|October 29th, 2009||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Land of Cotton
The latest and greatest gadgets and scientific discoveries
Some of you may like this site, I do.
"To speak his thoughts is every freeman's right, in peace and war, in council and in fight."
"The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think."
-Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
|November 4th, 2009||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2009
This guy Woody Norris I just read about the other day. He's invented a hell of a lot of great technology including HyperSonic Sound (essentially directional speakers with a hearable zone as narrow as the device itself, like a laser for sound),
|April 1st, 2013||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2005
Excerpt, this is not talked about much, but could it crush silver use ?
Further information: Graphite oxide
Photograph of single-layer graphene oxide undergoing high temperature chemical treatment, resulting in sheet folding and loss of carboxylic functionality, or through room temperature carbodiimide treatment, collapsing into star-like clusters.
Soluble fragments of graphene can be prepared in the laboratory through chemical modification of graphite. First, microcrystalline graphite is treated with a strongly acidic mixture of sulfuric acid and nitric acid. A series of steps involving oxidation and exfoliation result in small graphene plates with carboxyl groups at their edges. These are converted to acid chloride groups by treatment with thionyl chloride; next, they are converted to the corresponding graphene amide via treatment with octadecylamine. The resulting material (circular graphene layers of 5.3 angstrom thickness) is soluble in tetrahydrofuran, tetrachloromethane and dichloroethane. Refluxing single-layer graphene oxide (SLGO) in solvents leads to size reduction and folding of the individual sheets as well as loss of carboxylic group functionality, by up to 20%, indicating thermal instabilities of SLGO sheets dependant on their preparation methodology. When using thionyl chloride, acyl chloride groups result, which can then form aliphatic and aromatic amides with a reactivity conversion of around 70–80%.
Boehm titration results for various chemical reactions of single-layer graphene oxide, which reveal reactivity of the carboxylic groups and the resultant stability of the SLGO sheets after treatment.
Hydrazine reflux is commonly used for reducing SLGO to SLG(R), but titrations show that only around 20–30% of the carboxylic groups are lost leaving a significant number of COOH groups available for chemical attachment. Analysis of SLG(R) generated by this route reveals that the system is unstable and using a room temperature stirring with HCl (< 1.0 M) leads to around 60% loss of COOH functionality. Room temperature treatment of SLGO with carbodiimides leads to the collapse of the individual sheets into star-like clusters, which exhibited poor subsequent reactivity with amines (ca. 3–5% conversion of the intermediate to the final amide). It is apparent that conventional chemical treatment of carboxylic groups on SLGO generates morphological changes of individual sheets that leads to a reduction in chemical reactivity, which may potentially limit their use in composite synthesis. Therefore, other types of chemical reactions have been explored. SLGO has also been grafted with polyallylamine, cross-linked through epoxy groups. When filtered into graphene oxide paper, these composites exhibit sheets increased stiffness and strength relative to unmodified graphene oxide paper.
Full hydrogenation from both sides of graphene sheet results in graphane, but partial hydrogenation leads to hydrogenated graphene
The near-room temperature thermal conductivity of graphene was measured to be between (4.84±0.44) × 103 to (5.30±0.48) × 103 W·m−1·K−1. These measurements, made by a non-contact optical technique, are in excess of those measured for carbon nanotubes or diamond. The isotopic composition, the ratio of 12C to 13C, has a significant impact on thermal conductivity, where isotopically pure 12C graphene has higher conductivity than either a 50:50 isotope ratio or the naturally occurring 99:1 ratio. It can be shown by using the Wiedemann-Franz law, that the thermal conduction is phonon-dominated. However, for a gated graphene strip, an applied gate bias causing a Fermi energy shift much larger than kBT can cause the electronic contribution to increase and dominate over the phonon contribution at low temperatures. The ballistic thermal conductance of graphene is isotropic.
Potential for this high conductivity can be seen by considering graphite, a 3D version of graphene that has basal plane thermal conductivity of over a 1,000 W·m−1·K−1 (comparable to diamond). In graphite, the c-axis (out of plane) thermal conductivity is over a factor of ~100 smaller due to the weak binding forces between basal planes as well as the larger lattice spacing. In addition, the ballistic thermal conductance of a graphene is shown to give the lower limit of the ballistic thermal conductances, per unit circumference, length of carbon nanotubes.
Despite its 2-D nature, graphene has 3 acoustic phonon modes. The two in-plane modes (LA, TA) have a linear dispersion relation, whereas the out of plane mode (ZA) has a quadratic dispersion relation. Due to this, the T2 dependent thermal conductivity contribution of the linear modes is dominated at low temperatures by the T1.5 contribution of the out of plane mode. Some graphene phonon bands display negative Grüneisen parameters. At low temperatures (where most optical modes with positive Grüneisen parameters are still not excited) the contribution from the negative Grüneisen parameters will be dominant and thermal expansion coefficient (which is directly proportional to Grüneisen parameters) negative. The lowest negative Grüneisen parameters correspond to the lowest transversal acoustic ZA modes. Phonon frequencies for such modes increase with the in-plane lattice parameter since atoms in the layer upon stretching will be less free to move in the z direction. This is similar to the behavior of a string, which, when it is stretched, will have vibrations of smaller amplitude and higher frequency. This phenomenon, named "membrane effect", was predicted by Lif****z in 1952.
