90. Hovering Space Rover, New Advances In 3D Printing, Protein Found to Reverse Muscle Aging
90. Hovering Space Rover, New Advances In 3D Printing, Protein Found to Reverse Muscle Aging
MIT Engineers Test An Idea For A New Hovering Rover | Brighter Side News (01:28)
- Due to the lack of atmosphere, the moon and other airless bodies such as asteroids can build up an electric field.
- Because of direct exposure to the sun and surrounding plasma.
- Moon’s electric charge is strong enough to levitate dust more than 1 meter above the ground.
- Engineers at NASA and elsewhere have recently proposed harnessing this natural surface charge to levitate a glider
- Mylar wings, which is a material that holds the same charge as surfaces on airless bodies.
- Thinking of magnets, the same charged sides would repel causing a levitation effect
- A design would likely be limited to small asteroids, as larger planetary bodies would have a stronger, counteracting gravitational pull. Or would it?
- MIT’s rover could get around this
- The concept resembles a retro-style, disc-shaped flying saucer, and uses tiny ion beams to both charge up the vehicle and boost the surface’s natural charge.
- Generates a relatively large repulsive force between the vehicle and the ground with a small amount of power
- In an initial feasibility study, the researchers show that such an ion boost should be strong enough to levitate a small, 2-pound vehicle on the moon and large asteroids.
- Large asteroid using a 10-kilovolt ion source
- The Moon the same rover would need a 50-kilovolt source
- Design relies on the use of miniature ion thrusters, called ionic-liquid ion sources
- Using a basic disc model with ion thrusters
- Could achieve levitation of about one centimeter off the ground
- Co-author Paulo Lozano explains why levitation on a rover would be good:
- “With a levitating rover, you don’t have to worry about wheels or moving parts … An asteroid’s terrain could be totally uneven, and as long as you had a controlled mechanism to keep your rover floating, then you could go over very rough, unexplored terrain, without having to dodge the asteroid physically.”
MIT unveils the world’s longest flexible fiber battery. You can weave and wash it in fabrics | ZME Science (08:01)
- Engineers at MIT have created a rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the form of very long fiber.
- Could be used to 3D print batteries in any shape.
- The proof of concept is 140 meters long, making it the longest flexible fiber battery thus far.
- Length is arbitrary according to the engineers since they could do much longer lengths.
- Fiber batteries are not new, however previously they have all the lithium and other key materials outside the fiber, which would leave them unprotected.
- This Fiber is the opposite with the new system embedding the battery inside the fiber
- This provides a protective outside coating, which gives the fiber both stability and waterproofing.
- The thickness of the fiber device is only a few hundred microns, much thinner than any previous attempts at a fiber battery.
- To demonstrate the functionality of this proof of concept, the researchers used the fiber battery to power a “Li-Fi” communications system, the kind that uses pulses of light to transmit data rather than radio waves.
- Includes a microphone, pre-amp, transistor, and diodes
- The 140-meter-long battery fiber has a rated energy storage capacity of 123 milliamp-hours
- Enough to power a smartwatch or phone.
- Battery fibers could be woven to produce two-dimensional fabrics like those used for clothing, but could also be used in 3-D printing to create solid objects, such as casings.
- Because the system creates it all without having to add anything else it would be one-step printing.
Scientists Can Now Print Metal Objects That Are Only 25 Nanometers Long | Interesting Engineering (13:08)
- A group of scientists has set a new benchmark in 3D printing by succeeding in fabricating ultrasmall metal objects using a new technique.
- According to the team, their system can be used to make objects out of copper just 25 billionths of a meter in diameter (equivalent to 25 nanometres).
- Equivalent to 195 copper atoms in a row.
- Their electrochemical 3D printing technique fabricates complex conductive structures with nanometer resolution, and it could have potential applications in battery technology, microelectronics, and sensor technology.
- The new electrochemical technique could be used to print far smaller metal objects that have never been printed before.
- Dr. Dmitry Momotenko of a chemist at the University of Oldenburg talked on the printing method with Phys.org:
- “The technology we are working on combines both worlds — metal printing and nanoscale precision … 3D-printed catalysts with high surface area and special geometry to allow particular reactivity could be prepared for the production of complex chemicals.”
- Momotenko and his team are currently working towards improving the efficiency of electrical energy storage through three-dimensional electrodes.
Smart sutures to monitor deep surgical wounds | MedicalXPress (17:24)
- Monitoring surgical wounds after an operation is an important step to prevent infection, wound separation and other complications.
- However, when the surgical site is deep in the body, monitoring is normally limited to clinical observations or costly radiological investigations that often fail to detect complications before they become life-threatening.
- To detect wound complications as soon as they happen, a team of researchers from National University of Singapore (NUS) have invented a smart suture that is battery-free and can wirelessly sense and transmit information from deep surgical sites.
- The NUS team’s invention has three key components: a medical-grade silk suture that is coated with a conductive polymer to allow it to respond to wireless signals; a battery-free electronic sensor; and a wireless reader used to operate the suture from outside the body.
- These smart small sensors can monitor multiple problems (i.e. Wound integrity, gastric leakage and tissue micromotions), while also providing healing outcomes which are equivalent to medical-grade sutures.
- For example, if the suture is broken, an external reader picks up a reduced signal due to a reduction in the length of the smart suture’s antenna, alerting the attending doctor to take action.
- One advantage of these smart sutures is that their use involves minimal modification of the standard surgical procedure.
- Similar to existing sutures, clips and staples, the smart sutures may be post-operatively removed by a minimally invasive surgical or endoscopic procedure when the risk of complications has passed.
- Assistant Professor John Ho, who lead the team, commented on the smart sutures capability & the effect it would have:
- “Currently, post-operative complications are often not detected until the patient experiences systemic symptoms like pain, fever, or a high heart rate. These smart sutures can be used as an early alert tool to enable doctors to intervene before the complication becomes life-threatening, which can lead to lower rates of re-operation, faster recovery, and improved patient outcomes.”
- In future, the team is looking to develop a portable wireless reader to replace the setup currently used, enabling surveillance of complications even outside of clinical settings.
- Additionally they want to increase the detection capabilities for detecting wound bleeding and leakage after gastrointestinal surgery.
Researchers uncover protein that reverses muscle aging | Brighter Side News (23:13)
- A University at Buffalo-led research team has shown that a protein, NANOG, is effective at reversing aging in skeletal muscle cells.
- Skeletal muscles are organs of the vertebrate muscular system that are mostly attached by tendons to bones of the skeleton.
- Longer than in the other types of muscle tissue, and are often known as muscle fibers.
- In a series of experiments with mice, researchers overexpressed NANOG in myoblasts, which are the embryonic precursors to muscle tissue.
- The myoblasts were senescent, meaning they were no longer able to divide and grow.
- The overexpression improved some of the primary characteristics associated with age-related deterioration of cells, including autophagy, energy homeostasis, genomic stability, nuclear integrity and mitochondrial function.
- Autophagy – Bodies’ way of clearing out damaged cells
- Additionally there was an increase in the number of muscle stem cells in the muscle of prematurely aging mice.
- Demonstrating the feasibility of reversing cellular aging in the body
- The study’s corresponding author Stelios T. Andreadis, PhD stated:
- “Our work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of NANOG’s actions in hopes of discovering druggable targets in signaling or metabolic networks that mimic the anti-aging effects of NANOG. Ultimately, the work could help lead to new treatments or therapies that help reverse cellular senescence, and aid the many people suffering from age-related disorders.”
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