Apr 29, 2013

10 3D printing technologies bringing you the future of medicine

posted by Laura Domela

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We love our 3D printing here at DVICE, because printing whatever objects you want whenever you want is just awesome. We loved 3D printing when it only existed in awesome sci-fi films, like The Fifth Element. We loved it when it was only a DIY kit. And we really loved it when it went mainstream.

3D printing has become a part of everything from the national gun debate to movie props and cars. 3D printing is becoming so ubiquitous that no matter what it is that you desire, you can print it for yourself. People are even going so far as to compare 3D printing favorably with the replicators of Star Trek fame. And while that might be going a bit far, 3D printing has been leaping forward in a number of astonishing ways.
via DVICE

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Skull implant image: Oxford Performance Materials

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Apr 29, 2013

Google Glass gets jailbroken, Google replies by saying they totally wanted it to get jailbroken

posted by Laura Domela

Remember in elementary school when someone did something you didn’t like, but you couldn’t really stop them so you just pretended like it’s what you really wanted them to do all along? That’s pretty much how Google responded to the news that hackers are already rooting Google Glass. Google’s Dan Morrill fired off a post on Google+ saying that rooting was the plan all along.
via Geekosystem

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Apr 29, 2013

Snake robot teams up with search-and-rescue dog (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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US researchers working on a snake-like robot have tested pairing it with a search-and-rescue dog.

The engineers sent two dogs fitted with harnesses containing the robot into a simulated collapsed building. The dogs then released the equipment, allowing the robot to wriggle free.

The researchers hope the technology will one day be used to locate people trapped in places inaccessible to dogs.
via BBC News

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Apr 29, 2013

Obesity could be treated with a pacemaker implanted into the brain, according to new study

posted by Larra Morris

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A brain implant could become a new tool for treating obesity in patients unresponsive to traditional medications. A new study at the University of Pennsylvania found that by treating mice using a specially tuned brain pacemaker — a device that sends electrical signals to specific areas of the brain — behaviors such as binge-eating could be significantly inhibited. Though the trial was only performed on animals, the study's lead author is optimistic about its translation to humans. He explained in a statement, "Once replicated in human clinical trials, [the method] could rapidly become a treatment for people with obesity."
via The Verge

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Image: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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Apr 29, 2013

Particle accelerator study could reveal dinosaur skin color

posted by Larra Morris

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What color dinosaur skin was remains largely a mystery, as dino-hide fossilizes poorly, meaning that there are just a handful of examples of fossilized dinosaur skin in the entire world. Now, one of them — a chunk of hadrosaur skin found in a bone bed in Alberta, Canada — is getting an unheard of treatment. Researchers at CLS are looking to uncover what color the hadrosaur was in life by bombarding its remains with infrared light. How the light bounces off the sample should show researchers what chemicals were present in the animal, including chemicals that wuold have colored its skin brown, grey, green, or (we’re hoping) blue with bright orange polka dots.
via Geekosystem

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Apr 29, 2013

Swarms of tiny "microgrippers" used to perform biopsies

posted by Larra Morris

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When procuring tissue samples for medical diagnosis, doctors have been confined to bulky and invasive forceps. But with recent successful experiments in pigs, we may see doctors switching from the single forceps to hordes of a thousand "microgrippers." These metal discs, each only 300 micrometers in size, are designed to snip bits of tissue when introduced en masse into the body and then be easily retrieved by a doctor. Their small size, added to the fact that they need no batteries, tethers or wires, belies their complexity and autonomy in function, which could allow the microgrippers to provide diagnoses earlier, more easily, and with less trauma.
via Gizmag

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Apr 29, 2013

Two meteorites discovered in Antarctica may be from the same supernova

posted by Larra Morris

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Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis found a single silica grain on a meteorite from Antarctica by inspecting the rock at 20,000x magnification. This tiny dot, which is essentially a grain of sand, is chemically identical to one found in a meteorite from the Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition. Scientists have found other silica grains in asteroids, but they have all been enriched in oxygen-17, which comes from healthy stars. However, both of the newly discovered silica grains contain heavier oxygen-18, which is only formed in specific processes of supernovae.
via Gizmodo

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Image: Shutterstock/jupeart 

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Apr 28, 2013

Robots will do everything you do now, only better. What then?

posted by Laura Domela

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The S&P 500 is near record highs, having finally regained all it lost in the 2008 financial crisis. It would be cause for celebration if it didn’t feel so out of touch with the “main street” reality of continued high unemployment. As a recent New York Times headline read, “recovery in the US is lifting profits, but not adding jobs.”

The NYT goes on to blame the divide between rising corporate profits, recovering stocks, and stubborn unemployment on big gains in productivity over the last few years. The article notes that the giant industrial conglomerate, United Technologies, “does not need as many workers as it once did to churn out higher sales and profits.”

While United Technologies (and other manufacturing firms) may not be adding jobs, it’s strange to blame today’s high rate of unemployment on the trend. Due in large part to automation, manufacturing jobs have been disappearing for over 30 years. During that period, unemployment has been as high as 10.8% and as low as 3.8%. A better headline might read, “recovery in the US is lifting profits, but not adding traditional jobs in manufacturing and that’s nothing new.”
via Singularity Hub

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Apr 26, 2013

Nanoscale pressure sensors mimic human skin

posted by Laura Domela

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Arrays of transistors made of nanowires could form the basis of a new class of devices nearly as sensitive to mechanical force as human skin is, according to research published today in Science.

The inventor of the technology, Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at Georgia Tech, says it has immediate applications in human-machine interfaces. For example, it could be used to capture electronic signatures by recording the distinctive force an individual applies while signing. Down the road, says Wang, his group’s pressure sensor arrays could equip robotics and prosthetics with a human-like sense of touch.
via MIT Technology Review

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Apr 26, 2013

Propul~Surf screw-propelled snowboard rips uphill (video)

posted by Larra Morris

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The Propul~Surf is being developed by a group of high school seniors studying science and engineering at the Lycee Parc Chabrieres school in the suburbs outside Lyon, France. It is based on Archimedes' screw, a large screw for moving water from low to high ground popularly traced back to the 3rd century B.C. While the screw can take slightly different forms, they all carry water upward via rotating threading. In a time before modern pumps and plumbing, the Archimedes' screw helped in moving water for irrigation, post-flooding removal and other activities. In fact, the design was so simple and effective, machines based on the same principles are still used today, thousands of years later.

The Propul-Surf uses the basic Archimedes design to create forward momentum. The two screws located at the tail of the board are powered by small electric bicycle motors. As the threads rotate against the snow, they push the snowboard forward. Think about a screw being pulled out a power drill, only horizontally on the ground.
via Gizmag

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