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3D-Printed Nerve Guidance Conduit Could Enable Natural Repair of Damaged Nerves

3D-Printed Nerve Guidance Conduit Could Enable Natural Repair of Damaged Nerves | Science & technology | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Sheffield have successfully used a 3D printed guide to enable nerves injured in accidents to repair themselves.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:
Severed nerve connections are slow and hard to repair, if they ever do repair themselves. However, this laser-etched PEG material seems to be able to guide and facilitate this process. 3 mm of severed nerves where regenerated in a mouse over a period of 21 days. Fully compatible or even resorbable tailored implants are the future of medicine.
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In Short-Lived Fish, Secrets to Aging

In Short-Lived Fish, Secrets to Aging | Science & technology | Scoop.it
Turquoise killifish last no more than a few months, giving researchers a faster way of learning more about the mechanics of getting older.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Science is all about models. To study aging, using actual people would take forever, not to mention that it would be unethical to manipulate their genes. Mice are nice and wide-spread but it also takes a couple of years for them to age. Worms lack important similarities with us, like a spine for instance, so they can't answer all of our questions. This new model animal, the turquoise killfish seems to be more adapted as it only lives a couple of months (providing quick results) and also seems to present similar aging mechanisms as those found in humans. 

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First digital animal will be perfect copy of real worm - tech - 26 November 2014 - New Scientist

First digital animal will be perfect copy of real worm - tech - 26 November 2014 - New Scientist | Science & technology | Scoop.it
Next year the world's first digital animal will be born inside a computer. Could its descendants be conscious?
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

"A Worm's mind in a Lego Body" - i-programmer

"The Robotic Worm" - BioCoder Fall 2014

 

This is the first animal that had its genome sequenced. Its cells are all ccounted for and mapped. Now, its brain has also undergone the same process, allowing for a Worm Simulator of sorts to be born (OpenWorm, an open source project and its Kickstarter declination WormSim). By digitally reproducing the way that the worm's neurons connect with each other (the worm's connectome), scientists were able to obtain a robot that behaved in a similar way to C. elegans.

 

What it interesting is that this robot wasn't programmed to move forward or try to avoid obstacles. It wasn't specifically programmed for anything other than being a copy of a living organism, and yet it still moves in response to external stimuli. There were, of course, some adaptations such as taste and smell senses ("food sensors") being linked to a microphone, and the worm's nose touch sense to a frontal sonar. The four distinct muscle groups of C. elegans were also adapted into the speed controls for the robot's two wheels.

 

All in all, while this system lacks (for now) the plasticity that allows an actual neural system to learn and evolve, it still is a big step in reverse bioengineering and a valuable tool to better understand the mind: how a brain is programmed and perhaps even where consciousness comes from.

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Israeli 3D Printing Makes Life-Saving Blood Recycling Machine 96 Percent Cheaper

Israeli 3D Printing Makes Life-Saving Blood Recycling Machine 96 Percent Cheaper | Science & technology | Scoop.it
American-Israeli 3D printing giant Stratasys has partnered with British company Brightwake to make the production of a life-saving and religiously ethical blood recycling machine significantly cheaper.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

As the WHO reminds us every year for the World Blood Donor Day (June 14), the need for blood increases yearly and yet only about 60 countries meet their blood demands by free donation. With this blood recycling machine, the need for blood transfusions in open heart surgeries and other procedures implying heavy blood losses would drastically decrease, allowing for blood donations to be used on crash victims and other accidents with dramatic and uncontrolled hemorrhages. 

 

While the final product would need to be built out of more long-term resistant materials, the polymer used in combination with the 3D printing technique allowed for a cheaper prototype to be produced and tested faster. 

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Spider lessons: How to mend your body with silk

Spider lessons: How to mend your body with silk | Science & technology | Scoop.it
A new implant made of silk material could be the key to repairing almost any part of the body.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:
We all know the wonderful properties of spider silk: stronger than a steel cable of the same diameter and yet incredibly flexible. However, spiders don't produce much of it and farming spiders is pretty much impossible anyways. The key here was to use silkworm silk (which comes in abundance) and then break it down in order to reassemble it again as a spider silk-like material. This means that productivity could be combined with mechanical properties. The advantage of these materials is that they are biocompatible as well, and can stimulate tissue regeneration. This means that a spider silk implant could provide a support with mechanical strength and durability while actually reforming lost cartilage for instance. Clinical trials have begun, which means that perhaps in three years we could start seeing this kind of implants, helping and ageing population stay active.
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New research aims to teach computers common sense

New research aims to teach computers common sense | Science & technology | Scoop.it

"Researchers are trying to plant a digital seed for artificial intelligence by letting a massive computer system browse millions of pictures and decide for itself what they all mean."

