Smart Dust Mote – Walls With Brains

A building could look sturdy but in fact be near collapse. Researchers at University of California, Berkeley think it’s possible for smart walls to detect hidden cracks that could cause a structure to tumble during larger quakes. Using a small sensor called the “Smart Dust Mote” walls will soon be able to write their own bills of health. More Here
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Cell Wars in Space

Immune cells vs. invaders: it’s a war going on in every healthy human body. When the combatants travel to space, say NASA scientists, curious things happen.

In space, these cells don’t work the way they do on the ground. T-cells, for example, don’t multiply properly; there aren’t as many of them as there should be. They can’t move well. They don’t signal each other as effectively. Overall, they seem less able to destroy invading germs.
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Wacky Technology of the Week Award – Robotic Slug Sucker

A team at the University of the West of England has created a slug-sucking robot, powered by methane.

“Slugbot” trundles around picking up slugs. The robot arm then dumps the creatures into an internal compartment.

“Further research is being continued by the team based on Slugbot’s self sustaining energy autonomy, this time using plant material rather than dead slugs.”
More Slugs Here
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Nano-Sized Chips

“A C-Net News story is reporting that HP has announced they have made breakthroughs that ‘help turn out powerful computers that fit on the head of a pin with room to spare.’ Also in the article, that the patent announced Wednesday, will produce no two chips that are the same. ‘Each one will be customized for a particular function,’ says Stanley Williams, the chemist on the team. The work was done by himself, Phil Kuekes, a computer architect, and James Heath, a UCLA professor. The chips use nanowires and the chips are said to be even less than the size of bacterium. Sounds cool enough. The biggest part of the breakthrough isn’t the chips themselves, but that HP plans to be able to ‘fix’ chips which come out with imperfections, thus saving money on an already cheap process.”
More Here
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