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Jul 12, 2016

Sharper than living matter permits

Posted by in categories: biological, quantum physics

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund have now found a way to pinpoint the positions of individual molecules while at the same time measuring their activity and interactions in the same living cell. A dedicated cooling protocol on a microscope allows to pause cellular life at subzero temperatures, to let it continue to live again after warming. From the series of individual snapshots obtained, the researchers are able to form a precise spatial-temporal picture of the activity patterns of individual molecules within individual cells.

Fluorescence microscopy allows seeing where biological molecules are in cells. However, what Werner Heisenberg formulated for quantum physics to a certain extent has its analogy in biology: In the living state one can observe the collective movement of molecules in cells, which makes it however difficult to determine their exact positions. Paradoxically, the molecular dynamics that sustain life have to be halted to record the position of molecules using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy.

Living matter maintains its structure by energy consumption, which results in dynamic molecular patterns in cells that are difficult to observe by fluorescence microscopy, because the molecules are too numerous and their movements too fast. To tackle this problem a choice needs to be made: to precisely record the position of the molecules in a ‘dead’ state or to follow their collective behaviour in the living state. Although researchers have been able to stop movements in cells by chemical fixation, such methods lead to irreversible cell death and the acquired images of molecular patterns are not representative of a living system.

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Jul 12, 2016

Microfluidic Chips Made of Silk Replicate Human Tissues for Drug Testing, Implantable Applications

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

At the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and Tufts University a team has developed a microfluidic chip that mimics human tissue for use in drug testing applications. The chip is based on a silk gel that overcomes the limitations of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a silicon material widely used to host living cells within microfluidic devices. As an example, PDMS has problems handling lipids, absorbing them instead of letting them move freely along with other nearby compounds and so not applicable with lipid-based compounds. Additionally, PDMS is not biodegradable and so a small device based on it can’t easily be used as an implantable. Silk, on the other hand, just needed a bit of engineering to make a candidate that overcomes many of PDMS’s limitations.

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Jul 12, 2016

Hacked 3D printers could commit industrial sabotage

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

3D printers can churn out toys, clothing and even food. But the technology also shows potential for use in industrial sabotage, researchers warn.

Imagine a car maker using 3D printers to manufacture components, only to have the parts contain defects that are undetectable until it’s too late.

A hacker with access to the 3D printers could make that happen, a team of researchers wrote in a recent paper. This could result in a “devastating impact” for users and lead to product recalls and lawsuits, said New York University professor Nikhil Gupta, the lead author of the paper.

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Jul 12, 2016

Coming soon: 3D printing satellites in outer space

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, satellites

3D printing satellites in outer space might sound like the stuff of sci-fi movies, but that’s exactly where the aerospace industry’s biggest players are heading.

More than just a cool gimmick, 3D printing could help save companies money when launching satellites into space by building parts of them there.

“If you think of challenges in getting a satellite into orbit, if you think of major antennas, the fold out antennas we have, the ability to print something in space and deploy it from space is really interesting,” Andy Anderson, deputy chief technology officer at Airbus, told CNBC in an interview at the Farnborough air show on Monday.

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Jul 12, 2016

Using 3D Printing to Explain the Mind-Bending Optical Illusion That Broke the Internet

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, internet

Last week an entry for the Best Illusion of the Year Contest called the Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion from Japan’s Kokichi Sugihara confused and delighted viewers all over the world. The video showed six plastic cylinders stuck together, and when they were placed in front of a mirror they inexplicably became squares. When the cylinders were rotated, the reflection finally turned into cylinders, only to have the actual plastic cylinders become squares. As if the amazing visual trick wasn’t impressive enough, Sugihara then outdid himself by adding several different types of groupings even more complicated and unbelievable than the original. It left almost everyone who saw it scratching their heads, and the internet was pretty desperate for answers.

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Jul 12, 2016

3D printing tool is all-in-one pen, precision solder, burner, and cutter

Posted by in category: 3D printing

Nice.


The 3DSimo Mini is a 3D printing pen that also offers users capabilities for soldering, burning, and cutting and bills itself as the “ultimate creator’s tool.”

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Jul 12, 2016

Samsung thinks you can overcome your fear of spiders using virtual reality

Posted by in category: virtual reality

VR for phobias; makes sense. Scared of spiders? Samsung believes VR may be the treatment for you.


Could you face your fears if you knew you weren’t actually facing your fears? That’s the premise behind a virtual reality experiment Samsung is running for a new app called Itsy, which is designed to help people face their fear of spiders. Created with the help of researchers at Stockholm University, Itsy tries to wean people into giving up their fear of arachnids.

The program is being run by Samsung’s Nordic branch, and the reason is extremely specific.

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Jul 12, 2016

Traditional Contact Lenses Reimagined to Include Biosensoring Virtual Reality

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, virtual reality

IRVINE, Calif., July 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — From measuring glaucoma to augmenting reality, advances in technology have enabled smart contact lenses to steadily gain traction in the past year. Although still in the early stages of development, the introduction of such novelties will inevitably be life-changing.

Photo — http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160711/388295

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Jul 12, 2016

Using brain signals instead of passwords to unlock computers

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

Good; and as I had hope it could be done for many years.


Recalling a favorite song could be enough to unlock computers one day. All you’ll need is a tiny earbud to register the electro-brainwaves, researchers say.

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Jul 12, 2016

Massive neutrino experiment undermines our sense of reality

Posted by in category: particle physics

Classic test confirms particles’ properties don’t exist until they’re measured.

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