As a California Institute of Technology graduate student, Wendian Shi was looking for a quick way to measure white blood cell counts, a critical gauge for a number of health issues. Now CEO of CytoChip, he and others have been fleshing out that thesis idea into a portable system that somewhat resembles a glucose monitor with its blood-sampling test strip but that also incorporates a microfluidic and a dye to make the cells visible.
Scientists from around the world met in London to launch a project to catalog every type of cell in the human body and the properties of those cells. The resulting Human Cell Atlas will be available free of charge to researchers in biomedical science.
Seventeen years after groundbreaking, Switzerland completed the most ambitious tunneling project ever with the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Boring machines with 29.5-foot heads plowed through 35 miles of rock to launch a far more efficient train route through that part of Europe and win the top mention among Popular Science's 11 greatest engineering innovations of the year.
Tesla Motors will equip new models with fully self-driving technology. Most of the car's autonomous driving system will be in shadow mode pending approval by regulators, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the technology will allow "full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver."
Kodak may have missed the digital revolution in photography but is now looking to make up ground with a smartphone geared to camera enthusiasts. The Ektra phone incorporates a 21-megapixel camera, sophisticated software and a powerful processor for photo editing and an overall camera-friendly design.
A device the size of a pen uses ozone to kill bacteria and make water safe for drinking. Users simply place the $199 O-Pen from Roving Blue in water, where it emits ozone bubbles that can purify 16 ounces in less than a minute.
BMW is looking decades into the future to imagine what cars will become beyond the technologies that are now being developed. Among other things, the company envisions manufacturing techniques radically different from today's using recycled materials to produce robotically driven, electrically powered vehicles.
Everything down to the furnishings is 3D-printed in the Office of the Future in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 2,700-square-foot office can accommodate 16 people and demonstrates Dubai's prowess as a technology hub of the future.
More than twice as many 3D printers will ship this year compared with 2015, and this year's projected 456,000 could balloon to more than 6.7 million by 2020, a Gartner report predicts. Manufacturing and health care, including medical devices, are two sectors where 3D printers are in demand.
The PRISM fast reactor is not only a nuclear reactor but a type of renewable energy source because it runs on used nuclear fuel, according to GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Chief Consulting Engineer Eric Loewen. The reactor can work well with renewables because it is very responsive and can ramp up when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining, he said.
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