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Medicine

MRI Powered Pill-Sized Robot Swims Through Intestines 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the fantastic-voyage dept.
kkleiner writes "Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston have collaborated to create a robot that can swim through the intestines. The size of a large pill, the 'microswimmer' is powered by the strong magnetic fields generated by an MRI machine. A tail measuring 20mm x 5mm made of copper and flexible polymer vibrates due to the magnets and propels the little microrobot through the gut."

Comment: Re:Expanding the scope of existing techniques (Score 4, Informative) 54

by Iron Chef Unix (#37243118) Attached to: Joining Blood Vessels Without Sutures
It's not the glue that is novel in this application, but the use of a poloxamer gel to keep the vessel shape while attaching the ends.

Imagine trying to glue together the open ends of two tube socks. It would be time consuming to line up the ends and not glue the other side together, etc. This technique is like putting a solid round canister inside the junction of the two tubes, making it very quick to line up the edges and glue them together.

In this case the canister is a cylinder of poloxamer gel that is solid when warmed above body temperature. After the connection is glued, the gel cools and liquifies, leaving a perfectly glued joint.

Comment: Choices, choices (Score 3, Insightful) 417

by Iron Chef Unix (#36456568) Attached to: Japanese Scientist Creates Meat Substitute From Sewage
From the video: "Once the research is complete and it's put on the market we'll probably be able to price it at roughly the same level as normal meat." Hmm, should I buy the ribeye or the extruded soy-supplemented feces meat? At the same price, the choice is so difficult....
Image

US Intelligence Agency to Compile Mountain of Metaphors 151 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the bright-ideas dept.
coondoggie writes "Researchers with the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity want to build a repository of metaphors. You read that right. Not just American/English metaphors mind you but those of Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers. Why metaphors? 'Metaphors have been known since Aristotle as poetic or rhetorical devices that are unique, creative instances of language artistry (for example: The world is a stage; Time is money). Over the last 30 years, metaphors have been shown to be pervasive in everyday language and to reveal how people in a culture define and understand the world around them,' IARPA says."
Science

DoE Develops Flexible Glass Stronger Than Steel 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the whale-tested,-scotsman-approved dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Department of Energy Office of Science recently collaborated with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology to develop a resilient yet malleable new type of glass that is stronger than steel. The material can also be molded, and it bends when subjected to stress instead of shattering. The glass is actually a microalloy and features metallic elements such as palladium. This metal has a high 'bulk-to-shear' stiffness ratio that counteracts the intrinsic brittleness of glassy materials. The team that developed the material believes that by changing various ratios, they could make it even stronger."
Businesses

Should Employees Buy Their Own Computers? 498

Posted by Soulskill
from the maybe-companies-should-buy-us-awesome-hardware dept.
Local ID10T writes "Data security vs. productivity. We have all heard the arguments. Most of us use some of our personal equipment for work, but is it a good idea? 'You are at work. Your computer is five years old, runs Windows XP. Your company phone has a tiny screen and doesn't know what the internet is. Idling at home is a snazzy, super-fast laptop, and your own smartphone is barred from accessing work e-mail. There's a reason for that: IT provisioning is an expensive business. Companies can struggle to keep up with the constant rate of technological change. The devices employees have at home and in their pockets are often far more powerful than those provided for them. So what if you let your staff use their own equipment?' Companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Kraft, Citrix, and global law firm SNR Denton seem to think it's a decent idea."
Image

Researchers Test Space Beer 113 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the rocket-of-suds dept.
With space tourism becoming a real possibility in the near future, brewers are trying to figure out how to provide a good beer in space. To this end, a non-profit space research corporation Astronauts4Hire will begin testing an Australian brew created to be enjoyed in microgravity. From the article: "In the past, NASA has also sponsored studies on space beer, and whether or not the popular beverage can be brewed in space. Under current policies, however, alcohol remains forbidden on the International Space Station."
Communications

