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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Mar 26, 2017

A smartphone app can screen for male infertility

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, mobile phones

More than 45 million couples worldwide grapple with infertility, but current standard methods for diagnosing male infertility can be expensive, labor-intensive, and require testing in a clinical setting.

Cultural and social stigma, and lack of access in resource-limited countries, may prevent men from seeking an evaluation. Investigators at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) set out to develop a home-based diagnostic test that could be used to measure semen quality with a smartphone-based device. New findings by the team indicating that the analyzer can identify abnormal semen samples based on sperm concentration and motility criteria with approximately 98 percent accuracy are published online in today’s Science Translational Medicine.

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Mar 25, 2017

The Weird World of Cyborg Animals Is Here

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, engineering, robotics/AI

Roboticists frequently turn to nature for inspiration for their inventions, reverse engineering the traits that evolution has developed over millennia. Others are taking a shortcut by simply integrating modern technology with living animals.

The idea may seem crazy, but animals and machines are not so different. Just as a network of wires carry electrical signals between a robot’s sensors, processing units and motors, the flow of action potentials around our nervous system connects our sensory organs, brain and muscles.

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Mar 17, 2017

Google Director’s Push for Computers Inside Human Brains Is ‘Anti-Christ,’ ‘Human Rights Abuse,’ Theologians Explain

Posted by in categories: engineering, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

3 Christian articles/sites w/ #transhumanism in it: http://www.christianpost.com/news/google-directors-hope-for-…in-177809/ & http://straightoutthegate.com/tech-savings-gate/zoltan-istva…has-to-go/ & https://blogs.lcms.org/2017/storming-gates-paradise


Google’s director of engineering is saying implanting computers “inside our brains” is upon us, words theologians and Christian bioethicists consider a “slap in the face” to Christ and would result in horrific human rights violations.

According to the Daily Mail, Ray Kurzweil, a futurist who works on Google’s machine learning project, said at the South by Southwest conference taking place this week in Austin, Texas, that by the year 2029, technological “singularity” will be achieved, the complete merging of human and computer intelligence.

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Mar 16, 2017

Patients Lose Sight After Stem Cells Are Injected Into Their Eyes

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension

And today a clear lesson in why jumping the gun and not using appropriate engineering safety in regenerative medicine is reckless and dangerous. The steady and scientific path is always the best way when health is on the line. The current system needs streamlining for sure and projects like Lifespan.io are helping to create a progressive environment but ensuring appropriate safety is observed. We must be careful in healthcare and this story reminds us why.


Three women suffered severe eye damage at a Florida clinic, exposing gaps in protections for people seeking unproven treatments.

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Mar 16, 2017

Warming Mars and thickening its atmosphere can be done in 10–100 years

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, environmental, space

If all the solar incident on Mars were to be captured with 100% efficiency, then Mars would warm to Earth-like temperatures in about 10 years. However, the efficiency of the greenhouse effect is plausibly about 10%, thus the time it would take to warm Mars would be ~100 years. This assumes, of course, adequate production of super greenhouse gases over that entire time. The super greenhouse gases desired for use on Mars would be per fluorinated compounds (PFCs) as these are not toxic, do not destroy ozone, will resist degradation by ultraviolet life, and are composed of elements (C, S, and F) that are present on Mars. Fluorine has been detected on Mars by Curiosity.

The Warming Phase of a terraforming project on Mars results in a planet with a thick CO2 atmosphere. The thickness is determined by the total releasable CO2 present on Mars.

The temperatures would become well above freezing and liquid water is common. An Earth-like hydrological cycle is maintained. Photosynthetic organisms can be introduced as conditions warm and organic biomass is thus produced. A rich flora and fauna are present. A natural result of this is the biological consumption of the nitrate and perchlorate in the.

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Mar 13, 2017

Researchers develop new method to program nanoparticle organization in polymer thin films

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, entertainment, nanotechnology

Controlling the organization of nanoparticles into patterns in ultrathin polymer films can be accomplished with entropy instead of chemistry, according to a discovery by Dr. Alamgir Karim, UA’s Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Professor of Polymer Engineering, and his student Dr. Ren Zhang. Polymer thin films are used in a variety of technological applications, for example paints, lubricants, and adhesives. Karim and Zhang have developed an original method—soft-confinement pattern-induced nanoparticle segregation (SCPINS)—to fabricate polymer nanocomposite thin films with well-controlled nanoparticle organization on a submicron scale. This new method uniquely controls the organization of any kind of nanoparticles into patterns in those films, which may be useful for applications involving sensors, nanowire circuitry or diffraction gratings, with proper subsequent processing steps like thermal or UV sintering, that are likely required but the self-organization into directed patterns.

This work, “Entropy-driven segregation of –grafted nanoparticles under confinement,” has been published in the February 2017 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Intuitively, entropy is associated with disorder of a system. However, for colloidal matter, it has been shown that a system can experience transitions which increase both entropy and visible order. Inspired by this observation, Karim and Zhang investigated the role of entropy in directed organization of polymer-grafted nanoparticles (PGNPs) in polymer . By simply imprinting the blend films into patterned mesa-trench regions, nanoparticles are spontaneously enriched within mesas, forming patterned microdomain structures which coincide with the topographic pattern. This selective segregation of PGNPs is induced by entropic penalty due to the alteration of the grafted chain conformation when confined in ultrathin trench regions.

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Mar 13, 2017

Scientists reveal new super-fast form of computer that ‘grows as it computes’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, engineering, quantum physics

Researchers from The University of Manchester have shown it is possible to build a new super-fast form of computer that “grows as it computes”.

Professor Ross D King and his team have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of engineering a nondeterministic universal Turing machine (NUTM), and their research is to be published in the prestigious Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

The theoretical properties of such a computing machine, including its exponential boost in speed over electronic and quantum computers, have been well understood for many years – but the Manchester breakthrough demonstrates that it is actually possible to physically create a NUTM using DNA molecules.

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Mar 10, 2017

The boom is here: U.S. solar experiences record-smashing year — By Joe Romm | ThinkProgress

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, governance, policy, science, solar power

“The industry reports that, for the first time ever, solar was the number one source of new generating capacity, beating out wind and gas.”

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Mar 7, 2017

NASA Wants to Launch a Giant Magnetic Field to Make Mars Habitable

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, environmental, space

NASA scientists have proposed a bold plan that could give Mars its atmosphere back and make the Red Planet habitable for future generations of human colonists.

By launching a giant magnetic shield into space to protect Mars from solar winds, the space agency says we could restore the Red Planet’s atmosphere, and terraform the Martian environment so that liquid water flows on the surface once again.

Mars may seem like a cold, arid wasteland these days, but the Red Planet is thought to have once had a thick atmosphere that could have maintained deep oceans filled with liquid water, and a warmer, potentially habitable climate.

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Mar 5, 2017

In the face of danger: ESCHER, Virginia Tech’s firefighting robot primed for extreme heat conditions

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI

Virginia Tech’s Visual Arts Department and Engineering Department have been joining forces to design ESCHER, a firefighting robot.

ESCHER was originally created at the beginning of 2015 in the Terrestrial Robotics Engineering and Controls Laboratory. ESCHER is short for Electronic Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response.

“The special application for this project is the idea that ESCHER could go on naval ships and fight fires and go places that would normally be hazardous to humans,” said Meaghan Dee, assistant professor and chair of Visual Communications. “If you think of something like the Fukushima Disaster, you could have just sent in a robot, and that’s what these emergency robots are designed to do.”

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