Wen-Chung Cheng

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While you were sleeping, your brain was working overtime

Sleep has profound importance in our lives, such that we spend a considerable proportion of our time engaging in it. Sleep enables the body—including the brain—to recover metabolically, but contemporary research has been moving to focus on the active rather than recuperative role that sleep has on …


Boeing has patented a ‘Star Wars’-style force field

Boeing has won a patent for a protective force field that could stop vehicles from being harmed by explosions, Popular Science reports.<p>It might sound futuristic — and it is. The patent isn’t about stopping bullets or lasers or anything like that, though. Instead, it detects explosions near a …


Say “ahh” and let your smartphone check for Parkinson’s disease

Smartphones are designed to be curious. Having already learned about your friendships, your family and the pattern of your daily routine, designers are now interested in your health and fitness.<p>A new crop of apps and wearable devices continuously measure and analyse vital signs such as movement and …

Medical Technology

The man who brought us the lithium-ion battery at the age of 57 has an idea for a new one at 92

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The chances are you have never heard of—nor, until looking at this page, ever seen—John Bannister Goodenough. But you know his work. In fact, you almost certainly own some.<p>Consider the last six or seven decades of technological and scientific leaps: the polio vaccine, space rocketry, …

Clean Energy