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The 'chemputer' that could print out any drug

The 'chemputer' that could print out any drug
Professor Lee Cronin is a likably impatient presence, a one-man catalyst. "I just want to get stuff done fast," he says. And: "I am a control freak in rehab." Cronin, 39, is the leader of a world-class team of 45 researchers at Glasgow University, primarily making complex molecules. But that is not the extent of his ambition. A couple of years ago, at a TED conference, he described one goal as the creation of "inorganic life", and went on to detail his efforts to generate "evolutionary algorithms" in inert matter. At the same time, one branch of that thinking has itself evolved into a new project: the notion of creating downloadable chemistry, with the ultimate aim of allowing people to "print" their own pharmaceuticals at home. The idea is very much at the conception stage, but as he walks me around his labs Cronin begins to outline how that "paradigm-changing" project might progress. The "inks" would be simple reagents, from which more complex molecules are formed.

Controlling a Computer with Your Eyes Researchers at Imperial College London have developed an affordable technology that could allow millions of people suffering from ailments like Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury to interact with computers–using just their eyes. The finding brings new hope to many patients that computing–and the many improvements to quality of life the computing brings–could soon be relatively simple and affordable for those who are paralyzed or otherwise disabled. It’s anyone’s nightmare–to suffer an injury or be diagnosed with a disease that could lead to “locked-in syndrome.” One feature of locked-in syndrome, though, is that occasionally mobility remains in one part of the body–the eyes. Famously, the French author of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly dictated his memoirs solely through eye-movements–one letter at a time, and with the help of an assistant. That won’t work for everyone, obviously–and nor would the expensive eye-tracking technology of years past.

32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow - Interactive Feature Electric Clothes Physicists at Wake Forest University have developed a fabric that doubles as a spare outlet. When used to line your shirt — or even your pillowcase or office chair — it converts subtle differences in temperature across the span of the clothing (say, from your cuff to your armpit) into electricity. And because the different parts of your shirt can vary by about 10 degrees, you could power up your MP3 player just by sitting still. Chris Nosenzo The New Coffee Soon, coffee isn’t going to taste like coffee — at least not the dark, ashy roasts we drink today. Analytical Undies Your spandex can now subtly nag you to work out. The Morning Multitasker The problem with laptops and tablets, says Mark Rolston of the design firm Frog, is that they’re confined by a screen. Clean Hair, No Hands This 15-minute shampoo treatment begins when you lean your head back into a machine that looks like a sink at the salon. What are your two best million-dollar ideas? The Congestion Killer

Advancing the Future of Healthcare: frog’s Connected Care Solution By Ernest Beck - November 6, 2012 As technology disrupts established healthcare systems and the traditional patient-provider dynamic, frog introduces a prototype Connected Care Solution (CCS) that seamlessly connects doctors and patients and supportive communities. Based on a new patient-centered healthcare paradigm, CCS fosters a collaborative relationship between the patient, providers, and a social network to improve health outcomes and help achieve lifestyle goals. With a deep knowledge and expertise in the healthcare sector, frog designers, technologists, and strategists are exploring innovative and systemic solutions for the future of healthcare—today. Your blood pressure is spiking and you don’t know why or what to do. CCS puts the patient first. “CCS puts the patient at the center of holistically managing their healthcare situation,” says Thomas Sutton, executive creative director at frog’s Milan studio. An urgent need for innovation Meet Charles Green But Dr. Health monitoring

The future of computing power – from DNA hard drives to quantum chips | Nanotechnology world Future developments in nanotechnology are predicted to come from probing a scale one hundred times smaller than the cells in current silicon chips. Photograph: U. Bellhsuser/Getty Images/ScienceFoto RM It seems inconceivable that the floppy disk was once the flag-bearerfor digital storage devices. A 3.5-inch floppy disk could store a measly 1.44 megabytes of data –not even enough to fit a single mp3 music file. The recent explosion in this cheap, high-capacity hardware is down to the ability of computer engineers to reduce the size of the memory cells that make up the devices. The advances have been so rapid that they will soon reach a wall. But Michael Kozicki, director of the Center for Applied Nanoionics atArizona State University, sees a further roadblock ahead: "Everyone inthe industry agrees that, when we get down to the 11 nanometre level,we're done; we won't be able to travel any further down the chargestorage route."

