Hot news! E&T news weekly #7 – we choose our favourite news stories from the week

Friday June 20 2014

  Abi Grogan Academic superpower rising in the east

The British retain rate of Chinese students that come to British shores to study at world-class universities is lower than it should be, as many return to China after graduating to apply that education back in China. So it’s interesting to see Chinese universities are now vying to providing a similar high-level of education on their shores. Another example of China’s burgeoning super-power.

Internal smart pill to save the dairy industry $10bn

Securing our food supply chain has become a major engineering focus, and as a result smart farming is becoming big business. This sensor-loaded smart-pill used to track the vital statistics of cows highlights the innovation going on in this field.

Abi Grogan, assistant features editor


  Lorna Sharpe Liquid air vehicles economic without subsidy, says report

Backers of new technologies often rely on taxpayer subsidy to help them create a foothold in the market. This report says that engines running on liquid air could pay for themselves within months in particular applications, such as cooling refrigerated vehicles.

Saab’s remote air traffic control tower approved

A regional airport in Sweden is to have air traffic control services provided from a centre 100km away, with the help of cameras, sensors and robust communications. Saab has been testing this technology for some time and a trial of camera-based air traffic control three years ago in Australia attracted quite a lot of interest.

Lorna Sharpe, news and transport editor


  Edd Gent Academic superpower rising in the east

We are constantly hearing about how China is catching up with the West, but it’s interesting to see figures that show exactly how far they’ve come and how quickly. The paper concludes that maybe there will be no centre of science and engineering leadership in the future, but I think the evidence suggests it will be China!

Edd Gent, online news reporter


  dominic-lenton ‘Smart glasses’ boost sight of visually impaired

Spectacles with built-in video cameras that improve depth perception aren’t a big deal for people with sight problems like my own relatively trivial ‘lazy eye’ (pin-sharp on the right, can’t read even the second line down on an optician’s board with the left) but will be welcomed by those with more serious conditions. They prevent users colliding with objects or tripping, which is arguably more use than the enhanced reality of Google Glass.

Video links bring specialist care to sick children

Anyone who’s had to take a child on long trips to hospital for regular routine check-ups will welcome the project that’s seeing how well paediatric consultants at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital can review and assess children via a video link. Regardless of the stress, there should be a massive saving for families if this works as effectively as face to face consultations without having to pay for petrol or train fares.

Dominic Lenton, managing editor


  Aasha Bodhani Wireless sensors in traffic cones to protect workers

UK companies are implementing the 1m Euro Safelane project which is aimed at reducing highway work zone deaths and injuries by using wireless sensors. With research by the Highways Agency indicating a third of pedestrians killed or injured at maintenance sites are road workers, the agency is naturally keen to increase roadside safety. The wireless solution is a cone shaped sensor which can detect impact from a straying vehicle and also send out a radio frequency signal which triggers an alarm alerting road workers.

Aasha Bodhani, assistant technology features editor

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