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3D-printed ears that look and act like the real thing

February 22, 2013

ear

Cornell bioengineers and Weill Cornell Medical College physicians have created an artificial ear that looks and acts like a natural ear, giving new hope to thousands of children born with a congenital deformity called microtia.

They used 3-D printing and injectable gels made of living cells to fashion ears that are practically identical to a human ear.

Over a three-month period, these flexible ears… read more

A flexible, transparent gesture sensor

February 22, 2013

A comparison between the image being focused on the sensor surface and the reconstructed image (inset) (credit: Oliver Bimber, Johannes Kepler/ University Linz)

A new method of capturing images based on a flat, flexible, transparent, and potentially disposable polymer sheet has been developed by a team of researchers at Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria.

The new imager, which resembles a flexible plastic film, uses fluorescent particles to capture incoming light and channel a portion of it to an array of sensors framing the sheet.

With no electronics or internal components,… read more

Sony announces PS4 PlayStation

February 21, 2013

Sony PS4 controller (credit: Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.)

The PlayStation 4, as you’d expect for a seven-years-later follow-up, has impressively bumped specs. An eight-core X86 AMD “Jaguar” CPU and a 1.84 Teraflop AMD Radeon graphics engine (with “18 compute units”) comprise the central processing on the PS4, CNET reports.

There’s also 8GB of fast GDDR5 memory. The PS4 will use a hard drive for storage versus an SSD, but the included capacity in the box… read more

Carbon nanotube transistors orders of magnitude better at spotting cancer, say bioengineers

February 21, 2013

detecting_prostate_cancer

Mitchell Lerner at the University of Pennsylvania and associates have revealed a technique that uses an array of carbon nanotube transistors on a silicon chip to detect a biomarker of prostate cancer known as osteopontin (OPN), The Physics arXiv Blog reports.

The transistor can detect OPN at concentrations of 1 picogram per milliliter — a concentration three orders of magnitude weaker than ELISA can manage. ELISA is the… read more

Temporary tattoos could make ‘electronic telepathy,’ ‘telekinesis’ possible

Temporary electronic tattoos could soon help people fly drones with only thought and talk seemingly telepathically without speech over smartphones
February 21, 2013

(Credit: mc10)

The devices are less than 100 microns thick, the average diameter of a human hair. They consist of circuitry embedded in a layer or rubbery polyester that allow them to stretch, bend and wrinkle. They are barely visible when placed on skin, making them easy to conceal from others.

The devices can detect electrical signals linked with brain waves, and incorporate solar cells for power and antennas that allow… read more

MIT researchers build ultrahigh-definition Quad HD (4K) TV chip

February 21, 2013

uhd_quadhd_mit

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference this week, MIT researchers unveiled their own Quad HD video chip design.

Quad HD is also known as 4K and ultrahigh-definition (UHD). The new Quad HD video standard enables a fourfold increase in the resolution of TV screens.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, several manufacturers debuted new UHD models.

There is no UHD content… read more

A new solid-state hard drive that uses ultrasound to store more data

February 21, 2013

Acoustic-assisted magnetic recording (credit: Oregon State University)

Electrical engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a new method, called acoustic-assisted magnetic recording, to use high-frequency sound waves to create durable solid state storage that allows for storing more data in a smaller space, using less power.

“We’re near the peak of what we can do with the technology we now use for magnetic storage,” said Pallavi Dhagat, an associate professor in the… read more

Water on the moon: it’s been there all along

February 21, 2013

Traces of water have been detected within the crystalline structure of mineral samples from the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions, according to a University of Michigan researcher and his colleagues.

The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust, crystallized from a magma ocean on a mostly molten early moon. The new findings indicate that the early moon was wet and that water there… read more

Google Glass: how to get one

February 21, 2013

google_glass

“We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass,” says the Google Glass team.

“We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller. We’re still in the early stages, and while we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting.”

“Using Google+… read more

Stanford scientists fit light-emitting bioprobe in a living cell

Light-based probes can be inserted without damage to the cell, could have profound impact on biological research
February 20, 2013

This image shows a photonic nanobeam inserted in a cell. Clearly visible are the etched holes through the beam as well as the sandwich-like layer structure of the beam itself. The beam structure alternates between layers of gallium arsenide and photonic crystal containing the light-producing quantum dots. (Photo credit: Gary Shambat, Stanford School of Engineering)

Stanford engineers have developed a new class of biophotonic (light-emitting) probes small enough to be injected into individual cells for intracellular sensing and control, without harm to the host.

The researchers call their device a “nanobeam,” because it resembles a steel I-beam with a series of round holes etched through the center. This beam, however, is not massive, but measures only a few microns in length and… read more

Stay cool and live longer?

Scientists have known for nearly a century that cold-blooded animals, such as worms, flies and fish all live longer in cold environments, but have not known exactly why
February 20, 2013

C elegans nematode (credit: The Goldstein Lab)

Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute have identified a genetic program that promotes longevity of roundworms (nematodes) in cold environments — and this genetic program also exists in warm-blooded animals, including humans.

“This raises the intriguing possibility that exposure to cold air — or pharmacological stimulation of the cold-sensitive genetic program — may promote longevity in mammals,” said… read more

New self-driving car system tested on UK roads

February 20, 2013

Self-driving RobotCar

Scientists at Oxford University have developed a self-driving car that can cope with snow, rain and other weather conditions. The system can be fitted to existing cars and could one day cost just £100 (US$150), The Guardian reports.

The new system has been installed in a Nissan Leaf electric car and tested on private roads around the university. It will halt for pedestrians, and could take over… read more

Bioengineering cells for more efficient biofuel production

Yeast research takes a step toward production of alternatives to gasoline
February 20, 2013

Yeast Cell ---an image within an exhibit called "From Another Kingdom" at the National Botanic Garden of Wales (credit: flickr.com/col and tasha)

In the search for renewable alternatives to gasoline, heavy alcohols such as isobutanol are promising candidates.

They contain more energy than ethanol and are also more compatible with existing gasoline-based infrastructure.

For isobutanol to become practical, however, scientists need a way to reliably produce huge quantities of it from renewable sources.

MIT chemical engineers and biologists have now devised a way… read more

Engineering a better spinal implant

February 20, 2013

The top scanning electron microscope image (b) shows a cross section of the bioactive hydroxyapatite/YSZ coating without heat treatment. Note how the two layers are distinct. The bottom image (f) shows the coating after heat treatment. Note how the layers are now integrated. (Credit: Rabei )

Researchers from North Carolina State University have for the first time successfully coated polymer implants with a bioactive film.

The discovery should improve the success rate of such implants, which are often used in spinal surgeries.

The polymer used in polymer (plastic) implants, called PEEK, does not bond well with bone or other tissues in the body. This can result in the implant rubbing… read more

Has dark matter finally been found?

February 19, 2013

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (left) (credit: NASA)

Big news in the search for dark matter may be coming in about two weeks, the leader of a space-based particle physics experiment said Feb. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Space.com reports.

That’s when the first paper of results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a particle collector mounted on the outside of the International Space Station,… read more

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