 

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

The aim is to let the computer learn for itself by making associations. So far, it has already learned for instance that "zebras can be found on savannahs" and that "tigers look somewhat like zebras". It did that on its own after examining thousands of pictures. The whole system is in fact based on picture examination, which is why it's called NEIL, or Never Ending Image Learning. In the future, it will go own to use youtube videos as well.

 

So far, correct associations have been made, but the system has also learned incorrect things and odd ones, such as "actors can be found in jail cells". I guess what it learns depends on the information available.

 

Ultimately, the goal is to develop a "common sense" in the computer, so that an artificial intelligence capable of making decisions for humans, in their stead, can see the light of day. This is why both Google and the US Department of Defense are jointly funding this project.

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These Magnetic Nanobots Could Carry Drugs Into Your Brain

These Magnetic Nanobots Could Carry Drugs Into Your Brain | Science & technology | Scoop.it

"These tiny cages, each 100 microns long and 40 microns wide, may not look like much, but they are the new semi-trucks of targeted medicine delivery. Developed by a team of Chinese researchers, in conjunction with Swiss and South Korean institutes, the nickel-coated microbots are steered wirelessly by electromagnetic fields."

 

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Active principles can be trapped in these microscopic cage-like structures, which are about the size of a cell (10-100 µm), and then steered and guided in the human body via magnetic fields in order to reach a specific area. It's drug delivery at its most precise, pinpointing specific areas in a minimally invasive way.

 

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A Different Cup of Tea: GE Plant Will Incubate New Ways for Making Advanced Ceramics for Jet Engines | GE Reports

A Different Cup of Tea: GE Plant Will Incubate New Ways for Making Advanced Ceramics for Jet Engines | GE Reports | Science & technology | Scoop.it

"A high-tech materials plant in Delaware will receive a $27 million investment from GE Aviation to develop advanced manufacturing methods for a new kind of light and durable ceramic materials that could revolutionize air travel. The materials, called ceramic matrix composites, or CMCs, will serve inside jet engines. CMCs can outperform advanced metallic alloys and make jet engines lighter, more fuel efficient, and cut emissions."

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

GE will become the first company to industrialize the production of novel CMC-core jet engines, having already received more than 4 500 orders. They were the ones who in the early 1990s discorvered that SiC reinforced with coated SiC fibers could result in a composite material that was not only 33% lighter than superalloys but was also more durable.

The idea of a material that is 98% dense, is incredibly light, can resist extreme temperatures, and outperforms superalloys is almost too good to be true. This is why some skepticism surrounded this material at first, especially since SiC alone is a fragile ceramic material. However, CMCs have now been tested with great success in power generating turbines on land, proving its worth and paving the way for a new generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient jet engines.

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The Exclusion Zone: Inside the Most Radioactive Place in the World

The Exclusion Zone: Inside the Most Radioactive Place in the World | Science & technology | Scoop.it

In the wee hours of an April morning some 27 years ago, the nearly 50,000 residents of the Soviet city of Pripyat slept soundly as the worst nuclear disaster in history unfurled just down the street. Less than two miles away, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant erupted, sending a plume of radioactive material spiraling into the atmosphere. The resulting reactor fire burned for 10 days, spewing 20 Hiroshima bombs-worth of radioactive material across the environment and into animals, crops, and water sources, contaminating them, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

 

In the subsequent years the IAEA estimates that 336,000 people would be evacuated or relocated from the most irradiated areas surrounding the plant, 116,000 of which were evacuated by the end of the summer of 1986. But the residents of Pripyat had just 36 hours -- 36 hours to abandon everything they knew, leaving the city's streets to rot and decay under the weight of the elements. 

 

Now, long after the radioactive dust had settled, fine art photographer Philip Grossman returned to the area to document a different side of the incident, the cleanup. His work, "500,000 Voices," highlights the more than half a million workers, known as liquidators, who flooded the disaster site after the explosion, risking their lives to minimize the environmental hazards of mass nuclear contamination. 

 

"Everything in the city is contaminated," said Grossman. "They moved as fast as they could to clean up, packing all the material that was radioactive into garbage bags and trucks and burying it."

