Researchers at MIT and spinoff company 24M have developed an advanced manufacturing approach for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The researchers claim the new process could cut the manufacturing and materials cost in half compared to existing lithium-ion batteries, while also improving their performance, making them easier to recycle as well as flexible and resistant to damage.
Using a telepresence system developed at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL ), 19 people — including nine quadriplegics — were able to remotely control a robot located in an EPFL university lab in Switzerland.
A team of researchers at the Defitech Foundation Chair in Brain-Machine Interface (CNBI), headed by professor José del R. Millán, developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) system, using electroencephalography… read more
June 24, 2015
Three-year clinical trial results of the Argus II retinal implant (“bionic eye”) have found that the device restored some visual function and quality of life for 30 people blinded by retinitis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye disease. The findings, published in an open-access paper in the journal Ophthalmology, also showed long-term efficacy, safety and reliability for the device.
Retinitis pigmentosa is an incurable disease that affects about 1… read more
June 23, 2015
A global task force of 174 scientists from leading research centers in 28 countries has studied the link between mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals and the development of cancer. The open-access study selected 85 chemicals not considered carcinogenic to humans and found 50 of them actually supported key cancer-related mechanisms at exposures found in the environment today.
June 23, 2015
In an engineering first, Stanford University scientists have invented a low-cost water splitter that uses a single catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The researchers believe that the device, described in an open-access study published today (June 23) in Nature Communications, could provide a renewable source of clean-burning hydrogen fuel for transportation and industry.
“We… read more
Chemists and biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in designing and synthesizing an artificial cell membrane capable of sustaining continual growth, just like a living cell.
Their achievement will allow scientists to more accurately replicate the behavior of living cell membranes, which until now have been modeled only by synthetic cell membranes without the ability to add new phospholipids.
“The… read more
Iowa State University engineers have developed microrobotic tentacles that could allow small robots to safely handle delicate objects.
As described in an open-access research paper in the journal Scientific Reports, the tentacles are microtubes just a third of an inch long and less than a hundredth of an inch wide. They’re made from PDMS, a transparent elastomer that can be a liquid or a soft,… read more
June 22, 2015
Three new significant developments in machine-learning were announced last week.
Reading and comprehending natural-language documents
Google DeepMind in London said it has developed a way to teach machines to read natural-language documents and comprehend them, and like Watson, answer complex questions with minimal prior knowledge of language structure — at least for CNN and Daily Mail websites.
As noted by the researchers in an… read more
June 19, 2015
How would you like to produce carbon nanoparticles small enough to evade the body’s immune system, that reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection in the body, and even carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues — all in the privacy of your own home?
June 19, 2015
Using factual information from summary infoboxes from Wikipedia* as a source, they built a “knowledge graph” with 3 million concepts and 23 million links between them. A link between two concepts in the graph can be read as a… read more
There is no longer any doubt: we are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity’s existence.
That’s the conclusion of a new study by a group of scientists including Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies in biology and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but… read more
Currently, tissue engineering has been limited to growing small pieces of tissue, because larger dimensions reduce the oxygen supply to the cells in the center of the tissue.
June 18, 2015
Nicky Ashwell has become the first UK user to receive what the makers call “the world’s most lifelike hand” — the Stepper bebionic small. The myoelectric device uses miniaturized components designed to provide true-to-life movements, mimicking the functions of a real hand.
The Bebionic small hand works using sensors triggered by the user’s muscle movements that connect to individual motors in each finger and microprocessors.… read more
June 18, 2015
UC Berkeley researchers have developed a low-cost, easy method of biocontainment of bacteria to contain accidental spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The used a series of lock-and-key genetic mutations (in addition to the GMO mutations) that render the microbe inactive unless the right molecule (the key) is added to to the expressed protein to enable its viability.
The work appears this week in the journal ACS Synthetic… read more
An exotic property that could warp the electronic structure of a material to reduce heat buildup and improve performance in ever-smaller computer components has been observed for the first time in X-ray studies with at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Heat is an obstacle to packing more computing power into ever-smaller devices; excess heat can cause devices to… read more