World’s first 3D-printed heart-on-a-chip could help end animal testing

October 25, 2016 by  
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When it comes to medical breakthroughs, the most exciting advances tend to involve technology that can lead to better and earlier diagnoses of various health problems , but breakthroughs that save animals are pretty good too. A team of Harvard University researchers has done just that by developing an entirely 3D-printed “heart-on-a-chip” that may some day eliminate animal testing in medical research. The innovation, which makes it possible to monitor heart performance, is the latest in a medical technology trend of building functional, synthetic replicas of living human organs in an effort to better understand how they work, or—more to the point—how they fail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHhMlL9flMY Each organ-on-a-chip (also known as a “microphysiological system”) is constructed from a translucent, flexible polymer. The 3D-printed organs mimic the biological environment of our internal organs, and give scientists an up-close look at how they function. The heart-on-a-chip developed at Harvard can help researchers collect reliable data for short-term and long-term studies. Because the device is 3D-printed , scientists can easily customize its design to meet the specifications of their research, and the chips can be fabricated quickly. Related: See-through microchip organs help scientists test new drugs “This new programmable approach to building organs-on-chips not only allows us to easily change and customize the design of the system by integrating sensing but also drastically simplifies data acquisition,” said Johan Ulrik Lind, lead author and postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). Other Harvard research teams have developed microphysiological systems that mimic the microarchitecture and functions of lungs, hearts, tongues, and intestines. These synthetic organs could replace animal testing with a customizable and completely humane alternative that may also lead to more accurate results. Unfortunately, the cost for fabricating these organs-on-a-chip is still quite high, and the process is also time-consuming. Researchers are continuously pushing forward to improve their methods, though, in the hopes of making this a viable and cost-effective alternative toward the cruel practice of animal testing. The results of the team’s research were published this week in the journal Nature Materials. Via Gizmodo Images via Harvard University

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World’s first 3D-printed heart-on-a-chip could help end animal testing

REI announces plan to close all 149 stores on Black Friday

October 25, 2016 by  
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Feeding the frenetic consumerism beast, Black Friday takes a hefty environmental toll each year. To combat the craziness, REI decided to close all 149 branches again this year with their #OptOutside campaign. They’ll pay their 12,287 employees and encourage participants to skip the mall and spend time in nature instead. Want to join in? Share your outdoor adventures on social media with the hashtag #OptOutside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEVXU4RDUoI With the goal of creating new traditions for the Thanksgiving holiday, REI offers a green alternative through their #OptOutside campaign. To make it even easier for people to forgo shopping and spend time in nature, REI has created an outside activity finder online so people can find state parks or trails close to where ever they are spending Thanksgiving. Explorers can search for places to go hiking, climbing, mountain biking, skiing, or snowboarding. They can also filter for family- or dog-friendly activities. Related: California and Minnesota state parks are free on Black Friday CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement, “This year, REI will shut down on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday because fundamentally we believe that being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally. But as a nation we’re still spending over 90 percent of our lives indoors and it’s a trend we need to tackle. I love that there is a community of people in this country who dedicate their lives to that mission, so together, we are asking America, ‘Will you go out with us?'” 275 local and national organizations will join REI to promote the #OptOutside campaign through activities or social media posts, including Subaru, Google, and Meetup. For example, Subaru will offer pet owners in New York City shuttle rides for them and their dogs out of the urban jungle to nature, and will drive shelter dogs to the outdoors to spend time outside of their cages. You can check out the full list of #OptOutside partners here . + REI #OptOutside Images via REI Facebook and REI

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REI announces plan to close all 149 stores on Black Friday

2017 Ford Fusion Energi can travel further than any other plug-in hybrid

June 1, 2016 by  
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While the electric charging infrastructure continues to improve, many car buyers still have range anxiety when thinking about purchasing an electric car . That’s why plug-in hybrids are still currently the best option for electric car buyers that aren’t comfortable with a 100-mile range full electric vehicle. Buyers have many options when it comes to plug-in hybrids, but Ford has announced the specifications of its updated 2017 Fusion Energi sedan, and it can travel further than any other plug-in hybrid on the market. Refreshed for the 2017 model year, the Ford Fusion sedan gets plenty of upgrades to the exterior, more tech features and even some updates under the skin to make it more efficient. Updates to the Fusion Energi’s hybrid powertrain software and regenerative braking ensures the 2017 Fusion Energi can now travel up to 610 miles – up from 550 miles for the 2016 model. It would be great if most of that range was in fully electric mode, but the Fusion Energi can only travel up to 21 miles before the gas engine kicks in to keep you moving down the road. Related: Ford confirms 200-mile electric car to rival the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt “Fusion Energi – with a full battery and a full tank of gas – can go from San Diego, through Los Angeles and all the way up to San Francisco, and still have up to 110 miles of range remaining,” said Wade Jackson, marketing manager for the Ford Fusion . While some electric car buyers may still want a vehicle with a longer electric driving range, Ford has also announced that the fully-electric 2017 Focus Electric will have a driving range over 100 miles. Ford is also working on a 200-mile range electric car that will compete with models, like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt. + Ford

