Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Africa bridging the digital divides: New policy note
Information and communication technology is developing rapidly in Africa – but there are worrying trends, such as a growing digital divide between men and women, and between urban and rural areas. These are the basic findings of a new policy note by Prof. Samia Nour, an affiliated researcher at UNU-MERIT.

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  • Making renewable power more viable for the grid
  • Phone calls can be beamed right into your central nervous system
  • Physicists smash quantum light measurement limit
  • Male scientists share more - but only with other men
  • Smartphone lets you see round corners by light flicker on floor
  • Google's new earbuds act as two-way translators in your ear
  • Scientists design ultra light crystalline type of aluminium
    Aluminium is already highly prized. It's conductive, has a low melting point, is very strong when alloyed, is impervious to rust and, above all, it's extremely light.

    But what if you could get it lighter - so light that it could float on water. According to a model created by researchers at Utah State University and Southern Federal University in Rostov-on Don, Russia, such a thing is actually possible. The team used computational design to conceive a form of crystalline aluminium with extremely low density.

    They started with a known crystal lattice, in this case a diamond, and substituted every carbon atom with an aluminium tetrahedron. The resulting crystalline aluminium, called supertetrahedral aluminium, has a density of just 0.61 grams per cubic centimetre, compared to the density of normal aluminium, which is 2.7 grams per cubic centimetre. Steel, by comparison, has a density of 7.75g/ccm. This means that a lump of the semimetal would float on water, which has a density of 1g/ccm.

    Science Alert / The Journal of Physical Chemistry C    September 25, 2017