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February 27, 2017

Dousing Flames with Low-Frequency Sound Waves

A new type of extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out fires has been built by two engineering students in the US. Both chemical- and water-free, the invention offers a relatively non-destructive method of fire control, which could find applications in fighting small fires in the home, and the researchers now hold a preliminary patent application for their device.

While the concept of using sound waves to extinguish flames is not new, previous attempts to realize the principle – including efforts by teams at West Georgia University and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – had not been successful.

Undeterred by this, as well as initial [...]

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February 26, 2017

A Quick and Simple Blood Test to Detect Early-Stage Cancer

Early and accurate detection of cancer is critical for successful cancer therapies. In most cases, a tissue biopsy is the initial means of making a diagnosis after some form of cancer screening has come up with a positive result. However, tumor antigen-specific autoantibodies – antibodies produced by the immune system that are directed against one or more of the individual's own proteins – are known to appear months even years before clinical diagnosis of cancer, and autoantibodies have been found in many types of cancer. With increasing accuracy, nanosensor platforms for detecting cancer biomarkers are becoming viable complements to invasive biopsies of metastatic tumors (although, for [...]
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February 26, 2017

Precision Nanobatteries by The Billions

Tiny batteries formed inside nanopores demonstrate that properly scaled nanostructures can use the full theoretical capacity of the charge storage material. These nanobatteries delivered their stored energy efficiently at high power (fast charge and discharge) and for extended cycling.

Precise structures can be constructed to assess the fundamentals of ion and electron transport in nanostructures for energy storage and to test the limits of three-dimensional nanobattery technologies.

Nanostructured batteries, when properly designed and built, offer promise for delivering their energy at much higher power and longer [...]

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February 9, 2017

10 Lessons From 10 Years as a Social Entrepreneur

Ten years ago, I shipped the world’s first fair-trade avocados from small-scale farmers in Mexico to Europe — and my social enterprise was born.

At the time, I’d never heard of a “social entrepreneur”. I just wanted to use my business skills to help small-scale farmers transform their lives. Now, I identify as a social entrepreneur down to my bones, and my enterprise has scaled around the globe and impacted thousands of farmers in many countries.

Our mission is far from complete, but the anniversary is an occasion to reflect on the keys lessons learned during 10 life-changing years.

1. Be the change. Social entrepreneurship [...]

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January 8, 2017

High Speed Emergency Network with Drones

Each year nearly a million people in Europe suffer from a cardiac arrest. A mere 8% survives due to slow response times of emergency services. The ambulance-drone is capable of saving lives with an integrated defibrillator. The goal is to improve existing emergency infrastructure with a network of drones. This new type of drones can go over 100 km/h and reaches its destination within 1 minute, which increases chance of survival from 8% to 80%! This drone folds up and becomes a toolbox for all kind of emergency supplies. Future implementations will also serve other use cases such as drowning, diabetes, respiratory issues and traumas.

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November 23, 2015

Volunteers Enabling The Future, One Prosthetic at a Time

The e-NABLE volunteer community uses 3D printers, internet technologies, and good will to design and build inexpensive yet functional prosthetics for children…and give them away for free. These volunteers, devices and practices are empowering children, changing industries, and inspiring humanitarian innovators of all ages, worldwide.

Winner of the Edison 2015 Health & Wellness Gold Award

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November 23, 2015

10 Reasons You Should Care About What’s In Your Gut

Bacteria living in and on the human body is one of those disgusting facts that we all try to forget, but science is showing that if we want to obtain optimal health, we humans really should think about our microscopic partners in this life.

1. You are more bacteria than human.

Human cells account for just 10 percent of the cellular matter of the animals we call humans. The other 90% are bacterial cells that live on or in our bodies. To give you an idea of the numbers we’re talking about here, it is estimated that the human body is made of about ten trillion cells, but there are 100 [...]

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