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Oct 19, 2015

Chinese Researchers Knock Out Myostatin Gene in Beagles with CRISPR, Generating First Gene-Edited Dogs

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

First Gene-Edited Dogs Reported in China.


An extra-muscular beagle has been created through genome engineering. Are we on our way to customizing the DNA of our pets?

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Oct 19, 2015

3D printing used to make first real handheld railgun, which fires plasma projectiles at 560 mph

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, engineering, military, mobile phones

If you think the image above looks frightening, you’re right. The crazy contraption pictured in the image is the first portable railgun, a futuristic projectile launcher associated most commonly with the military or NASA. The man in the image above isn’t in the military, and he’s not a NASA engineer. Instead, he’s a civilian who used some engineering smarts, some widely available parts and a 3D printer to create a functioning weapon that can fire graphite, aluminum, tungsten and even plasma projectiles at speeds of more than 560 mph.

And then there’s the best part: There are videos of this homemade railgun in action.

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Oct 19, 2015

Magnetically controlled battery could store energy for power grids

Posted by in categories: energy, innovation

(Phys.org)—Scientists have built a battery containing a magnetic fluid that can be moved in any direction by applying a magnetic field. The magnetically controlled battery concept could be especially useful for flow batteries, where it could eliminate the need for the pumps that are typically required for moving the electrolyte from an external storage tank to the inside of a power stack to provide electricity. Flow batteries are being actively researched as large-scale energy storage devices for power grids, where they could store energy captured by intermittent alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.

The researchers, led by Yi Cui, Professor at Stanford University, have published a paper on the new magnetically controlled battery in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

“The greatest significance of our work lies in the innovative idea of using a magnetic field to control and enhance the mass and electron transport in a battery system,” lead author Weiyang Li, previously at Stanford University and now at Dartmouth College, told Phys.org.

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Oct 19, 2015

To infinity and beyond: Light goes infinitely fast with new on-chip material

Posted by in categories: computing, materials, nanotechnology

Electrons are so 20th century. In the 21st century, photonic devices, which use light to transport large amounts of information quickly, will enhance or even replace the electronic devices that are ubiquitous in our lives today. But there’s a step needed before optical connections can be integrated into telecommunications systems and computers: researchers need to make it easier to manipulate light at the nanoscale.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have done just that, designing the first on-chip metamaterial with a refractive index of zero, meaning that the phase of can travel infinitely fast.

This new metamaterial was developed in the lab of Eric Mazur, the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Area Dean for Applied Physics at SEAS, and is described in the journal Nature Photonics.

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Oct 19, 2015

The tech ‘Back to the Future’ predicted for 2015 — and what it missed

Posted by in category: futurism

How does today’s tech compare to the alternate 2015 visited by Marty McFly, and which modern marvels could never have been predicted back in the ’80s?

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Oct 19, 2015

The Future of Continuous, Connected Health & Medicine: In your pocket, connected to the cloud.

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

This short video (with some fun integrated graphics) is from an interview I did with El Pais (the largest newspaper in Spain). It highlights some of the emerging technologies and approaches which have the potential to shift health, medicine and biopharma from its intermittent and reactive physician-centric mode, to an era of more continuous data and a proactive approach, in which the individual is increasingly empowered and integrated into personalized wellness, diagnosis and therapy. The video is below and some associated thoughts follow:

Diagnostics- Era of the digital black bag: Ranging from an eye, ear and throat exam (from connected devices designed for the patient like CellScope, MedWand and Tyto) to cardiac exams enabled by low cost EKG’s (AliveCor and Kito), digital diagnostics is coming to the home. Some will even do automated interpretations (i.e. the EKG interpreted by the app and send to the cloud), where the diagnosis and management of disease will increasingly be enabled outside of the usual clinic, ER or hospital. Wearable patches that integrate multiple vital signs, such as those developed by Vital Connect and Proteus Digital Health will enable more complex disease management and monitoring with ICU level data (EKG, respiratory rate, temperature, position and more), outside of the clinical environment.

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Oct 19, 2015

UK town residents to enjoy WiFi connected pavement

Posted by in categories: business, internet, mobile phones

UK pedestrians in Chesham will experience a first when they stroll around. Virgin Media is behind the initiative of a Smart WiFi Pavement, to provide people with Wi-Fi access. Residents will be able to “streetsurf,” according to the news release. Virgin Media is a provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.

The company is out to make a name in improving out-of-home connectivity. The Virgin Media news release said, “Chiltern District Council and Virgin Media have joined forces to blanket Chesham’s high street with superfast WiFi. The unlimited WiFi service is available to residents, businesses and visitors passing through the center of Chesham; the service even covers parts of Lowndes Park – Chesham’s 36 acre park space.” The pilot is available to all the 21,000 residents and businesses of Chesham.

Speeds of up to 166Mbps are highlighted; the number is seven times the average UK broadband speed.

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Oct 19, 2015

Amazing industrial 3D printer fits in a truck, can print an entire building in 24 hours

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

Created by Russian engineer Nikita Chen-yun-tai, the new Apis Cor 3D printer is powerful enough to print a building in one day, yet small enough to be moved with minimal preparation and transportation costs. This portability allows users to print a building in one location and easily move the Apis Cor the next day to another spot. It promises to revolutionize the use of 3D printers in construction, especially in developing nations where low-cost, efficient printing is critical.

The 3D printing of houses is not a new idea — companies have been using the tenets of additive manufacturing for years. What makes the compact Apis Cor printer unique is the unit’s small size — it measures 16.4 ft by 5 ft, weighs 2.5 tons and can be assembled within 30 minutes. As a result, the Apis Cor can be moved easily without the need for an expensive method of transportation and setup. It requires no site preparation and no testing before use, which means it can be dropped on site and deployed right away after assembly.

Related: A Chinese company assembled this 3D-printed home in just three hours.

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Oct 19, 2015

I used virtual reality to take control of someone else’s car — while they were in it

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation, virtual reality

Remote driving could be a good halfway step to fully autonomous vehicles, but it feels pretty weird.

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Oct 19, 2015

Graphene nano-coils are natural electromagnets

Posted by in categories: electronics, materials, nanotechnology

In the drive to miniaturize electronics, solenoids have become way too big, say Rice University scientists who discovered the essential component can be scaled down to nano-size with macro-scale performance.

The secret is in a spiral form of atom-thin graphene that, remarkably, can be found in nature, according to Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues.

“Usually, we determine the characteristics for materials we think might be possible to make, but this time we’re looking at a configuration that already exists,” Yakobson said. “These spirals, or screw dislocations, form naturally in graphite during its growth, even in common coal.”

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