A New Type of Battery Inspired by Electric Eels

Electric eel power comes from cells, called electrocytes, that expel energy when needed. Eels can actually “synchronize the charging and discharging of thousands of cells in their bodies simultaneously,” says Max Shtein, a chemical engineer at the University of Michigan who worked on research for a soft, flexible battery based on this concept. Shtein and his team, which included individuals from the University of Fribourg …

NASA Developing Nuclear Reactors for Mars

NASA is, once again, embarking on a large and expensive project—this time a $15 million endeavor to create nuclear fission reactors that would function on Mars. If and when humans reside on the Red Planet, they will need a power source for water, fuel and air, so NASA has built several 6.5-foot reactors that will soon be tested on Earth (other reactors have been tested …

Portable Lighting with the Luminoodle

A versatile, waterproof string of LED lights that's easy to hang, wrap or stick with magnets

The Salt Lake City, UT-based team Power Practical has some inventive battery-charging solutions under their belt, from their debut product PowerPot (a camping pot that charges your mobile devices as you boil water, thanks to thermoelectric technology) to the Pronto5, a portable battery-pack that recharges itself to full in one hour so you can go right back out the door. Their latest product ventures into …