From dog poo energy to self-parking slippers, when you think about science and technology, these things might not usually cross your mind.
Now as the year draws to a close, let’s take a look five crazy but cool scientific innovations from 2018.
Frustrated by the amount of dog poo left on the footpaths near his home in the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, a British inventor, Brian Harper, spent several years developing his dog poo-powered lamp as the first in the U.K.
“Poo—wherever it comes from—is actually really valuable and it’s just a criminal waste for dog poo to not be used for something,” said Brian Harper.
Ten bags of poo could give two hours of light. So next time when you see dog poo, you can think about the amount of energy it can generate.
Treating Sea Turtle with Tumor
This year, in a breakthrough procedure in the U.S., a sea turtle had its tumor treated with electrochemotherapy.
The new approach is designed to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy by using a well-dosed electric pulse combined with a controlled amount of chemotherapeutic drugs.
“Injecting a medication right into that tumor with the electro-chemotherapy, we are able to kill the tumor from within and have the tumor shrink and then kind of fall off,” said Dr. Anna Szivek, an assistant professor of oncology at the veterinary college at the University of Florida.
Traditionally, such tumors had to be removed by surgery. However, the surgery would often be complicated and stressful for the sick turtles, and this new treatment is much less invasive, the experts say.
Eye contact can synchronize brainwaves between the baby and the adult and that can stimulate communicative development and language development. This research was done by Victoria Leong from the University of Cambridge.
“When the adult and infant are looking at each other, they are signaling their availability and intention to communicate with each other,” said Leong in her news release.
Edible Water Bottles
It is a common sight at marathons around the world—discarded single-use plastic bottles and cups used only once and then dropped on the roadside. In 2018, edible water bottles offer an alternative solution.
They are often made from seaweed extract, and are edible and biodegradable.
In Japan, one inn located in the resort town of Hakone is making use of new technology to offer an extra touch in their hospitality—self-parking slippers.
Guided by a sensor camera, each slipper has a motor and two tiny wheels.
Nissan Motor Co. developed an automated system that makes their guests’ slippers to return to their original position just with one push of a button.