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…)

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…)

Apple Watch Offers New ECG Feature

Photo Credit: Fossbytes

The newest Apple Watch has arrived. Updated, new, and shiny, the Series 4 watch offers a state-of-the-art heart monitor feature that can alert users of potential heart problems, according to IEEE Spectrum. The app, cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, works like an electrocardiogram, allowing wearers to proactively manage their health. Electrodes on the back of the watch and on the watch band allow wearers to detect irregular heart rhythms that can warn consumers of any possible atrial fibrillation’s that could possibly lead to blood clots or strokes; heart disease being one of the top killers in the western world. The Series 4 Apple Watch is truly unique; the first certified ECG monitor to be sold over the counter, directly to consumers. (more…)

First example of a bioelectronic medicine

Photo Credit: Northwestern University

Researchers at Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine have developed the first example of a bioelectronic medicine, according to ScienceDaily. The biodegradable, implantable, wireless device was created with the goal to speed up nerve regeneration in nerve injury patients. It works by delivering pulses of electricity to damaged nerves, accelerating regrowth, and also enhancing the recovery of muscle strength and control.

Not only does the new technology improve healing time, there’s also no need to worry about undergoing a separate procedure for removal. The implant, about the size of a dime and the thickness of a sheet of paper, absorbs naturally into the body about a week or two after implantation, taking care of its own disposal. (more…)

Printing Body Parts: The Bionic Eye

Prototype for a “bionic eye”

Credit: University of Minnesota, McAlpine Group

We’ve all heard of the bionic man, the famous 1970’s movie and comic book story of a man who, after a tragic accident, damaged body was rebuilt and replaced with bionic, high tech parts, creating a superhuman, out-of-this-world, specimen. It turns out this sci-fi tale may soon become a reality.

According to the University of Minnesota, researchers there have successfully created the first fully 3D printed bionic eye prototype, complete with an array of light receptors that could one day help blind people see.
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The Gold of Today’s Tech World

In the remote hills of the Appalachian Mountains lies what’s considered the gold of today’s day and age — Quartz, the basis of the modern computer chip. A recently published Wired article, The Ultra-Pure, Super-Secret Sand That Makes Your Phone Possible, discusses the pristine sand, a key player in manufacturing the silicon used to make the chips. From the processor in your laptops to the processor in your cell phones and tablets, all of which likely derived from the sand.

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A Guide to the Future

Photo Credit: Imperial College London (Click to enlarge)

The future may seem intangible, but according to Business Insider, Academics at Imperial Tech Foresight are helping us grasp just what it might look like. Inspired by the periodic table of chemical elements, the academics replaced its contents with elements we may very well one day see.

The predictions are slotted into a space across two axis: The Y-axis ranks the potential for disruption from high to low, while the X-axis determines how soon it will become a reality. All elements are also color-coded to reflect the present, 20 years into the future, and up to the far away future.

For example, green elements are a reality now: Cm – Cultured meat, Pp – Predictive policing, and Rc – Robotic care companions.

And yellow elements are those that may occur in the near future: Em – Emotionally aware machines, Mm – Public mood monitoring, and Bs – Artificial human substitutes.

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Nomination Deadline: September 1, 2018

You are invited to nominate qualified candidate(s) for the Nanocarbons Division Richard E. Smalley Award.

The Nanocarbons Division Richard E. Smalley Research Award was established in 2006 to encourage research excellence in the areas of fullerenes, nanotubes and carbon nanostructures. The award consists of a scroll, a $1,000 prize and travel assistance to attend the 235th ECS biannual meeting in May 2019 in Dallas, TX for formal recognition. Explore the full award details on the ECS website prior to completing the electronic application.

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For the legendary actor Alan Alda, it was the same curiosity that drew him into acting that propelled him into the world of science.

“I remember as a kid always trying to figure out why things were the way they were. How they got to be the way that they were,” says Alda. He was fascinated with the world around him, from examining a flame at the end of a candle to contemplating human behavior. “Why did adults say the things they said and why they behave the way they did?”

Then, an opportunity arose that mixed a little bit of each world. Alda was asked to host the television show Scientific American Frontiers. A show that discussed new technologies and discoveries in science and medicine.

“I said ‘yes’ on the condition I could actually interview the scientists and not just read a narration,” says Alda, “because I really wanted to hear from the scientists about their work. And I wanted to understand it better. That kind of lead to what I do now which is to help scientists communicate better.”

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