 

Grossman, who also works as a senior director of content acquisition for The Weather Channel, has visited the area three times, drawing inspiration for his work from the unique setting of his childhood. "I grew up near Three Mile Island, so I've always had a fascination with what happened there, as well as what happened in Chernobyl," said Grossman. "I wanted to go to Chernobyl and do something that few people can, or want to do."

 

Grossman's work exhibits an exclusive flair; bribes and insider connections have helped Grossman make the most of his 24 days in the zone. On his first trip, Grossman gained access to the control room of reactor number four. On subsequent trips Grossman reached the top of nearly every structure in Pripyat, including the iconic Ferris wheel in the heart of the city, and the Fujiyama building, the tallest structure in the abandoned city. In all, Grossman's work covers nearly every square inch of the exclusion zone, painting an eerie picture of the environmental fallout of a nuclear catastrophe

Maybe no site encapsulates the environmental impact of the Chernobyl meltdown more than the Red Forest. In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, the four-square-kilometer-stretch of pine trees just outside the walls of the power plant absorbed 80 to 100 Grays of gamma radiation, according to the IAEA, enough to kill all of the trees and leave the rotting stumps a reddish-brown hue. In response, the hoards of liquidators leveled most of the forest, burying irradiated trees under layers of sediment in massive trenches. The confines of the Red Forest were then re-imagined as a massive graveyard for contaminated materials -- helicopters, trucks, bodies, soil, anything exposed to radiation -- were all dumped en masse. Even though the Red Forest has since regrown, the area remains one of the most radioactive environments in the world; levels of radiation in the forest can reach 1 roentgen, 50,000 times greater than average background radiation levels, according to the IAEA.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Finland’s 100,000-Year Plan to Banish Its Nuclear Waste - NYTimes

Finland’s 100,000-Year Plan to Banish Its Nuclear Waste - NYTimes | Science & technology | Scoop.it
Onkalo, a tunnel that will hold spent fuel rods 1,600 feet under bedrock in Eurajoki, Finland, is the subject of the documentary “Into Eternity.”
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

The industry of nuclear power generation has long-debated advantages and drawbacks. While an efficient way to generate power, it does however inevitably incur in the production of radioactive waste. Even though nuclear reprocessing does reduce the volume of high-level waste, the need for storage in a deep geological repository still subsists.

 

This is why the Finland nuclear company Posiva began in 2004 the construction of Onkalo, "the cave" in Finnish. This 450 m-deep hole with a 5 km gallery will house Finland's nuclear waste starting 2020. From that date on, and every week for 100 years, a truck will come carrying its grizzly load of spent fission material. For one hundred years, radioactive waste will be stored in this facility until 2120, when it will be sealed for a minimum of 100,000 years.

 

For comparison bases, the Mayas were wiped out a mere 500 years ago. Jesus Christ is believed to have lived around 2,000 years ago. The invention of writing, and thus the begining of our recorded history, happened 10,000 years ago. Finally, according to recent archaeological theories, the migration of modern men out of Africa may have happened somewhere between 90,000 and 130,000 years ago. THAT is how long the project is meant to last. They have even had to factor in the next ice age in Onkalo's construction.

 

Assuming this colossal mausoleum does resist as long as it was intended to, how will we as a human race make sure that future generations, perhaps even civilizations, still remember this site and our instructions to keep out? More importantly, how will we make sure they still care?

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The curious story of how the lie detector came to be

The curious story of how the lie detector came to be | Science & technology | Scoop.it
The science behind the lie detector test has been disputed since its creation 90 years ago, so is there any reliable way to tell if someone is lying?
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

"Berkeley police officer John Larson created the first machine, basing it on the systolic blood pressure test pioneered by psychologist William Moulton Marston, who would later become a comic book writer and create Wonder Woman."

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Can kidneys be recycled? - DigitalJournal.com

Can kidneys be recycled? - DigitalJournal.com | Science & technology | Scoop.it

A lot of donor kidneys just don't get transplanted and are lost, wasted. But could they be recycled? A new science paper suggests that kidneys could be put to use as raw material for engineering new kidneys.

 

Scientists treated discarded human kidneys with a detergent, in order to clear out the organ of cells and only leave their extracellular matrices behind. This also removes the antigens, which could cause graft rejection, and leave a template in which the patient's own cells could be grown.

 

This could lead to a transplant with a very high succes rate without having to either grow a whole kidney from scracth nor having to find the exact donor-recipient match. Transplants in pigs have been carried out with some success.

