Aug 04, 2015

3D printed medicine gets FDA stamp of approval

posted by Christy Wilding

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Is there anything 3D printing can't do these days? From toys, to chocolate, todog legs, to house parts. And now we even have 3D printed drugs. Now that in itself isn't really a novel feat, considering 3D printed food. The success that Aprecia Pharmaceuticals achieved is in actually getting the US Food and Drug Administration to approve it. This makes its SPRITRAM seizure drug to be the first 3D printed medication to receive FDA approval, perhaps opening the doors to even more such products in the future.

via Slash Gear

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Aug 04, 2015

Caterpillar's sugary cocktail transforms ants into aggressive bodyguards

posted by Christy Wilding

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Scientists have long observed the relationship between Japanese oakblue butterfly (Narathura japonica) caterpillars and some nearby ants (Pristomyrmex punctatus). The caterpillars secrete a sugary substance for the ants to feed on, and in turn the ants protect the caterpillar as it grows inside oak tree leaves.

via Mental Floss

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Aug 04, 2015

Massive inflatable Minion goes on road rampage, causes traffic havoc

posted by Christy Wilding

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Minions are everywhere these days—on Tic Tacs, reimagined as famous fashion designers, reimagined as models and having people wondering why there are no female versions of this character. 
As if these weren’t enough, someone had gone on to order a colossal, approximately 30 to 40 feet high inflatable minion in the Santry area of north Dublin, Ireland. 
Unfortunately, on 2 August, the balloon came loose from its restraints and was blown into traffic. 
Witness Erin Van Londen explained to The Journal, “I’m not sure how it got loose but I just saw it coming loose and flying across the road as we were driving.

via Design Taxi

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Aug 03, 2015

Hitchhiking robot who relied on strangers' kindness was found decapitated on Saturday, just two weeks into its American tour

posted by Laura Domela

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Poor hitchBOT.

After successfully traveling around Canada, Germany and The Netherlands, the hitch-hiking robot who relied on the goodwill of strangers to get around met an untimely and brutal demise in Philadelphia.

The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment told The Associated Press that the child-sized robot was damaged “beyond repair” by vandals on Saturday in thecity of brotherly love, pulling the plug on the bot’s first American tour.

via Huffington Post

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Aug 03, 2015

Flying robots that can see

posted by Laura Domela

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A tiny artificial eye inspired by the vision systems of insects could help small flying drones navigate their surroundings well enough to avoid collisions while buzzing around in confined, cluttered spaces—a key step in making these small autonomous flying vehicles practical.

An emerging class of very small flying drones has taken off in public and private research labs in recent years (see “Robotic Insect Takes Off”). These mini drones could be valuable in spying and surveillance; they might also be useful for things like monitoring disaster areas or delivering supplies to humans. But there remains a lot of work to be done toward developing miniature navigation systems, particularly for confined spaces. Just avoiding collisions is a still a major technical challenge, says Dario Floreano, director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
via Technology Review

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Jul 31, 2015

How Shakespeare changed America’s wildlife

posted by Christy Wilding

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In the opening act of Henry IV: Part One, the eponymous king refuses to help free Lord Mortimer, the brother-in-law of his loyal knight Hotspur, from imprisonment, and even forbids Hotspur from mentioning Mortimer’s name in his presence. As revenge, Hotspur plots to “find him [the king] when he lies asleep, And in his ear … holla, ‘Moritimer,’” before changing his mind and deciding that, “Nay, I’ll have a starling … taught to speak nothing but ‘Mortimer,’ and give it to him to keep his anger still in motion.” 

It’s a strange plan, but it’s not as strange as the plan it inspired almost 300 years later, hatched by an eccentric New York businessman named Eugene Schieffelin.

via Mental Floss

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Jul 31, 2015

Humans are evolving to walk and text

posted by Christy Wilding

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While technological advancements are meant accommodate the way people live, sometimes humans are the ones that must adapt to technology. This is especially noticeable when walking with a friend who’s texting. As new research suggests, they subconsciously "shorten their step length, reduce step frequency, lengthen the time during which both feet are in contact with the ground and increase obstacle clearance height,” effectively modifying their gait in order to compensate for the distraction. And while it may seem minor, it’s a significant insight into behaviors that may shape future generations.

via Cool Hunting

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