As of 2009, graphene appears to be one of the strongest materials ever tested. Measurements have shown that graphene has a breaking strength over 100 times greater than a hypothetical steel film of the same (incredibly thin) thickness, with a tensile modulus (stiffness) of 1 TPa (150,000,000 psi). However, the process of separating it from graphite, where it occurs naturally, will require some technological development before it is economical enough to be used in industrial processes, though this may be changing soon. Graphene is very light, weighing only about 0.77 milligrams per square meter. The Nobel announcement illustrated this by saying that a 1 square meter graphene hammock would support a 4 kg cat but would weigh only as much as one of the cat's whiskers, at 0.77 mg about 0.001% of the weight of 1m2 of paper.
Graphene paper or GP has recently been developed by a research department from the University of Technology Sydney by Guoxiu Wang, that can be processed, reshaped and reformed from its original raw material state. Researchers have successfully milled the raw graphite by purifying and filtering it with chemicals to reshape and reform it into nano-structured configurations, which are then processed into sheets as thin as paper, according to a university statement. Lead researcher Ali Reza Ranjbartoreh said: 'Not only is it lighter, stronger, harder and more flexible than steel, it is also a recyclable and sustainably manufacturable product that is eco-friendly and cost effective in its use.' Ranjbartoreh said the results would allow the development of lighter and stronger cars and planes that use less fuel, generate less pollution, are cheaper to run and ecologically sustainable. He said large aerospace companies have already started to replace metals with carbon fibres and carbon-based materials, and graphene paper with its incomparable mechanical properties would be the next material for them to explore.
Using an atomic force microscope (AFM), the spring constant of suspended graphene sheets has been measured. Graphene sheets, held together by van der Waals forces, were suspended over SiO2 cavities where an AFM tip was probed to test its mechanical properties. Its spring constant was in the range 1–5 N/m and the Young's modulus was 0.5 TPa, which differs from that of the bulk graphite. These high values make graphene very strong and rigid. These intrinsic properties could lead to using graphene for NEMS applications such as pressure sensors and resonators.
As is true of all materials, regions of graphene are subject to thermal and quantum fluctuations in relative displacement. Although the amplitude of these fluctuations is bounded in 3D structures (even in the limit of infinite size), the Mermin-Wagner theorem shows that the amplitude of long-wavelength fluctuations will grow logarithmically with the scale of a 2D structure, and would therefore be unbounded in structures of infinite size. Local deformation and elastic strain are negligibly affected by this long-range divergence in relative displacement. It is believed that a sufficiently large 2D structure, in the absence of applied lateral tension, will bend and crumple to form a fluctuating 3D structure. Researchers have observed ripples in suspended layers of graphene, and it has been proposed that the ripples are caused by thermal fluctuations in the material. As a consequence of these dynamical deformations, it is debatable whether graphene is truly a 2D structure.[69
Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most?
We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples
to lead our country to destruction.
-Charles A. Lindbergh
|August 28th, 2013||#4|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Swedish researchers discover new element
Researchers from Lund University in southern Sweden have discovered a new element - the 115th on the periodic table - which is "super-heavy" and still nameless.
"This was a very successful experiment and is one of the most important in the field in recent years," Dirk Rudolph, Professor at the Division of Nuclear Physics at Lund University, said in a statement.
The element, which will take the atomic number 115, is as yet unnamed.
As well as observing the new element, the team gained access to data allowing a closer look into the structure and properties of super-heavy atomic nuclei.
The team was able to confirm the existence of the element by testing the energies of certain protons against the new element's alpha decay, energies that agreed with the expected energies for X-ray radiation. This allowed the physicists to get a "fingerprint" of the element.
The research was carried out in Germany and based on previous studies in Russia.
The find marks the second recent breakthrough for Swedish researches in the science field. In July, scientists in Uppsala, eastern Sweden, discovered "Upsalite", a newly created form of magnesium carbonate the team referred to as an "impossible" material.
"[Upsalite] is expected to pave the way for new sustainable products in a number of industrial applications," Maria Strømme, professor of nanotechnology, said in a statement at the time.
|August 28th, 2013||#5|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Cell Penetration Mechanism for Gold Nanoparticles Discovered
Gold nanoparticles are well known as a drug-delivery platform that can successfully permeate cell membranes, taking their payloads directly to where they are needed. Now, MIT researchers have determined just how the nanoparticles are able to achieve this
In 2008, it was discovered that gold nanoparticles, coated with a specific polymer, were highly effective at penetrating biological cells. This platform makes it much easier to deliver chemicals such as drugs or nutrients, or even more complex systems like diagnostic sensors, into the heart of the cells, when they would normally be rejected or taken up very slowly.
Until recently, however, it was not clear why this worked. Now, researchers from MIT, along with a team at EPL in Switzerland, have fully described the process by which the nanoparticles pass through cell membranes without damaging the cell, and have also determined the maximum size for particles that are able to do this. The work has been published in Nano Letters in August 2013.
The core of the discovery is that the coated nanoparticles actually fully fuse with the lipid bilayers which make up the cell membrane.
This is possible because of the amphiphilic nature of the material used to coat the gold nanoparticles - typically monolayers of hydrophobic polymer chains, functionalized with hydrophilic chemical groups at their ends.
This structure is broadly similar to that of the lipids which make up the cell walls, making the interior of the barrier a very stable environment for the coated nanoparticles.
