The stealthy ways of the ubiquitous mosquito got Seiji Aoyagi and his team of micro-engineers at Kansai University in Japan thinking: Could the pest teach them how to build a painless needle? The answer is yes, at least in prototype. Instead of the smooth surface of today's needles, the team's syringe is highly serrated, resulting in less needle-to-nerve contact as it penetrates the skin. Aoyagi says the pain-free needle could be available within five years.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.