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Monthly Archives: August 2013

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MakerBot’s New Desktop 3D Scanner Ships in October

The new MakerBot Digitizer—a $1,400 desktop 3D scanner that ships in October—can make a digital copy of real objects. The new digital model will be a standard file type that you can print, share, or manipulate. The Digitizer scans objects on a turntable and constructs a digital 3D model using a camera and two lasers. The 3D model is watertight (i.e., no digital holes), within 2 mm the size of the original object, and captures detail down to 0.5 mm.

Scientists Grow Miniature, but Distinctly Human, Brain in the Lab

Austrian researchers have used regenerative techniques to grow a miniature human brain in the lab, they reported recently in the journal Nature. Using a bioreactor to improve cellular growing conditions, scientists obtained a brain-like organ that exhibited differentiated brain regions but stopped growing after a few months.

Singularity University Graduates 2013 Class: Startups Emerge To Solve Major Health Problems

Over the weekend, the latest graduates of Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program presented their proposals for using accelerating technologies to solve major world problems. The exhibition offered a sneak peek at the kinds of innovations that may hit the market two to five years from now.

Turkish Scientists Genetically Modify Bunnies to Glow Green

Two bunnies were recently born glowing green. They’re not radioactive—they carry jellyfish genes. If you’ve never read about animals genetically modified to glow, this may sound bizarre, edgy, sci-fi. It’s not. Scientists have been genetically programming animals to glow for years. The story here is that genetically modified glowing organisms aren’t news. That’s amazing.

Researcher Remotely Operates Colleague’s Brain Over The Internet

A network of connected brains is the Holy Grail of Internet communications: Rather than type out an email, one user simply sends his or her thoughts directly to another. Researchers at the University of Washington recently moved one step closer to that goal with an experiment in which a researcher in one building controlled the hand movements of a colleague in another building.

Bezos-Backed 10,000 Year Clock Site Preparation and Fabrication Underway

If you were worth a million dollars, you might buy a fine watch. Rolex, Breitling, Seiko, this watch might run a couple thousand dollars. If you’re Jeff Bezos, you fund a 200-foot clock inside a mountain, engineered to withstand Armageddon and tick for 10,000 years. Bezos, the man behind Amazon and the new owner of the Washington Post, is worth a cool $25.2 billion, and he’s contributed $42 million to the Long Now Foundation’s 10,000 Year Clock project. That sounds like a lot of money, but to scale, it’s akin to our millionaire buying a single Rolex. No big deal for a Bezos.

Brazil and India Lead the Way in Everyday Use of Biometrics

As the prices for various types of sensors have fallen in recent years, businesses have found all sorts of uses for them. And anyone who’s watched even one of Hollywood’s forays into science fiction knows that one main use for sensors will be to confirm identities using biometric traits. But here’s a plot twist: Developing countries like Brazil and India are leading the way to biometric forms of identity confirmation, in which sensors limit access to secure systems such as banking or governmental assistance programs, to users who possess anatomical traits, deemed unique to each person, that have previously been entered into a database.

Scientists Grow Teeth Using Stem Cells – Harvested From Urine?

Adults lose teeth due to poor hygiene, aging, disease or accidents. Traditionally, prosthetics are used to replace part or all of a lost tooth. But wouldn’t it be better if we could simply regrow lost or damaged teeth? Approaches using stem cells, while still in their infancy, may eventually do exactly that. Researchers led by Dr. Duanqing Pei, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, have reported a potential method for growing teeth from stem cells obtained in urine.

GSP 101 — Introduction to Nanotechnology

Singularity University produced a series of "101" videos for the Graduate Studies Program to help acclimate the participants of the 2013 class to the emergent technologies that are shaping the world today. In this video,...

Korean Road Wirelessly Charges New Electric Buses

Electric vehicles still have limited range, expensive batteries, and few charging stations. While mainstream manufacturers seek to improve battery tech, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has a different idea. Who needs big batteries and stations when the road itself can charge vehicles? In July, two new buses began public service in the South Korean city, Gumi. The buses, or online electric vehicles (OLEVs), travel a road like a wireless cellphone charging mat—only, this particular mat is 7.5 miles long and cost $4 million to build.

Already in Use in Canada and India, Iris Scans Get Thumbs-Up in U.S. Government Study

As far back at the late 1980s, the U.S. Patent Office issued its first patent for iris recognition scans. (Retinal scans, though widely referenced, at not as widely used as iris scans.) The Canadian Border Services offer an opt-in expedited security program that relies on an iris scan. But some researchers who have studied iris-scanning technology have found too much variety in the scans generated over time by a single person.

Spaceport America Ramping Up For Projected Space Tourism Boom

It was just over a century ago that the Wright brothers developed a flying machine that lifted them into the air, which would evolve into today's safer-than-ever airline industry that saw 37.5 million business...

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