Because of this similarity, the gold nanoparticles can be absorbed into the cell membrane without requiring any energy to push them through, and the membrane closes seamlessly behind them without letting anything else slip in behind them.
This is in contrast to uncoated gold nanoparticles, which actively damage the cell membrane when they pass through it, causing cell death. Many other peptides and other chemicals either have this same damaging effect, or cannot pass through the barrier at all.
This deeper understanding of the mechanism which allows nanoparticles to penetrate biological cells with such ease will make research into practical applications of the phenomenon a good deal simpler. Altering the coating used to target certain types of cell, or adding on functional groups to deliver additional functionality, will be much simpler now that the limiting parameters have been more clearly defined.
|August 29th, 2013||#6|
Join Date: Aug 2013
New species of 'walking' shark discovered
The brown spotted fish, which has been called Hemiscyllium halmahera, is a species of bamboo shark that grows up to 27 inches in length.
The sharks live on the ocean floor and wriggle their bodies so that their fins push them along in a walking motion.
Two specimens of the shy fish were discovered off the coast of Ternate island, near Halmahera, in the Indonesian archipelago of Muluku.
Biologist Dr Gerald Allen, from Conservation International, led the team that discovered and filmed the new species of shark.
The strange walking motion may help provide some clues about how some early ancestors of the first animals to walk on land began evolving.
The new shark scours the sea floor for marine invertebrates and small fish to eat. Unlike its larger cousins, it is too small to be a threat to humans.
Writing in the International Journal of Ichthyology, Dr Allen and his team said: “The new species is clearly differentiated on the basis of colour pattern.
“Its features include a general brown colouration with numerous clusters of mainly 2-3 dark polygonal spots, widely scattered white spots in the matrix between dark clusters.
“It has relatively few, less than 10, large dark spots on the snout region, a pair of large dark marks on the ventral surface of the head, and a fragmented post-cephalic mark consisting of a large U-shaped dark spot with a more or less continuous white margin on the lower half, followed by a vertical row of three, smaller clusters of 2-3 polygonal dark marks.”
H. Halmahera is also described as being similar to another shark known as Hemiscyullium galei, which is found in Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua.
Bamboo sharks are all relatively small species that rarely grow more than 48 inches long, but have unusually long tails.
They are sometimes known as longtail carpet sharks, and are generally found in tropical waters close to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Read Further and Watch Video
|November 24th, 2013||#7|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Leeds man invents a dog-controlled washing machine
A Leeds man has invented a washing machine that can be controlled by an assistance dog to help disabled people.
The Woof to Wash device has a voice-activated switch which turns the washer on when the dog barks.
It also has a special "paw" button which allows the dog to open and close the machine's door.
Scottsdale man invents bullet resistant furniture
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jeff Isquith founded Ballistic Furniture Systems to better help protect people from active shooters.
The company makes bullet resistant parts that can be incorporated inside furniture. The armor is a Kevlar material that is capable of stopping bullets ranging from a .22 caliber to a .44 Magnum.
It catches bullets similar to the way a net works, and absorbs the pressure from the impact. Isquith is marketing it to schools and movie theaters.
"In the event you have gunfire taking place, people panic. And when people panic, they tend to look around, and they duck down or drop to the floor," says Isquith.
Granted, like any other armor, the technology is only bullet resistant. "Bullet proof" is a commonly used misnomer.
Last edited by Jae Manzel; November 24th, 2013 at 07:38 AM.
|November 24th, 2013||#8|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Belfast inventor launches crease-free pants that promise to maintain smooth shape
From Jennifer Lawrence to Khloe Kardashian, even A-listers aren't immune to uncomfortable and embarrassing camel toe.
But now it seems that the days of suffering in silence could be at an end thanks to Belfast inventor, Collette McCrarren.
Ms McCrarren has designed an innovative set of underwear named bodiBase that includes a patented gusset fabricated to hold its shape and fend off camel toe.
The underwear is also made from a special silver-infused fabric, which, claims McCrarren, has anti-bacterial and odour-eliminating properties.
Now McCrarren hopes to put the knickers into production with a little help from crowd-funding website, Kickstarter, and is looking for £25,000 in total.
On the website, she explains how she hit upon the idea and reveals that it came about after finding it impossible to unearth sports underwear that didn't leave her feeling 'paranoid'.
'The idea for bodiBase came from my own personal frustrations with inadequate underwear,' explains the former dental technician.
Speaking to MailOnline, she added: 'My hope for bodiBase is to see it succeed on Kickstarter so I can prove to retailers that there is a market for this fantastic product.
'I really hope that women hear about my project and support it so I can work on other products such as swimwear and gym clothing. I am still working full-time as a dental technician to help me get bodiBase out into the market.
'What keeps me going with bodiBase is the interest I've had from women that play sport, go to the gym, who compete in dressage and just normal everyday women that wear leggings/tight clothing, not only here in the UK but in Australia and the USA.
'I know that if women get to know that bodiBase is available, it will be something they will want to have. I really do hope that this could be the start of a business and a brand.
'It would be wonderful for bodiBase to take off as it has been designed and will be made right here in the UK which will lead to creating jobs and bringing British manufacturing back.'
