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First fully 3D-printed gun test-fired

May 7, 2013


Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson has test-fired the world’s first fully 3D-printed gun — “the Liberator.”

The CAD file is downloadable* at DEFCAD, operated by Defense Distributed — a “makeshift response to Makerbot Industries’ decision to censor files uploaded in good faith at Thingiverse, specifically firearms-related files.”


Meet The ‘Liberator’: Test-Firing The World’s First Fully 3D-Printed Gunread more

Scientists adroitly manipulate a quantum bit using laser light alone

May 6, 2013

An artist's rendering of all-optical control of an individual electronic spin within a diamond. This spin is associated with a naturally occurring defect in diamond known as the nitrogen-vacancy center, a promising quantum bit (qubit) for quantum information processing. In their recently published paper, Yale et al. develop techniques to initialize, manipulate, and read out the electronic spin of this qubit using only pulses of light. Image courtesy of Peter Allen. (Credit: UC Santa Barbara)

By using light, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have manipulated the quantum state of a single atomic-sized defect in diamond — the nitrogen-vacancy center — in a method that allows for more unified control than conventional processes.

The method is also more versatile, and opens up the possibility of exploring new solid-state quantum systems.

“In contrast to conventional electronics, we developed an all-optical scheme… read more

Turning human stem cells into brain cells sheds light on neural development

May 6, 2013


Scientists from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research have led a study team that has manipulated human stem cells into producing types of brain cells known to play important roles in neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism.

The new model cell system allows neuroscientists to investigate normal brain development, as well as to identify specific disruptions in biological signals… read more

Scientists revolutionize creation of genetically altered mice to model human disease

May 6, 2013


Whitehead Institute Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch, who helped transform the study of genetics by creating the first transgenic mouse in 1974, is again revolutionizing how genetically altered animal models are created and perhaps even redefining what species may serve as models.

“This new method is a game changer,” says Jaenisch, who is also a professor of biology at MIT. “We can now make a… read more

Government lab reveals it has operated quantum internet for over two years

May 6, 2013


A quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages has been running at Los Alamos National Labs for the last two and a half years, MIT Technology Review reports.

One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet using quantum cryptography that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.

The researchers created a quantum network based around… read more

Quantum-assisted nano-imaging

May 6, 2013

Basic configuration of NV-NMR detection, showing sample geometry along the diamond axis with NV spin embedded 20-nm deep within 12C diamond layer. The NV center detects NMR of protons in the PMMA polymer layer. (Credit: H.J. Mamin et al./Science)

Two separate teams of researchers working on DARPA’s Quantum-Assisted Sensing and Readout (QuASAR) program, led by the University of Stuttgart in Germany and IBM’s Almaden Research Center, have developed a nanoscale magnetometer that enables magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with sufficient resolution to measure as few as 10,000 protons in a volume of only 125 cubic nanometers, which approaches the level of individual protein molecules. read more

3D-imaging brain tissue at 1 micron resolution

May 6, 2013

Image of the cerebral vascular system of a mouse obtained by 3D two-photon microscopy with addition of Lem-PHEA. (Credit: © B. van der Sanden and F. Appaix (Institut des Neurosciences de Grenoble))

A fluorescent dye that enables high-resolution (about 1 micron) 3D images of the cerebral vascular system has been synthesized by researchers at the Laboratoire de Chimie (CNRS) in France in collaboration with the Institut des Neurosciences (Université Joseph Fourier).

The “Lem-PHEA chromophore” dye fluoresces in the red-near infrared region biological transparency window using two-photon absorption and can pass through the skin. It features solubility in biological… read more

Mechanical energy harvester replaces small batteries

May 6, 2013

BOLT micro-power module (credit: Microgen)

MicroGen has developed a “piezo-MEMS” (piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems) device that gathers ambient vibrations and converts them into electrical energy.

Vibration causes a tiny flap in the device to swing back and forth, generateing electrical current that charges an ultra-capacitor (a thin-film battery).

The “BOLT micro-power module” (MPM) begins commercial-scale production in summer 2013. It was researched and developed by the company at the… read more

New research could let vehicles, robots collaborate with humans

Everything around us is getting smarter
May 5, 2013


Vehicles, robots and other autonomous devices could soon collaborate with humans, thanks to researchers at MIT who are developing systems capable of negotiating with people to determine the best way to achieve their goals.

“In general, everything around us is getting smarter,” says Brian Williams, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and leader of the Model-Based Embedded and Robotic Systems group… read more

The ultimate lifelogging interface?

"Wink, wink, nudge, nudge" --- Monty Python
May 4, 2013


Developer Michael DiGiovanni has revealed on github a beta android app for Google Glass called “Winky” that takes a photo — replacing the wordy “”OK, Glass, take a picture.”

“Users will be able to lifelog with little to no effort. It allows more pictures to be taken easily and to become a timeline of where you have been,” says Roundarch Isobar, where DiGiovanni is Emerging… read more

Carbon nanotube sensor detects glucose in saliva

May 3, 2013


Painful finger-prick blood tests for diabetics could become a thing of the past, say physicists who have built a sensor that measures glucose in saliva.

Mitchell Lerner at the University of Pennsylvania and associates have developed just such a device, MIT Technology Review reports. Their glucose sensor is essentially a carbon nanotube-based transistor in which the nanotubes are coated with pyrene-1-boronic acid molecules that bind to glucose.… read more

How to visualize bio-metals and bio-molecules simultaneously

May 3, 2013

Photograph of GREI-II and experimental set-up (credit: RIKEN)

Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies have developed a new molecular imaging technology that enables them to visualize bio-metals and bio-molecules simultaneously in a live mouse.

This new technology will enable researchers to study the complex interactions between metal elements and molecules in living organisms.

Metal elements such as zinc, iron and copper are present in trace amounts in the body… read more

Towards a quantum internet

First detection of the spin of a single atom using a combined optical and electrical approach
May 3, 2013

This image shows laser light addressing a single erbium atom in a silicon chip (credit: University of New South Wales)

An Australian team led by researchers at the University of New South Wales is the first in the world to detect the spin, or quantum state, of a single atom using a combined optical and electrical approach.

This is a breakthrough in quantum science that brings the prospect of a network of ultra-powerful quantum computers — connected via a quantum internet — closer to reality,… read more

How haptics can enhance bionic eyes

Using haptics to improve outcomes for people given visual prosthetics
May 3, 2013


Haptic devices — technologies that simulate the feel of an object — should be used as early as possible in children fitted with visual prosthetics, and also for older congenitally blind and late-blind people, George van Doorn and colleagues at Monash University suggest.

The haptic device can provide supplementary or redundant information that allows cross-referencing with the visual input from the prosthetic, they explain. This will help… read more

3D-printed ‘bionic’ ear melds electronics and biology

May 3, 2013

Scientists used 3-D printing to merge tissue and an antenna capable of receiving radio signals. Credit: Photo by Frank Wojciechowski

Scientists at Princeton University have used a 3D printer to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies up to microwave frequencies.

The researchers’ primary purpose was to explore an efficient and versatile means to merge electronics with tissue. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles, followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term… read more

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