Scientists claim to have developed an invisible elastic film that can be applied to the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags.
Skin that had been coated with the polymer appeared smoother, firmer and less wrinkly Once applied, the formula dries to form a film that “mimics the properties of youthful skin”, Nature Materials reports after a series of small trials. At the moment it is being explored as a commercial cosmetic product.
But the US scientists say their “second skin” might eventually be used to deliver medicines and sun protection. The team from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have tested their prototype product on a handful of volunteers, applying the formula to their under-eye bags, forearms and legs.
The polysiloxane polymer was made in the lab using molecules of silicone and oxygen as the building blocks.
Although it’s synthetic, it’s designed to mimic real skin and provide a breathable, protective layer. According to the researchers, the temporary film locks in moisture and helps boost skin elasticity.
They performed several tests, including a recoil test where the skin was pinched and then released to see how long it takes to ping back into position. As skin ages, it becomes less firm and less elastic and so performs less well in this sort of test. Skin that had been coated with the polymer was more elastic than skin without the film. And, to the naked eye, it appeared smoother, firmer and less wrinkly.
The film is essentially invisible
The researchers, who have a spin-off company that could eventually market their patented formula, say the film is essentially invisible, can be worn all day without causing irritation and can withstand things like sweat and rain. But more studies are needed before then.
The polymer would also need safety approval from regulators. Dr Tamara Griffiths of the British Association of Dermatologists says bags under the eyes are caused by the protrusion of fat pockets associated with ageing. The results appear to be comparable to surgery While entirely natural, some people see it as undesirable and seek ways to reverse it – sometimes resorting to surgery.
Dr Griffiths said: “The results [with the polymer film] appear to be comparable to surgery, without the associated risks. Further research is needed, but this is a novel and very promising approach to a common problem. I will follow its development with interest.” Prof Robert Langer, who led the work at MIT, said: “Developing a second skin that is invisible, comfortable and effective in holding in water and potentially other materials presents many different challenges.”
It has to have the right optical properties, otherwise it won’t look good, and it has to have the right mechanical properties, otherwise it won’t have the right strength and it won’t perform correctly ( via bbc.com ). “We are extremely excited about the opportunities that are presented as a result of this work and look forward to further developing these materials to better treat patients who suffer from a variety of skin conditions.”
Want to keep warm? Wear SILVER: Cotton coated with microscopic metal wires traps 80% of body heat – and can even be used like an electric blanket. Scientists are already working on another coating to keep clothes and their wearers cool in hot temperatures.
Prototype cotton fabric is coated in silver nanowires to trap body heat
It’s as effective as a thick fleece, trapping 80% of heat
Material uses silver because it reflects infrared radiation back to the body
A small electric charge can be applied so it works like an electric blanket
Experts from Stanford University say the cloth’s breathable and lightweight
It was developed to save energy produced by central heating
By SARAH GRIFFITHS FOR MAILONLINE
Wearing clothes made from cloth covered with tiny silver wires may reduce your heating bills in the future.
This is because scientists have found that a new material made of cotton coated in silver nanowires, effectively traps heat inside a person’s clothing, to keep the wearer cosy.
The say it is also breathable and lightweight, making it comfortable to wear.
Scientists have found that a new material made of cotton coated in silver nanowires, effectively traps heat inside a person’s clothing, to keep the wearer cosy. These images show the wires under the microscope at different magnifications, which because they are closely packed together, form a conductive network
Scientists from Stanford University in California developed the prototype material using silver because it reflects infrared radiation back towards the body, Popular Science reported.
In order to make the metallic material comfortable to wear, they dipped cotton into a solution of silver nanowires that can sit on top of everyday clothing, according to the study published in Nano Letters.
They created a fabric that’s able to trap 80 per cent of body heat.
The fabric is able to trap 80 per cent of body heat, because the tiny silver wires reflect infrared radiation back towards the body (shown in a diagram on the left). A piece of the new cloth was cut out in an ‘S’ shape and placed in the palm (top right). Using heat-sensitive camera, the researchers showed it is able to block all uman-radiated IR, keeping the heat inside so that the S-shape looks blue (bottom right)
It is as efficient as a bulky fleece when worn like a normal piece of clothing, emitting infrared radiation emitted by a wearer, back to their body.
But the clothes could be plugged into a computer, for example, to keep wearers even warmer.
The idea is that a small amount of electricity could effectively turn a jacket into an electric blanket.
Extra heat can be generated by harnessing the movement of electricity across the fabric.
And because the cloth is thin and breathable, it could one day replace bulky outdoor ski coats.
The researchers say that the clothes could also be worn indoors to negate the need for heating.
While it’s easy to imagine that cloth made from silver may be expensive, the researchers claim the total cost of silver needed to make a complete body suit would only cost $1 (66p).