Those who back the project can expect to be among the first to get their hands on the underwear, with both thong and short versions offered to backers.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/ar...-inventor.html
|November 24th, 2013||#9|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Car Mechanic Invents Device For Dramatically Safer Births
Car Mechanic Invents Device For Dramatically Safer Births
Proving that ingenuity can spring from anywhere, a 59 year old Argentinian car mechanic has invented a device that can dramatically reduce the incidence of childbirth complications. It’s called the Odón Device (named after the inventor, Jorge Odón) and consists of a plastic bag within a lubricated plastic sleeve, which is then fitted around the baby’s head while it is still in the womb. After it’s inflated and has gripped the head, the handles can be used to safely pull the baby out. There’s no need to use hard instruments, which can often injure a child. As a matter of fact, current options kind of suck; you either have to use forceps (medspeak for ‘pliers’) or a suction cup that attaches to the head. Either of these in untrained hands can be disastrous, so the Odón Device provides a safer-to-use alternative.
And this is not just a quirky human-interest story that’s been picked up by the media. Jorge’s invention has been enthusiastically endorsed by the World Health Organisation as a “low cost instrument for assisted vaginal delivery”. Currently still undergoing testing, the Odón Device could be manufactured for as little as $50.
|November 24th, 2013||#10|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Engineer who fixed his own heart invents device which saves the life of 40 people
Tal Golesworthy with his ground-breaking EARS device [SWNS]
Tal Golesworthy, 57, suffered from a life threatening heart defect called Marfan syndrome which left his main artery in danger of splitting.
However, faced with a life-time of gruelling surgery and on drugs he created a made-to-measure polyester sleeve which fit around his aorta.
The ground-breaking procedure was a success and since the technology was made available to other patients it has saved the lives of more than 40 people.
Mr Golesworthy said: "I just thought the operation sounded awful. The doctors were being asked to do an engineering job when they weren't engineers.
The device has helped to save the lives of more than 40 people [SWNS]
"I decided there had to be a better way."
The youngest person aided by the treatment was just 16 and it has been fitted in London, Oxford and at the Leuven University Hospital in Belgium.
The device's inventor is now calling on surgeons across Europe to start a trial and test the device against conventional therapy.
It could helps thousands of people with around 12,000 people in Britain alone suffering from Marfan syndrome.
The genetic defect cause abnormal growth of bones and weakness of connective tissue which puts dangerous pressure on the main artery in the heart.
The device's inventor is now calling on surgeons across Europe to start a trial [SWNS]
The sleeve's are created using scans of the individual patient's aorta and computer-assisted drawing to produce a bespoke device.
Mr Golesworthy became the first person to benefit from his EARS (external aortic root support) system on May 24 2004 at London's Royal Brompton Hospital.
Nine years after his two-hour operation his aorta has now grown in size and he said his life has been transformed because of it.
He added: "All of a sudden my aorta is now fixed, I began to breathe easy and sleep well and relax in a way that I hadn't done for years and years before."
Andrew Elis, 27, is one of the people who have benefited from the EARS device.
The keen footballer had surgery five years ago and he says because of it he feels like someone "without a heart condition."
He said: "Tal's invention has taken away the looming threat of a major operation that was hanging over me for so long."
Professor Graham Cooper, consultant cardiac surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, said it would be a long time before the operation was rolled out.
He said: "We have been doing the traditional operation for over 20 years and it is proven to be very safe and effective we know it stops people from dying.
"This new operation may have some advantages - it may mean patients have less time in hospital and under go a less complex procedure - but it will still be a long time before we have the data to compare different approaches."
|November 28th, 2013||#11|
Join Date: Aug 2013
B.C. entrepreneur invents energy-saving sensor
A B.C. entrepreneur and businesswoman hopes to capitalize on growing electricity costs with a new device that helps consumers track the energy use of various appliances in their home.
Janice Cheam dreamed up Neurio – a sensor contained within a small black box that is wired directly into a home’s breaker panel – while she was a student at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
Neurio connects to Wi-Fi networks and tracks energy consumption by all the appliances running in your home, sending real-time update reports to any personal devices connected to the Wi-Fi network.
''I had a broken heater that I didn’t know about. I had a stereo that was on even when I was turning it off and this was adding up to about $30 to $40 in costs a month that I didn’t even know about.''- Ali Kashani, VP of software development for Energy Aware Technology
“The way that appliances use energy happens in a really unique way. Kind of like a signature or a fingerprint,” says Cheam.
The software reads that fingerprint and assists users to see exactly what appliances or electrical devices are using energy at any given time.
“There is so many unexpected ways that you can save energy that don’t require you to really change your lifestyle,” she says.
Ali Kashani, vice president of software development at Cheam’s company Energy Aware, has been testing Neurio in his home for more than a year. He says one of the primary benefits is finding out about energy usage many people are unaware of in their own homes.
“You realize when you turned everything off, your home is still using a lot of energy. That’s a really good sign that there is something going on that you need to know about,” Kashani told CBC News.
“I had a broken heater that I didn’t know about. I had a stereo that was on even when I was turning it off and this was adding up to about $30 to $40 in costs a month that I didn’t even know about.”
Cheam started an online campaign to raise $95,000 to help get Neurio to market on popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The effort ended on Nov. 15, and in one month the company raised $267,373 from nearly 2,000 financial backers.
Cheam says that she hopes her invention will help people make their homes energy smart, and help keep costs down as hydro rates continue to increase across B.C.
On Tuesday, BC Hydro announced that rates will increase at least 25.5% over the next five years.
