Our editors pick of this weeks Top 10 STEM News:

We are getting ready to build an elevator into space

The idea of a space elevator to lift us into orbit is one of the oldest concepts in sci-fi, but thanks to the efforts of scientists in Japan, we might soon be seeing this fantastic feat of engineering become a reality at last.

A mini satellite called STARS-C (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite-Cube) is heading to the International Space Station in the coming months and is a prototype design that could form the basis of a future space elevator.

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Scientists have found a woman who can see more 99 million more colors than you can

After more than 25 years of searching, neuroscientists in the UK recently announced that they’ve discovered a woman who has an extra type of cone cell – the receptor cells that detect colour – in her eyes.

According to estimates, that means she can see an incredible 99 million more colours than the rest of us, and the scientists think she’s just one of a number of people with super-vision, which they call “tetrachromats”, living amongst us.

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Researchers have finally found a way to make people smarter

As we learn more and more about the brain, we’re getting better at figuring out how to supercharge it.

One of the most promising and at this point, popular ways (at least, among a certain community of mostly-DIY body-hackers) to directly charge up our mental abilities involves headsets that direct electric or magnetic pulses at specific regions of the brain.

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Unprecedented Alzheimer’s drug slows disease by 80 per cent

At last, there’s a drug that seems to have a big effect on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It took 30 years to develop, but the treatment has proven successful in a large trial of people with mild to moderate symptoms of the disorder.

“It is a significant event in the history of Alzheimer’s and dementia research,” Maria Carrillo at US charity the Alzheimer’s Association, says of the results, announced today.

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Dirty to drinkable: Novel hybrid nanomaterials quickly transform water

A team of engineers has found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water, and it could be a global game-changer.

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Evidence mounts for a high fat diet as prevention & treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Despite decades of efforts to develop a drug that prevents­­ or cures Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most prevalent form of dementia afflicting our aging population, there is currently no treatment for this devastating condition. Emerging research suggests that such a miracle treatment might already exist, not in the form of a pill, but as a simple dietary change.

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We may found a hormone that reverses cell ageing in humans

Scientists have identified a male hormone that reverses cell ageing, potentially setting up new treatments to counter diseases caused by cells getting old and worn out.

The new clinical trial is the first time the use of hormones has been shown to reverse the ageing effects that happen naturally in human cells. We’ve not quite found a way to live forever, but the discovery could help some of us lead longer and healthier lives.

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First Wi-Fi-Enabled Smart Contact Lens Prototype

A clever way of converting Bluetooth signals into Wi-Fi allows embedded devices to communicate easily with the outside world.

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Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

The finding is reported in the July 29 issue of Science and was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. A provisional patent application has been filed.

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An hour of moderate exercise a day enough to counter health risks from prolonged sitting

The health risks associated with sitting for eight or more hours a day — whether at work, home or commuting — can be eliminated with an hour or more of physical activity a day, according to a new study.

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