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Tel Aviv University researchers are perfecting a laser welding technique that uses a carbon dioxide laser to close cuts in human tissue. The process has potential surgical applications both inside the body and out, and has been used successfully on patients who underwent gallbladder-removal surgery. Compared with common suturing methods, the laser-bonded cuts appear to heal faster and with less scarring. This would be particularly interesting in areas such as plastic surgery and ophthalmic surgery. The research group plans to apply to the FDA for large-scale U.S. trials.

For more information, contact Abraham Katzir, at Tel Aviv University.


England’s Joshua Silver, a physicist at Oxford, has developed user-adjusted corrective lenses. The glasses, which cost $19 to make, are operated with a small dial that pumps in or pulls out silicone from plastic lenses.

In developing countries, only 5 percent of people have glasses because they can cost up to a month’s wages. So far, Silver has distributed about 30,000 pairs and has hopes of delivering them to more than a billion people worldwide. The glasses improve sight but do not address other eye diseases.

For more information, contact Joshua Silver at Oxford.


Renewable energy company Gaelectric plans to store compressed air generated by wind turbines in underground salt caverns near Larne, Northern Ireland. Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) would solve one of the biggest challenges for wind energy generators – ensuring that sufficient energy is available during peak demand.

Gaelectric’s North American subsidiary is working to develop CAES plants in Montana. The natural gas industry already utilizes underground storage.

For more information, visit Gaelectric’s website.

United States

There are more than 50,000 bridges in Texas, and tens of millions of dollars are spent on annual maintenance. Researchers are developing a wireless monitoring solution to assist in keeping up with bridge maintenance.

For more information, check out our Web Exclusive Article.

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