How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different by Terry Heick This content is proudly sponsored by The Institute for the Habits of Mind, promoting the… (RT @Learning1st: How is 21st Century Thinking Different?
Penn State University chemists and engineers have, for the first time, placed tiny synthetic motors inside live human cells in a lab, propelled them with ultrasonic waves, and steered them magnetically.
The Penn State nanomotors are the closest so far to a “Fantastic Voyage” concept (without the miniature people).
The nanomotors, which are rocket-shaped gold rods ~300 nanometers in diameter and ~3 microns long, move around inside the cells, spinning and battering against the cell membrane.
The nanomotors are activated by resonant ultrasound operating at ~4 MHz, and show axial propulsion as well as spinning.
If you think 3D printing is only good for making flimsy paperweights, then you’re pretty much right. A group of audacious Dutch architects, however, have just begun 3D printing an entire canal house in Amsterdam.
A new bioprinting method has created intricately patterned 3-D tissue constructs with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels. Researchers are hopeful that printing living tissue will soon be possible. 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. With the new technology for creating cells and blood vessels, the scientists behind the project regard this as the foundational step toward creating 3D living tissue. Currently when scientists have tried to print layers of tissue, cells on the interior starve for oxygen and nutrients, and have no good way of removing carbon dioxide and other waste. So they suffocate and die. This new research has focused on tiny, thin-walled blood vessels that nourish the tissue and remove waste. Getting this right is key to creating living cells. In theory, the ability to form functional vascular networks in 3D tissues before they are implanted not only enables thicker tissues to be formed
Think back to a time when you were completely engaged in an activity. Maybe it was reading a comic book, or catching up with an old friend. Whatever it was, what do you remember about the experience? Are “effort” and “persistence” words you would use to describe the activity? Even though something technically got done (a comic book was read, a fruitful discussion ensued), it most likely felt effortless and enjoyable.
After interviewing people about their “peak experiences” —from rock climbers to chess masters to artists to scientists— psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi found that people kept describing a state of intense concentration and absorption in which no mental resources were left over for distraction. In this state of flow, people felt in control of their consciousness, their inner critic disappeared, and time seemed to recede in the background. Importantly, the activity felt effortless.
The great educational philosopher John Dewey was one of the first to emphasize the important linkages among interest, curiosity, and effort. Dewey made the persuasive case that interest-based learning is more beneficial than effort-based learning. He noted that “willing attention” is more effective than “forced effort” because interest drives active learning: “If we can secure interest in a given set of facts or ideas we may be perfectly sure that the pupil will direct his energies toward mastering them.” In contrast, he noted, an education based on forcing children to expend energy unwillingly only results in a “character dull, mechanical, unalert, because the vital juice of spontaneous interest has been squeezed out.”
A one-dimensional working model of a programmable vibration-damping material. Each stub has a piezoelectric disc (which converts mechanical to electrical
Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have developed a prototype of a selective vibration-damping material that they claim “could change the world of mechanics forever” as a step toward “programmable materials.”
Described in the journal Advanced Materials, this “material of the future” can damp mechanical vibrations completely or selectively suppress specific vibration frequencies or ranges of frequencies.
The one-dimensional working model consists of a simple aluminum sheet-metal strip, measuring one meter by one centimeter and one millimeter thick and designed to vibrate at different frequencies. To control the wave propagation through the plate, ten small aluminum cylinders (7 mm thick, 1 cm high) are attached to the metal.
Between the sheet and the cylinders sit piezoelectric discs, which can be stimulated electronically to instantly change their thickness.
That allows for controlling exactly how waves are allowed to propagate in the sheet-metal strip. The aluminum strip thus turns into an “adaptive phononic crystal” — a material with controllable vibration properties.
The 3D-printed liver replicas, made of transparent material threaded with coloured arteries and veins, could help surgeons prevent complications while performing liver transplants or removing tumours, a path-breaking research shows.
Till date, surgeons look at a magnetic resonance image (MRI) or a computed tomography (CT) scan to visualise the liver and plan the operation.
"We provide the surgeons with a physical model that is 100 percent identical to what they would encounter in surgery when they operate," Nizar Zein, chief of hepatology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, was quoted as saying.
It takes away some of the potential surprises that would be found at the time of surgery.
To create the artificial liver, the researchers combined the MRI and CT scans that patients have already undergone and then recreated the 3D shape of the organ.
These models were anatomically accurate in terms of volume and location of vessels in the liver.
Using these models, the team created the 3D-printed organs using a transparent polymer, then dyed the main blood vessels and the bile ducts.
The researchers are now developing similar methods to guide complicated surgeries, such as hand and face transplants, and pancreatic tumour removals.
The new liver replica could also be used to train medical students in the techniques needed for surgery, Zein added in a study published in the journal Liver Transplantation.
Relevantly, a US company in January claimed to have developed the world's first multi-material full-colour 3D printer capable of making objects of hard, soft and flexible polymers.
The 3D printer developed by Stratasys features "triple-jetting" technology that combines droplets of three base materials, reducing the need for separate print runs and painting.
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