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Jun 23, 2016

Solar Impulse 2 completes world’s first solar-powered Atlantic flight

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The flights take such a long time because Solar Impulse 2, as the name suggests, is completely powered by sunlight. The plane’s massive 72-metre wings (broader than a 747!) are covered in some 269.5 square metres of photovoltaic cells. During the day, the cells power four 14kW (17.4hp) electric motors and top-up four 41kWh lithium-ion batteries. During the evening, the motors are driven by the batteries. Max cruise speed when the sun is up is 49 knots (90km/h), and a rather languid 33 knots (60km/h) at night.

The solar cells don’t quite refill the batteries during the day, which means the plane can’t fly forever just yet. Max flight duration is somewhere around five to six days.

For power-saving reasons, the Solar Impulse 2 cockpit can only carry a single human, and is both unheated and unpressurised. The pilots do sleep while they’re up in the air, but usually just for 20 minutes at a time (the telemetry data for one flight showed 10 catnaps of 20 minutes over a 24-hour period). Now multiply those conditions by a continuous flight time of three or four days and you have some idea of the rigours that Piccard and Borschberg must go through.

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Jun 22, 2016

Approved: First Ever Human Trials Involving CRISPR Gene Editing

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health

Excellent!!! Cannot wait until we eradicate cancer, MS, Parkinson, Dystonia, Cystic-Fibrosis, LGD, etc.

A team of Physicians at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine now has their project of modifying the immune cells of 18 different cancer patients with the CRISPR-Cas9 system approved by the National Institute of Health.

CRISPR is the gift that keeps on giving—when it’s not fighting blindness, tackling HIV, or even recording real-time immune responses, it is taking on the emperor of all maladies: cancer.

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Jun 22, 2016

A Tiny House Was Built in 24 Hours, Thanks to A 3D Concrete Printer

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, computing, habitats

Forget pitching a tent when camping; soon (at this rate) we can have the 3D Printer print us a cabin.

A tiny house was built using Vesta, the 3D concrete printer. It took 24 hours to build the structure. The developer aims to shorten the construction time with the third version of the device.

Vesta, the 3D concrete printer, was just used to print a house. Though the word “house” may be a little suspect. Admittedly, given its size, the structure is more of a tool shed than a home, but one could theoretically live inside of it.

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Jun 22, 2016

Teen Dies After Contracting Brain-Eating Amoeba

Posted by in category: neuroscience


There have been just 37 cases in the U.S. since 2006.

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Jun 22, 2016

Boston Children’s Hospital uses 3D printing to help baby born with brain outside his skull

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, neuroscience

3D Printing never ceases to amaze me.

Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital used a 3D printout of a boy’s skull to prepare for the surgery that saved his life, STAT reports.

Bentley Yoder was born with encephalocele, a rare and often fatal defect in which the skull doesn’t form properly. In Bentley’s case, a significant portion of his brain grew outside of his skull, according to STAT. Despite being told he would not survive, his parents, Dustin and Sierra, continued to seek treatment that would give their son a future, eventually traveling from their home in Ohio to Boston Children’s Hospital.

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Jun 22, 2016

This brilliant 10-year-old kid built a fully functional 3D printer out of Legos and K’nex

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, innovation

One of the latest innovations in the 3D printing world comes from a preteen who created a 3D printer using a 3D –rinting pen and a Lego Mindstorms EV3.

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Jun 22, 2016

Italian Paleontologist Turns to Materialise to Help 3D Print Trilobite Fossils

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioengineering, biotech/medical

Who needs cloning or gene editing; when you have 3D printers.

Although—in the grand scheme of things—3D printing is a relatively new technology in the eyes of humanity, that certainly doesn’t mean that it can’t be used to recreate some of the most ancient artifacts and fossils scattered throughout the Earth. Over the past year, we’ve seen 3D printing technology help recreate the oldest chameleon fossil ever found, as well as a 1220-foot Titanosaur fossil. Even some of the world’s tiniest fossils have been digitally resized and 3D printed so that a paleontologist from the University of Oxford could better examine them. Now, trilobites, which are a group of extinct marine arthropods, are undergoing their own unique form of 3D printed treatment.

Dr. Gianpaolo Di Silvestro, established paleontologist and CEO of the Italian company Trilobite Design Italia, specializes in this group of extinct arthropods, and uses his company to sell both original trilobite fossils and model replicas to collectors, institutions, and museums across the globe. After realizing that a great number of museums were able to provide text information on these fossils, but not a true physical representation, Dr. Di Silvestro decided to provide these museums with palpable trilobite models that would allow visitors to actually hold the ancient past in the palms of their hands. Since traditional fossil casting and modeling proved to be much too costly and time-consuming, Dr. Di Silvestro instead collaborated with Italian architect and 3D designer Francesco Baldassare to work in tandem and design accurate 3D models of trilobites.

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Jun 22, 2016

Optical antenna scatters different colors of light in different directions

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI, security

They’re calling this a 3 Axis Vector Nano Superconducting Quantum Interference Device which is pretty exciting because it enables the ability to make smaller and cheaper devices for measuring light, such as optical sensors and photodetectors which are and will grow in demand especially with some of the AI technology that is and will be developed. Optical sensors are used to read the gestures/ expressions of a face which are important in security, AI technology, etc. Just hope the cost savings is passed on.

(—Researchers have fabricated a silicon optical antenna that is somewhat like an extremely small, special kind of prism. This is because when a red light shines on the optical antenna, the light turns right, but when the light is another color such as orange, it turns left.

This unusual property, which is called “bidirectional color scattering,” enables the optical antenna to function effectively as a passive wavelength router for visible . The device could have applications for innovative light sensors, light-matter manipulation, and optical communication.

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Jun 22, 2016

Quantum computer makes first high-energy physics simulation

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Cool beans.

The technique would help address problems that classical computers can’t handle.

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Jun 22, 2016

A federal panel just gave the green light to use gene editing on humans

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health

Scientists are one step closer to using CRISPR gene editing on humans, with a US federal advisory panel approving the use of the technique for a study led by the University of Pennsylvania.

The scientists are seeking to use the CRISPR-Cas9 technique to create genetically altered T cells – white blood cells that play an important role in our immune system – that are more effective at fighting cancer cells in patients with melanoma, multiple myeloma, and sarcoma.

“Our preliminary data suggests that we could improve the efficacy of these T cells if we use CRISPR,” lead researcher Carl June told the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) on Tuesday.

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