Science In The News

Over time I have come across tons of super cool potential inventions and science things in the news. Instead of having you read super long articles about them, I write little summaries of them on this page. Here you go! I hope you are as interested in this whole science thing as I am!

The Future of Fashion… Robotic Clothes?

Seismic is an apparel startup from San Francisco, California. They specialize in robotic clothing. Seismic says they will release their Powered Clothing™ to the public in 2019 (in limited release). Powered Clothing™ is an undergarment, and therefore, is not meant to be worn as typical clothing. The goal of Seismic is to encourage its clients to  “overcome limitations and achieve full physical potential” through the clothing. This goal can be attained through the three layers in the clothing. The three layers are the “base layer” which has pockets in which rechargeable batteries are held and tools can be stored, the “strength layer” in which the robotic parts simulate the motion of tendons, ligaments, and muscles to potentially help decrease bad posture, and the “intelligent layer.” The intelligent layer is somewhat different from the other two layers. It is actually a pack that is worn on the lower back on the outside of the clothing. It is like a small backpack, except it’s a mini computer! It stores all the data from the sensors on the clothes to help provide support when necessary to the strength layer.

This Robotic Skin Makes Inanimate Objects Move!

Yale University has created a soft and flexible robotic “skin” or sheet that can be placed on inanimate objects to enable to move and perform tasks.  Their original idea for creating the robotic skin was to help in outer space missions. Instead of using an expensive and heavy metal droid, this soft robotic skin with modular sensors can perform repairs or explore the lunar surface. The dynamic compressions can also potentially help protect astronauts as they accelerate or decelerate.

 By using tiny air valves, robotic skins push in different directions in different places on the object. This gives the objects the ability to walk, crawl, or even roll. They have tested this invention using a camera attached to a cylinder to make it crawl. This could be useful for rescue operations or to explore places humans are too big to access. Researchers hope this invention can be useful by having household objects do the tasks of many people.

NASA Satellite Captures 360-View of Hurricane Maria

Many people know of the devastating effects hurricane Maria had on Puerto Rico in 2017. However, what most people don’t know is that two days before the hurricane extended to category 5, a satellite recorded it in 3D. During its recording, the hurricane was still considered a category one hurricane. However, that was only 24 hours before it reached category 5. The satellite technology is now able to simulate what it would be like to be inside the hurricane in 3D. It is able to detect liquid and frozen water on the ground and in the air. In addition, the satellite can decipher high temperatures and low temperatures. All of these things are shown through colors and shapes, as you can see in the picture below. For instance, cooler temperatures and/or frozen precipitation is generally shown through cooler colors such as blue and purple. It is important to look at drop sizes and rainfall rates because it helps us estimate and predict the intensity of the hurricane. Temperature, humidity, wind speed, and clouds are all vital factors when determining how big a hurricane may get and how long it will remain for. 

This article fits in with science because it includes elements such as meteorology, climatology, and even sciences such as engineering to make the satellites that make all of this possible.

This AI-powered smart outlet will recommend ways to save power

Have you ever wondered how to easily save energy but couldn’t think of anything? Well, Currant is your solution. Currant is an Al-powered smart outlet that has proven to be the safest of its kind. The Currant outlet comes with a mobile app that is available on Android and iOS. This app gives you access to personalized tips on how to save energy. The outlet can determine how its energy is being used. Then, it can provide feedback based on that information. Also, it can connect to various Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices!

This article is science-related because it includes technology, data analysis, and even engineering to make these special tools!

Baboons survive 6 months after getting a pig heart transplant

I this article, I will be explaining how baboons lived with pig heart transplants. For six months, the two Anubis baboons went about their lives, but with a pig heart. This was the longest survival with these transplants; the baboon lived only for 57 more days after receiving the transplant previously. Some other baboons lived a healthy three months with the pig hearts. They hopped, climbed, ate, and even watched TV. 

Currently, scientists are working towards transplanting pig organs to humans. They still have work to do, but someday it could be possible. The pigs were made to make proteins for humans. Also, the pigs cannot make alpha-gal sugars, which can attack organs or the immune system. Throughout the research, they tested on 14 baboons in three trials. They hooked the hearts up to machines that pumped blood and nutrients instead of using cold water to transport the organs. This was so the oxygen could continue to flow in the organs. They continued to add blood to the hearts so they may remain active. The scientists also decreased the baboon’s blood pressures and replaced medications so that the hearts wouldn’t grow too big.  

In the final experiment, two of the five baboons stayed healthy. Unfortunately, one baboon had to be put to sleep after having a blood clot. One of the two baboons that stayed healthy had liver damage after being taken off medication. The last baboon stayed fairly healthy. This article relates to science because it includes information concerning engineering and transplants, both of which there is a great amount of science behind.
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Google’s new educational project wants to teach kids how to combat online abuse

Google has announced that they will be partnering with public schools to help prevent cyberbullying and bad internet usage. They will be giving out kits about internet usage and cyberbullying and how to prevent it. Interviews have shown that parents want to talk to their kids about these issues, but they just don’t know how to start the conversation. These kits from Google should help this. All of the schools that participate in presenting on the internet with their materials will get free laptops for students and parents and presentation materials on cyberbullying and internet usage. They will also be giving $1,000 grants to the schools that participate. This is related to science because it is talks about the internet and cyberbullying which play a major role in technology today.

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