“British Columbians are going to be more focused on energy saving, which is a good thing overall and we want to provide the tool to help people achieve those savings.”
Cheam and her team are currently testing Neurio in a number of homes across North America, and they anticipate the sensor will be available to the public for about $250 next summer.
|November 28th, 2013||#12|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Tongue-Controlled Wheelchair Helps Paralyzed People Move
A new wireless device has allowed paralyzed people to drive a wheelchair simply by moving their tongues.
In a clinical trial, people with paralysis of all four limbs, a condition known as tetraplegia, effectively used the tongue-drive system to steer a wheelchair through an obstacle course or operate a computer.
High-level spinal cord injuries, a major cause of paralysis, currently afflict about 250,000 people in the United States.
"As of now, paralyzed individuals have very limited options," said study leader Maysam Ghovanloo, an electrical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The device could give people with severe disabilities greater independence and better quality of life, Ghovanloo told LiveScience. [See Video of Tongue-Controlled Wheelchair]
The tongue-drive system consists of a tiny magnet the size of a lentil, which sits in a titanium barbell tongue piercing. A headset containing wireless sensors measures changes in the magnetic field as wearers moves their tongues; the headset then sends these signals to a smartphone, which converts the tongue position into a command to control a computer cursor or drive a wheelchair.
In the study, Ghovanloo and his colleagues tested the device in 11 participants with tetraplegia and in 23 able-bodied participants. All participants received the magnetic tongue piercing. The participants then completed various tasks, such as clicking on targets on a computer screen, playing video games, dialing phone numbers and driving a powered wheelchair through an obstacle course, all by touching their tongues to the left and right inside edges of their teeth.
The able-bodied participants performed better than those with paralysis in the computer-based tasks, but the paralyzed individuals were slightly better at controlling the wheelchairs, the results of the trial, detailed today (Nov. 27) in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed.
"We believe this is a result of [people's] prior experience," Ghovanloo said. The able-bodied participants were mostly students, who were very familiar with using computers, whereas some of the paralyzed people had rarely or never used a computer before. By contrast, the disabled individuals use a wheelchair every day, so they excelled at that task.
Another popular assistive technology for paralyzed individuals involves driving a wheelchair by sipping and puffing on a straw. Before the study, more than half of the paralyzed participants used sip-and-puff systems daily.
"We showed that the tongue-drive system is almost three times faster [at issuing commands] than sip-and-puff systems, but equally precise," Ghovanloo said.
Naturally, one would think that a tongue-drive system could be problematic during talking or eating. During speech, it turns out the tongue moves almost exclusively back and forth along the midline of the mouth, so Ghovanloo's team designed their system to ignore these movements and use only sideways tongue flicks as control signals.
While eating, however, the tongue moves all over the place, Ghovanloo said. To avoid inadvertently driving around while trying to eat lunch, users can hold their tongues against their cheeks for three seconds to put the system into a standby mode. When they finish eating, they can use the same command to turn the system back on.
The tongue-drive system gives people with disabilities more options in terms of assistive devices. "It's almost like prescribing a medication," Ghovanloo said. "Sometimes you have to go through several assistive technologies before you find one that matches the abilities of the patient."
Assistive technologies also reduce the burden on a patient's family members or caregivers, and can substantially reduce health-care costs.
The researchers are now working on a newer version of the tongue system that fits entirely inside the mouth, instead of requiring a headset, which could be knocked off. Ghovanloo and colleagues have started a company to develop the device commercially, but it must undergo additional testing and be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
|November 28th, 2013||#13|
Join Date: May 2012
Re-invented the light bulb?
Medina startup Darkside Scientific develops light-up paint
By Robert Schoenberger, The Plain Dealer
on October 01, 2012 at 1:00 PM, updated October 01, 2012 at 2:25 PM
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Scott Shaw, The Plain DealerDarkside Scientific sales vice president Scott Smith, left, founder and chief executive Andy Zsinko, center, and Sleeper customs co-owner Jason "Dr. Strange" Gray stand in front of Darkside's invention, a paint that glows when an electric current runs through it. The Medina startup began selling the paint to custom bike and car shops last month.
MEDINA, Ohio -- Souped-up custom cars with LED lights under the frame? How 2011.
Darkside Scientific, a startup in Medina, has seen the future of cool - entire paint jobs on cars that can light up at the flip of a switch.
After several years of development and a patent filing earlier this year, Darkside began selling its Lumilor light-up paint, which glows when an electric current passes through it, to hot-rod customizers last month. The company is in talks with paint companies and several industrial manufacturers who see value in the product, said Andy Zsinko, Darkside founder and self-described lab rat.
The combination of paint and lighting could be a crossover product for two of the most popular segments of the car-customizer industry -- hot rod paint jobs and custom light kits. The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association trade group estimates that hot rodders spent $36.5 million last year on custom paint jobs and another $166.2 million on custom light kits.
A skateboard-size swath of light-up paint could cost as much as $400, Zsinko said. The company chose to focus on hot rods and custom motorcycles initially because customizers are often willing to spend big to get unique rides. And what could be cooler than a flame that actually flicker?
Scott Shaw, The Plain DealerDarkside has experimented with light-up guitars. With the right electronics, musical instruments could flash and pulse in time with music. This is a before picture with no electricity running through the paint.
Longer term, he sees growth coming from more mundane applications such as interior lighting for cars and emergency signs in industrial plants and hospitals.
