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

 
Amsterdam Water Week
Young entrepreneurs from 'Finish Society India' and 'Sidian Bank Kenya' were honoured in this year’s 'Sarphati Sanitation Awards'’, presented at the opening ceremony of Amsterdam International Water Week on 30 October 2017.
See: https://www.merit.unu.edu/unu-partners-honoured-at-amsterdam-international-water-week-2017/



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All headlines
  • Human cell atlas: The plan to map every cell in your body
  • A helium-resistant material could usher in age of nuclear fusion
  • Camera spots hidden oil spills and may find missing planes
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  • Secure your secret messages with printable invisible ink
    A new invisible ink that you can print is harder to reveal than most common cyphers.

    Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China created this new ink accidentally while trying to synthesise a kind of glowing nanomaterial. In the process, they created a lead compound that was invisible to the human eye. When a mixture of a particular kind of salts was applied, the text became visible again. Without these salts, no one would suspect anything was on the page.

    It's so much better than just using lemon juice. Most of the invisible inks we use now leave a residue behind as they become legible. This means that decrypting the message can be as easy as holding it up to a light. This compound can also be printed with a modified office printer, making it easy to fabricate a covert letter.

    While it may seem antiquated or like a useless party trick, invisible ink can actually be used in anti-counterfeiting measures. US currency uses a variation on invisible ink to hide text or pictures on large denominations of money so that they're only visible in certain light.

    This invisible ink can be used to record and protect confidential information by printing process. It could also be useful in devices that combine light with electronics. For instance, using these types of compounds in a television or tablet screen could lead to richer colours - the team's original motivation for studying them.

    However, there are downsides. Lead is toxic, so the sender or recipient could end up harmed by the message. The team is exploring the possibility of swapping out the lead for tin, which is vastly less toxic.

    New Scientist    October 31, 2017