Power from the Subway

Power from the subway

Many of us who use public transportation such as trains at some point or other have experienced the sudden gush of air when a train enters the tunnel. But Singularity Studio feels creative about this unused air pressure inside the tunnel and they have come up with a new tile prototype which turns this pressure into useful renewable energy. This prototype is named Transducer Tile and does an amazing job converting the pressure into power by a simple mechanism. The modest design is made up from readily available elements. A transducer tile consists of a micro wind turbine. The blade is rotated by the… read more

This Headband May Make You Smarter

This Headband May Make You Smarter

Researchers have figured out a way to “wake up” the brain during learning tasks. A team of psychologists at Vanderbilt University have recently published an article in the Journal of Neuroscience that offers their findings into research which examined prompted electrical currents in the brain and the effects on learning speed. A wearable device resembling a headband was produced for the study, and had an added feature – it can actually make the wearer smarter, even control their learning speed, with the onset of mild electrical stimulation to certain regions. The researchers wanted to further understand the natural response that occurs… read more

Designers Create New Inventions For Braille Users

Designers Create New Inventions For Braille Users

Braille is a printed communication system used by blind and visually impaired individuals. Shubham Banerjee has created a Braille printer that has gained worldwide attention for its ingenuity and real world application. Impressively, the printer is made from repurposed Lego pieces. Titled Braigo, the system is made from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit, which costs about $350. Banerjee stated that the retail price for a standard Braille printer can be upwards of $2,000. With such a decreased price, Banerjee’s invention could enable more Braille users to be able to print materials. What is even more impressive than his resourceful device is the fact… read more

NASA Plans Europa Mission To Search For Life

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As we wrote two years ago, Jupiter’s moon Europa may actually be the best place in our solar system to seek out extraterrestrial life. It’s largely believed that the moon has an entire underwater ecosystem, ripe with the sort of conditions needed to support life, even if only on a bacterial level. A mission several years ago had been denied due to under funding, but renewed pushes seem to have been effective in swaying the minds that hold the money. So why should we detour money from the planned Mars mission and funnel it into this pipe-dream? For starters, it’s… read more

Stronger Than Metal — Spider Silk Nears Debut

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There aren’t a ton of elements with properties stronger than metal, so prepare to meet an unlikely competitor in the market — spider silk. You probably wouldn’t expect to see spider silk on the list of future replacements for metal, and you wouldn’t be alone in your disbelief. It’s a relatively new concept, but one that has many lasting and important meanings for the manufacturing world. Spider silk is naturally resilient, and 25 times stronger than steel. It’s extremely difficult to farm spiders, though, which is why it’s taken researchers so long to reach this milestone in their journey to… read more

3D Printing Gets Even More Intricate

3D Printing Gets Even More Intricate

The world of 3D printing has taken off, and one area that has seen an increase in the details and variety is with furniture and even larger products. One newer 3D printer allows plastic materials to be printed however; a process called fused deposition modeling (FDM) also makes it capable of utilizing blends of wood fibers, nylons and even polymers. Called the BigRep One, it is making quite a buzz in the ever developing printing arena. First shown at a 3D print showing in New York, it is now available on the consumer market. For a suggested retail price tag… read more

Transforming Skin Cells Into Liver Cells

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The technology has existed for a while now to grow certain organs in a lab to be used as replacements for organs in which finding a donor may be difficult. Those organs, however, were never complete copies — they were merely close replicas. Now, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco had announced that they’ve discovered a way to create fully mature liver cells. The organs have only been tested in lab animals whose bodies have been modified to imitate liver failure, but the tests showed that the liver cells were able to thrive on their own without… read more

A Paper Strip That Detects Cancer In Urine Samples

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The field of modern medicine is a constantly evolving machine — from the “Dark Ages” of healthcare practices just a century ago (where the flu killed way more humans than it ever should have), to the pedestal we currently stand on today. We’ve finally become rationally concerned with the health status of our bodies. Sure, obesity is a major topic for many nations across the world, but despite what you hear on CNN, obesity rates are actually in decline. A new tool in the fight against misdiagnosing illnesses is the Scanadu Scout, also known as a “Real-Life Tricorder“. Developed and… read more

People Power, Literally

Unplugged Desk

Have you ever wondered what your workspace will look like in the future? The electronic devices at your desk may not be powered by solar energy or other technology. You may become the source of power for your workspace. The thesis project of a Swedish student Eddi Törnberg, titled “Unplugged”, is looking at how to make use of the energy generated by millions of people as they sit and work in the office. It is inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowes quote “Human nature is above all things lazy” so Tornberg has looked at how to ensure all your movements and daily activities are not going to waste,… read more

Scientists Create A Trap For Cancer Cells

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Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a sort of “Pied Piper” for cancerous cells. Rather than rely on modern means of killing cancer cells (all of which rarely guarantee results), this method lures cancer cells to their death site. The treatment creates artificial pathways for the cancer cells to travel, which routes them to an easy-to-access area of the body for surgery, or perhaps to a cancer-killing drug. The researchers stress that it will likely be years before this treatment becomes widely available, though this is a major first step in creating a breakthrough cancer treatment. Ravi Bellamkonda, lead investigator… read more