Source: MIT Design Lab, powered by Biorealize
These shoes developed by Puma and MIT Design Lab, use bacteria to improve athletic performance.
Puma and MIT Design Lab is developing products with a biological makeup. The idea behind this collaboration is that there is a more complete athletic experience when humans wear living, adaptable products.
“Deep Learning Insoles” and “Breathing Shoes.”
Bacteria is the secret ingredient to the Deep Learning Insoles. Placed inside discreet crevices on the top layer of the insole, bacteria is able to detect compounds present in sweat. The bacteria then responds by changing the conductivity of the insole. The next layer registers these changes. The third and final layer broadcasts the information to the user’s smart device. Users can read all about their fatigue and performance level in real time.
The Breathing Shoe has a biologically active shoe material that is home to microorganisms. The material learns a user’s specific heat patterns and opens up ventilation based on those user-specific heat patterns. Every user winds up with a unique shoe.
Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, associate professor of electrical engineering in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences says currently, there is a great demand for on-site drug testing, and the high-performance chip they designed is able to detect cocaine within minutes. An inexpensive that can be produced using raw materials that cost around 10 cents.
Gan developed the new chip with a team that included first authors Jun Gao, a research associate of Material Sciences at Fudan University in China, and Nan Zhang, a PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo, along with colleagues from the UB Department of Electrical Engineering; the UB Research Institute on Addictions; and the UB Department of Community Health and Health Behavior in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions.
The new chip is an engineered nanostructure that traps light at the edges of gold and silver nanoparticles. When biological or chemical molecules land on the chip’s surface, some of the captured light interacts with the molecules and is “scattered” into light of new energies. This effect occurs in recognizable patterns that act as fingerprints, revealing information about what compounds are present.
Because all chemicals — cocaine, opioids, and active ingredients in marijuana — have their unique light-scattering signatures, researchers can use the technology to quickly identify a wide range of chemicals.
This sensing method is called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and it’s not new. But the chip that Gan’s team developed is noteworthy for its high performance and low cost.”SERS holds a lot of promise for rapid detection of drugs and other chemicals, but the materials required to perform the sensing are usually quite expensive,” Zhang says. “The chips used for SERS are typically fabricated using expensive methods, such as lithography, which creates specific patterns on a metal substrate. The chip was created by depositing various thin layers of materials on a glass substrate, which is cost-effective and suitable for industrial-scale production.
VR along with related technologies, AR and MR shows genuine potential to enhance learning outcomes for students of all ages across a variety of disciplines.
The benefits of VR in particular are based around participatory as opposed to passive learning to drive greater knowledge retention.
The virtual tour has been promoted as the premier application for the utilization of VR in K-12 to date, allowing students to visit locations outside of the classroom without the associated cost of a real life field trip.
The medical sector has been another area of focus with a number of high profile trials taking place including those sponsored by Pearson and Microsoft. Virtual labs to support scientists in conducting otherwise dangerous or costly experiments are also an opportunity for scalable VR deployment going forwards and unlike virtual tour applications, offer potential for monetization. Language learning offers similarities to simulation based training experiences with existing provision to the consumer market expected to translate to institutional sales in the mid to long term.
Creative tools servicing specific vocational subjects like architecture, engineering and product design are also expected to be a key driver for VR adoption in universities but these solutions are typically provided to students without charge by providers looking to seed future users in industry.
Head mounted display (HMD) manufacturers including Oculus, Google and Microsoft are partnering with educational publishers and content providers to develop content for education. Shipments of VR headsets to the higher and further education sector are expected to reach 700,000 units in 2021 accounting for $150 million in revenue. PC based and all in one solutions (the combined purchase of a headset and mobile device) are each forecast to account for a sizeable share of shipments. Sales of higher priced AR headsets are expected to escalate later in the forecast period with major hardware releases slated for the back end of the decade.
In the K-12 market, the number of students accessing HMD based VR/MR/AR content in K-12 institutions is expected to grow from 2.1 million in 2016 to 82.7 million in 2021. The majority of use cases will be supported by all in one headsets.
Outlets are reporting that Chinese scientists have genetically altered pig embryos (using added genes from mice) to create “skinny pigs” who have a lower percentage of body fat and could be used, one day, to produce what some headlines are deeming “healthy bacon.
Genetically modified (GM) foods continue to be a contentious subject. Proponents believe that it could help feed millions of hungry people amid climate change and population growth. Others balk at the idea of eating science experiments.
The World Health Organization reports that the safety of GM foods depends on how the genes were tweaked, which will ultimately leave each item to be rated on a case-by-case basis. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved genetically engineered salmon. And apples not prone to browning are expected to be available soon.