Sep 22, 2016

Robots can perform surgery inside your eyeballs

posted by Larra Morris

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Doctors at Oxford University made medical history recently by successfully completing the first robot-assisted intraocular surgery. Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the university, and his team managed to gently peel off a 1/1000th millimeter membrane from the inside of a patient's eye. To do so, the team relied on a cutting-edge medical device known as the Robotic Retinal Dissection Device, or R2D2.
via Engadget

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Sep 22, 2016

"Anger Release Machine": a coin-op for shattering fine breakables

posted by Larra Morris

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In 2008, the Swiss/Danish design team Yarisal & Kublitz created their "Anger Release Machine," a vending machine stocked with "crystal glasses, plates, porcelain, various items" (the catalog helpfully adds "70 x 77 x 182 cm") -- insert coin, shatter breakables, feel better.
via Boing Boing

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Sep 16, 2016

Ford tech lets drivers drink from their air conditioners

posted by Larra Morris

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When a car's air conditioner is running, water vapor in the air accumulates on its condenser, changing into a liquid state and then dripping to the ground. Doug Martin, a powertrain controls engineer at Ford, didn't like the idea of all that water being wasted. That's why he created a prototype system which collects that condensation, and repurposes it as drinking water within the car.

Martin was initially inspired by a billboard in Peru, that captures humidity in the air and renders it into drinking water. Working with colleague John Rollinger, he proceeded to build the On-the-Go H2O system, in which air conditioner condensation is collected, filtered, and then pumped into a faucet in the car's console.
via New Atlas

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Sep 16, 2016

Selfies can calculate the monetary value of conservation, study finds

posted by Larra Morris

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You can put a price on people’s access to nature, and for states, it’s a pretty good deal. A new study uses selfies taken on conserved lands, like state parks, to calculate more precise visitor rates than parks services typically record, finding that nature preserves provide a pretty good boost to the tourist economy, as Popular Science reports. 

A study led by the University of Vermont’s Laura Sonter (who’s taking the selfie in the image above) examined geo-tagged photos uploaded to Flickr, and compared them to maps of conserved lands in Vermont created by the Nature Conservancy. Using photos from 2007 to 2014, the researchers counted the number of people each day who uploaded at least one photo from the specified areas. The research is published in PLOS ONE
via Mental Floss

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Sep 16, 2016

Google street view blurs cow's face in Cambridge

posted by Larra Morris

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A cow which had its face blurred by Google street view has proved a hit on social media.

The animal was snapped by Google's cameras at Coe Fen, Cambridge, and seemingly given the same treatment humans receive for privacy reasons.
via BBC News

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Sep 15, 2016

Researchers produce healthy mice without using fertilized eggs

posted by Larra Morris

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A mammal needs fertilized egg cells to have children, right? Not so fast. University of Bath scientists report that they're the first to successfully breed healthy mice without any fertilized eggs, instead relying on inactive embryos. The team first doused eggs in strontium chloride, which prevents them from going into a state of arrest while they're turned into embryos -- previous attempts to fool the eggs saw them die within a few days. Researchers then inserted sperm nuclei that reprogrammed the embryos, readying them for the wombs of their surrogate mothers.
via Engadget

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Image: Toru Suzuki et. al.

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Sep 15, 2016

LED "clock" spells out the time in words

posted by Larra Morris

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If you're a longtime reader, you'll know that I love me some impractical timepieces; the LED Word Clock qualifies, with a set of stencil-text cutouts of words that are selectively lit by LEDs to tell you the time(ish); it measures 8" square and costs $74 and the major complaint from reviewers is that it is too bright, which strikes me as a feature, not a bug.
via Boing Boing

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