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Five Innovative Technologies that Bring Energy to the Developing World

Five Innovative Technologies that Bring Energy to the Developing World | Science & technology | Scoop.it

From soccer balls to cookstoves, engineers are working on a range of devices that provide cheap, clean energy.

 

In the wealthy world, improving the energy system generally means increasing the central supply of reliable, inexpensive and environmentally-friendly power and distributing it through the power grid. Across most of the planet, though, simply providing new energy sources to the millions who are without electricity and depend on burning wood or kerosene for heat and light would open up new opportunities.

 

With that in mind, engineers and designers have recently created a range of innovative devices that can increase the supply of safe, cheap energy on a user-by-user basis, bypassing the years it takes to extend the power grid to remote places and the resources needed to increase a country’s energy production capacity. Here are a few of the most promising technologies.

 

The picture above shows the Window Socket, the perhaps simplest solar charger in existence! Just stick it on a sunny window for 5 to 8 hours with the built-in suction cup, and the solar panels on the back will store about 10 hours worth of electricity that can be used with any device. If there’s no window available, a user can just leave it on any sunny surface, including the ground. Once it’s fully charged, it can be removed and taken anywhere—inside a building, stored around in a bag or carried around in a vehicle. The designers, Kyuho Song and Boa Oh of Yanko Design, created it to resemble a normal wall outlet as closely as possible, so it can be used intuitively without any special instructions.

 

Solar window chargers are reviewed here:

http://tinyurl.com/aawaoyg

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Green Living 4 Live's comment, May 21, 2013 1:11 PM
Great!, more green tech is good for our earth.
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Ultrasound Restores Memory To Mice With Alzheimer’s

Ultrasound Restores Memory To Mice With Alzheimer’s | Science & technology | Scoop.it
A non-invasive technique that improved the condition of mice with Alzheimer’s by destroying β-amiloid sheets in the brain. As Alzheimer’s progresses, this protein coagulates in the brain, creating a plaque that disrupts neural connections. Scientists are not yet certain as to why this happens but these new experiments with ultrasound seem to be able to get rid of the precipitates and improve cognitive functions (for now) in mice. It would seem as well that in combination with microbubbles, ultrasounds could facilitate drug delivery to the brain by opening up the blood-brain barrier, so it could allow for treatments that were thus far innecffective to succeed.
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A new kind of antibiotic that kills many drug-resistant bacteria

A new kind of antibiotic that kills many drug-resistant bacteria | Science & technology | Scoop.it
Found by sifting through the chemicals made by 10,000 soil-dwelling microbes.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

A little optimistic ending, given that the new potential antibiotics that can be discovered still need to be harmless to humans. While it is true that right now we need new ones because of increasing resistance to them; we should also stop their abuse or else even this new "super antibiotic" might be rendered useless.

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NASA exploring 3D Printing of Biomaterials in Aerospace | 3DPrinting.org

NASA exploring 3D Printing of Biomaterials in Aerospace | 3DPrinting.org | Science & technology | Scoop.it

"Aerospace 3d printing is very promising for use in on-site creation of objects in space. NASA's plans include the 3D printing of tools, spare parts, and structural components. However, NASA is also interested in creating biomaterials in space."

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Biological materials, things made out of cells: food, wood, silk... this is what NASA would like to be able to 3D print in space, and this is why it's funding a 3D-printed pizza project.

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Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them

Transistors that wrap around tissues and morph with them | Science & technology | Scoop.it

Electronic devices that become soft when implanted inside the body and can deploy to grip 3-D objects, such as large tissues, nerves and blood vessels have been created by researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo.

 

These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors might one day help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and also could be used to stimulate the body for treatments.

 

The research, published in Advanced Materials, is one of the first demonstrations of transistors that can change shape and maintain their electronic properties after they are implanted in the body, said Jonathan Reeder, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and lead author of the work.

 

“Scientists and physicians have been trying to put electronics in the body for a while now, but one of the problems is that the stiffness of common electronics is not compatible with biological tissue,” he said.

 

“You need the device to be stiff at room temperature so the surgeon can implant the device, but soft and flexible enough to wrap around 3-D objects so the body can behave exactly as it would without the device. By putting electronics on shape-changing and softening polymers, we can do just that.”

 

Shape memory polymers (plastics) developed by Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering and an author of the paper, are key to enabling the technology.

 

The polymers respond to the body’s environment and become less rigid when they’re implanted. In addition to the polymers, the electronic devices are built with layers that include thin, flexible electronic foils first characterized by a group including Reeder in work published last year in Nature.

