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Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15

Starting at 9 a.m. ET on April 15 anyone in the US will be able to buy Google Glass for one day. This is the first time the device has been available to the general public. So far, the face-mounted nanocomputers have been sold only to Google “Explorers,” the company’s name for early adopters. At first only developers could buy Glass, but Google slowly expanded the program to include regular people. Some were hand-picked, others applied to be Explorers through Google contests by sharing what cool projects they would do if they had Glass.
Google Glass
Google Glass is a wearable nanocomputer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It was developed by Google with the mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous nanocomputer.Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format. Wearers communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands.


Ear: How To Tune In To A Single Voice

Even in a crowded room full of background noise, the human ear is remarkably adept at tuning in to a single voice — a feat that has proved remarkably difficult for computers to match. A new analysis of the underlying mechanisms, conducted by researchers at MIT, has provided insights that could ultimately lead to better machine hearing, and perhaps to better hearing aids as well.

Our ears’ selectivity, it turns out, arises from evolution’s precise tuning of a tiny membrane, inside the inner ear, called the tectorial membrane. The viscosity of this membrane — its firmness, or lack thereof — depends on the size and distribution of tiny pores, just a few tens of nanometers wide. This, in turn, provides mechanical filtering that helps to sort out specific sounds.
EarThis optical microscope image depicts wave motion in a cross-section of the tectorial membrane, part of the inner ear. This membrane is a microscale gel, smaller in width than a single human hair, and it plays a key role in stimulating sensory receptors of the inner ear. Waves traveling on this membrane control our ability to separate sounds of varying pitch and intensity
The new findings are reported in the Biophysical Journal.

How To Trap Flu Viruses Before They Infect Host Cells.

Newly emerging flu viruses could soon be countered by a treatment that Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, an independent, not-for-profit research and development corporation linked to MIT is developing that “traps” viruses before they can infect host cells.

Further into the future, patients suffering from any type of virus could be cured with DRACO, a drug also under development at Draper that is designed to rapidly recognize and eliminate cells infected by virtually any virus.

The research team has demonstrated in the laboratory that the nanotraps effectively countered multiple influenza strains able to infect humans and went on to show nanotraps protected mice infected with the flu. They have also developed additional particles geared toward other types of respiratory viruses.
Nanotraps, unlike most vaccines, are not strain specific and are designed to be effective against newly emerging strains of human-adapted influenza virus. Since nanotraps mimic a fundamental step in the viral life cycle – the binding of the virus to a host cell’s receptor – nanotraps may offer an opportunity to treat devastating infectious diseases without causing the development of treatment resistance.


In Figure 1, influenza viruses bind to specific carbohydrate structures on the surface of airway cells to gain entry.

In Figure 2, nanotrap particles effectively mimic the cell surface so that their carbohydrate structures “trap” viruses and prevent infection

Nanotraps, which could be taken at the first sign of infection or exposure, is likely the first of the products ready for use, and is expected to begin clinical trials in two to five years, according to Jim Comolli, who leads the research on the effort at Draper.


Graphene: Massive Production Plant Opens In China

In July the Chinese company Ningbo Morsh Technology has establised a new graphene production line that will have an annual capacity of 300 tons (or tens of millions of graphene films). The line was supposed to be operational by August 2013, and now there are reports from China that finally production began. Graphene can be described as a one-atom thick layer of graphite. It is the basic structural element of other allotropes, including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerene. It is considered as the “wonder material“, a key element for the future of all industries.
The report further says that China plans to build a state-level graphene industrialization base in China’s Chongqing Municipality (city of 35 millions inhabitants). Within 5 years, they hope to reach revenues of 100 billion yuan ($16.35 billion). If the capacity is indeed 300 tons per year, then China is now the world’s leading graphene producer by far.
Investment in Ningo Morsh‘s production line exceeded 100 million yuan ($16 million). Ningbo Morsh Technology are supplying graphene to Chongqing Morsh Technology, who’s building a production line in Chongqing that will be used to produce 15″ single-layer graphene films that will be used to produce graphene transparent touch panel conductive films. Chongqing Morsh original plan was to start production by March 2014 and they already signed an agreement with Guangdong Zhengyang, an OGS maker to produce 10 million graphene based transparent conducting films (TCFs) in a year for the next five years.

Ningbo Morsh Technology was established by Shanghai Nanjiang in 2012 in Ningo, Zhejiang. They use technology developed at the Chongqing Institute which was licensed to Shanghai Nanjiang..

3D Printed Liver

Liver cells, in particular the parenchymal hepatocytes, are widely used in the laboratory to assess the potential toxicity or efficacy of drugs. Hepatocytes inside the body have a nearly unlimited capacity for replication. When as much as two-thirds of a whole healthy liver is surgically removed, the hepatocytes within the liver remnant undergo rapid and extensive proliferation to restore liver mass completel.

In the other hand, 3D bioprinted human tissues can be constructed with precision from tiny building blocks made of living human cells, using a process that translates tissue-specific geometries and cellular components into 3D designs that can be executed by a device designed by the Californian company Organovo. Once built, the bioprinted tissues share many key features with native tissue, including tissue-like cellular density, presence of multiple cell types, and the development of key architectural and functional features associated with the target native tissue.
bioprinted human liver tissue

This image is a cross-section of bioprinted human liver tissue demonstrating compartmentalization between the hepatocytes (shown as blue nuclei), endothelial cells (red), and hepatic stellate cells (green)
The overall goal is to develop living, multi-cellular human tissues that can be maintained in the laboratory environment for extended periods of time and sampled serially for both functional and histological changes in response to injury, pathogens, or treatments.

