Oct 02, 2014

PrintAlive 3D bioprinter creates on-demand skin grafts for burn victims

posted by Larra Morris

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While most are familiar with the potential for 3D printers to pump out plastic odds and ends for around the home, the technology also has far-reaching applications in the medical field. Research is already underway to develop 3D bioprinters able to create things as complex as human organs, and now engineering students in Canada have created a 3D printer that produces skin grafts for burn victims.
via Gizmag

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Oct 01, 2014

This clock saws itself in half when you're not looking

posted by Larra Morris

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For his senior project at Bauhaus University Weimar, Weng Xinyu designed several household objects that activate when you're not using them. The title of the collection is "Good Medicine Tastes Bitter," which is a proverb by Confucius.

Xinyu askes, "Do products always have to satisfy the users?" I'm inclined to think so, provided that you want to sell those products. But Xinyu wanted to design household goods that frustratingly send moral messages to owners.

For example, this clock has a motorized saw blade inside. There's a motion sensor in the front of the clock. When there's no one in front of the clock, the saw blade activates, cutting away at the clock and symbolically cutting away at the limited time that we have in life.
via Neatorama

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Oct 01, 2014

Scientists plan on turning the Moon into a giant particle detector

posted by Laura Domela

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What is the Moon good for? Aside from inspiring poets, helping you see at night, and giving Neil Armstrong some place for a stroll, what can you do with it? If you ask scientists at the University of Southampton, they’ll tell you that it makes a cracking particle detector. With the help of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, the team hopes to use the mass of the satellite to detect the most energetic particles known; Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays.

For all the advances of science over the past century, the universe still throws some major mysteries our way. One of the biggest of these is UHE cosmic rays. The particles that make up UHE cosmic rays have a kinetic energy many orders of magnitude greater than that of other cosmic ray particles, measuring over 1018 eV. One particle, called the Oh-My-God particle, was detected in 1961 with an energy of 3×1020 eV, which is the equivalent of a baseball traveling at 62 mph (100 km/h) – an alarming amount of energy to stuff into a subatomic particle. What particularly intrigues physicists about these rays is that they must be relatively young, otherwise their energy would have dissipated due to photon scattering, so where they come from is a major question mark in modern cosmology.
via Gizmag

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Oct 01, 2014

Robotic birds are the (ridiculously expensive) modern-day scarecrows

posted by Larra Morris

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At the Sydney Opera House, seagulls are a bigger nuisance than pitchy tenors. Management is desperate to keep the ravenous sky rats away, so much that they've installed a large robotic bird of prey as a modern-day scarecrow.

They say it costs $6500. Which seems like a large sum for a bird-scaring machine... but compared to the $16000 mechanical falcons put up by Scotland's Network Rail to freak out pigeons and other pesky avians at Edinburgh's main train station, it's a bargain.

And these scarecrowbots aren't a novelty: They're a burgeoning industry. The robot birds at the Sydney Opera House and Edinburgh came from Robop, a Scottish bird-scaring robot maker, has over 70 clients, including Wimbledon, the US Navy, and Johnson & Johnson.
via Gizmodo

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Sep 30, 2014

Thailand built a robot to taste-test authentic dishes

posted by Larra Morris

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Thailand, as you're likely aware, is home to some delicious food, and the government now wants to make sure that its most popular dishes are being represented well. To do so, "e-Delicious," a robot capable of tasting food and making sure it meets various quality standards, was built. The idea came from Thailand's Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, as she became interested in fighting against bad Thai food in Thailand and elsewhere across the world.

This new machine is equipped with 10 sensors capable of tasting and smelling food, which then uses gathered data to compare it against a "government-approved" grade from a dish of the same type. And just like that, it's able to determine how authentic the Thai food you made is -- anything above an 80 percent match is deemed a hit.
via Engadget

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Image: Shutterstock/zmkstudio 

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Sep 30, 2014

Mantis shrimps can see cancer, and scientists have now created a camera that does the same

posted by Laura Domela

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Scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia have discovered that mantis shrimp have an incredibly useful ability - the marine creatures are able to see a variety of cancers inside our bodies. And they've now replicated that ability in a camera that could eventually be put into a smartphone.

Mantis shrimp can see cancer, and the activity of our neurons, because they have unique eyes, known as compound eyes. This type of eye is superbly tuned to detect polarised light - a type of light that reflects differently off different types of tissue, including cancerous or healthy tissue.

“Humans can’t see this, but a mantis shrimp could walk up to it and hit it,” said Justin Marshall from the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland in a press release.

“We see colour with hues and shades, and objects that contrast – a red apple in a green tree for example – but our research is revealing a number of animals that use polarised light to detect and discriminate between objects.”

His team have now worked with international collaborators to create a camera that can replicate this ability - eventually they hope they could lead to smartphone cameras that would allow people to scan their body for cancers at home.
via Science Alert

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Sep 30, 2014

Researchers create shape-shifting liquid metal

posted by Laura Domela

New research from North Carolina (NC) State University has manufacturers and science fiction fans buzzing. Traditionally, the surface tension of metal has made it impossible to form liquid metal into any shape other than a sphere. But a new discovery allows reachers to control the surface tension to manipulate metal into a variety of new shapes. It's not Terminator 2's T-1000, but it's a step in the right direction.
via mddi online

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Tags : materials,    0 comments  
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