IT 

SOCIETY’S TOUGHEST REALITIES GO VIRTUAL: EXPLORING ACTIVISM THROUGH VR AT TRIBECA 2016

Virtual reality is creating new opportunities across the media landscape, not only for film directors but also journalists, activists, and multimedia artists. Its creators are often all three—they’re ambitious storytellers who aren’t afraid to cross media borders and test the possibilities of the latest technologies. For its Storyscapes competition and Virtual Arcade, the Tribeca Film Festival will return to the Tribeca Festival Hub, a multimedia destination where the public can experience the newest experiments in digital creation and the vast potential for immersive media experiences. Four of the projects included in this year’s innovative…

Read More
Other Tech 

Miniature fuel cell to keep drones aloft for over an hour and phones charged for a week

Drones are being utilized in everything from parcel delivery to search and rescue, but their limited flight times are restricting their ability to travel great distances or stay for extended periods of time in the field. Simply adding more batteries, however, affects flight characteristics and reduces the load the drone can carry. To help solve this problem, researchers at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech) have created a miniature fuel cell they claim not only provides enough energy to keep a drone in the sky for over an hour, but may…

Read More
Medical Tech 

New nanoscale technologies could revolutionize microscopes, study of disease

Research completed through a collaboration with University of Missouri engineers, biologists, and chemists could transform how scientists study molecules and cells at sub-microscopic (nanoscale) levels. Shubra Gangopadhyay, an electrical and computer engineer and her team at MU recently published studies outlining a new, relatively inexpensive imaging platform that enables single molecule imaging. This patented method highlights Gangopadhyay’s more than 30 years of nanoscale research that has proven invaluable in biological research and battling diseases. “Usually, scientists have to use very expensive microscopes to image at the sub-microscopic level,” said Gangopadhyay,…

Read More
Other Tech 

How Trucks Can Make Delivery Drones a Reality

Delivery drones may still seem a ways off because of new U.S. commercial drone regulations requiring drones to stay within sight of their human operators on the ground. But such rules pose no problem for a U.S. startup that developed a drone capable of launching from delivery trucks and dropping off packages within the driver’s line of sight. The HorseFly drone developed by Workhorse Group, an electric vehicle company in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an octocopter designed to ride aboard a delivery truck. Once it gets a delivery mission, the drone can take off through the truck’s roof with a…

Read More
Medical Tech 

Nanorobots wade through blood to deliver drugs

Nanorobots hold great potential in the field of medicine. This is largely due to the possibility of highly-targeted delivery of medical payloads, an outcome that could lessen side effects and negate the need for invasive procedures. But how these microscopic particles can best navigate the body’s fluids is a huge area of focus for scientists. Researchers are now reporting a new technique whereby nanorobots are made to swim swiftly through the fluids like blood to reach their destination. Though still an emerging field of science, nanoparticles are gaining something of…

Read More
Medical Tech 

New metamaterial manipulates sound to improve acoustic imaging

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Duke University have developed a metamaterial made of paper and aluminum that can manipulate acoustic waves to more than double the resolution of acoustic imaging, focus acoustic waves, and control the angles at which sound passes through the metamaterial. Acoustic imaging tools are used in both medical diagnostics and in testing the structural integrity of everything from airplanes to bridges.   “This metamaterial is something that we’ve known is theoretically possible, but no one had actually made it before,” says Yun Jing, an…

Read More
IT 

Nvidia’s eye-tracking system blurs the lines for more immersive VR environments

The human eye can only focus on one surprisingly small area at a time, while our peripheral vision gives us the general gist of what else is nearby. That means a lot of processing power that goes into fully rendering virtual reality environments in focus is wasted when you’re only really taking in a small area of the screen at any given time. Nvidia has developed a rendering technique that allows that wasted processing power to be redirected to allow developers to create more immersive VR environments. The technique, called…

Read More
Medical Tech 

Gold and Lasers Produce Plasmonic Nanobubbles to Kill Residual Cancer Cells

A team of scientists headed by folks at Rice University have developed a way of killing off neoplastic cells that often remain after surgical procedures and end up causing a recurrence of cancers. The investigators managed to produce gold nanoparticles with cancer antibodies attached to them that seek out specific cancer cells. The gold nanoparticles are sensitive to laser light, quickly heating up and producing a so-called plasmonic nanobubble within surrounding liquid. This destroys the cancer cell to which the antibody was attracted, but it also pinpoints the location where the killing occurred.…

Read More
Medical Tech 

Novel 3-D “Smart” Sutures for Wireless Collection of Biological Data

The field of smart wearable systems has just gotten a boost thanks to researchers from Tufts University.  A team of engineers has developed a novel 3-dimensional thread-based diagnostic platform that, when sutured into tissue, collects a range of real-time diagnostic data wirelessly, including pH, glucose levels, temperature, stress, strain, and pressure.  Physical and chemical nanosensors, microfluidics, and electronics integrated into various types of conductive threads, including cotton and synthetic fibers, are connected to a wireless electronic circuit.  The result is a suture that can penetrate tissue, sense various factors in…

Read More
Medical Tech 

Synthetic immune cells: a possible solution to antibiotic resistance?

Dr. Thomas J. Webster – the Art Zafiropoulo chair and professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and president of the US Society for Biomaterials – and colleagues have created synthetic immune cells, referred to as polymersomes. These polymersomes can mimic the behavior of natural immune cells, according to the team, opening the door to a way to boost infection-fighting capability among individuals with compromised immune systems. “They can significantly aid someone who has a failing immune system, or for someone who needs a…

Read More