Shirt Repels Liquids, Avoid Stains

Many have dreamed of the day when clothes no longer require washing — or require it far less often than they currently do, at least. With nanotechnology came this reality, though not in any significant way. That could be changing with the introduction of the Silic, a t-shirt that repels liquids and avoids being stained by both liquid substances and sweat.

The shirt is said to be made with hydrophobic nanotechnology, and while such has been achieved in the past, the Silic has one bragging point the others don’t — the substance that gives the clothing its liquid adversion doesn’t disappear if the shirt is washed, meaning the Silic can be tossed in with the rest of the laundry. Beyond that, the folks behind the clothing also say their hydrophobic nanotechnology is not cancerous.
stained T-Shirt
The project is funded through the crowdfundind website Kickstarter, and has already surpassed its funding goal of $20,000 — by a present amount of $112,254 USD. There are 1690 backers at the moment and 33 days to go. $40 is the lowest threshold amount to get one of the shirts, while those who pony up $10 will get a section of the material instead, perhaps good as a bar trick or novelty gift

Source: Kickstarter

Behind 3D Printing, The Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, the technological innovation behind 3-D printing, has revolutionized the way we conceive of and build everything from electronic devices to jewelry to artificial organs. It is not surprising that this field has enjoyed enormous economic returns, which are projected to grow over the coming decade. According to a recent industry report prepared by Wohlers Associates, 3-D printing contributed to more than $2.2 billion in global industry in 2012 and is poised to grow to more than $6 billion by 2017. Compared to traditional manufacturing techniques, in which objects are carved out of a larger block of material or cast in molds and dies, additive manufacturing builds objects, layer by layer, according to precise design specifications. Because there are no dies or molds to be cast, design changes can be made more quickly and at a lower cost than ever before, increasing the level of customization that individuals and businesses can achievein house.”

makerbot-3d-printingAdditive manufacturing technologies change the way we think about the manufacturing process,” says US National Science Fondation Assistant Director for Engineering Pramod Khargonekar. “It has reduced the time, cost, and equipment and infrastructure needs that once prevented individuals and small businesses from creating truly customized items, and accelerated the speed at which new products can be brought to market.


Electrical Circuits Printed In 60 Seconds For 300$

Researchers from Georgia Tech, the University of Tokyo and Microsoft Research have developed a novel method to rapidly and cheaply make electrical circuits by printing them with commodity inkjet printers and off-the-shelf materials. For about $300 in equipment costs, anyone can produce working electrical circuits in the 60 seconds it takes to print them. To make the technique possible, researchers optimized commercially available tools and materials including printers, adhesive tape and the silver ink. Designing the circuit itself was accomplished with desktop drawing software, and even a photocopy of a drawing can produce a working circuit.

printedcircuitsThere is an opportunity to introduce a new approach to the rapid prototyping of fully custom-printed circuits,” said Gregory Abowd, Regents’ Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and an investigator in the study. “Unlike existing methods for printing conductive patterns, conductivity in our technique emerges within a few seconds and without the need for special equipment.”
Everything we introduced in our research is available in the market and makes it possible for people to try this at home,” said Yoshihiro Kawahara, Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo and the primary investigator who developed the methodology while in Atlanta. “The method can be used to print circuit boards, sensors and antennas with little cost, and it opens up many new opportunities.”

New Energy Nanogenerator

Engineers from the company Marblar Technologies have designed a kinetic energy harvester that uses the combined power generated by the bending of many piezoelectric metal-oxide nanowires. By growing the nanowires from solution, fabrication is now much easier and manufacturing costs are reduced. A nanogenerator may be fabricated cheaply, at low temperature and using environmentally-friendly materials.
kinetic energy harvesterPortable energy generation devices have the potential to provide energy for low power electronics devices and sensors on-the-go. However, only portable solar cells are currently available commercially and these are expensive and dependent on sunshine. Nanogenerators are devices that produce electricity from motion via the bending of thousands of piezoelectric nanowires. While the output of these types of devices is low (tens of microwatts per cm2), they are much cheaper than single-crystal piezoelectric generators and can be connected together to increase the output power.

New Type Of Batteries For Electric Cars

Electric vehicle batteries have three problems — they’re big, heavy, and expensive. But what if you could shift EV batteries away from being big blocks under the car and engineer them into the car itself? Research groups at Imperial College London working with Volvo have spent three years developing a way to do exactly that. The researchers are storing energy in nano structure batteries woven into carbon fiber–which can then be formed into car body panels. These panel-style batteries charge and store energy faster than normal EV batteries, and they are also lighter and more eco-friendly.


The research team has built a Volvo S80 prototype featuring the panels where the battery panel material has been used for the trunk lid. With the materials used on the doors, roof and hood, estimated range for a mid-size electric car is around 80 miles.
If an electric car were to replace its existing battery components with the new system, it could cut its weight by 15 per cent – it means a car like the Nissan Leaf, that weighs 1795 kilograms, would be about 270 kilograms lighter, thus more efficiency.