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2017 Ford Fusion Energi can travel further than any other plug-in hybrid

Report claims VW is spending $15.5B to build a giant battery factory

June 1, 2016 by  
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Volkswagen is reportedly preparing to make a major investment in electric car technology and hopefully buy some positive press as well. Less than a year after its enormous emissions scandal and the massive recall that followed, the German car company may spend up to $15.5 billion to build a manufacturing plant for electric car batteries . The move would support the company’s lofty goal to sell one million electric and hybrid vehicles annually by 2025. The massive battery factory isn’t a done deal, though. Financial Review, quoting a report in Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper, reported that VW’s CEO Matthias Müller, who stepped into the role after former chief executive resigned amid last year’s scandal, will unveil plans at the company’s supervisory board meeting next month. A VW spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the report, calling it “speculation.” Related: Evidence suggests VW deliberately deceived US regulators in emissions scandal Industry experts agree that a giant battery manufacturing plant for the car company would make sense, considering VW’s aim to become a global leader in mass market electric cars. Building a battery factory seems like a natural progression in the company’s portfolio, building on previous investments the company has made to support electric vehicles, including $10 million in charging infrastructure  in the United States. VW has a long way to go to reach its goals, though, given that they sold just 67,000 electric vehicles last year around the world, most of which were hybrid models. Via GTM Images via Volkswagen

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Report claims VW is spending $15.5B to build a giant battery factory

Sublime Nook Residence blends seamlessly into the snowy Canadian landscape

June 1, 2016 by  
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The home’s sharp angles and stark white facade mimic the steep terrain and snowy landscape that lead up to the lot. The structure is comprised of two asymmetrical volumes “twisted” onto each other in an origami-like style. The top level is strategically placed on the smaller lower level, providing solar shading for the large, south-facing terrace. Related: MU Architecture unveils tiny copper and glass huts for Canada’s Bigwin Island Large, floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the adjacent Lake Memphremagog permit residents to enjoy the breathtaking natural surroundings from the living space. Polished concrete radiant flooring and walnut furniture further bring a nature-inspired elegance to the minimalistic interior design . An interior balcony and light Cedar-planked ceilings extend to the outside terrace, guiding the eye towards the breathtaking lake view . + MU Architecture

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Sublime Nook Residence blends seamlessly into the snowy Canadian landscape

Spirula: World’s First 3D Printed Speaker is Made From 100% Wood

June 5, 2014 by  
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The 3D printing team at AKEMAKE has just unveiled Spirula , the world’s first 3D printed speaker made from 100% wood. Designed in a spiral shape inspired by the deep sea Nautilus and squid, the Spirula is a small and timeless piece that can fit into any home or office environment. In addition to a limited edition of the Spirula that AKEMAKE has produced for purchase online, they’ve also included the specifications and DIY guidelines so that anyone with a 3D printer and filament can print their own at home. + AKEMAKE The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed speaker , 3d printed wood , 3D printing , akemake , diy speaker , filament , reader submitted content , speaker , spirula , wooden speaker

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Spirula: World’s First 3D Printed Speaker is Made From 100% Wood

