Artificial Foam Heart Created

Cornell University researchers have developed a new lightweight and stretchable material with the consistency of memory foam that has potential for use in prosthetic body parts, artificial organs and soft robotics. The foam is unique because it can be formed and has connected pores that allow fluids to be pumped through it. The foam starts as a liquid, so researchers can pour it into a 3D printed mould in order to form the heart, adding appropriate valves to the finished structure. This means...
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Soft robot to swim through Europa’s oceans

A soft, swimming robot for exploring Jupiter’s moon Europa. A Cornell engineering team has received a nine-month, $100,000 starter grant from NASA to develop a soft, swimming robot suitable for exploring the harsh conditions of other worlds, notably Jupiter’s moon Europa. An amphibious robot that can swim through the oceans of distant moons and planets could be the next iteration of self-sustaining, robotic space exploration. The Cornell team developing this otherworldly robot is led by Ma...
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This creature could hold the key to eternal life

Sea anemones are a common sight on many coastlines, and despite their brightly colored appearance it seems they may have more common with humans than people realize. What's more, researchers are wondering whether the creatures could hold the secret to eternal life. Once thought to be plants, sea anemones are soft bodied animals that attach themselves to rocks and coral reefs in shallow waters. Their tentacles inject venom into the small fish and shrimp that brush up against them and guide the...
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New light-controlled gel makes big strides in soft robotics.

A new material controlled by light may help scientists build better soft-bodied robots. The UC Berkeley scientists created the gel using graphene and a synthetic protein similar to elastin, which is found in humans' blood vessels, skin and more. The synthetic elastin, created from genetically engineered bacteria, absorbs water at room temperature, but at higher temperatures it expels the water and shrinks. Inspired by the way plants grow toward light sources, a phenomenon known as phototropis...
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How flu viruses gain the ability to spread

New study reveals the soft palate is a key site for evolution of airborne transmissibility. Researchers from MIT and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) made the surprising finding on Flu virus, while examining the H1N1 flu strain, which caused a 2009 pandemic that killed more than 250,000 people Scientists have discovered that the soft palate which is the soft tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth, plays a key role in viruses’ ability to travel through ...
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Contact Lenses Deliver Medicine to Treat Eyes

Scientists at Harvard Medical School have developed soft contact lenses which can ‘dispense' prescription drugs over a period of weeks to the exact spot they are needed. Eye drops are used to dispense most eye medications but they are inefficient in several ways. Only about 1 to 7 percent of eye drop medications are absorbed into the eye because most of it drips out; drugs applied to the eyes in this manner may be washed out after only thirty minutes or so. To add, patients find eye drops cum...
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