research

Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Batteries are a distraction: the best way to store excess solar energy for nighttime use is using it to create "solar fuels" that rely on energy-dense chemistry, one research team has concluded. The prototype takes a cue from plants and uses a new type of solar cell that relies on the sun's energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is released, but the former can be stored and then later used for power, including potential in fuel-cell cars. Best of all, the system requires no external power source in order to work its hydrogen-generating magic.

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Banking mobile apps largely vulnerable, reveals IOActive study

Banking mobile apps largely vulnerable, reveals IOActive study

Personal banking apps make managing a checking or savings account easy, eschewing the need for a laptop or firing up a browser. Whether they keep your personal data secure is another matter, however, one that IOActive Labs Research says needs more attention. In a recent study, the research group looked into forty different so-called home banking apps from what it says are the world's top 60 most influential banks, none of which were specified by name.

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The Wearable Medic: GERO and figuring Parkinson’s from Fitbit

The Wearable Medic: GERO and figuring Parkinson’s from Fitbit

There's a suspicion among many that wearable tech is simply today's digital navel-gazing; a self-indulgent and meaningless set of metrics bordering on narcissistic over-obsession. The quantified self could soon become a whole lot more meaningful, however, if startup GERO has its way. Building on groundbreaking research by the Human Locomotome project, the Russian company says it can use the data from wearables like Fitbit's Force and Jawbone's UP to identify chronic conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, and even type 2 diabetes, simply from the way we move. SlashGear caught up with GERO's co-founders at CES as they shift things out of stealth mode.

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iPhone holiday phone hit but tablet shake-up sees Surface score

iPhone holiday phone hit but tablet shake-up sees Surface score

Apple's iPhone was the only smartphone platform to gain market share over the holiday period, research indicates, though the competitive tablet segment saw greater interest in Amazon's Kindle Fire and Microsoft's Surface as overall iPad share dropped. Users of iPhones over the holidays, as measured by active web use by Chitika, rose 1.8-percent to 54.3-percent of the North American market, it's reported, while Motorola, HTC, LG, and Samsung share all dropped.

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Cancer test costs could tumble in 2014 following DNA patent ruling

Cancer test costs could tumble in 2014 following DNA patent ruling

Cancer testing could get cheaper and more prevalent as the Supreme Court decision that DNA sequences cannot be patented opens up breast and ovarian cancer diagnostics, though experts warn that not all tests may be created equal. The most immediate effect of the ruling - that Myriad Genetics could not patent the BRCA1 and BRCA2 DNA sequences - has been a rush of other testing vendors announcing they'll be offering competition in the segment, but the US government is also wading in with talk that it will potentially halve what reimbursement it offers for cancer testing.

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US drone trial sites confirmed as FAA tests UAS

US drone trial sites confirmed as FAA tests UAS

Six US teams have been given permission to build and test drones, with the FAA green-lighting several test sites across the country as it figures out how safe, useful, and easy to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) might be. The six sites - University of Alaska, the State of Nevada, New York's Griffiss International Airport, North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, and Virginia Tech - will collectively examine how drones operate in wildly different climates, how they best navigate, how they'll co-exist in the sky with traditional aircraft, how 'smart' they can be made, and what qualifications remote pilots should have.

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