Asked how he came up with the idea of electro-luminescent paint, which glows when an electric current passes through it, Zsinko said, "It had to do with mass quantities of beer."
Jason "Dr. Strange" Gray, a co-owner of Sleeper Customs in Euclid, the first shop to license Lumilor, said, "This is going to be huge. I've been having people ask me left and right if we can do something to their cars."
Several companies produce electro-luminescent tape or decals. And light-up wiring has caught on with some theatrical costumes, allowing dancers to weave light-emitting materials into their costumes. But paint is more versatile because it can cover complex shapes and larger surface areas, Zsinko said.
Though he grew up in his father's body shop, Zsinko spent most of his career managing computer networks. He still did custom paint jobs, but mostly as a hobby for friends. In 2005, a friend asked him to do "something cool" for his motorcycle, and Zsinko got the idea of using glow-in-the-dark paint.
Scott Shaw, The Plain DealerWith a small electric current running through it (provided by nine-volt batteries), this is how a guitar painted with Lumilor would look on a dark stage.
"It came out cool, but it was a failure," he said. "You couldn't control the effect."
Also, about an hour after dusk, the glow would dim.
After experimenting with dozens of materials, he finally started getting good results last year. Since then, he's been focusing on getting more light out of the paint and cutting costs. One of the phosphorous compounds that Zsinko uses costs $300 for an eight-ounce jar.
Lumilor must be applied carefully in several layers. Lower layers create the electrical field. On top of that goes the phosphorous-based materials that glow, and it all gets covered with clear coats of paint. Zsinko said you also have to add electrodes to activate the electrical field.
Gray said it's not a terribly complicated process for people already familiar with automotive painting. Darkside's paint is either blue, green or white. Gray said you can get other colors by adding tint to the clear coat.
Cleveland Cyclewerks, a company that's in the process of moving some of its motorcycle production to Cleveland from China, is working with Darkside to make a handful of bikes with light-up fenders and gas tanks.
Cyclewerks founder Scott Colosimo said he's going to put one light-up bike in his Cleveland showroom, and Darkside plans to keep one for displays. Darkside plan to make five others to sell for $15,000 ($2,500 of which will get donated to the Wounded Warriors Project) to raise money for Darkside's future.
Colosimo said he was skeptical when he heard from Darkside, but he decided to visit their shop, tucked away in a Medina industrial park.
"I get probably 100 people a week who contact me about the business opportunity of a lifetime," Colosimo said. "But once I saw what they were doing in person, I totally got it."
In addition to the car and motorcycle crowd, Smith said he's been reaching out to guitarists and other musicians. Several companies make glow-in-the-dark guitars, but he said there should be a bigger market for guitars that can glow and pulse in time with the music.
Zsinko said people looking for something cool will be the early adopters of his product, but he sees an even brighter future with more practical applications.
Lumilor isn't bright enough to replace headlights in cars, but it could conceivably replace turn signals, removing the need for bulbs and plastic covers.
Zsinko said he doesn't even try to think up applications for Lumilor.
"I ran out of imagination a couple of years ago," he said. He added that he's excited about how many companies are showing an interest because that gives him the opportunity to get back in the lab and "play mad scientist" with formulas.
|November 29th, 2013||#14|
Join Date: Aug 2013
The plastic made from BEETLES: Scientist invents material from insect shells that could cut waste thrown into landfill sites
Ms Hoekstra uses a chemical process to transform the chitin into chitosan, which bonds better due to a variation in the molecular composition.
‘I press these shields together with a heat press and I get the insect plastic.
‘It took me six months to develop the insect plastic what I have right now,’ she said.
Despite the painstaking process, she hopes the material could one day be an alternative for normal plastic.
A staggering 270,000 tonnes of the manmade non-biodegradable material is thrown away every year in the UK alone, which is around 15 million bottles per day.
The beetle plastic is not only less wasteful as it is biodegradable, but the animals themselves are the byproduct of mealworms, which are farmed for pet food and bait and would otherwise be thrown away.
Ms Hoekstra said she was inspired by the rapid advance insects make in human consumption.
‘For that reason I started cultivate mealworms to see what other positive values insects have.
‘Mealworms are bred for the food industry, primarily for the use of animal feed, and are the larval form of the darkling beetle.
‘The beetles die three or four months after laying their eggs and are then seen as waste.
I decided to research these dead beetles and found out that the beetle's shield contains a polymer called chitin, a type of natural plastic.
‘I peel the dead beetles to get the shells off them.’
Ms Hoekstra said that while the insect plastic shows the recipe she uses works, she is still in the research phase.
‘I use this bioplastic for light objects and jewellery, but in future I want to use it for the non-biodegradable plastics,’ she said.
‘My next step is to research the properties of the material, so I know where I can use the material for.
‘The benefits of this material is that it's biodegradable and made of waste material.
‘My hope is that it could become a replacement for normal plastic.’
Last edited by Jae Manzel; November 29th, 2013 at 11:00 AM.
|November 29th, 2013||#15|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Scientist develops nanoparticle ink to 3D print batteries
The emerging technology of 3D printing has been investigated as a way to improve on all sorts of technologies from toothbrushes to rocket engines. Now a Harvard researcher is working on a way to utilize 3D printing to improve one of the most vital components in consumer technology — batteries. Materials scientist Jennifer Lewis has developed new “inks” that can be used to 3D print batteries and other electronic components with current technology.
