Anti-microbial suits will protect athletes from bacteria at the Rio Olympics

July 7, 2016 by  
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Events keep cropping up that make Rio seem woefully under-prepared for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – Brazil reportedly pumps sewage into the ocean, Human body parts are washing up on beaches, and researchers have found a super bacteria resistant to drugs . With the games scheduled to go on, athletes are donning specialized anti-microbial unisuits designed by one Philadelphia University textile engineer to provide an extra measure of safety. Textile engineer Mark Sunderland created a unisuit for rowers that’s lightweight and seamless, so it doesn’t interfere with athletes’ performance. But the suits have an additional element critical for those competing in waters that will possibly be contaminated: an anti-microbial finish. Anti-microbial material is actually knitted into the suits, offering an ” extra layer of protection .” Philadelphia-based Boathouse Sports , founded by former Olympic rower John Strotbeck, III, will provide the suits in time for the Olympics. Related: Body parts wash up on Rio beaches just weeks before the Olympics Rower Chierika Ukogo was born in Philadelphia and will compete as Nigeria’s first ever Olympic rower . She’ll be wearing one of the green suits, and she says it ” fits so well, I can’t even feel it .” Other American athletes competing for the United States will wear suits that are blue and white. The suits are even eco-friendly; the process to make one suit results in not even one gram of waste. Sunderland warns, however, that the suit won’t protect athletes completely from contamination in Brazil waters. He told Philly.com , “This suit is not a medical device.” Others pointed out that athletes’ hands and faces could still come into contact with polluted water. Sailing crews practicing in the bay this month said an oil slick turned boats brown; some sailors even compared the appearance of the boats to a toilet . Via Seeker Images via Philadelphia University

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Anti-microbial suits will protect athletes from bacteria at the Rio Olympics

Clip-Air to test modular capsule-based aircraft with a small-scale drone

July 7, 2016 by  
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Back in 2013, we reported on a crazy airplane that could carry passengers and cargo in modular, detachable capsules . The Clip-Air plane was conceived by Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , and engineers have spent several years developing the design – now the company is gearing up to build a small-scale Clip-Air prototype drone as a test vehicle. The two-part Clip-Air craft is composed of the flying component (the airframe, cockpit, and engines) and the capsules, which are detachable pods that can be configured to carry passengers or cargo loads. The prototype will measure just 10 meters long, but it will help engineers test theories about the performance potential of the pod-like aircraft . Clip-Air’s concept sports an airframe based on a flying-wing design that sits high above the ground, leaving adequate clearance for up to three capsules to attach. Modular aircraft such as this would be incredibly versatile, and a single plane could be capable of carrying out multiple functions. For instance, a passenger module could be attached to an airframe and carry people from Point A to Point B. Then, additional cargo modules already full of goods could be attached for the return trip, or to fly on to Point C. Related: Clip-Air: Modular transportation capsules carry passengers by land, sea, and air Another potential bonus to Clip-Air’s modular approach to transportation is the impact it could have on human travel. Because the modules can be carried by a wide variety of vehicles, including trains and trucks, and easily attached and detached from the airframe, it’s possible that passengers could board a Clip-Air capsule in one city and be carried by railway to another, attached to an airframe, and flown to their final destination, all without having to leave the cabin. Imagine that. Via CNN Images via Federal Polytechnic Institute

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Clip-Air to test modular capsule-based aircraft with a small-scale drone

Soldier kills a jaguar used in Rio 2016 Olympic torch relay

June 25, 2016 by  
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With just over a month to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games , the Olympic torch is passing through Brazil in the traditional relay. Although the torch is considered a symbol of unity and peace, the relay turned deadly in the city of Manaus. A soldier shot and killed a female jaguar named Juma, who was used as an extra in the ceremony, after she escaped from her handlers. Activists are condemning the use of Juma in a situation that likely would have been stressful for her. The jaguar was shot with four tranquilizer darts, and then a soldier shot her with a pistol. Juma was likely upset by the commotion, according to University of Brasilia scientist Joao Paulo Castro. He told BBC Brasil, “It’s neither healthy nor advisable to subject an animal to such a situation, with lots of noise and people. Often, jaguars already are stressed by being kept in captivity, that’s only compounded when they’re exposed to hubbub.” Related: Criminal charges possible in Cinncinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe’s death The local committee that organized the event issued a statement saying they made a “mistake” to display the Olympic torch next to a “chained wild animal.” They said, “We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.” According to the World Wildlife Fund, jaguars are ” near threatened ,” and in the past they worked with the Brazil government to protect swaths of the Amazon forest as a habitat for the animals. Ipaam, the government authority that manages use of animals, said it was actually illegal to use Juma in the ceremony. They are currently investigating her death. Animal rights groups from around the world condemned the incident. Rio de Janeiro’s Animal Freedom Union said on their Facebook page, “When will people (and institutions) stop with this sick need to show power and control by confining, taming, and showcasing wild animals?” Via the BBC Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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Soldier kills a jaguar used in Rio 2016 Olympic torch relay

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