Despite how far we've come with technology, malaria is still a serious threat for huge chunks of the developing world. A prototype tool from UK-outfit QuantuMDx, however, could help stave off mosquito-related deaths by giving health-workers the power to diagnose the disease in 10 - 15 minutes. As the team tells it, typical DNA sequencing can take days, weeks or even months, but its "lab on a chip" can rapidly diagnose a disease and accurately predict which drug and what dosage to administer -- all based on the parasite's genetic code. That last bit is key because malaria has a nasty habit of being resistant to medications.

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Cochlear implants already help those with auditory damage to hear better, but what if they could also grow new nerves while they're there? Scientists at the UNSW have discovered a way to do just that, at least in hamsters. After they introduced a gene therapy solution, a modified cochlear implant used electrical pulses to deliver the treatment directly to auditory nerve cells. That successfully re-generated so-called neurotrophins in the animals, which in turn aided nerve development and significantly improved the implant's effect. Such therapy could one day help the hearing-impaired to pick up sounds better, especially the subtle tones in music. There's a long ways to go prior to human trials, however, since it was only effective in the hamsters for a short time. But it could one day be included as part of cochlear implant therapy and even help other nerve-related conditions, like Parkinson's disease or depression.

[Image credit: UNSW Translational Neuroscience Facility]

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Rediscovered artwork like a napkin Picasso or unearthed Matisse can be identified on sight, but pieces crafted in the digital age by pop-artist extraordinaire Andy Warhol and encoded in an outdated format are far more difficult to ascertain. In fact, it took the retro know-how of Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Club and a team of artists, archivists and curators to wrangle some of Warhol's lost pixels into the physical world.

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In 2016, Hitachi will take over Toshiba's title as the maker of the fastest elevator in the world. The Japanese company's slated to install two lifts that move at a swift 45mph inside China's Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, currently under construction. Apparently, you can reach the 95th floor (the building will have 111 floors in all) straight from the ground in just 43 seconds on one of these zippy elevators -- hardly long enough to freshen up before reaching the office. Toshiba's current record-holding lifts in Taipei 101 (a skyscraper in Taiwan) ferry people up and down floors at only 38mph.

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Video games are great, but sometimes on-screen action doesn't cut it when it comes to play time. But it is 2014, so there's little need to clutter the house with interlocking track segments when it's time to set up the speedway. Anki and its iOS-based Drive game let you simply roll out an 8-foot track when you're ready to race. And with a software upgrade and a few new artificially intelligent whips now available, the company is in the mood to celebrate. Anki has given us a Drive Starter Kit and the new Corax and Hadion cars for two lucky Engadget readers to enjoy. Drive racers will also be able to mix up their layouts come May, when two additional tracks hit the shops. You'll need an iOS device to control each ride, but if there's no one else around, you can always challenge the AI car in a head-to-head Battle. All you need to do is steer yourself towards the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning one of these Anki Drive racing kits.

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Why sip on a nice glass of scotch when you can get tipsy on salad instead? A new product called Palcohol takes the pesky liquid out of your favorite drinks; turning them into a potent powder you can just sprinkle on your hamburger for an extra "kick." The company doesn't recommend snorting it (be honest, we know that's what you were thinking), but says it can be used most anywhere else. Powders are available in straight liquor form as well as premixes like Lemon Drop and Margarita, and if you'd rather drink your booze (as if!), Palcohol can be liquefied with water and consumed just like a bottle of Jack Daniels.

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Before arriving at the Samsung Innovation Museum, I had an idea of what to expect: the Korean company shoehorning itself into every technological milestone, whether it deserved to or not. Fortunately, that wasn't completely the case -- and there's even an Apple product inside. The five-story complex in Suwon's Digital City (that's the nerve center of Samsung Electronics) starts with the advent of electricity and goes from there. It's only when the museum touches on more modern times that it becomes apparent this is a Samsung thing. The museum opens to the public today, but we took an (admittedly on-the-rails) tour with other foreign media last week. Is it worth a trip to Korea? Maybe not, but if you're a tech obsessive already visiting Seoul, it could be worth the trip out to Samsung's Digital City. Be warned: it was mildly educational.

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What do you get when you combine a few respirator bags, some silicone air valves and a motion detector? A contraption that produces a synthetic version of our most sensual form of communication, the whisper. By fudging the aforementioned items together with a few other crude bits and bobs, designer Minsu Kim has built The Illusion of Life, a machine that he says mimics the breath temperature, humidity, smell and vocal qualities of a whisper. If you're asking yourself "why?" you aren't alone. Kim says that these artificial murmurs work to facilitate "strong bonds of communication and connection between the user and a machine." In effect, using intimate human interaction to bring you closer to a gadget.

