tech e blog

Organ transplants may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to this new method of regeneration. Humans have an organ called the thymus, which is critical for maintaining a healthy immune system and it also matures T-cells that help stave off infections. As people get older, the thymus begins to wear down, releasing fewer T-cells. In this experiment, researchers used middle-aged to elderly mice and stimulated production of a protein called FOXN1, which acts as a trigger for genes and is important in the thymus' development. The mices' thymuses responded positively, and organs grew to at least 2.6 times of their previous size and the T-cell counts doubled. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Scientists at Iowa State University have developed new materials that are composed of special polymers designed to completely melt away when a trigger is activated. Practical applications include medical devices that could melt away without harm inside the body, or a covert military device that delivers its data then dissolves without a trace. Continue reading for two videos and more information.

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While humans are able to regenerate some organs, such as the liver, spinal tissue, more specifically, the nerve cells that connect to our brain cannot. Paralysis usually occurs when those nerve cells get damage and are unable to transmit signals to the brain. Fast forward to today, researchers have used electrode implants (inserted along the spinal cord) to help four men with below-waist paralysis for more than two years, regain movement in their legs. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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US Navy researchers announced this week that they have managed to successfully convert seawater into usable fuel for ships and aircraft. To accomplish this, they extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas simultaneously from seawater, and then use a catalytic converter to create fuel that looks (and smells) just like real petrol. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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While these two oarfish may not be the largest specimens to be seen, there's little video footage available of living specimens for scientists to study, as these creatures typically live between 650ft and 3,000ft (198m and 914m) below the surface. After the footage was released, rumors started flying, with some claiming that oarfish appearing in shallow waters is a sign that an earthquake will soon follow. Continue reading for the video and more information.

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Duke University researchers have created living muscle tissue that can heal itself in an animal just like natural tissue would, raising hopes that further research will potentially lead to self-healing muscles for human injuries. They discovered that the test skeletal muscle developed at the Durham, North Carolina school was able to integrate into lab mice quickly, and then heal itself once inside the animal. They discovered that it was more than 10 times stronger than any previously engineered muscles by shocking it with electric pulses. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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The amorphous metal pictured above is a solid metallic material that is non-crystalline, and has a glass-like structure. But unlike common glasses, such as window-glass, which are typically insulators, amorphous metals have good electrical conductivity. In the past, small batches of amorphous metals have been produced through a variety of quick-cooling methods. For instance, amorphous metal wires have been produced by sputtering molten metal onto a spinning metal disk (melt spinning). Continue reading for more.

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Believe it or not, David Latimer has successfully grown and kept a garden sealed inside of a giant glass bottle that has been opened only once since creating it nearly 54-years-ago. He first planted the garden on Easter Sunday in 1960, placed some compost, added a quarter pint of water, and then inserted a spiderwort sprout using wires into a 10-gallon glass carboy. So far, he's only opened the garden once in 1972 to add a bit of water. Continue reading for a video showing how to make your own and more information.

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German researchers at Festo have unveiled a new robotic kangaroo that mimics the movements of its real-life counterpart. It's officially called the "BionicKangaroo", and is capable of making stabilized jumps via a gesture-based remote control. That's not all, this kangaroo also replicates the animal's natural ability of storing energy between jumps. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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At just $.50, the "Foldoscope" is an incredible new microscope that basically consists of cardstock parts, a budget-priced ($.17) spherical lens, a small LED, diffuser panel, and a watch battery for power. It takes just under ten minutes to build, and packs flat, "leaving plenty of room for other kit - or for additional Foldscopes, in the event that they're going to be used to examine hazardous samples and may need to be disposed of after a single use," according to Geek.com. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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