The researchers claim that wearing such clothes could save a person $200 a year in heating costs, or save enough energy to power 1,000 light bulbs for 10 hours.
The cloth is not yet on sale and requires more testing, but the scientists are already working on another coating to keep clothes and their wearers cool in hot temperatures.
CURRENT USES OF NANOPARTICLES IN CLOTHES
Tiny antibacterial particles from silver are woven into the fabric of some socks to kill bacteria that makes them smell.
The silver in the particles doesn’t kill bacteria by touching it, but instead produces soluble ions that reduce the pong.
Studies concluded that some of the particles come out in the wash, with some of them warning that when the toxic metal dissolves in water and releases silver ions, it can enter the food chain, poisoning small creatures.
However, others have said silver nanoparticles don’t harm humans or the environment.
Research published in 2012 warned that bacteria may become resistant to silver if used in lots of everyday situations, which could have important implications, because the metal is used as an anti-bacterial in healthcare.
Silver is also rare and it’s estimated that global resources could run out in as little as 30 years.
From low-cost housing to life-saving implants, 3D printing technology is having a growing influence on our lives, and the latest innovation to be announced is a full-sized 3D-printed bridge.
Industry experts MX3D are planning to create a steel bridge in Amsterdam in the Netherlands using independent robot arms. These arms will start on one side of the river and cross over to the other bank, building the structure as they go.
Software studio Autodesk and construction firm Heijmans are two of the partners working with MX3D on the eye-catching project, which is scheduled to start in September once a final location has been chosen. The robotic 3D printers are going to construct their own supports as they go, heating the metal to 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,732 Fahrenheit) before melding it into place.
The site is set to be a tourist attraction even before it’s completed, with a visitor centre in the pipeline that will provide running updates on the bridge’s process.
“What distinguishes our technology from traditional 3D printing methods is that we work according to the ‘printing outside the box’ principle,” MX3D Chief Technology Officer Tim Geurtjens says on the project site.
“By printing with 6-axis industrial robots, we are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens. Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to showcase the endless possibilities of this technique.”
The printing arms have been through several iterations to get them ready for the task: MX3D engineers say they’ve seen machines explode, get clogged up and lose their bearings along the way, but now the final version of the hardware is ready to launch into action. A small-scale test run has already taken place, producing a bridge a few feet across that could take the weight of a human being.
The style of the bridge has been sketched out by Dutch designer and artist Joris Laarman. “I strongly believe in the future of digital production and local production, in ‘the new craft’,” he says. “This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form. The symbolism of the bridge is a beautiful metaphor to connect the technology of the future with the old city, in a way that brings out the best of both worlds.”
The project isn’t just showcasing the novelty value of 3D printing, because the technology could eventually have a practical use too – in areas where natural disasters have occurred or local infrastructure has been destroyed, a self-contained bridge-printing robot could prove invaluable in connecting communities together again.
In the meantime, keep your eyes on MX3D’s new bridge in Amsterdam, because you’ll be seeing a lot more of this technology in the years to come.
Solar start-up Rawlemon’s Andre Broessel, a German architect, has created a spherical sun-tracking solar energy generator to revolutionise renewable energy and solar power on Earth. The Rawlemon design uses a spherical lens to concentrate both sunlight and moonlight up to 10,000 times on a small photovoltaic panel and combines this with a dual-axis pivot that tracks the movement of the sun. By concentrating the sun’s light in one area, the Rawlemon design reduces the solar cell surface required to just 1% of that required by a traditional panel making its solar harvesting capabilities 35% more efficient than conventional dual-axis photovoltaic designs. Additionally, poor weather would not impact the device, because of a built-in weather tracking system.
Rawlemon has brought a range of devices to market. The 10-cm (3.9-in) Beta.ey S phone charger is compatible with any phone that uses a USB 2.0 charging port and has a battery storage capacity of 27.5 Whr. The other devices include Beta.ey S Special Edition ($489) and a Beta.ey XL ($999) designed for charging tablets.
The 100-cm (39.4-in) Beta.ray 1.0 generate up to 1.1 kWh a day enough to run a laptop for about two days. It has a 1.8 kWh battery. The 180-cm (70.1-in) Beta.ray 1.8 generate up to 3.4 kWh a day enough to run a laptop for almost a week. It has a 5.4 kWh battery. Both the Beta.ray 1.0 and 1.8 feature water-filled acrylic-polymer lenses and generate thermal energy as well as solar. And there’s a $6,000 package too which includes the full-sized Beta.ray built for the outdoors.
He tried to raise $120,000 on his Indiegogo campaign for further testing, and for patent applications and raised $230,971 by March 10, 2014.