Bessel beam "tractor beam" concept theoretically demonstrated Researchers have demonstrated a tractor beam using a Bessel beam (not pictured) is theoretically possible (Photo: Shutterstock) Last year, we looked at three potential “tractor beam” technologies being evaluated by NASA to deliver planetary or atmospheric particles to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft. At the time, the third of these, which involved the use of a Bessel beam, only existed on paper. Haifeng Wang at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute and colleagues studied the properties of Bessel beams, which, unlike normal laser beams, don’t diffract or spread out as they propagate. The team says the amount of tractor beam force depends on various factors, including the electrical and magnetic properties of the particles. While true Bessel beams are impossible to create, as they would require an infinite amount of energy, reasonably good approximations can be made and are used in many optical applications. The team’s research appears in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Designer Fund And The White House Challenge You To Redesign The Electronic Medical Record Hey designers! You could build another app. Or you could save some lives by entering the White House’s Health Design Challenge to give the electronic medical record a much-needed redesign. Right now the thing’s an abomination — all courier font, hard to read. The Health Design Challenge is being presented by Designer Fund, a new community of philanthropic angels and mentors who support and invest in designer-founders. There’s plenty of design to be done here. So go at it. The best designs will compete for $50,000 in cash prizes. Blumenfeld’s got a tip for those participating in the challenge. He’s fired up about the project and is asking his fund’s network of over 75 world-class designers to get behind it because the Health Design Challenge “skews towards action — it’s taking it to the next level.

Audacious & Outrageous: Space Elevators Inspired partly by science fiction, NASA scientists are seriously considering space elevators as a mass-transit system for the next century. Listen to this story (requires RealPlayer) Sept. 7, 2000 -- "Yes, ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard NASA's Millennium-Two Space Elevator. Your first stop will be the Lunar-level platform before we continue on to the New Frontier Space Colony development. The entire ride will take about 5 hours, so sit back and enjoy the trip. As we rise, be sure to watch outside the window as the curvature of the Earth becomes visible and the sky changes from deep blue to black, truly one of the most breathtaking views you will ever see!" Does this sound like the Sci-Fi Channel or a chapter out of Arthur C. Above: Artist Pat Rawling's concept of a space elevator viewed from the geostationary transfer station looking down along the length of the elevator toward Earth. "This is no longer science fiction," said Smitherman. Smitherman's paper credits Arthur C. More

Forces that enable creative design (Photo: Colourbox) General interest in design is on the rise. Good industrial design may also be the key to successful innovation and commercial success. Unfortunately, however, relatively few Norwegian companies distinguish themselves on the design front. "If Norway is to make a mark in terms of new and future-oriented design, we must dare to do things differently," says Associate Professor Birgit Helene Jevnaker at the BI Norwegian Business School. In search of industrial design – hidden treasures In her PhD study Jevnaker examined how creative design can be developed through long-term collaboration between enterprising company employees and external specialists in industrial design. Among other things, she followed design development processes at furniture manufacturers Håg and Stokke, the reverse vending solutions company Tomra, and Hamax, a manufacturer of child seats for bicycles, snow sledges, and ski products. Five forces that enable creative design Birgit H. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3.

Future - Health - Will mobile sensors revolutionise healthcare? How the phone in your pocket could help power a revolution in healthcare that will allow your doctor to spot problems – and intervene – no matter where you are in the world. Dr Leslie Saxon wants to be able to measure anybody’s heartbeat, no matter where they are in the world. The cardiologist, from the University of Southern California, specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease using wearable and implanted devices. She believes that networked gadgets, such as an iPhone fitted with a heartrate monitor, could be the start of a revolution in healthcare that will allow your doctor to spot problems - and intervene – even if they are thousands of miles away. She tells BBC Future about what this relatively inexpensive measure could mean for global health.

One and done: Single-atom transistor is end of Moore's Law; may be beginning of quantum computing A controllable transistor engineered from a single phosphorus atom has been developed by researchers at the University of New South Wales, Purdue University and the University of Melbourne. The atom, shown here in the center of an image from a computer model, sits in a channel in a silicon crystal. The atomic-sized transistor and wires might allow researchers to control gated qubits of information in future quantum computers. (Purdue University image) Download image WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The smallest transistor ever built - in fact, the smallest transistor that can be built - has been created using a single phosphorous atom by an international team of researchers at the University of New South Wales, Purdue University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney. The single-atom device was described Sunday (Feb. 19) in a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. "To me, this is the physical limit of Moore's Law," Klimeck says. Gerhard Klimeck, 765-494-9212,

Using 3D printing technology to restore ancient treasures of China’s Forbidden City An example of one of the 3D models created from the arteficts on display at the Palace Museum in Beijing Image Gallery (2 images) We’ve already seen the 3D printing technology that promises to turn a household desk into a mini manufacturing plant used by the Smithsonian Institution to produce replicas of key models for display and traveling exhibitions. Now a 3D printing process is being used to help restore ancient artifacts from China’s Forbidden City. Beijing’s Forbidden City, which houses the Palace Museum, is home to an extensive collection of priceless artwork and artifacts dating back hundreds of years, including the largest collection of preserved wooden structures in the world. Conventional restoration methods involve a painstaking and expensive process of measuring, photographing and manually repairing of objects. After the shape of the original objects is captured using laser or optical scanners, damaged areas can be digitally restored ready for 3D printing. About the Author