Bug Biofuel Cells

While I don’t see this powering the entire world as we know it any time soon this article is about some interesting research. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created an implantable biofuel cell that can provide power from an insect. The fuel cell is based around two enzymes reactions which break down sugars and ultimate release electrons.

Read the article for all the details on the testing and output measurements. I don’t know about you, but the thought of a cockroach with a tiny spy camera on its back kind of creeps me out.

Bug Biofuel Cells

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Anatomy in 3D

This is an interesting article from the New York Times that I was reading. The part that I think is coolest is how they’re using the 3D aspect in a way that really complements learning anatomy. Obviously doctors still need to dissect cadavers to have a firsthand understanding of the body, but adding a virtual system to that learning just gives them more knowledge. New technologies such as 3D have a lot more possibilities than just making a TV company more money.

If you think about it 3D technologies could really revolutionize classrooms all over the world. Imagine learning astronomy, chemistry, or physics in a 3D enabled room that could project what you were learning throughout the room for you to walk through and explore in an entirely new way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/business/the-human-anatomy-animated-with-3-d-technology.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimesscience&seid=auto

Posted in Medical, Technology | Leave a comment

Codecademy

I haven’t posted any articles to my Extras section recently because I was testing out the idea of exclusively posting article links to my Twitter feed. After trying that for the past month and a half I’ve found that I don’t really like that plan as I don’t have enough room in 140 characters to post my thoughts on the articles I’m mentioning. As such I’m going to try and find a way to better use both systems. My thoughts are that I can continue to use Twitter to point out interesting articles people may enjoy, but post to this section of my website when I have something more thoughtful to say about an article. It’s a system in progress so we’ll see how things ultimately pan out.

With that all said I have a website to bring to everyone’s attention. The site is called Codecademy and their goal is to help people learn to write code over the year 2012. I’ve signed up for it and worked on the early lessons they have up so far and I think it’s a pretty good start. They present you with different concepts and place a coding window right beside the explanations so you can create example code as you learn. Currently they have a few basic learning modules up focused of JavaScript, but it looks like they plan to expand that as time goes on. The other nice thing is it tracks your progress in a visual way and gives you badges for completing certain tasks.

Coding may not be for everyone and some may find the early lessons pretty easy, but sign up and try it out. Each week they’ll email you something new to learn and who knows maybe by the summer you’ll be fluent in a whole new language.

Codecademy

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Stem Cells Reverse Heart Damage

This is an article I found really interesting because it expands on the study of stem cells. In two different human studies doctors found that an infusion of purified cardiac stem cells can reverse damage to the heart. While it is still early and the studies don’t have huge numbers of patients the improvements shown have drastically changed the lives of the patients who were involved. One man couldn’t even walk to the bathroom without stopping for a break and now he can drive a tractor on his farm and play basketball with his grandchildren.

This story highlights what I like about being involved in science, being able to change someones life that much with research you may be involved in. I don’t know about anyone else, but it also makes me wonder how far stem cell research can take medicine.

Stem Cells Reverse Heart Damage

Posted in Biomedical Engineering, Medical | 1 Comment

The Infant Universe

This is an interesting article I read about how scientists are studying some of the earliest parts of the universe. Using high-powered telescopes they are able to find and study gas pockets that were formed soon after the creation of the universe.

It’s crazy to think in these terms and try to wrap your head around the fact that the things they are studying have been around for over 13 billion years, but the light from them is just reaching earth for the first time.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=big-bang-nucleosynthesis-gas

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