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MIT creates glucose fuel cell to power implanted brain-computer interfaces

MIT creates glucose fuel cell to power implanted brain-computer interfaces
Neuroengineers at MIT have created a implantable fuel cell that generates electricity from the glucose present in the cerebrospinal fluid that flows around your brain and spinal cord. In theory, this fuel cell could eventually drive low-power sensors and computers that decode your brain activity to interface with prosthetic limbs. The glucose-powered fuel cell is crafted out of silicon and platinum, using standard semiconductor fabrication processes. Size-wise, the MIT engineers have created glucose-powered fuel cells that are as large as 64x64mm (2.5in), or as small as just a few millimeters. This discovery is exciting for two main reasons: a) The fuel cell is completely synthetic, and b) they can be produced using low-tech, decades-old chip fabrication processes. Ultimately, this fuel cell will hopefully be used to power implanted, ultra-low-power devices that sit inside your skull or spinal cord. Read more at MIT or download the paper at PLoS ONE (non-paywalled!)

Damn Interesting • A collection of legitimately fascinating information culled from the past, present, and anticipated future. This Gizmo Lets You Draw A UI On Paper, Then Turns It Into A Touch Screen You know those huge multichannel mixers--the massive boards that audio engineers manage during concerts to control everything from sound to lights? It’s the sort of highly specialized hardware that the average person would never come into contact with, because why would they? But what if you could just draw it? That’s the idea behind the SketchSynth, by Carnegie Mellon student Billy Keyes. It allows you to draw your own specialized piece of sound hardware--in this case, a MIDI board--on any random piece of paper. “Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by control panels,” Keyes explains on his blog. His approach is a compromise between boundless childhood imagination and human factors of practicality: He designed three distinct controls that anyone could draw. A simple webcam picks up the shapes and sends them to a computer, then, a projector actually lays extra data on top of the drawing, like virtual nubs to control the sliders. [Hat tip: Creative Applications]

14 Stories That Prove Animals Have Souls Doors Unlock With Smartphone Vibrations It gives the term skeleton key a whole new meaning: a prototype system from AT&T Labs that beams a unique vibration through a user’s bones to be picked up by a receiver in a door handle, automatically unlocking the door at the touch of the handle. Using piezoelectric transducers, the system could someday be embedded in smartphones or wristwatches to create doors that automatically unlock when the right person touches them and stay firmly dead-bolted when anyone else tries to gain entry. In the future, in other words, you are your own set of keys. According to InnovationNewsDaily, the system works via frequencies that humans can’t feel but could hear in a very quiet room. These acoustic signals travel from one piezoelectric transducer through human bones much the way sound waves vibrate through the skull and inner ear to enable our sense of hearing. The vibration travels straight through the body including through the hand, which can impart the signal to anything it touches.

25 Things You Might Not Know About Futurama Unmanned Lockheed Mach 20 An unmanned hypersonic aircraft made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) crashed into the Pacific Ocean after reaching about 20 times the speed of sound and flying for more than nine minutes, a Pentagon agency said. The experimental Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2, or HTV-2, lifted off today in a Minotaur IV rocket made by Orbital Sciences Corp. (ORB) at 7:45 a.m. local time from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is funding the program and overseeing the tests. The agency announced the launch and mission updates on Twitter. The arrowhead-shaped aircraft soared to the edge of space, separated from the booster and was “on track” to enter its glide phase, during which it would reach speeds of Mach 20, or about 13,000 miles per hour, before diving into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Kwajalein Atoll, according to the agency. Close Open Source: Darpa Mach 20

The Amazing Robot Can Jump 30 Feet High Boston Dynamics yesterday posted a video to their YouTube page showing off their “Sand Flea Jumping Robot. The robot appears to be a normal RC car except for one thing: it can pop itself 30 feet into the air to scale obstacles in its path. The video, as seen below, shows the robot leap to the roof of a small building in a single bound. Funding for the development of the ‘Sand Flea’ was provided by DARPA, JIEDDO, and the U.S. Boston Dynamics describes itself on its website as “an engineering company that specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation.” Impressed? Amazing Robot Can Jump 30 Feet High 25 Beautifully Illustrated Thought-Provoking Questions 405 Flares Facebook 137 Twitter 5 Google+ 194 StumbleUpon 1 Pin It Share 68 68 405 Flares × A question that makes you think is worth asking… At the cusp of a new day, week, month, or year, most of us take a little time to reflect on our lives by looking back over the past and ahead into the future. We ponder the successes, failures and standout events that are slowly scripting our life’s story. This process of self reflection helps us maintain a conscious awareness of where we’ve been and where we intend to go. It is pertinent to the organization and preservation of our dreams, goals and desires. Remember, these questions have no right or wrong answers. Here’s a sample of 25 recent thought questions posted on the site: Few extra questions Thank you for visiting, we hope you find our site, enjoyable, informative and educational.

Google's Futuristic Android-Based Glasses Google has its sights set on a new way of experiencing and interacting with the world. The multifaceted enterprise that has already dipped its feet into social networking, web browsing, and mobile technology has a new undertaking called Project Glass. In its simplest form, the project presents a futuristic fashion statement, but it ultimately represents a lifestyle change for society. The single-lens eyewear technology is a tool for sharing experiences digitally, capturing moments, and receiving on-the-spot access to information. Although it features a sleeker design and is capable of doing much more, there's a part of me that can't help being reminded of the old video gaming system called R-Zone from the 1990's that many may not be familiar with because of its lack in success. A video released by Google for the invention gives us a first-person perspective of a day in the life of someone with this pioneering gadget. Project Glass on Google+ via [Laughing Squid]

Seeing in the Dark & SEEDMAGAZINE.COM Credit: cliff1066tm. Patient TN was, by his own account, completely blind. Two consecutive strokes had destroyed the visual cortex of his brain, and consequently, his ability to see. It is not uncommon for stroke patients to suffer brain damage, but the case of TN — referenced by his initials, the general practice in such studies — was peculiar. Known as selective bilateral occipital damage, TN’s unusual injury made him the subject of much interest while recovering at a hospital in Geneva. To further test the extent of TN’s abilities, researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands devised a simple yet decisive experiment: an obstacle course. TN’s rare condition is known as blindsight. The researchers explained that TN’s success indicates that “humans can sustain sophisticated visuo-spacial skills in the absence of perceptual awareness.”

Back when technology was simple.. - StumbleUpon WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? Plato: For the greater good. Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability. Solar Solutions - Complete Solar Power Energy Solutions - SolarCity SolarCity is revolutionizing the delivery of solar energy to homes and businesses across the U.S. Our national reach with local delivery and ongoing service gives our customers the power of a national company with the assurance and convenience of a local resource. America's Leader Your full service solar company When you want to join the solar movement count on SolarCity's all-in-one service for its home, commercial and government customers. Start Now Sustainable Energy When you are ready to switch to solar, we take care of every step! Learn More