NASA Contracts Company to Develop Replacement Tissues

"We recently discussed one such effort, with Bigelow Aerospace agreeing to a memorandum of understanding to brainstorm with NASA about creating a long-term Moon colony based on inflatable modules.

Now another interesting collaboration has popped up. NASA has signed agreements with GRoK Technologies LLC, a Houston, Texas-based research and development startup, to grow human tissues. (Note: There's a similarly named, but unaffiliated bioinformatics company called GroK Solutions -- beware.)"

Tiny Motors Controlled Inside Human Cells

"cold fjord tips a BBC report about the successful installation of microscopic motors into living, human cells. The motors were propelled inside the cell by pulses of ultrasound and steered with magnetism. "At low ultrasonic power, the nanomotors had little effect on these cells. But when the power was increased, the nanomotors surged into action, zooming around and bumping into organelles — structures within the cell that perform specific functions"

Proton-based transistor could let machines communicate with living things

"Materials scientists at the University of Washington have built a novel transistor that uses protons, creating a key piece for devices that can communicate directly with living things. The study is published online this week in the interdisciplinary journal Nature Communications.

Robotic Pants Help Paralyzed Humans Walk Again

"An entrepreneur who was paralyzed in a car accident has invented robotic trousers with the intention of replacing the wheelchair, which could improve the quality of life for himself and others in a similar position." | more

Robot Controlled By Rat Brain

"Some technologies are so cool they make you do a double take. Case in point: robots being controlled by rat brains. Kevin Warwick, once a cyborg and still a researcher in cybernetics at the University of Reading, has been working on creating neural networks that can control machines. He and his team have taken the brain cells from rats, cultured them, and used them as the guidance control circuit for simple wheeled robots. Electrical impulses from the bot enter the batch of neurons, and responses from the cells are turned into commands for the device.

Part-Human, Part-Machine Transistor Devised

Man and machine can now be linked more intimately than ever, according to a new article in the journal ACS Nano Letters. Scientists have embedded a nano-sized transistor inside a cell-like membrane and powered it using the cell's own fuel.

The research could lead to new types of man-machine interactions where embedded devices could relay information about the inner workings of disease-related proteins inside the cell membrane, and eventually lead to new ways to read, and even influence, brain or nerve cells.

Scientists Implant Biofuel Cells Into Rats

"A team of scientists from Joseph Fourier University in France have successfully implant biofuel cells into rats, generating 6.5 microwatts by harnessing the power of glucose. From the article: 'The device uses enzymes to harvest energy from glucose and oxygen found naturally in the body. Past attempts at using such a device in animals have failed because the enzymes have required acidic conditions or were inhibited by charged particles in the fluid surrounding cells.

Intel: Chips in brains will control computers by 2020

By the year 2020, you won't need a keyboard and mouse to control your computer, say Intel Corp. researchers. Instead, users will open documents and surf the Web using nothing more than their brain waves.

Scientists at Intel's research lab in Pittsburgh are working to find ways to read and harness human brain waves so they can be used to operate computers, television sets and cell phones. The brain waves would be harnessed with Intel-developed sensors implanted in people's brains.

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