn it into sound, before then turning that sound into cold – all without moving parts, and without any additional energy required(Credit: SoundEnergy)

Beginning with the principles of the Stirling engine, SoundEnergy’s THEAC thermal acoustic engine takes heat – either industrial waste heat or solar heat – and turns it into powerful cooling without requiring any other power source. This completely renewable technology could prove highly disruptive. read more

New Bioimaging Scanner Gives Full Color X-Rays

Using CERN technology, Mars Bioimaging has created the first 3D, color X-ray images of the human...
Using CERN technology, Mars Bioimaging has created the first 3D, color X-ray images of the human body(Credit: Mars Bioimaging)

Medical X-ray scans have long been stuck in the black-and-white, silent-movie era. Sure, the contrast helps doctors spot breaks and fractures in bones, but more detail could help pinpoint other problems.
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Peering Through the Fog of a Supermassive Black Hole

An artist's rendition of a supermassive black hole, such as the one at the center of...
An artist’s rendition of a supermassive black hole, such as the one at the center of the Milky Way(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Studying black holes is a tricky business, but not always because they’re so dim – to the contrary, in some cases it’s hard to see through the bright cloud of hot gas that surrounds them. Now, a team of astronomers has used a global array of telescopes to peer through that fog and capture some of the clearest radio images yet of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. And it may indicate that the object just happens to be pointing directly at Earth. read more

NuBike Lever Action Drive Train Replaces Chains

The NuBike road bike prototype – other models are in the works
The NuBike road bike prototype – other models are in the works(Credit: Rodger Parker)

Probably ever since bicycles were first invented, people have been looking for alternatives to the traditional approach of pedalling in circles. Los Angeles-based inventor Rodger Parker has utilized one such alternative in his NuBike, which he claims is more efficient than a chain-drive bike. read more

Weapon Wednesday – BAE Prototype Armored Vehicle

The US Army has awarded contracts to develop a prototype armored vehicle for light infantry units
The US Army has awarded contracts to develop a prototype armored vehicle for light infantry units(Credit: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems and General Dynamics have been tapped by the US Army to each build 12 prototype medium-armor vehicles. Part of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program, the two US$376-million contracts aim at developing an agile, multi-terrain platform for Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT). read more

Feathers May Give Velcro a Run for Its Money

A feather's barbs are pulled apart, in a manner that was replicated using large-scale 3D-printed models
A feather’s barbs are pulled apart, in a manner that was replicated using  large-scale 3D-printed models(Credit: University of California San Diego)

For decades, when people have wanted to stick two things together but later pull them back apart, Velcro has been the answer. In the future, however, the material may get some competition from bird feather-inspired technology. read more

Virtually Indestructible Flashlight

The tiny, flat Glowstone Flashlight has quite a few tricks up its sleeve
The tiny, flat Glowstone Flashlight has quite a few tricks up its sleeve(Credit: Glowstone)

When it comes to electric gadgets, a flashlight is just about as basic as you can get. But Glowstone has attempted to create a flashlight that’s anything but basic, with its high-powered versatility making it handy for all sorts of applications, from camping, to the garage, to pulling double duty as a bicycle light. read more