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Converting carbon dioxide into gasoline, and ‘autofocal’ glasses with lenses that change shape on the fly

glasses examples

: N. Padmanaban et al., Science Advances 2019

Chemists have long known how to convert carbon dioxide into fuels—but up until now, such processes have been too expensive for commercial use. Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about using new filters and catalysts to close the gap between air-derived and fossil-derived gasoline.  

Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Nitish Padmanaban of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about replacing bifocals with “autofocals.” These auto-focusing glasses track your eye position and measure the distance to the visual target before adjusting the thickness of their liquid lenses. The prototype glasses have an onboard camera and batteries that make them particularly bulky; however, they still outperformed progressive lenses in tests of focus speed and acuity.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.  

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