Article by: Amanda Froelich
This egg-shaped abode is powered by solar and wind energy, includes rainwater collection and filtration, and even has a kitchenette that can be used to prepare a hot meal.
Ambition to live off-grid does not come without its difficulties. First, there is the task of explaining to your friends and family members why you desire to detach from mainstream society and live peacefully in nature. And second, there are the logistics of how you might actually survive the Earth’s fluctuating weather patterns while taking care of basic necessities like running water, a flushing toilet, or even a fire pit to cook food over.
But soon such woes may no longer be a concern, as an ingenious little egg-shaped tiny home has just been unveiled to the world with capabilities that far surpass most other off-grid abodes.
Designed by Bratislava-based Nice Architects, the Ecocapsule is a micro-shelter that offers a variety of sustainable offerings. Ultra-portable, the capsule is powered by solar and wind energy, includes rainwater collection and filtration, and even has a tiny kitchenette that can be used to prepare a hot meal.
Truly, this is one of the most impressive off-grid luxury tiny homes we’ve ever seen.
In the egg-spaced shape measuring 4.5 meters (14.6 feet) in length, 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in width, and 2.5 meters in height (8.2 feet), there seems to be enough space to compactly fit all the home necessities.
The total usable floor space is eight square meters (86 square feet), enough space, say the designers, to comfortably fit two adults. The home with a tiny footprint includes a folding bed, two large operable windows, a working/dining area, shower and flushable toilet, storage space, and a built-in kitchenette with running water.
The built-in 750W wind turbine and 2.6-square-meter array of high efficiency solar cells (600W output) power the Ecocapsule. A dual-power system and high-capacity battery (9,744Wh capacity) ensures the rounded shell stays operable even during times of low solar and wind activity.
In addition, the high-tech shelter is optimized for rainwater collection. Each Ecocapsule weighs approximately 1,5000 kilograms and can fit inside a standard shipping container.
While you’re not alone in your desire to quickly order an Ecocapsule, they are not yet for sale. At present, only renderings and diagrams of the Ecocapsule are available; however, Nice Architects plans to unveil a prototype at the Pioneers festival in Vienna on May 28, 2015.
Having taken seven years to complete the wondrous Ecocapsule, the Nice Architects plans to release the tiny home for sale later this year. The first produced units are planned to be delivered in the first half of 2016.
As shown below, maybe it could also be a sustainable solution for those who currently live without a safe, secure home?
Article Source: http://www.trueactivist.com/this-ecocapsule-tiny-home-lets-you-live-off-grid-anywhere-in-the-world/
Article by Andrew Griffin
Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Nasa may have successfully tested a form of space flight that could carry people to the moon in a few short hours — and eventually let us fly at speeds approaching that of light.
The agency has built an electromagnetic (EM) drive, using technology that shouldn’t be possible in current understanding of physics, according to users on forum NASASpaceFlight.com. Some of those discussing the plan claim to be Nasa engineers that are currently working on the plan — and have been verified as such, according to Cnet.
While the technology behind EM drives has been demonstrated before, the results have been disputed by some who don’t believe that it could work. But a controlled demonstration in conditions like those in space could be enough to begin the work to prove that the project could be used in practice.
Though the technology has been discussed in great length and detail on the forum and elsewhere, it is yet to undergo any peer review and the results of the recent Nasa experiments have not been released publicly.
The device works by propelling objects through space by using magnets to create microwaves, which are then sent through a device to create thrust. If it works, it could overcome the need to carry fuel for propulsion — a huge problem that limits the speed and distance that those journeying in space can travel.
To work, the spacecraft that carried it would need to carry a nuclear power plant to create the energy required to travel through space.
But if scientists were able to develop such technology, it could eventually lead to ships that can move at almost 10 per cent of the speed of light — far faster than any object controlled by humans has ever gone before. That means that a piloted ship could get to Alpha Centauri, a bright star 1.34 parsecs from us, in only 92 years.
Nasa’s official site says that: “There are many ‘absurd’ theories that have become reality over the years of scientific research.”
“But for the near future, warp drive remains a dream,” it writes in a post updated last month.
According to the forum users, the technology has been tested at the Johnson Space Center. In 2014, Nasa verified that the claims of Roger Shawyer, who invented the technology, did seem to be true. But those tests took place using low power and not in the kinds of space-like environment that the new testing seems to have been done in.
Speaking to Cnet, one of the scientists involved in the project said that it was looking to release Nasa from the problems of having to build and carry rockets.
“My work at Eagleworks (the lab at JSC where the EM drive is being tested) is just a continuation of my work tackling the fundamental problem that has been hindering manned spaceflight from the termination of the Apollo moon program,” said Paul March. “That being the availability of a robust and cost-effective power and propulsion technology that can break us loose from the shackles of the rocket equation.”
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