There’s a limited supply of donor human corneas, meaning that not everyone who needs an eyesight-saving transplant can get one. As a result, biosynthetic corneas have recently been developed. These could become quicker and easier to produce, as scientists have now successfully 3D-printed the things.
U.S. Special Operations Forces operate a fleet of portable, rapidly deployable field workshops that can repair, manufacture, or even improve equipment in the field. The workshops, known as Mobile Technology Repair Complexes, are powered by renewable energy and stuffed with tools including lathes, welders, and 3D printers. MTRCs have proven their worth in the war against the Islamic State in Syria, quickly building ad hoc medical facilities from available materials.
Glioblastoma is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. Affecting the brain, those unlucky enough to receive a diagnosis don’t have many treatment options – and usually a median life expectancy of just over a year. Now, researchers at MIT have developed nanoparticles that could provide hope, crossing the blood-brain barrier and delivering two types of drugs to fight tumors.
Though digital music accounts for much of what we now listen to, old school formats like vinyl and audio cassettes steadfastly refuse to disappear. The former is enjoying something of a healthy revival at the moment, but trying to find an album released on audio cassette is a little more challenging.
At the cellular level, aging and cancer are two sides of the same coin. The mechanism that limits a cell’s lifespan can be slowed down, but that can turn them cancerous, as they divide unchecked.
Much mystery surrounds the physiological processes by which humans age, but scientists are learning more all the time. With this knowledge come new possibilities around how we can not only slow them down, but possibly even reverse them. A new breakthrough at the University of Colorado is the latest advance in the area, demonstrating how a chemically altered nutritional supplement may well reverse aging of the blood vessels, in turn giving cardiovascular health a vital boost.
Australian company Titomic has unveiled what it claims is the world’s largest metal 3D printer at its fully automated Melbourne facility. Utilizing a patented process co-developed with Australian federal scientific research agency the CSIRO, the 3D metal printer boasts a build area 9 m long, 3 m wide and 1.5 m high (29.5 x 9.8 x 4.9 ft), however the printing process isn’t constrained to this booth size, meaning it could be used to print even larger objects.
A new portable system small enough to mount on a personal firearm provides its user with the ability to quickly locate the source of hostile gunfire. The PEARL system, created by French defense contractor Metravib, uses acoustic sensors to determine the source of gunfire during the confusion of combat.
“Evil” GE foods and “eco-friendly” organics
Across the globe, genetically engineered (GE) crops face opposition from environmental and organic food activists, who claim the crops harm the environment and endanger human health.
How factual are their claims? The evidence strongly supports GE over organic crops.
Not long ago, Vijay visited the Sprouts organic food store in San Jose, California. To his surprise, organic vegetables that had shorter shelf-life and higher risk of bacterial contamination and thus serious illness were priced two to ten times more than their GE and conventional food alternatives. The store is famous among millennial techies in the Silicon Valley and enjoys reasonable sales. One possible explanation would be the false notion that GE foods are risky or injurious to health; another is that buyers incorrectly believe organic produce have fewer pesticides, are more nutritious or better protect the environment.
But in science, neither a belief nor even a general “consensus” determines truth. A thousand people could claim the theory of gravity is wrong, but one simple scientific proof would prove their consensus false. Similarly, the safety of genetically modified foods cannot be determined by the increasingly vitriolic voices of anti-GE groups. It requires robust scientific testing by actual experts in various fields.
The world is in desperate need of new antibiotics, as bacteria continue to evolve and develop resistance to the ones we have. Now, researchers at La Trobe University have found a peptide in the flower of a tobacco plant that could be the first of a brand new kind of antibiotic, hopefully helping us avoid the looming doomsday of superbugs.