Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
With lung cancer survival rates greatly improved by early detection, we’ve seen a number of efforts to develop a better way to detect the disease in its early stages. So-called lung cancer breathalyzers are one technology being developed by a number of research teams, including one from the University of Huddersfield in the UK, which plans to trial a breathalyzer device in pharmacies.
The project to develop the device, which is taking place over three years, involves researching a lung cancer “biomarker signature” that is detectable in breath. Previous studies have already shown that carbon-based sensors embedded with gold nanoparticles and even dogs can detect chemicals in the breath indicating the presence of the disease in the lungs…
The project has secured £105,000 in funding from the SG Court Pharmacy Group that operates a chain of pharmacies in the South East of England. It is in these pharmacies that initial trials of the technology will be carried out. The University of Huddersfield has provided matching funding for the project…
“There are 12,000 community pharmacies in Britain and there is a big move for them to get involved in primary diagnostics, because people visit their pharmacies not just when they are ill but when they are well,” says Dr Airley. “A pharmacy is a lot less scary than a doctor’s surgery.”
Bravo. Everything from mobile apps to pre-clinical testing at your local pharmacy provides an expanding range of opportunities for better health. Access is as important in early detection of illness as a well-studied physician. The latter ain’t doing you much good if you can’t get in to see anyone. And the odds get better when society at large has that early access.
The “zippered” stretch was built in the late 90′s and has run through over 140K miles with diesel powerplants. The owner just bought a crashed Tesla Model S and he’s getting ready to make the switch to electric power.
Forget those clumsy, complicated, home cholesterol-testing devices. Cornell engineers have created the Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, or “smartCARD,” which employs your smartphone’s camera to read your cholesterol level.
“Smartphones have the potential to address health issues by eliminating the need for specialized equipment,” said David Erickson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and senior author on a new peer-reviewed study. Thanks to advanced, sophisticated camera technology, Erickson and his colleagues have created a smartphone accessory that optically detects biomarkers in a drop of blood, sweat or saliva. The new application then discerns the results using color analysis…
Currently, the test measures total cholesterol. The Erickson lab is working to break out those numbers in LDL (“bad” cholesterol), HDL (“good” cholesterol) and triglyceride measurements. The lab is also working on detecting vitamin D levels, and has previously demonstrated smartphone tests for periodontitis and sweat electrolyte levels.
“By 2016, there will be an estimated 260 million smartphones in use in the United States. Smartphones are ubiquitous,” said Erickson, adding that although smartCARD is ready to be brought to market immediately, he is optimistic that it will have even more its advanced capabilities in less than a year. “Mobil health is increasing at an incredible rate,” he concluded…
Health selfies will end up meaning as much or more in 3rd World and developing regions of the world. Local health technicians can setup and oversee affordable procedures in countries where the growth of mobile phones far exceeds either telephone networks or readily available health clinics.
You’ve probably seen a light powered by a lemon or a clock hooked up to a potato before, but a group in London recently built a similar device using a much smaller, less popular piece of produce. To promote The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair, a team of designers built the world’s first Brussels sprout-powered battery and hooked it up to a set of Christmas tree lights.
Every year, the fair’s organizers try to find new ways to get kids interested in science and technology. So after a survey found that most children in the UK would like to take Brussels sprouts off of the traditional Christmas menu, the group came up with the idea for the vegetable-powered tree and enlisted the help of the Designworks design group to make it happen…
The battery itself is comprised of five power cells, which are modeled after the appearance of natural Brussels sprouts stalks. Each cell is surrounded by 200 sprouts for a grand total of 1,000 Brussels sprouts in the whole battery. The sprouts are each mounted onto copper and zinc electrodes, which triggers a chemical reaction between the electrolytes in each sprout and produces a small current. A capacitor collects and stores the energy from all the sprouts before releasing it to the tree’s lights. A digital display on top of the battery also shows how much voltage it is producing in real-time.
Even with a huge amount of Brussels sprouts though, the battery can only produce about 62 volts and 10mA of current, which is low but still enough to power the tree’s 100 high-efficiency LEDs. According to the organizers, the sprouts should be able to light up the tree for several weeks, though they will need to be exchanged for fresh ones at some point to keep the tree lit over the holidays.
Bravo! Though we normally consume Brussel Sprouts at our house roasted with garlic and olive oil.
These days, turning yourself into a one-man band is as easy as slipping on a piece of clothing with a built-in sound board, like Machina’s MIDI Controller jacket or the Electronic Drum Machine shirt. DrumPants on the other hand uses sensor strips and electronics that attach to the inside of clothing, so you can walk down the street in your own clothes and play a beat just by rhythmically tapping your own body…
The basic DrumPants kit consists of two sensor strips and two foot pedal sensors that connect to a control box, all of which are small enough to conceal beneath most types of clothing. Each strip contains two velocity sensors and has thin Velcro patches so users can wear them as a band or run them along a part of their body.
This gives wearers control over six individual sensors at once, but the system can support up to 12 with the addition of extra strips. Once a strip is in place, it just needs to be tapped to produce a sound, which can be heard by connecting either a pair of headphones or an external speaker to the control box…
While the DrumPants were designed mainly with music in mind, the wearable sensors do offer some additional uses beyond tapping out a tune. Each sensor can be reprogrammed to trigger actions within a wide variety of apps, so the wearer can, for example, answer their phone, play a streaming video, cycle through a slideshow, or control a game. The software can also connect with certain Arduino boards, in case an industrious programmer wants to use the sensor strips to control another gadget entirely.
Click the link to the whole article to learn all the whizbang tech. Scroll down to the bottom of the Gizmag article and watch the KickStarter video. Prepare to drive everyone in your life crazy!
