Half man, half machine: Scientists engineer first 'cyborg' tissue - which uses living human cells and organic polymers Harvard scientists created 'cyborg' skin from neurons, heart cells, and nano-electronic wiringWiring allows scientists to detect and respond to pH changes on the tissue's surface, the same as human skin By Daily Mail Reporter Published: 04:43 GMT, 30 August 2012 | Updated: 16:31 GMT, 30 August 2012 It like it’s something out of a science-fiction movie – genius scientists engineer a synthetic skin that’s part living, part electronics.
Scientists develop new 'kill switch' to destroy genetically-modified organisms that escape Genetically modified organisms hold a lot of promise for creating hardier crops and faster growing fish, but even supporters are concerned about invasive organisms running wild. If a faster, better, stronger strain of bacteria escaped the lab, how would we stop it? Now, scientists have come up with a new solution: self-destructing DNA. Published today in Nature Communications, the system would use cutting-edge gene-editing tools to erase DNA as soon as a given organism leaves its designated area, destroying both the cell and its genetic information. The result is a so-called "kill switch," eradicating any experimental or proprietary organisms before they can escape into the wild.
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Flexible sensors turn skin into a touch-sensitive interface for mobile devices iSkin is a thin, flexible, stretchable and visually customizable touch sensor that can be worn directly on the skin. Saarland University computer scientists created three novel classes of on-body devices based on iSkin: (a) FingerStrap, exemplified here with a strap on the index finger for fast, one-handed control of incoming calls; (b) Extensions for wearable devices, exemplified here with a rollout keyboard attached to a smart watch; and SkinStickers, exemplified here with (c) an input surface for a music player attached to the forearm, (d) a click wheel on the back of the hand, and (e) a headset control behind the ear. (credit: Martin Weigel et al./CHI ’15) Human Genetic Engineering What forms of genetic engineering can be done in human beings? Genetic technology harbors the potential to change the human species forever. The soon to be completed Human Genome Project will empower genetic scientists with a human biological instruction book. The genes in all our cells contain the code for proteins that provide the structure and function to all our tissues and organs. Knowing this complete code will open new horizons for treating and perhaps curing diseases that have remained mysteries for millennia. But along with the commendable and compassionate use of genetic technology comes the specter of both shadowy purposes and malevolent aims.
Virtual Reality in Healthcare - Virtual Reality Healthcare is one of the biggest adopters of virtual reality which encompasses surgery simulation, phobia treatment, robotic surgery and skills training. One of the advantages of this technology is that it allows healthcare professionals to learn new skills as well as refreshing existing ones in a safe environment. Plus it allows this without causing any danger to the patients.
Smart Artificial Skin Could Give Prosthetic Limbs Feeling Scientists have created a smart prosthetic skin that’s stretchy and warm like real skin, and is jammed with tiny sensors that can pick up a variety of environmental cues such as heat, pressure and moisture. Although it’s early days yet, the dream is that with further development, it could transmit sensory information to the brains of amputees to give prosthetic limbs feeling. Artificial limbs have come on in leaps and bounds recently. Scientists have 3D printed prosthetic arms, created artificial limbs that can be controlled by the user’s nerves or brain, and even designed prosthetic skin that is self-healing or 1,000 times more sensitive than human skin. Real Applications of Virtual Reality in Education It has already been an exciting year for virtual and augmented reality, with preorders opening for the Oculus Rift, the reveal of a built in camera for the HTC Vive, and the announcement that Google has formalized a virtual reality division (likely to support not only Google Cardboard, but also the secretive Magic Leap investment). While the buzz around any new technology is exciting, many people in education are asking themselves – isn’t this all for entertainment? How could this possibly be relevant to serious education and research activities? In a recent presentation I gave with co-presenter Chris Collins, University of Cincinnati Center for Simulations & Virtual Environment Research, we explored the implications of virtual reality in education. In researching this topic, we were surprised to discover the variations and depth of current activities in this space. Here are a few of my favorite ways that our community is using this technology: