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Monthly Archives: May 2014

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Biotech’s Brave New World: Push One To Create Life; Push Two To Create Alien Life

It’s been a good month for miracles. And by miracles I mean our oldest miracle, that first miracle, the creation of life itself. During these first weeks in May, two separate teams working at two...

Following the Solar Brick Road to Clean Energy and Smart Roadways

A proposal to power the entire United States with solar energy, without wires or solar farms, by using solar cells to pave roads and parking lots, is certainly a big idea. It comes from the Idaho couple, Scott and Julie Brusaw, yet it’s promising enough to have received finding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Now their company, Solar Roadways, is looking for another $1 million in funding on Indiegogo to manufacture the product commercially.

Exploring the World of Quadruped Robots Post-Acquisition of Boston Dynamics

For years, Boston Dynamics has been the undisputed heavyweight champ of viral robot videos. Four-legged robots, like BigDog, LS3, Cheetah, and Wildcat were their bread and butter while two-legged bots, like Petman and Atlas,...

Gecko-Inspired Adhesive Sticks 700 Pounds to a Wall

Geckos are the ultimate climbers. Microscopic hairs on their toes enable the lizards to climb just about anything using the molecular attraction (or Van der Waals forces) between their feet and a surface. Although...

NASA Set to Launch the First 3D Printer to the Space Station

Space travel is a dangerous business. Astronauts are hurled into space in a tiny life support bubble. Contact with Earth is severed. Whatever they’ve got onboard is all they’ve got—period. But what if they...

Blurring the Line Between Disability and Ability — Double Amputee Amy Purdy Snowboards, Dances on Reality TV

Amy Purdy, who lost her legs below the knee after a bout with bacterial meningitis and sepsis in 1999, scored two 10s and a 9 this week for a lively dance with Derek Hough performed on blade prosthetics similar to those made famous by the runner Oscar Pistorius.

Neurogames are Ready to Take Flight — Expect a Breakout Year Ahead

“We’re very close.” In just three words, Palmer Luckey of OculusVR fame, perfectly summarized not only where virtual reality stands, but perhaps the entire neurogaming industry. Luckey was on hand to present with other industry...

Aging Reversed in the Heart, Brain, and Muscles of Mice Thanks to Blood Factor

The idea that blood is the basic stuff of life dates back to well before the scientific method. Yet, in a pair of new studies, researchers have found that blood — and specifically a growth factor in it known as GDF-11 — spurs the brains, muscles, skeletons and hearts of older mice to look and perform like those of younger mice.

Singularity Surplus: Cyborg Edition

Multi-jointed mind-controlled prosthetic arm; prosthetic gets to girl who needs it; steer a wheelchair with your eyes.

NeuroGrid — A Circuit Board Modeled after the Human Brain

A team of Stanford University engineers has developed a circuit board, and its underlying chips, that simulates the activity of the human brain 9,000 times faster than a personal computer and is 100,000 times more energy efficient.

What Will They 3D Print Next? Inside My Trip to Local Motors

Last week, I flew my Cirrus to visit Jay Rogers and his team at Local Motors in Phoenix. Jay showed me their plans to 3D print an entire car in just one day at the...

Chilean Incubator Wants Companies Using Tech to Help the Poor

Chilean not-for-profit Socialab runs competitions for technology-based business proposals that address some of the major problems wrought by poverty in the region: food insecurity, lack of clean drinking water, struggling public education and so on. Then it taps its virtual community of 300,000 users to identify the best ideas and fine-tune them.

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