 

The Voit and Reeder team from the Advanced Polymer Research Lab in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science fabricated the devices with an organic semiconductor but used adapted techniques normally applied to create silicon electronics that could reduce the cost of the devices.

 

“We used a new technique in our field to essentially laminate and cure the shape memory polymers on top of the transistors,” said Voit, who is also a member of the Texas Biomedical Device Center. “In our device design, we are getting closer to the size and stiffness of precision biologic structures, but have a long way to go to match nature’s amazing complexity, function and organization.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Keith Wayne Brown's curator insight, May 15, 2014 9:39 AM

A necessary step for posthumanity.

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A new material for solar panels could make them cheaper, more efficient | Argonne National Laboratory

A new material for solar panels could make them cheaper, more efficient | Argonne National Laboratory | Science & technology | Scoop.it
A unique solar panel design made with a new ceramic material points the way to potentially providing sustainable power cheaper, more efficiently, and requiring less manufacturing time.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

"The team created a new class of ceramic materials that has three main benefits. First, it can produce a solar panel that is thinner than today’s silicon-based market leaders by using one material to do the work of two. Second, it uses cheaper materials than those used in today’s high-end thin-film solar panels. Third, the material is ferroelectric, which means it can switch polarity, a key trait for exceeding the theorized energy-efficiency limits of today’s solar cell material."

 

"The material uses perovskite crystals made with a combination of potassium niobate and barium nickel niobate. [Its] bandgap is in the UV range, but adding just 10 percent of the barium nickel niobate moves the bandgap into the visible range and close to the desired value for efficient solar-energy conversion.”

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Best time to drink a cup of coffee: 10.30am

Best time to drink a cup of coffee: 10.30am | Science & technology | Scoop.it
The best time to drink a cup of coffee to get your daily hit of caffeine is between 9.30am and 11.30am, according to neuroscientists
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

I't all about the hormones. Here, cortisol cycles were studied. This is a hormone that promotes alertness and which is produced in various peaks throughout the day, the first being right after waking up.

 

If you drink coffee right then, you can develop a kind of resistance to it, since what it does is promote cortisol spikes. If you wait a while, you will find that cup of coffee to be much more helpful, especially if you're a scientist, in marketing or PR, that is to say the three professions that drink the most coffee.

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New Infrared Camouflage Coating Created from Squid-Derived Compound - Sci-News.com

New Infrared Camouflage Coating Created from Squid-Derived Compound - Sci-News.com | Science & technology | Scoop.it

"The scientists produced reflectin – a structural protein essential in the squid's ability to change color and reflect light – in common bacteria and used it to make thin, optically active films that mimic the skin of a squid."

 

"Our long-term goal is to create fabrics that can dynamically alter their texture and color to adapt to their environments. Basically, we’re seeking to make shape-shifting clothing – the stuff of science fiction – a reality."

José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

The application that is currently envisioned for this is camouflage for soldiers, since the coating (reflectin + graphene) becomes invisible to most infrared cameras and detectors with an appropriate chemical stimulus. This could even be a moisture change, such as that between night and day, thus becoming invisible to IR cameras at night (which is when they are mostly used).

 

However, as with many other technologies that began with military applications, should scientists manage to create texture and color changing fabrics, it would have a huge commercial potential as well.

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3D Printing Micro-Satellites - 3D Printing Industry

3D Printing Micro-Satellites - 3D Printing Industry | Science & technology | Scoop.it
Aerojet Rocketdyne has asked Professor Bandyopadhyay, and Professor Susmita Bose to conduct research into the possibility of 3D printing a micro-satellite from metal and ceramic materials.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

The main challenge here would be producing a satellite that's not only geometrically correct (which would be possible with 3D printing) but which has also good mechanical properties to resist the harsh conditions of space, such as extreme vacuum and temperatures, electromagnetic fields and space dust/debris. It would need to have communications components, a functional engine and some sort of solar panel capable of sustaining it.

 

We are still a long way from space drones replicating themselves throught 3D printing way up in space and the 3D printing of moonrock structures.

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Epigenetics raises the possibility that a smoker can cause grandchildren to get asthma via genetics

Epigenetics raises the possibility that a smoker can cause grandchildren to get asthma via genetics | Science & technology | Scoop.it

The adverse health effects of smoking can be passed down through multiple generations, according to new experiments conducted at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. In one experiment, pregnant rats were given nicotine injections that produced asthma in their offspring. What surprised researchers is that third-generation rats (the grandchildren of the smoker rats) also developed asthma. "Nicotine is not only affecting lung cells, [say researchers], but also affecting sex cells in ways that cause the lungs which ultimately develop from those cells to express their genes in the same abnormal ways."