After a build time of only three years and a budget of $1 billion, the new Terminal 3 Building at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, designed by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, makes a dramatic architectural statement. This is the first airport project for the Rome-based architects and one intended to launch them into the frontline of high-design transport terminals.
The building runs 1.5 km in length, covering an internal area of half a million square meters. But its most striking achievement may be its unusual form, which the architects liken to a “manta ray,” and its textured “double” skin.
…The project wears the sculptural design with the confidence of a major international hub, a sign of the city’s growing prominence within China, but also of the country’s continuing penchant for large-scale, high-profile architecture commissions…
The vast interiors, the architects say, emphasize the theme of “fluidity … the idea of movement and the idea of pause.” This means that, in addition to designing a visually stimulating environment, they focused on the practicalities of processing times, walking distances, ease of orientation and crowding. But these necessities aside, it’s easy to see an edgy sci-fi film being set in and around the sleek, organic elements.
The client, Shenzhen Airport Group, is said to be so pleased with the results that it is taking steps to try to copyright the design. Studio Fuksas are working on two further phases of development on the airport, due for completion in 2025 and 2035.
Wow! Kudos to the administration of the Shenzhen Airport Group for accepting such a daring design. Studio Fuksas are someone worth following forward to what should be a brilliant architectural career.
Possibly – my next wheels – with the smallish Eco-Boost turbo
The average fuel economy of new cars sold in the US is going back up after dropping for a couple of months. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) calculated a 24.8 mpg average for new light-duty vehicles sold in the US during November 2013. That’s not as high as the 24.9 reported in August, but the numbers have been coming back up. The November rating was up 0.1 mpg from October.
Corporate average fuel economy is up 4.7 mpg since UMTRI researchers began documenting the data in October 2007. The figure is calculated by monthly sales figures of individual vehicle models and their combined city-highway fuel economy ratings published in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA Fuel Economy Guide.
The Institute’s Eco-Driving Index also has seen improvements since the reporting began in 2007. The index tracks greenhouse gas emissions from a US driver who bought a new vehicle during the month. For September, the index was 0.80 for the fifth month in a row. That indicates a 20-percent improvement from the base score of 1 set in October 2007, said researcher Michael Sivak in a statement. The Eco-Driving Index figures in both the fuel used per distance driven and the amount of driving, Sivak said.
Yes, we continue to lag the world in improving the whole pool of vehicles on the road. Part of that is owed to the number of vehicles kept much longer as a result of our mediocre economy. Another sillier part is neurotic reaction to fluctuating gasoline prices. We never seem to learn to commit whole-heartedly to more efficient designs, still hoping to drive like someone in a 1950′s hot rod movie all the time.
I love the fact that if I decide to replace my 19-year-old pickup truck, I have some decent choices – though most of them are different body styles.
Sequence photo of the launch of the XFC — Photo/NAVSEA-AUTEC
The US Naval Research Laboratory announced that it had successfully launched a drone from a submerged submarine. The all-electric eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System was launched in the Bahamas from the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Providence using a system that allowed the drone to be deployed without modifications to the boat, or requiring it to surface.
The XFC unmanned aircraft was developed by the NRL in less than six years from initial concept to current stage. It’s all electric and powered by a fuel cell that allows it to stay aloft for more than six hours. According the the NRL, the UAV is relatively low cost, flies at low altitude, and is designed for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions. The craft has folding wings and is designed to be launched from a pickup truck or small surface vessel.
For the submarine test, the XFC was placed inside of a “Sea Robin” launch vehicle. The Sea Robin fits inside of a standard vertical Tomahawk missile launch tube, such as those aboard the USS Providence. After launching, the Sea Robin rose to the surface and took on the appearance of a spar buoy.
After the Sea Robin opened, the XFC used its electrically-assisted take-off system to raise itself vertically out of the container, and after reaching operating speed and altitude unfolded its wings for horizontal flight. The XFC flew for several hours as it beamed back a video feed to the Providence.
It then returned to the submarine and its surface support vessels before landing at the Naval Sea Systems Command Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center on Andros Island in the Bahamas.
If only our government might spend half the time and money on doing something useful with this whole process – I might not feel this is just another waste of taxpayer dollars.
One big problem when sending things into space is, well, space. Rockets have limited payload capacity and given the costs involved, every inch counts. That’s why Brigham Young University researchers have turned to origami as their inspiration. Their folding solar array is designed to be compact at launch and expand to around 10 times its size once it’s deployed in outer space.
Sporting 1-cm thick solar panels on a thin flexible membrane, the array will fold down to a diameter of 2.7-m and unfold to about 25-m across…
The absence of sliding parts in the solar array also decreases the likelihood of anything failing during deployment. With an array designed this way, scientists would only need to launch, deploy and monitor a single system…
Getting a solar array to fold up isn’t as easy as creating an origami boat or frog. Aside from coming up with a proper fold design, the team also had to find a flexible material of sufficient thickness that could support solar panels, wiring and more. While they still haven’t settled on a final material, their current 1/20th-scale prototype makes use of a fiberglass composite called Garolite. The final design will not only have to withstand the harsh conditions of space but also squeeze into a rocket…
“We see opportunities ranging from medical products, such as devices for minimally invasive surgery that are small at the incision and expand at the surgery site, space applications (such as the deployable solar array), and consumer products (devices that are compact for shipping or storage but expand for use),” adds Larry Howell. They’ve also started applying the origami-based solar array design to more down-to-earth applications, and have begun looking into backpackable arrays…
“It is stunning to consider the possibilities offered by origami-based engineering,” Howell tells us. “It has the potential to change how we engineer products on earth, and beyond.”
Human beings pretty much always benefit from having open-minded curiosity. It’s how unintended consequences often occur – regardless of the strictures imposed by a problem. There’s no corollary requirement for solutions to be bound.