Google Kills Wave Development 327

Posted by timothy
from the harshing-on-mellow dept.
We've mentioned several times over the past two years Wave, Google's ambitiously multi-channel, perhaps plain overwhelming entry in the social media wars. Now, reader mordejai writes "Google stated in its official blog that they will not continue developing Wave as a standalone product. It's sad, because it had a lot of potential to improve communications, but Google never promoted it well, denying it a chance to replace email and other collaboration tools for many uses."
Space

Dwarf Planets Accumulate In Outer Solar System 93

Posted by kdawson
from the potato-radius dept.
An anonymous reader tips a piece in Australian Geographic indicating that Pluto may be in for another demotion, as researchers work to define dwarf planets more exactly. "[Australian researchers] now argue that the radius which defines a dwarf planet should instead be from 200–300 km, depending on whether the object is made of ice or rock. They base their smaller radius on the limit at which objects naturally form a spherical rather than potato-like shape because of 'self-gravity.' Icy objects less than 200 km (or rocky objects less than 300 km) across are likely to be potato shapes, while objects larger than this are spherical. ... They call this limit the 'potato radius' ... [One researcher is quoted] 'I have no problem with there being hundreds of dwarf planets eventually.'"
Input Devices

Droid Touchscreen Less Accurate Than iPhone's 198

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the click-on-this dept.
gyrogeerloose writes "A test published by MOTO labs comparing the accuracy and sensitivity of smartphone touchscreens among various makers gave the iPhone top marks ahead of HTC's Droid Eris, the Google-branded Nexus One and the Motorola Droid. The test was conducted within a drawing program using a finger to trace straight diagonal lines across the screens and then comparing the results. While it's not likely that a smart phone user is going to draw a lot of lines, the test does give some indication of which phones are most likely to properly respond to clicking on a link in a Web browser."

Comment: Seems like a good thing.... (Score 1) 439

by Iron Chef Unix (#30118416) Attached to: Apple Patents "Enforceable" Ad Viewing On Devices
As long as Apple simply patents "evil" ideas, it seems like a win for me. This means that no other company can implement these ideas without paying licensing fees, which means that I will see less of these obnoxious schemes in products. In fact, the fact that Apple patented this idea, means that any iphone app I buy should be guaranteed not to do this, unless Apple produces it.

So until these ideas actually end up in a product, I won't be complaining.
Input Devices

How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class? 823

Posted by timothy
from the napkins-and-a-digital-camera dept.
AdmiralXyz writes "I'm a university student, and I like to take notes on my (non-tablet) computer whenever possible, so it's easier to sort, categorize, and search through them later. Trouble is, I'm going into higher and higher math classes, and typing "f_X(x) = integral(-infinity, infinity, f(x,y) dy)" just isn't cutting it anymore: I need a way to get real-looking equations into my notes. I'm not particular about the details, the only requirement is that I need to keep up with the lecture, so it has to be fast, fast, fast. Straight LaTeX is way too slow, and Microsoft's Equation Editor isn't even worth mentioning. The platform is not a concern (I'm on a MacBook Pro and can run either Windows or Ubuntu in a virtual box if need be), but the less of a hit to battery life, the better. I've looked at several dedicated equation editing programs, but none of them, or their reviews, make any mention of speed. I've even thought about investing in a low-end Wacom tablet (does anyone know if there are ultra-cheap graphics tablets designed for non-artists?), but I figured I'd see if anyone at Slashdot has a better solution."
Microsoft

Microsoft May Be Inflating SharePoint Stats 225

Posted by kdawson
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man dept.
ericatcw writes "Taking a page out of McDonalds 'billions and billions served,' Microsoft says it reaps $1.3 billion a year from more than 100 million users of its SharePoint collab app. But some suggest that the figures are consciously inflated by Microsoft sales tactics in order to boost the appearance of momentum for the platform, reports Computerworld. A recent survey suggests that less than a fourth of users licensed for SharePoint actually use it. SharePoint particularly lags as a platform for Web sites, according to the same survey, a situation Microsoft hopes to fix with the upcoming SharePoint 2010."

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