 

Some biologists are highly skeptical of the recent findings because they appear to run contrary to Darwin's theory of evolution. The suggestion that learned traits, such as a smoking addiction, can be passed down genetically to future generations was initially a theory put forth by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck that rivaled Darwin's evolution. Today, genetic inheritances of learned traits are known as epigenetic changes, a term that refers to the regulation of gene expression by the chemical modification of DNA, or of the histone proteins in which DNA is usually wrapped. 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The kit that lets you control a cockroach's brain — Tech News and ...

The kit that lets you control a cockroach's brain — Tech News and ... | Science & technology | Scoop.it
For $100 (and with a little bit of surgery), you can get the RoboRoach to control a cockroach's brain patterns to make it move via smartphone app. It's a new way to teach kids about neuroscience.
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

The RoboRoach is here. This new project provides bluetooth-controlled live cockroaches in a do-it-yourself kit.

First, take a cockroach and dip it in icy water until it numbs it out. You can now superglue the control helmet on its insect head. It will have three wires, the first of which must go into the thorax (through the hole you just made with a needle). Seal it out with superglue.

You can now dip your cockroach back into icy water and prepare for the next step. Here, you will snip its antennae and insert the other two thin wires into them, which will directly stimulate the roach's nervous system. Next, superglue these wires to the antennae and put them into position with hot glue.

 

What comes next is the backpack, which is the actual remote control, and which you directly plug into the helmet. To make it stay on your cockroach, use a little hot glue.

 

There you have it. A blue indicator light will tell you when the bluetooth connection with your phone has been established and the cyborg is ready to operate.

 

 

On the ethics of this project: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-06/10/roboroach-kickstarter

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Doctors Use a Dissolvable 3D-Printed Tracheal Splint to Save a Baby’s Life

Doctors Use a Dissolvable 3D-Printed Tracheal Splint to Save a Baby’s Life | Science & technology | Scoop.it
An infant's collapsing airway now has a device holding it open; as his tissue strengthens, the splint will be absorbed into his body
José Andrés Villatoro's insight:

Combining well known resobable materials with the customization capabilities a 3D printer offers allows for specially tailored prosthetics to see the light of day.

 

The best part here is that no additional surgical procedure will be required to remove the splint and that there will be no compatibility problems, as the device is not only 100 % resorbable but actuallty promotes cartilage growth.

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From the Alchemist's Kitchen: Researchers Turn Cement into Metal

From the Alchemist's Kitchen: Researchers Turn Cement into Metal | Science & technology | Scoop.it

In a move that would make the Alchemists of King Arthur's time green with envy, scientists have unraveled the formula for turning liquid cement into liquid metal. This makes cement a semi-conductor and opens up its use in the profitable consumer electronics marketplace for thin films, protective coatings, and computer chips.

"This new material has lots of applications including as thin-film resistors used in liquid-crystal displays, basically the flat panel computer monitor that you are probably reading this from at the moment," said Chris Benmore, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory who worked with a team of scientists from Japan, Finland, and Germany to take the "magic" out of the cement-to-metal transformation. Benmore and Shinji Kohara from Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute/SPring-8 led the research effort.

 

This change demonstrates a unique way to make metallic-glass material, which has positive attributes including better resistance to corrosion than traditional metal, less brittleness than traditional glass, conductivity, low energy loss in magnetic fields, and fluidity for ease of processing and molding. Previously only metals have been able to transition to a metallic-glass form. Cement does this by a process called electron trapping, a phenomena only previously seen in ammonia solutions. Understanding how cement joined this exclusive club opens the possibility of turning other solid normally insulating materials into room-temperature semiconductors.

 

"This phenomenon of trapping electrons and turning liquid cement into liquid metal was found recently, but not explained in detail until now," Benmore said. "Now that we know the conditions needed to create trapped electrons in materials we can develop and test other materials to find out if we can make them conduct electricity in this way."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Miro Svetlik's curator insight, May 30, 2013 4:57 AM

As we progress with modern 'Alchemy', more innovative materials will replace old conventional and expensive ways to build things. I believe that materials as this will bring real advances in stopping the world pollution materials which require toxic compounds.

Peter Phillips's curator insight, May 30, 2013 7:55 AM

Potential answer to rare metal crisis that the Earth is finding itself in?