Breaking science news and multimedia, heavy on astronomy and physics (and heavy on citing) New vids, pics, articles, and the occasional research post for ResearchBlogging.org.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Advanced Robotics for the Disabled: Segue-Wheelchairs and Exoskeletons

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Science Based Medicine's new article "Cyborg Therapeutics" brings to light some absolutely stunning robotics developed for the handicapped.  I'll share with you some media on these innovations.

First to see is the iBot.  I'm heartbroken to discover that this product is discontinued.  
The Segue-Meets-Wheelchair device is otherworldly,
a seemingly sci-fi creation,
a paraplegic's dream wheelchair.

Watch and see:



Credit: Independence Technology L.L.C. - iBOT® Mobility System.



A second innovation, reported out of Vanderbilt University, is perhaps even more impressive.  A lower body exoskeleton has been designed for paraplegics.  It also uses a segue-related technology and is slated for release in 2014.  Using minor hip movements you can drive these prosthetic legs that are powered by lithium batteries and run by micro-computers.  Watch one man proudly walk on his own, overcoming a devastating car accident that injured his spine and ruined his legs:


Credit: Vanderbilt University

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Our Story In 1 Minute"

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Symphony of Science comes through again with something profoundly moving:

"Our Story in 1 Minute"
"A tapestry of footage tracing the cosmic and biological origins of our species, set to original music."


Credit: Symphony of Science aka MelodySheep


Video sources:

Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking
Do We Really Need the Moon? BBC
How Planet Earth Was Made
David Attenborough's First Life
Life
Dinosaurs Alive
Journey to the Edge of the Universe
Last Day of the Dinosaurs
Walking With Cavemen
Human Planet
Mankind: The Story of All of Us
Hubble Ultra Deep Field
Wonders of the Universe
Quest for Fire
Baraka
The Tree of Life

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NASA Videos of Hurricane Sandy

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Hurricane Sandy has been making quite a mess of the US Eastern coast.  I'm right smack dab in the middle of it.

This just out from NASA's website.  I uploaded them to YouTube for you all.
Very interesting stuff if you've kept up with it.

NASA has their own unique point of view.  Which is really high up.

"NASA Satellites Capture Hurricane Sandy's Massive Size"


Credit: NASA GOES Project)


"Hurricane Sandy as it Affects the Eastern US"


Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project


"A View of Hurricane Sandy From The International Space Station"


Credit: NASA / Goddard
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DARPA'S Maximum Mobility and Manipulation Program (M3)

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"DARPA's Pet-Proto Robot Navigates Obstacles"
They're making a goddamn James Bond robot.  I LOVE IT!

Credit: DARPA / Boston Dynamics


Info on the project from DARPA's .mil site:
"The Department of Defense’s strategic plan calls for the Joint Force to conduct humanitarian, disaster relief and related operations.  The plan identifies requirements to extend aid to victims of natural or man-made disasters and conduct evacuation operations.  Some disasters, however, due to grave risks to the health and wellbeing of rescue and aid workers, prove too great in scale or scope for timely and effective human response.  The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) will attempt to address this capability gap by promoting innovation in robotic technology for disaster-response operations."


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The Sky Is Falling

Meteor Hits House in California - Cheezburger

Lisa Webber in northern California got a surprise from above.  Yes, the house has a hole in it, but it makes for a damned good cocktail party story!



A meteoroid is one in space... A meteor is one in the atmosphere... A meteorite is on the ground.
So did a meteor hit the house or did a meteorite hit the house?


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Saturday, October 20, 2012

NASA - Gradient Sun

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NASA JUST NOW released a new video of brilliant colors bubbling on the moving surface of the sun.  The score is majestic and it evokes pure awe.  It's public domain so I immediately uploaded it to my YouTube.  Here, see it now!

Gradient Sun
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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Monday, October 15, 2012

You have POUNDS of Microorganisms Inside You

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The Human Microbiome

I hope you enjoyed the poll I posted for this article!  
63% of you 
thought micro-organisms comprised 3-5% of our body mass.
Close!
It's 1-3%

In the human body, we are host to a variety of 100 TRILLION different microbes.
New York Times: [link]
Discover Magazine says 200 Trillion [link]




NIH.gov says that, startlingly, the ratio in the body, is only ONE human cell to TEN foreign micro-organisms.  [link]
Discover Magazine says 20 to 1. [link]


A whopping 1-3% of your total body mass is not you.
So for a 200lb. man, 2lb. to 6lb. of your weight are other living things.
It's bacteria, fungus, and other lovely little "beasties."
Again, National Institute of Health: [link]


Image: Wikimedia Commons


These organisms are all over us.  Almost all of them are harmless.  Bacteria comprises much, but others are there, such as fungi.  500-1000 different species of bacteria alone live in the gut alone.
Human Biome on Wikipedia: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_microbiome]


Image Credit: Masterfile


Beyond the gut, the skin and mouth are teeming with life.  Even further, we are simply covered.

Germophobes, I'm sorry to tell you, your goals may be far beyond your reach.

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