Can We Power the World With a Single Energy Grid?

If you look at a map of the US power grid, it looks like a spider web blanketing the entire country. It’s a patchwork that formed after communities that got their power locally were slowly stitched together to create a massive network. So could we scale that up even bigger? Could we connect the entire […]

How Close Are We to Fusion Energy?

Coal is dirty. Nuclear is scary. Solar and wind aren’t always reliable. Hydrothermal and hydroelectric aren’t widely accessible. And we’ll eventually deplete our oil reserves. Okay, yes, this is all a bit of hyperbole, but the bottom line is that we don’t have a perfect source of energy. But, there might be hope. Around the […]

How Voltage Fade Prevents Us From Creating the Perfect Battery

When it comes to consumer electronics or electric cars, lithium-ion batteries are still the technology of choice thanks to their high energy density and decent charge times. But billion dollar tech and auto giants are betting that there’s still room for improvement. One of the most promising upgrades has been mired by a mysterious setback, […]

Scientists Can Implant Fake Memories in the Brain, Here’s How

Human memory is unreliable enough as it is, but researchers interested in better understanding how and where our memories are stored are developing new ways to manipulate them. The search for memory “engrams,” a collection of identifiable neurons that physically represent a memory, has occupied scientists for over a hundred years. Turns out, memory is […]

These Squishy Batteries Are Made Out of Water, Here’s How They Work

We humans are soft and squishy, and don’t like electricity. Robots are hard and pointy, and they love it. So how do we make a robot that’s soft and squishy like living things, but still gets power? Hydrogels of course. Hard, metal robots are so 20th century. “Soft-robotics” is hip. Just like me. Soft-robotics involves […]

We Could Harvest Electricity from Human Tears, This Is How It Works

They say there’s no use crying over spilled milk but it turns out tears can have a use after all; generating electricity. Well more accurately an enzyme in tears, lysozyme, can be used to generate a tiny amount of electricity. Lysozyme is also found in saliva, mucus, egg whites, and milk, so spilled milk seems […]

These Strange Metals Could Make Electronics Perfectly Efficient

Want 100% efficiency electronics? How about levitating transportation? Faster supercomputers? Duh-duh-nuh-nuh!!! Superconductors to the rescue! As long as the world you live in is close to absolute zero, that is. See, superconductors are materials with all of these amazing potential applications…but the conditions required for them to work are pretty extreme. It’s gonna take a […]