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A sponge that could reduce negative effects of chemotherapy

The toxic side-effects of chemotherapy could be reduced by a sponge-like device which strains leftover cancer drugs from the blood stream before they damage the brain or cause hair loss. The tubular device is 3D-printed – so it could be tailor-made to fit the patient. Its mesh-like centre is covered with a special coating that absorbs the drug, but lets blood flow through the device unhindered. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46782190

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A safe way to escape a skyscraper- from Russia

A safe way to escape a skyscraper- from Russia

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Harvesting drinking water from air

Majik Water, captures water from the air and converts it into drinking water using solar technology. The process uses desiccants such as silica gels to draw water from the air. The gels are then heated up with solar power to release the water. The current system can generate up to 10 litres of filtered water per day, with the team looking to scale up to 100-litre systems at a cost of only £0.08 per 10 litres. The solar panels used for the prototype are the most expensive input on the device and Majik Water is looking for ways to drive those costs down. The device, which won first prize this year at the EDF Africa awards , could provide a solution for the 1.8 billion people predicted to have a shortage of water by 2025, according to the UN. http://www.majikwater.co/

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Putting melanoma to sleep

Australian scientists have discovered that special immune cells have the power to put melanoma tumours ‘‘to sleep’’, potentially paving the way for new treatments. The cancer cells aren’t completely killed. They are still there, but they are held in check by the tissue-resident memory T cells. It seems that the T cells can patrol the skin and watch over the melanoma tumour cells. Melanoma remains the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, behind breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. Australia and New Zealand have the world’s highest incidence rate for melanoma. https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/hopes-of-melanoma-breakthrough-from-cells-that-put-cancer-to-sleep-20181231-p50oz3.html

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Bringing life to an image

Researchers from the University of Washington and Facebook have developed a way to animate stationary characters in any image, resulting in them springing into action to sprint toward you out of the background. Most current AR applications are built for a specific image, like a billboard; this tool can identify a human silhouette, generate a 3D version of the person, and create a realistic animation for the figure to jump off the photo into the real world. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/ar-figures-walk-off-backdrop/

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Unlocking value in textiles at a fibre level

BlockTexx is a fashion technology platform and marketplace for the world’s recycled textiles – an end-to-end recycling ecosystem unlocking the value of textile waste, one fabric at a time. Their idea is to change the fundamental model of the fashion industry that doesn’t consider end-of-life garments to have value – so everything that is considered either ‘waste’ or a ‘cost’… they have reimagined as a revenue opportunity, With the help of the CSIRO they have developed the S.O.F.T.® (separation of fibre technology), a process that can separate and recover the raw materials from clothing like polyester and cotton. https://www.chiefentrepreneur.qld.gov.au/stories/blocktexx

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A clever way to take revenge on thieves

An engineer has designed a Apple HomePod box that is “enticing” for any thief. It’s GPS-enabled, so its journey can be tracked once it leaves his home perimeter. It records video with embedded mobile phones, no matter how the thief picked up the parcel. And, once triggered, it sprays half a kilo of glitter. To add insult to injury it includes a can of “fart spray,” programmed to automatically spray after the glitter explosion is triggered. Reactions by the thieves are captured on the video. www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/thieves-stole-a-package-from-an-engineer-so-he-created-a-trap-using-glitter-and-fart-spray-20181219-p50n57.html

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Robotic surgery demonstrated on a grape

The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system made by the American company Intuitive Surgical. It’s designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach, and is controlled by a surgeon from a console. The system is commonly used for prostatectomies, and increasingly for cardiac valve repair and gynecologic surgical procedures According to the manufacturer, the da Vinci System is called “da Vinci” in part because Leonardo da Vinci’s “study of human anatomy eventually led to the design of the first known robot in history”. https://youtu.be/KNHgeykDXFw

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