Get hot, get bothered, get your iPhone charged

Graduate student Corey Hewitt shows his Power Felt
Plug it in.  Charge it up.  We forget there are all different kinds of energy.  Your little brother running around is using energy....wasting energy?  Light a campfire, that is another kind of energy.  Most energy you can convert from one to another.  Get on a bicycle, hook it up to a generator and you can make electricity.  Scientists at Wake Forest University are looking at harvesting energy from body heat to power different devices.  The new material which is called "Power Felt" is made of carbon nanotubes embedded in a plastic fabric that take heat and make electricity.  Electricity to power a cell phone or other electronic gadgets.  So the next time you are stranded on Everest you can pull out your Power Felt blanket and power up your cell call for help!!

New heat sensors from butterfly wings

The colors in nature are sometimes pigments but other times they are nano-scale structures that don't absorb different wavelengths of light but diffract them.  Think rainbows and you realize the sky isn't painted with different colors from Sherwin Williams.  Now scientists from GE Global Research have used the architecture found in the wings of blue Morpho butterflies to design new thermal mass resonators.  Butterfly wings containing carbon nanotubes were able to sense temperature changes of less than 0.02 degrees Celsius in an outrageous 0.025 seconds.  Not quite ready for prime time, it is predicted that these materials would be great for sensing vapors and other things like that.  How cool is that?
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