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Jul 29, 2016

Portable bioreactor from MIT produces medications, vaccines on-demand

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

A new method for medicine.

Imagine a cross between one of those multi-color retractable pens and an epi-pen. But instead of colors, the device would have different medications. Now combine this with a tiny, droplet-sized sweatshop full of obedient single-celled organisms genetically engineered to produce those medications, and you’ve got what a team from MIT just published in Nature Communications: A new project, with funding from DARPA, that has demonstrated the ability to synthesize multiple medications on-demand and as-needed using yeast. The discovery could soon revolutionize our ability to deliver medicine after natural disasters or to remote locations.

Let’s stick with the metaphor of an epi-pen. First, the user presses the actuator, which mixes a chemical trigger into a culture of engineered Pichia pastoris cells. Upon exposure to certain chemical triggers, the cells are programmed to produce a protein: in the report, the team used estrogen β-estradiol, which caused the cells to express recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH), and also methanol, which induced the same culture of yeast to make interferon. By controlling the concentration of the chemical trigger and the population of P. pastoris, the team demonstrated that they could make their device produce a dose of either interferon or rHGH on command. To switch between products, they just pushed another button on the microbioreactor, which flushes out the cell culture with clean, sterile fluid.

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Jul 29, 2016

Smart bricks will transform how buildings work

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, habitats, sustainability

Smart bricks capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight are being developed by a team of scientists from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). The bricks will be able to fit together and create ‘bioreactor walls’ which could then be incorporated in housing, public building and office spaces.

The UWE Bristol team is working on the smart technologies that will be integrated into the in this pan European ‘Living Architecture’ (LIAR) project led by Newcastle University. The LIAR project brings together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global sustainability issues.

The smart living bricks will be made from bio-reactors filled with microbial cells and algae. Designed to self-adapt to changing environmental conditions the smart bricks will monitor and modify air in the building and recognise occupants.

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Jul 29, 2016

Intricate geek chic jewelry is made from recycled electronic circuit boards

Posted by in category: futurism

Want to have that circuit board as a necklace, bracelet, or ring; well now you can.

The complex little patterns of old circuit boards are highlighted in this lovely handmade collection of jewelry for men and women.

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Jul 29, 2016

Programming Life

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

With a new programming language, almost anyone create a DNA-encoded circuit.

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Jul 29, 2016

High-efficiency color holograms created using a metasurface made of nanoblocks

Posted by in category: futurism

(—By carefully arranging many nanoblocks to form pixels on a metasurface, researchers have demonstrated that they can manipulate incoming visible light in just the right way to create a color “meta-hologram.” The new method of creating holograms has an order of magnitude higher reconstruction efficiency than similar color meta-holograms, and has applications for various types of 3D color holographic displays and achromatic planar lenses.

The researchers, Bo Wang et al., from Peking University and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, both in China, have published a paper on the new type of hologram in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

The pixels on the new metasurface consist of three types of silicon nanoblocks whose precise dimensions correspond to the wavelengths of three different colors: red, green, and blue. To enhance the efficiency for the blue light, two identical nanoblocks corresponding to the blue light are arranged in each pixel, along with one nanoblock for red light and one for green light.

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Jul 29, 2016

New Automation Technologies are Revolutionizing Farming

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Should all new technologies be used?

At the head of all this you will hear about the latest technology from the biotech world, such as CRISPR, that allows scientists to edit the very genome of a plant or animal, but not all technologies that can be used should be used.

While learning to grow massive quantities of organic food in urban landscapes without pesticides is great news, taking away human oversight from farming isn’t necessarily going to make our food better.

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Jul 29, 2016

This drone detonates landmines safely

Posted by in category: drones

There are 110 million active landmines in the world. This drone is detonating them, one by one:

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Jul 29, 2016

Facebook’s internet drone

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, satellites

This is how Facebook plans to blanket the entire earth in internet.

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Jul 29, 2016

Future Technology Innovations On The Horizon

Posted by in categories: futurism, innovation

Technology developments will continue to transform every field of aerospace, just as they have the over the last 100 years.

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Jul 29, 2016

Promising Cancer-Fighting Gene Immunotherapy Could Be Used Against HIV, UCLA Research Suggests

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical


New UCLA research suggests that a gene-based immunotherapy that has shown promising results against cancer could also be used against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In a study to be published in an August issue of the bi-monthly peer-reviewed Journal of Virology, researchers with the UCLA AIDS Institute and Center for AIDS Research found that recently discovered potent antibodies can be used to generate chimeric antigen receptors, or CARs, that can be used to kill cells infected with HIV-1.

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