3D printing is already at work in the field of consumer electronics with casings and some smaller components being made on industrial 3D printers. However, the need for traditionally produced circuit boards and batteries limits the usefulness of 3D printing. If the work being done by Lewis proves fruitful, it could make fabrication of a finished product considerably faster and easier.
The Harvard team is calling the material “ink,” but is actually a suspension of nanoparticles in a dense liquid medium like ethylene glycol. In the case of the battery printing ink, the team starts with a vial of deionized water and ethylene glycol and adds nanoparticles of lithium titanium oxide. The mixture is homogenized then centrifuged to separate out any larger particles, which results in the ink used to print batteries.
This process is possible because of the unique properties of the nanoparticle suspension. It is mostly solid as it sits in the printer ready to be applied, then begins to flow like liquid when pressure on it is increased. Once it has left the custom syringe applicator, it returns to a solid state. Lewis’ team has been able to lay down multiple layers of this ink with extreme precision at 100-nanometer accuracy. The tiny batteries being printed are about 1mm square, and could pack even higher energy density than conventional cells thanks to the intricate constructions.
This approach is much more realistic than other metal printing technologies because it doesn’t rely on the high temperatures. This all happens at room temperature and works with existing industrial 3D printers that were built to work with plastics. The team hopes that future work will make this type of nanoparticle extrusion possible on consumer-level 3D printers like the MakerBot.
Batteries made from lithium inks are only one of the possible applications. The Harvard team has also experimented with silver nanoparticles to lay out wires and connections on a circuit board. It may be possible to construct entire devices — battery, electronics, and casing — with 3D printing technology that don’t have to be assembled by man or machine. You just input a design, and the finished product comes out ready to use.
Last edited by Jae Manzel; November 29th, 2013 at 11:16 AM.
|November 29th, 2013||#16|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Medtronic develops "artificial pancreas" for diabetes patients
it's the device so many diabetics have been waiting for -- an insulin pump which senses when your blood sugar is too low and stops pumping insulin.
The manufacturer, Medtronic -- calls this pump an artificial pancreas because a non-diabetic's pancreas does the same thing on its own.
The pump is this black box -- and, the white piece is the sensor on the patient's skin, which can shut the pump off.
Dr. Bruce Bode, a diabetes specialist -- says the device will keep patients safer and let them decide what sugar levels are best for them.
"..Obviously if you live with diabetes around the clock mainly type 1 diabetes when it's insulin independent, people have always been asking when are you going to cure diabetes. And so there's biological cures as well as artificial cures. And the first step in the artificial pancreases has just been approved by the FDA and that's a big milestone because this is something everybody's been waiting for. It's not a cure, it's just gonna help people live with diabetes better."
"..Yeah so this new system basically suspends insulin delivery when it crosses a certain glucose threshold that is defined as low. And in this system you can set that threshold anywhere from 60-90 milligrams per decimeter. So it's up to the individual patient and the healthcare professional to set this device. But the first step is just suspending insulin delivery, and that's what the pancreas does. If I gave you insulin and even though you don't have diabetes and I made your glucose low, your pancreas would automatically suspend its own insulin delivery."
Medtronic's artificial pancreas is the first device of its kind approved by the FDA.
Competing companies are developing similar products.
Read more: http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/24...#ixzz2m3J6WuaU
|December 1st, 2013||#17|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Microsoft Develops Bra that Monitors Food Habits
There are devices galore out there to help reduce your weight, stress levels and generally help in a healthier lifestyle. A unique addition now is lingerie, which will help you lead a stress-free life.
Engineers at Microsoft have developed a bra that will regulate stress levels and check on the wearer's moods. This particular bra has sensors in the cups and side panels to note the changes in heart rate.
Any fluctuation in your mood and the bra sends you an alert to your smartphone using Bluetooth technology.
According to Discovery News report, four women from the Microsoft research lab volunteered to try the device. They were told to wear three conductive fabric pads inside their bras, and also use the mobile application, EmoTree, that will tell them about their emotional condition. The participants wore the bra for four to six hours a day for four days and in between had to rush to charge the 3.7 battery of the bra.
The researchers measured the heart rate and respiration of the volunteers with an EKG sensor and skin temperature was measured with the help of an electrodermal activity sensor, and movement with an accelerometer and gyroscope.
According to the researchers, the bra was able to spot the stress levels with an accuracy of stress-induced overeating at 75 percent and emotion at roughly 73 percent. "Based on these results, we conclude that building a wearable, physiological system is feasible," said Mary Czerwinski, a cognitive psychologist and senior researcher in visualization and interaction at Microsoft.
Czerwinski explained that women have the habit of overeating during stressful times and this technology will help them refrain from over-indulging in food.
|December 3rd, 2013||#18|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Designer invents electric motorbike that 'goes like stink'
The so-called storm trooper bike looks like something out of science fiction; goes from 0- 100km/h in under four seconds; and is much safer than traditional engines.
"Petrol bikes feature Victorian plumbing." Marazzi said. "You've got a highly carcinogenic, massively explosive liquid called petrol inches away from a 900 to 1000-degree exhaust pipe. If you tried to do that experiment in a lab, people would think you were nuts.
"We're the only electric bike using Formula One composite technology," said Marazzi. "This also makes it light, weighing just 200kg, strong and allows the Saietta to run 160km with a 19km reserve on a single charge."
