Dec 19, 2014

NASA emailed a new wrench to the ISS

posted by Laura Domela

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You know that moment where you overhear a loved one talking about something they really need, and realize you just stumbled onto the perfect thoughtful Christmas present? That's what just happened on the ISS, where an astronaut recently opined about needing a wrench—and then received one over email and printed it out.

We've heard a lot about the ISS's new 3D printer, which was build and delivered by a California company called Made In Space. Though the printer spit out the first of many test objects back in November, those files were delivered to the ISS on board a cargo supply—not through wireless communication with Earth, as it eventually the goal with the printer.
via Gizmodo

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Dec 19, 2014

One Nobel recipient accepted her prize wearing a gown covered in neurons that she discovered

posted by Laura Domela

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As much as we don’t want the fashion choices of the world’s incredibly influential and important scientists to necessarily overshadow their scientific achievements—seriously, despite what you might think, we promise we don’t—you’ve got to admit that wearing a dress decked out in sequined examples of the very neurons you helped to discover is ridiculously awesome. It’s like May-Britt Moser is a real-life Ms. Frizzle, except she uses her time and talent to help everyone, rather than send a bunch of ungrateful kids on impossible field trips.
via The Mary Sue

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Tags : people, science, fashion,    0 comments  
Dec 19, 2014

Near-transparent mice could improve understanding of organs and tissues

posted by Larra Morris

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Japanese researchers have found a way to turn tissue transparent in mice, allowing them to see cellular networks and gain a better understanding of biological systems. Researchers say this may ultimately lead to deeper comprehension of autoimmune and psychiatric diseases given it can assist in 3D modelling of organs including the brain.
via Gizmag

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Image: RIKEN

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Dec 19, 2014

DIY kit lets you make designs out of mushrooms

posted by Larra Morris

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Mushrooms are the new plastics, just ask anyone at Ecovative. To be fair, the company is a little biased—it’s in the mushroom business. Since 2007, the company has been developing a method to replace harmful plastics with a mushroom-based substance. This sustainable foam-like material, made from agricultural waste and mycelium (the root part of the mushroom) has been used to build bricks, grow lamp shades and replace polluting packaging. Now you can grow your own application.

The company just released the beta version of its Grow It Yourself kit ($14.99), which comes with everything you need to make your own mushroom material creation. This includes a bag of dehydrated mushroom material, flour, gloves, a molding tool and an incubator bag. When you get the kit in the mail, you simply add a bit of water and flour (for nutrients) to the dehydrated material, and it springs back to life. Give it a couple days, and the mycelium spreads throughout the agricultural byproduct, turning into a fluffy white material you can shape using molds and tools.
via Wired

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Image: ECOVATIVE

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Dec 18, 2014

DARPA-funded mind-controlled robotic arm now works a lot better

posted by Larra Morris

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At Expand NY in November, DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar talked about the erm, friendlier projects the agency is funding, including a mind-controlled robotic arm tested by Pittsburgh native Jan Scheuermann. Her test run has recently ended, but the University of Pittsburgh researchers in charge of project have published a paper detailing how much the limb has improved over the past two years. Before they took off Jan's implants, she could already move not just arm itself, but also its wrist and fingers -- she reportedly even beat her brother at a rock-paper-and-scissors game. "Overall, our results indicate that highly coordinated, natural movement can be restored to people whose arms and hands are paralyzed," said Pitt School of Medicine professor Andrew Schwartz, Ph.D.
via Engadget

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Dec 18, 2014

Scientists put worm brain in robot body

posted by Larra Morris

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The group of scientists who created the Open Worm Project have successfully mapped the connections of all 302 neurons in a roundworm's brain, simulated them as a piece of computer software, and uploaded that software to a LEGO robot. So now there's a LEGO robot that acts like a worm.
via Geekologie

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Dec 17, 2014

How to create mushroom designs on an oscilloscope signal detector using sound

posted by Larra Morris

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Electronic musician Jerobeam Fenderson has created a video tutorial demonstrating how to draw mushroom-like designs on an oscilloscope signal-detecting machine using only sound. The tutorial does require some prior knowledge of the machine, but the results are still impressive even for the uninitiated.
via Laughing Squid

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