Modern tech has already surpassed what the human eye is capable of perceiving, but he says that Life serves to explore which of the other five senses technology should stimulate next. Laugh now, but once the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch or Scarlett Johansson start whispering your to-do list, you'll likely thank Kim.

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If you thought Michael Jackson was the only musician to believe in the magical power of a glove, think again. Imogen Heap has "joined forces with the nerd underworld" to create a new high-tech glove called Mi.Mu that allows you to control sound with your hands. Using lights and motion sensors, the gloves can map a variety of hand gestures to different instruments and sounds, with each pair able to store literally thousands of combinations. It's a concept she first talked about at TED in 2011.

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Micaël Reynaud, Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London

It's easy to sneer at the idea of artists piggybacking on the GIF craze, but Google is taking the whole thing pretty seriously, especially now that Google+ supports the animated file format. The search giant is collaborating with the Saatchi Gallery in West London to host a number of looped moving images, displayed on giant TV screens, which it feels are worthy of public recognition. There's a hint of competitiveness, as a panel of judges (including His Artiness, Baz Luhrmann) will select a single winning GIF tonight. In the meantime, we've embedded the finalists from six different image categories after the break, ranked according to how much we like them and whether any of the artists are mates of ours.

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The art of automotive zen begins with a clean and orderly interior (for most drivers) and this week's giveaway is sure to help provide a more cable-free ride. The case, cradle and charger folks at iOttie have done us a solid by offering two Engadget readers the new Easy Flex Wireless car charger and a Nexus 5 smartphone. This Qi-enabled, dash-mountable charger will help drivers keep their hands at two and ten nine and three like they're supposed to, while still providing visibility for turn-by-turn directions and a steady stream of juice. The charger's sticky gel pad will keep Google's latest handset from taking a dive to the floorboards and the device will even work with other Qi-compatible smartphones. All you need to do is head down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning one of these prize packs. You never know, a little dose of automotive feng shui could turn that long nightmare of a commute into some peaceful "me" time.

Update: PSA - The DMV has apparently changed its age old hands-on-the-steering-wheel specifications. Drive safe kids and be sure to keep your hands at nine and three. The more you know...

Winners: congratulations to John P., Edgewater Park, NJ and Martin S., El Granada, CA.

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One stretch of road in the Netherlands may make you feel like you're cruising through a video game. A new glow-in-the-dark pavement has replaced power-sucking streetlights for a 500m (.3mi) piece of the highway. The result is a Tron-like street that shines courtesy of solar-powered photo-luminescent powder incorporated into the road paint. This is just a proof of concept, but its creator, Studio Roosegaarde, hopes to use parks as a testing ground for new versions of the product.

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One of the biggest arguments against fixing climate change is that it would cost too much. Not so, says the UN's climate change panel, which has found that abandoning fossil fuels would only knock around 0.06 percent off the world's GDP. According to the report, if low-carbon energy quadruples by 2050, then the planet may only warm by two degrees -- the upper limit before The Day After Tomorrow-style catastrophes are commonplace. The panel recommends switching to renewables like solar, wind and hydropower, with nuclear the next best option and biofuels in third, since the latter uses the same land and resources needed for growing crops. Maybe it's time that we all started cycling to work.

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NCAA Championship UConn Campus Basketball

We're not here to tell you folks how to get down in the club, but if you're a guy wanting to get noticed (in a good way) by the opposite sex the next time you're at the discotheque, listen up. Researchers at Northumbria University conducted a study to find out exactly what kind of gyrations draw in the ladies, and the keys to greatness on the dance floor may surprise you: an actively moving neck, head and torso and a fast moving right knee. Weird, right?

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To make sure the (very expensive) equipment we're sending to Mars don't crash into the ground, NASA's putting its huge supersonic parachutes through a grueling test. Wait, what do parachutes have to do with Mars missions anyway? Well, if you read up on the Curiosity rover's risky landing in 2012, you'll see that NASA used a parachute to slow down its descent. That parachute won't work for the bigger things we're bound to send to the red planet in the future, though, so NASA designed a larger one called low-density supersonic decelerator or LDSD. The problem is, it's too big for most of the agency's wind tunnels and locations for testing, prompting the agency to create a special outdoor rig that simulates Martian landing.

NASA's contraption is a complex set-up that uses several elements, including a Night Hawk helicopter, hundreds of pounds of weight, a winch, a sled, rockets and a lot of rope. It's like a Rube Goldberg machine, especially since the process needs to go down in sequence, but the end task is nowhere near simple. A huge chunk of the parachute got ripped out in the video below, but since this test was designed to discover flaws, we'd say it was a huge success.

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