How does California tackle a five-year-long drought? By turning seawater into the kind you can drink. Carlsbad's 2.2-hectare desalination plant in San Diego County pumps out 200 million litres of water a day, supplying 300,000 residents and businesses. Further north, in Santa Barbara, a second plant will supply 30 per cent of the city's water by early 2017.
How can you tell if an avocado's gone bad just by looking at it? By examining it through a hyperspectral (HS) camera. These devices - also known as imaging spectrometers - see things the human eye cannot by scanning the world across multiple channels of light. Where humans see three wavelengths in the colour spectrum (red, green and blue), hyperspectral sensors can detect as many as 480.
Feel like stepping inside the brain of a rat? This virtual-reality reconstruction allows you to do just that. The 3D brain is projected by 12 eight-megapixel streams across the six walls of a three-metre-sided cubic room known as the CAVE (cave automatic virtual environment).