On a Friday afternoon in 2011, residents of northeastern Japan were hit by a six minute earthquake—shifting the country’s main island by eight feet— triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached up to 120 feet in height, according to Futurity.

Tsunami warnings had initially broadcasted minutes before its arrival; unfortunately, underestimating its size. Many failed to evacuate to higher ground as a result; a total of 15,894 deaths resulted from the natural disaster. Japan has since installed a network of seismic and pressure sensors on the ocean floor that have raised the bar for tsunami early-warning systems worldwide.

New research, which appears in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests how warnings could be more accurate by combining data streaming in real-time from sensors, like those in Japan, with tsunami simulations.

(more…)

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Schematic representation of the movement of the flower-like particle as it makes its way through a cellular trap to deliver therapeutic genes. Credit: WSU

According to ScienceDaily, researchers have developed a new method to deliver drugs and therapies into cells at the nanoscale level.

What makes this new approach particularly promising is that it does not lead to toxic side effects, unlike other similar efforts attempted by researchers. The problem frequently faced was in the delivery of the therapeutic genes into cells, the nanomaterials only showing low delivery efficiency of medicine and possible toxicity. (more…)

Honda’s Battery Breakthrough

The search for the next level, new, and improved electric vehicle battery is an ongoing one. And it’s one Honda may have found. According to The Drive, the Japanese automaker claims to have developed a new battery chemistry called fluoride-ion that could outperform current lithium-ion batteries.

Honda says fluoride-ion batteries offer 10 times greater energy density, meaning more storage and range for electric vehicles, thanks to the low atomic weight of fluorine that makes fluoride-ion batteries’ increased performance possible. (more…)

Credit: ACS Publications

Most of us don’t stop to think about it, but the skin on our body is pretty remarkable. The largest organ in the body can detect pressure, temperature changes, pain, and touch, all made possible thanks to the many nerves and receptors underneath our skin. With all that said, it’s easy to understand why it’s hard to duplicate this unique organ. But, according to ScienceDaily, researchers are working to do just that. Their goal is to reproduce and transfer these qualities into a manmade electronic skin technology that can be used in prosthetic devices, wearable health monitors, robotics, and virtual reality. (more…)

3D‑printed Glucose Biosensors

Arda Gozen, assistant professor, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Photo Credit: WSU

Living with any disease isn’t easy. In particular, when it comes to living with diabetes, it involves an imposed routine of finger pricking and monitoring of glucose levels in order to simply maintain a healthy lifestyle. So you can imagine, any technology that can ease the sting is welcomed. Researchers at Washington State University have developed a 3D‑printed glucose biosensor for use in wearable monitors that may forever change how millions monitor their glucose levels.

According to Futurism, the research team—led by Arda Gozen and Yuehe Lin—have developed 3D-printed sensors that could stick to a person’s skin and monitor glucose via bodily fluids, like sweat. The 3D-printed glucose monitor offers much better stability and sensitivity than those manufactured through traditional methods, according to Washington State University. In addition, compared to traditional manufacturing processes, these 3D-printed sensors also cut down costs and reduce waste like expensive cleanroom processing and harmful chemicals. (more…)

Dog Inspired Biosensor Technology

Dogs are special. There’s no doubt about that.

In fact, they’re so unique that scientists are looking to use what we’ve learned from our furry companions to create new biosensor technology. See, dog’s noses aren’t only good for sniffing other dog’s tails at the park; they offer information. (more…)

Image: A. Lange & Söhne

A watch is often seen as a mark of elegance, power, and taste. Take Daniel Craig for example, the actor is the staple definition of suave and sleek, sporting thousands of dollars worth of Omega watches throughout the 007 franchise. But, how well do they hold up to an electrochemically built watch?

According to In Compliance Magazine, Empa scientists have created the next generation of watch springs, built to be scientifically powerful, tiny, and extremely durable. (more…)

Credit: American Chemical Society

Pesticides, extremely effective at killing pests, can also unfortunately pass on the same harmful effects to the people who use them—most commonly farmers. To combat the problem, researchers have developed a way to detect the presence of such compounds in the field using a disposable “lab-on-a-glove,” according to Phys.

Because different types of pesticides consist of different levels of toxicity, the protective glove is of particular importance, as it can be used to determine which compounds are present more accurately and quickly.

The new wearable, flexible glove biosensor carries out the sampling and electrochemical biosensing steps on different fingers. Detection of the collected residues is performed when the thumb touches the printed enzyme-based organophosphate biosensor on the glove index finger. (more…)

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Photo: UCL Interactive Architecture Lab

Few of us are lucky enough to have a green thumb. The perfect balance of sunlight, climate, and water requires a special, intuitive touch. A little too much water, a little too little, and turns into gunk or withers. A little too much sun, a little too little, and wastes away and shrivels. And, so it goes.

Well, gardening just got a little easier. According to Inhabitat, students at University College London’s Interactive Architecture Lab have designed a nomadic, self-driving, and self-cultivating garden named Hortum machina, B. Like an autonomous car, the mobile garden responds to the environment, in this case, moving towards or away from sunlight, shade, and unhealthy levels of air pollution, as needed. (more…)

According to The Verge, MIT is investing $1 billion into an AI college due to an ongoing drought of AI developers and researchers. The hope is that the new college, The MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, will act as both a global center for computing research and education, and an intellectual foundry for powerful new AI tools, according to MIT President L. Rafael Reif.

The new college will train students from a broad range of disciplines and fields, like biology, chemistry, physics, politics, history, and linguistics. MIT’s goal with this is two. First, to examine ethical considerations relevant to computing and AI by including diverse perspectives; second, to teach a wide scope of students what they believe is “the bilinguals of the future.” (more…)

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