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‘Zero-dimensional’ carbon nanotubes may lead to superthin/superfast electronics and synthetic cells

Could also make it possible to build strong, ultralight cars, bridges, and airplanes
December 13, 2013

Zero Dimensional Nanotubes

Synthetic, man-made cells and ultrathin electronics built from a new form of “zero-dimensional” carbon nanotube (CNT) may be possible, thanks to research at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

When created, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have a length-to-diameter ratio of up to 132,000,000:1 (think long wires that entangle, forming a one-dimensional structure). This clustering makes it difficult to achieve high purity, water solubility,… read more

Temperature-sensitive gel scaffold regenerates craniofacial bone

December 13, 2013

rice_liquid_gel_bone

Rice University bioengineers have developed a hydrogel scaffold for regeneratomg craniofacial bone tissue. The hydrogel starts as a liquid, solidifies into a gel in the body, and liquefies again for removal.

The material developed in the Rice lab of bioengineer Antonios Mikos is a soluble liquid at room temperature that can be injected where needed. At body temperature, the material turns instantly into a gel to… read more

High-accuracy 3D motion-tracking through walls

Technology could revolutionize gaming, fall detection for the elderly
December 13, 2013

witrack

Imagine playing a video game like Call of Duty and having the ability to lead your virtual army unit while moving freely throughout your house or other environments.

Gaming could become this realistic, thanks to new technology that allows for highly accurate 3D motion tracking.

WiTrack,” developed by Dina Katabi’s research group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligenceread more

BioPen rewrites orthopedic implant surgery

Delivers live stem cells and growth factors at the time of surgery to regenerate bone, cartilage, muscle, or nerve tissue
December 13, 2013

biopen3

Australian researchers have developed a handheld “BioPen” that will allow surgeons to precisely design and deliver customized bone and other implant materials (live stem cells and growth factors) at the time of surgery to regenerate bone, cartilage, muscle, or nerve tissue.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Similar to a multi-material 3D printer, the BioPen delivers stem cells embedded in a biopolymer carrier (such as alginate, a seaweed extract), protected

read more

Could a virtual wall build an invisible barrier for oil spills and stop the spread?

December 12, 2013

oil-repellent

University of Missouri researchers have developed a technique to form a virtual wall for oily liquids that will help confine them to a certain area, aiding researchers who are studying these complex molecules. This development will have future implications in the guided delivery of oil and effective blockage of oil spreading.

“Our work is based on micro/nanoelectromechanical systems, or M/NEMS, which can be thought of as miniaturized… read more

Forcing cancer cells to shape-shift stops them from migrating, Mayo Clinic researchers find

December 12, 2013

Shape-Shifting

Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida have identified a number of agents — some already used in the clinic for different disorders — that may force shape-shifting in tumor cells to immobilize them and thus prevent metastasis.

“We are starting to understand mechanistically how cancer cells move and migrate, which gives us opportunities to manipulate these cells, alter their shape, and stop their spread,” says the study’s lead… read more

OpenBCI opens up low-cost brain-wave-controlled experimentation to everyone

December 12, 2013

OpenBCI board (credit: OpenBCI)

New York EEG researchers/Parsons instructors Joel Murphy and Conor Russomanno just launched a Kickstarter campaign called OpenBCI, intended to give anyone low-cost computer access to their EEG (brain waves).

BCI stands for brain-computer interface. The idea with OpenBCI is to allow you to control (with your brain — via an eight-channel EEG interface, your computer, and your controller) devices such as lights, robots, optocopters,… read more

A biocompatible shape-changing material controlled by patterns and heat

Can be used as cell-culture substrates or implantable materials that contract and expand
December 12, 2013

A two-layer material designed to morph into a specific shape when heated to a specific temperature range.

The materials created by Rice University polymer scientist Rafael Verduzco and his colleagues start as flat slabs, but morph magically into shapes that can be controlled by patterns that were formed into their layers.

Materials that can change their shape based on environmental conditions are useful for optics, three-dimensional biological scaffolds, and controlled encapsulation and release of drugs, among other applications, according to the researchers.… read more

Multi-material 3D printer creates realistic neurosurgical models for training

December 12, 2013

A perforator creates a burr hole in the model of a skull. The model, produced using a multimaterial 3D printer, is composed of a variety of materials that simulate the various consistencies and densities of human tissues encountered during neurosurgery. (Credit: American Association of Neurosurgeons)

Researchers* from Malaysia and the UK have used a new multi-material 3D printer to create realistic, low-cost model of the skull for use by students in practicing neurosurgical techniques.

The model uses a variety of materials that simulate the various consistencies and densities of human tissues encountered during neurosurgery.

Neurosurgery is a difficult discipline to master. Trainees may spend as many as 10 years after graduation from medical… read more

Digital global intelligence on the future of the world in the palm of your hand

December 11, 2013

(Credit: The Millennium Project)

The Millennium Project’s Global Futures Intelligence System is now available and accessible online, including auto-detected mobile phone data access.

“Overviews, situation charts, references, and latest relevant news on the most important challenges facing humanity are now all immediately available,” explains Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project.

“The system presents distillations of the present situation, prospects, and strategies to address issues ranging from climate change to… read more

Final four teams qualify to participate in DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials

December 11, 2013

Team KAIST (Daejeon, South Korea)

Four teams that built full robot hardware and software systems using their own funds have qualified to join 13 other teams to compete in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials.

The event will take place Dec. 20 and 21 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., where spectators can observe as the robots are tested on the capabilities… read more

Neural prosthesis restores normal behavior after brain injury

December 11, 2013

Rat with prostheses

Scientists from Case Western Reserve University and University of Kansas Medical Center have restored behavior — in this case, the ability to reach through a narrow opening and grasp food — using a neural prosthesis in a brain-injured rat.

Ultimately, the team hopes to develop a device that rapidly and substantially improves function after brain injury in humans.

There is no such commercial treatment for the… read more

A new way to make solar cells thin, efficient and flexible

December 11, 2013

printed_cell

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Central Florida may be one step closer to making solar cells that operate efficiently on a large scale.

The team found a way to create large sheets of nanotextured silicon micro-cell arrays that hold the promise of making solar cells lightweight, more efficient, bendable, and easy to mass produce.

Nanoimprinting

The team used… read more

Detecting objects as small as protein molecules using multispectral imaging

December 10, 2013

Die encapsulated in carbon nanotube improves detection by

Richard Martel and his research team at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Montreal have discovered a method to improve detection of the “infinitely small” by encapsulating a dye inside carbon nanotubes for multispectral imaging.

Raman scattering provides information on the ways molecules vibrate, which is equivalent to taking their fingerprint. It’s a bit like a bar code,” said Martel. “Raman signals are… read more

Using 3D printing to explain theoretical physics

December 10, 2013

3d_printed_forest_fire_model

Students may soon be able to reach out and touch some of the theoretical concepts they are taught in their physics classes thanks to a novel idea devised by a group of researchers from Imperial College London.

In new study published December 9 in the journal EPL, the researchers successfully demonstrated how complex theoretical physics can be transformed into a physical object using a 3D printer.… read more

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