Smartphones used to check water for pollutants – by tracking paramecia

Even though it's vitally important to check drinking water sources for pollutants, some places lack the facilities for performing such tests. A new system could help, as it uses a smartphone camera to check up on tiny aquatic organisms.

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New Atlas’ top picks from Milan Design Week 2021

Milan’s famous Salone del Mobile has once again filled the Italian city with color, inspiration and innovative design, following some false starts and setbacks due to COVID-19. Let's take a look at some special picks from Milan Design Week 2021.

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Braille eBooks and mask recyclers among James Dyson Award finalists

The James Dyson Award is an international competition to encourage students to get creative to solve the world's pressing problems. The national finalists have been announced for 2021, showcasing ideas that help people and the environment.

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ToughBuilt’s utility knife flips into a scraper at the push of a button

The tried and true form factor of a utility knife is one many will be familiar with, but toolmaker ToughBuilt has just introduced one with a very handy trick up its sleeve, able to instantaneously turn into a scraper at the push of a button.

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New solar still uses a rotating cylinder to produce more potable water

In many arid regions, people use devices known as solar stills to extract drinkable water from seawater or tainted water. A new type of solar still is claimed to be much more effective than others, by incorporating a rotating cylinder.

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Spring-loaded screw could be a cheaper form of soundproofing

Nobody likes hearing their neighbors' music or loud conversations. Soundproof wall materials, however, can be quite expensive. Swedish scientists have developed a thinner, less costly alternative, in the form of a spring-loaded sound-damping screw.

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Student designs device to save stabbing victims’ lives

When someone is suffering from a deep stab wound, it's important to apply pressure within that wound. A new student-designed device is intended to let first responders do just that, potentially saving lives that might otherwise be lost.

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Kiriform tech allows flat objects to be twisted into 3D shape

Ordinarily, if you're building something, you don't want the materials to buckle under pressure. In a new Harvard University-designed system, however, that buckling action allows flat-packed objects to be twisted into useful three-dimensional forms.

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Artificially intelligent system could warn firefighters of flashovers

Flashover is a very dangerous phenomenon, in which all of the exposed combustible materials in an enclosed area near-simultaneously ignite. Thanks to a new AI-based system, however, firefighters may soon receive warnings when flashover is imminent.

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Inexpensive tinted stickers turn eyeglasses into sunglasses

EyKuver has developed a new way of turning prescription eyeglasses into sunglasses. Its affordable, easily removable cling-on tinted film patches create temporary sunglasses to block harmful ultraviolet light.

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