Electric motorcycles are a fast-growing segment of the market. In 2010, the world produced 60 million motorbikes that ran on fossil fuel and 32 million electric and hybrid ones.
With an annual growth of 20%, electric-powered models will close the gap by 2015, when the same number of petrol and electric motorbikes being produced - about 70 million units of each.
Marazzi considered taking on the electric car market initially, but it was too mature, even in 2007, and costs were prohibitive.
"The capital costs in creating a significant motorcycle business are much smaller than those for cars," he said. "But the product price can be just as high. Put it this way, if you're selling a £15000 (about R244000) Ford Focus, it's a shed-load more work than selling a £15000 motorcycle."
This has been a labour of love for the designer-turned-entrepreneur. His company, Agility Global, built seven prototypes before settling on the current model. "Coming from an aerospace background, five years is pretty quick," he said.
Marazzi is hoping to sell 9500 of the bikes by 2018. "We designed the Saietta in a way that would allow us to scale production very quickly."
Its core markets are the US and the European Union, which have "incredibly high early adoption rates. There are also strong incentives in place to go electric. Gas motorcycles are taxed at up to 150%. Electric ones aren't taxed at all."
If the Saietta lives up to its name, market penetration should be swift. "Saietta means thunderbolt in an Italian dialect," Marazzi said. "But it actually comes from a turn of phrase that means: 'That goes like stink!'"
|December 3rd, 2013||#19|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Goldee Develops Intelligent Light Switch with Gesture Control
Goldee Light Controller – when light responds to your needs.
Goldee today revealed the Goldee Light Controller – a reinvention of the light switch that redefines how people interact with light. Goldee translates information from your surroundings into smart functions that respond to your lighting needs. Today starts the crowd- funding campaign during which customers can pre-order Goldee for an exclusive price of $249 directly at getgoldee.com.
“Ever since the invention of the light bulb, not much has changed in the way people interact with light. Until now. Goldee forever changes how we interact with light, and how light interacts with us.”
Users will enjoy smart features such as the Sunrise Alarm, which simulates the morning sunrise to make your morning rise easier. Sleep Timer naturally fades your lights to prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, Night Mode helps you to get around by automatically turning on dim light. When you return back to bed, Goldee turns it off again.
Goldee automatically turns your lights off when you leave home and turns them on when you return. The Smart Security feature simulates your presence if Goldee notices you have been away from home for more than two days.
An innovative way of interacting with light has been applied. Thanks to Goldee’s responsiveness to gestures, you can now control your lights with a wave of your hand.
“Ever since the invention of the light bulb, not much has changed in the way people interact with light. Until now. Goldee forever changes how we interact with light, and how light interacts with us,” says Tomas Baran, CEO & Founder.
Goldee installs like any standard light switch and is compatible with regular bulbs. However, in order to use Goldee’s colorful light scenes and smart features, smart LEDs like Philips hue, LIFX or ilumi should be used. In addition to the controller, Goldee offers package deals that include LIFX smart LEDs. The packages provide controllers and light bulbs for one or four rooms.
Goldee is propelling the revolution of intelligent lighting forward – a revolution that began with the introduction of smart LED bulbs by Philips, LIFX and ilumi.
Pricing and Availability
To start production, Goldee aims to raise $100,000 through an independent crowd-funding campaign, launching November 26, 2013. The price of $249 is limited for the duration of the campaign with a subsequent retail price of $349. Shipping is planned for Summer 2014.
|December 9th, 2013||#20|
Join Date: Aug 2013
Canadian Tire develops temperature-sensitive tires that will change colour
Look at any local tire shop’s busy parking lot after the first snowfall of the year and you’ll spot proof of a proven fact: most Canadian drivers think their ‘all-season’ tires are sufficient until there’s snow on the road.
But winter tires are about more than just snow, since they utilize a rubber compound designed to remain flexible in low temperatures where all-season tires become hard and inflexible at the expense of traction.
Winter tires, which don’t harden up in cold weather conditions, provide superior traction when it gets cold out, snow or not.
The magic temperature to keep in mind? Seven degrees Celsius, as agreed upon by tire retailers, manufacturers and automotive experts across the country.
To help remind drivers of the proper time to switch to winter rubber and promote safe winter driving, Canadian Tire has teamed up with leading rubber Research & Development organization, ARTIS, to develop a special all-season tire concept that’ll help remind drivers of the proper time to make the switch.
The new concept tire was created to showcase a relatively simple but effective new technology: a colour-change effect when the temperature drops below seven degrees.
Using a thermochromic formulation within the white sidewall of the tire, the tire appears to have a normal, white sidewall at warmer temperatures, though it turns vivid blue when temperatures drop below the safe limit for all season rubber.
The cold-activated colour change was inspired by other products on the market, perhaps like the mountain peaks on the label of your favourite adult beverage turning blue when it’s at ideal consumption temperature.
Canadian Tire officials say the push behind the creation of the colour-changing concept tire was simple: a visual cue and reminder helps promote safe driving on proper tires for the season.
ARTIS’s Dr. Joe Hallett comments “our team at ARTIS took a particular interest in this project as it presented an idea we believe no one had considered before.
Canadian Tire is one of the leaders in delivering the message of winter driving safety and, as a father of young children, I share their desire to communicate how important it is to use winter tires.”
The special colour-changing tire remains a pure concept at this point, though the technology could wind up on your ride in the near future.