Smart rolls out the much awaited electric car and bike

August 23, 2011 by  
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B Phanindra Kumar: Smart ForTwo Zero emission electric car Smart has rolled out its ForTwo Electric Drive car and electric bike that are soon going to hit the hit the automobile shops in 2010. The ForTwo car is neatly designed with nice hood and appealing vinyl paint. If we look into the specifications, ForTwo Electric Drive has a 74 horsepower electric engine. Notably, this is the first of its kind that an electric car is coming with a top speed of 75 meters per hour. Picture Gallery ForTwo Electric Drive Smart ForTwo EV and its accompanying ebike Notably, it can do 100 meter sprint with 13 seconds. The another important feature not to forget while purchasing an electric car is the battery. Mileage is to fuel-run cars what battery is to electric cars. ForTwo Electric Drive comes with a 17.6 Wh battery that is being supplied by Deutsche Accumotive. This car and electric bike—both come with the same mixed colors, green and white. They are all set to be exhibited at the Frankfurt auto show in September. It will, however, be kept for sale in Europe from next spring. This mini electric car has got stylish front-bumper, white colored rims and neatly designed hood. The side skirts of this car are undountedly attractive. The electric bike(e-bike) comes with a 400 watt battery and 250 watt electric motor that is being neatly fixed at the rear end. Another best feature of this bike is the USB port that can be used for charging a mobile phone on the go. In the bike rack at the rear, one can dump the mobile phone during charging. One can get home this green bike by spending approximately €2,900. The price of the car is yet to released by the company. Both these vehicles are equipped with zero emissions mobility package. Via: World Car Fans

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Smart rolls out the much awaited electric car and bike

One-seater electric car by Volkswagen to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show

August 23, 2011 by  
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Balakrishnan Ramachandran: Volkswagen XL1 Concept Car Zero emission electric concept Volkswagen is reportedly ready to unveil an experimental one-seater urban electric car at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2011. The one-seater is targeted to be used as a commuter vehicle for limited city driving. No details of the price-range or other specifications of the car are disclosed yet. The one-seater car would be smaller and lighter than a 2-seater and that would, naturally, lead to an improved mileage from a given battery size. Previous attempts at a one-seater electric personal transport by Segway and Sinclair have not been successful. VW is, of course, a much bigger name in the auto industry, and its entry could trigger acceptance of the one-seater commuter car. Some VW watchers predict that the VW concept car will use the same chassis, motor and battery as Audi’s e-Tron. Audi is a sister company of VW. VW plans to offer battery recharge from renewable energy sources, as part of its EV service package. This is to overcome the criticism that carbon emitting utility electricity is used to recharge EV batteries. Volkswagen, which made 4.75 million cars between January and July 2011, is well on the target to achieve its ambition of being the no 1 car maker in the world by 2018. Their forecast of EVs in the total car production is, however, a modest 3%. This underscores the issues with acceptability of the EVs as the primary family car as well as the limitations with battery technology at the present time. Via: egmcartech

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One-seater electric car by Volkswagen to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show

Bharat Electronics showcases $75 solar-powered Android tablet

August 8, 2011 by  
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Nandini Moulik: Solar powered tablet Designed by Bharat Electronics Limited India-based Bharat Electronics Limited has announced the development of a $75 solar-powered tablet. The company has been able to design, manufacture and ship 2000 sample tablets in less than five months. Maintaining an approach to low cost computing, these tablets will be much handy in power deficit rural areas. BEL, a leading manufacturer of radars and communication equipments for the defense department in India, has bagged this order from the Ministry of Rural Development of India. The Managing Director and Chairman of BEL, Ashwani Kumar Dutt, was proud to announce the launching of solar powered tablets within a record low time period. Running Android 2.2, this tablet is equipped with a solar powered power back up and will allow data storage through a cloud based server. The tablet will store data to the central server running on a solar powered battery. The tablet comes in a decent leather pouch with a keyboard connected through a cable. Other specifications have not yet been disclosed, but it seems that this $75 Android tablet is practically viable than the previous $35 Sakshat tablet, launched by Kapil Sibal. The subsidized $35 tablet released by Indian HRD ministry could not gain steam owing to its manufacturing cost and features. Tablet manufacturing is picking up in India, and this Android tablet has been designed indigenously to create waves in the market. Other factors like running capacity of the tablet, durability and maintenance are to be considered as these are specially meant for the economically backward class. The tablet may not be modish in appearance, but will surely serve the purpose. BEL has targeted to release 600,000 tablets by this November that will boost its revenue significantly through this first civilian order. Given the falling prices of tablets in the world, this cheaply priced and indigenously built Android tablet is ready to take on any low priced tablet in the international market. The price and customization facilities may pose few challenges to BEL in the future, but this has been a commendable achievement for the organization to manufacture 2000 solar powered tablets within a record time. BEL has taken up this project with a long term vision, as it spent about $1.5 million in creating additional facilities to produce modernized versions of solar powered tablets for the students. Although, this tablet is not available for the masses, but BEL is not ruling out the possibility of manufacturing for the commoners in future. Via: Trak

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Bharat Electronics showcases $75 solar-powered Android tablet

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