New diagnostic instrument sees deeper into the ear

A new device developed by researchers at MIT and a physician at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center could greatly improve doctors’ ability to accurately diagnose ear infections. That could drastically reduce the estimated 2 million cases per year in the United States where such infections are incorrectly diagnosed and unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed. Such overprescriptions are considered a major cause of antibiotic resistance.   The new device, whose design is still being refined by the team, is expected ultimately to look and function very much like existing otoscopes, the devices most…

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Transport Tech 

Swiss Post testing delivery-by-drone

Swiss Post and Swiss World Cargo (the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines) have joined the likes of Amazon, GeoPost and Alibaba by taking concrete steps toward using drones for deliveries. This week, the corporations announced that they have teamed up with California-based Matternet to trial several of its Matternet ONE cargo quadcopters. Testing of the autonomous GPS-guided drones will be carried out throughout this month, although any widespread use of the aircraft isn’t expected to take place for about five years – issues such as battery life and legislation still need to be worked…

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Other Tech 

MIT COMPLETES VIRUS-BUILT NANOMACHINE BATTERY

When we watch science fiction, deep in our heart many of us believe that’s how it will remain, a fiction. But few refuse to believe that and turn science fiction into reality. Angela Belcher and her team of bioengineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)belong to the second category. They have turned virus-built battery into a reality. Their efforts have not yielded instant result. They have been working on this theory for the past five years. They were concentrating their efforts on a virus known as M13 bacteriophage that are…

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Transport Tech 

Ford rolls autonomous and smart tech into new city/road/mountain e-bike

Earlier this year, Ford previewed its Mode:Me and Mode:Pro electric bike concepts. The bikes were envisioned as key components of a multimodal transportation ecosystem that would also incorporate cars and public transit. Recently, it added the Mode:Flex e-bike prototype, which uses the latest wireless and connectivity technologies to integrate further into a coordinated transportation system. The Mode:Me folding commuter bike and Mode:Pro delivery bike concepts were born out of an internal e-bike design competition. Ford revealed them at Mobile World Congress back in March and has continued its research in the area…

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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…

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Medical Tech 

3-D heart printed using multiple imaging techniques

Congenital heart experts from Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital have successfully integrated two common imaging techniques to produce a three-dimensional anatomic model of a patient’s heart.   The 3D model printing of patients’ hearts has become more common in recent years as part of an emerging, experimental field devoted to enhanced visualization of individual cardiac structures and characteristics. But this is the first time the integration of computed tomography (CT) and three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) has successfully been used for printing a hybrid 3D model of a patient’s heart.…

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Transport Tech 

An Electric Corvette Could Destroy a World Record—Again

Over the next three days, a heavily modified Corvette will run blistering laps up and down a stretch of concrete originally built for Space Shuttle landings. Driver Johnny Bohmer will be at the wheel, on Nasa’s landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He’ll be trying to set the world record for the fastest, road legal, all-electric car. Built by Maryland based Genovation, the car he’s driving already holds the world record; this electrified Corvette hit 186.8mph in February of 2016. But its developers want more.…

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Other Tech 

NEW SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY

Scientists are tirelessly working on sources of alternative energy so that we can have a better substitute for fossil fuels in near future. We know that sunlight, wind and geothermal sources of energy are better for everyone. But they also need efficient fuel cells for better utilization of power. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) seem promising enough for both stationary and mobile applications. Stationary use can cover residential applications to power plants. Mobile applications contain energy for ships at sea and in space, as well as for automobiles. Another advantage of the…

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Transport Tech 

Improved Batteries for Electric Cars Could Recharge in Seconds

Researchers may have found a way to drastically increase the performance of the lithium ion batteries that power everything from electric cars to laptops. By reconfiguring the battery to allow lithium ions to rush in and out about 100 times faster than before, researchers say they’ve created a prototype that provides fast bursts of power and also, crucially, recharges in seconds. A prototype of a battery made with the new technique could be charged in less than 20 seconds compared to the six minutes it took to charge cells made in the standard…

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IT 

Oculus Project Lets You Feel in VR without Gloves

Haptics are a happening area in virtual reality these days. The term refers to devices and technologies that produce tactile sensations to go along with all those immersive visuals and sounds. The makers of the Oculus Rift, along with parent company Facebook, are working on a potential haptic add-on to their virtual reality headset. It’s called HapticWave, and it’s kind of like a omnidirectional virtual reality glove, without the glove. I swear — write about this stuff long enough and everything starts to sound like a Zen koan. According to an interesting report…

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