Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
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July 19th, 2014
5:57
 

What the heck is a mollusk, you may ask…  Well, it is any of a large phylum (Mollusca) of invertebrate animals (as snails, clams, or squids) with a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a calcareous shell.  Now on to the point of this blog post…

Camouflage is essential to many life forms – it is the key to their continued survival.  The Cuttlefish is one such creature; another water dweller having adaptive coloring capabilities is the Pencil Squid.  Scientists are hoping to capitalize on their investigation of the amazing ‘blend with your surroundings’ capability of these (admittedly rather unattractive) marine dwellers to increase the chances of survival for humans in combat.  [One side observation on my part, camouflaged or not, a backbone is going to be necessary for the soldier if he is being called upon under these circumstances!]

Research is being done at Harvard and UC Irvine, among other institutions and corporations globally.  To paraphrase one of the researchers on the goals of studying these marine life forms and their transmutability: “we’re…seeking to make shape-shifting clothing — the stuff of science fiction — a reality.”

There are a few different slants on the story – take a swim through them…  cuttlefish

Dinner Plate Squid used to Develop Color-changing Camouflage  (for some of us, dinner may take on a whole new ‘flavor’ – watch the video; soooo awesome!!!)

“Chameleon of the sea” reveals its secrets  (wow-imagine looking at that face in the mirror every morning)

Relying on speed, squids and cuttlefish do not have a thick, heavy outer shell. Their shells are reduced to lightweight internal bones. In squids, the bone is thin and pencil-like. In cuttlefish, these are flat surfboards riddled with tiny gas-filled chambers. Each of these creatures has eight ‘arms’ or tubers and they propel themselves by jetting water.  For more detailed info on this unusual creature go on over to Wild Fact Sheets

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Check out this post by Lawrence Bonk.  I confess to having more than my fair share of footwear in my closet – like many women, I guess.  Self-Lacing Sneakers …not likely to be a purchase I’d make for myself, but fun to contemplate!  Wearable tech is a big rage – are you wearing any?  Or better yet, designing any?  Maybe clothing/accessories will be the career path for you at Nike

sneakers

Take a look at some of Lawrence’s other posts on new stuff that’s hitting the market:  http://www.crunchwear.com/author/lawrence

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July 14th, 2014
6:14
 

For naturalists, the decline of the bee population worldwide has been more than alarming – it’s a threat of epic proportions.  Studies are ongoing and much research is underway to determine the causes (pesticides? pollution? disease?) for the drop in numbers of these marvelous pollinators so vital to Earth’s sustainability.

Watch the video to see the ‘backpacks’ being used in Australia to provide clues to buzzing behavior -  (Think about it the next time you stir honey into your tea!)

Bees fitted with tiny sensors to help scientists study their decline

For more on research studies in Australia, visit the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) website

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Medical science continues to evolve by taking new directions that don’t necessarily begin with focus groups and human or animal subject testing.   The use of 3D technologies for assisting physicians in ‘customized’ diagnoses and treatment plans for many health issues is being explored at both universities and hospitals.  By using virtual simulations, the hope is that both costs and patient trauma can be radically reduced.   Watch the video and take a look at the linked articles-

The heart of the future

“By creating the first full virtual model of the human heart, Dassault Systèmes are enabling medical professionals to one day explore personalized treatments for each patient prior to performing surgery, while inspiring researchers to revolutionize cardiovascular medicine”

See what other tech is being explored at Dassault Systèmes, a French corporation offering global employment opportunities…

 

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July 6th, 2014
9:35
 

Graduate students craft a plan for the future of Africa’s power grid

 

UC Berkeley students lead the way on another continent… Solar africa

“In collaboration with researchers at the agency and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Wu and Deshmukh are working with officials from 22 countries in eastern and southern Africa to identify zones that are well-suited for development of electricity production from wind, solar, and geothermal energy.”

 

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