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Fire ants inspire principles of underground locomotion

By Damir Beciri
2 June 2013

fire-ants-1Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) researchers studied fire ants to uncover fundamental principles of locomotion that could be applied on teams of robots which travel through underground tunnels. Among the study’s findings, the researchers were surprised by the first observation that ants in confined spaces use their antennae for locomotion as well as for… »

Bionics| Tech»

ChiBio Project focused on development of a biorefinery for crustacean shells

By Damir Beciri
1 June 2013

crab-shell-chitinAside efforts to utilize crustacean shells by extracting chitin and turning it into pharmaceuticals with fungi, researchers in Asia successfully managed to extract polymer chitosan from shrimp shells in order to make filters, foils and wound dressings. 750,000 tones of crustacean shells are annually disposed in EU, however, crustaceans in Europe contain more lime and… »

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Extracting human DNA with full genetic data within minutes

By Maja Bosanac
14 May 2013

uw-dna-extraction-deviceCollaboration between engineers at the University of Washington (UW) and NanoFacture, a UW spinout company, resulted in the development of a device that can extract human DNA in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendlier way than conventional methods. The new device will enable hospitals and research labs to extract DNA from human fluid samples… »

Bionics| Robotics»

Oxygen-sensing microrobots could help in fight against glaucoma

By Damir Beciri
13 May 2013

eye-healthGlaucoma is only one of several diseases that can decrease the oxygen supply to the retina. An insufficient supply can cause blindness, sometimes within mere hours, so patients and physicians have to react as soon as possible to preserve the eyesight of the patient. Up until now there have been no methods sensitive enough to… »

Bionics»

Organovo creates fully cellular 3D bioprinted liver tissue

By Damir Beciri
25 April 2013

organovo-novogen-bioprintingAs we reported in one of our previous articles, Organovo came up with a bio-printer able to print human tissue and organs in 3D. They recently attended 2013 Experimental Biology conference in Boston, Massachusetts, where they presented the company’s in vitro three-dimensional liver generated by Organovo’s NovoGen bioprinting platform. The tissues are highly reproducible and… »

Bionics»

Modified E. coli makes diesel on demand

By Maja Bosanac
23 April 2013

bacteria-can-produce-diesel-on-demandCollaboration between researchers at the University of Exeter and the researchers at the Shell Projects & Technology resulted with the development of a new technology for modifying certain strains of E. coli bacteria to produce diesel when needed. Although produced diesel is substantially similar to conventional diesel fuel, the method still confronts many challenges before… »

Bionics| Tech»

Using bees as early warning for a fruit tree disease

By Damir Beciri
23 April 2013

bees-tubes-1When blossoms and leaves wane and turn black, it is usually too late to fight off the disease which attacks the plant. Fire blight is a plant disease which strikes fruit trees such as apple and pear trees. Clearing the affected trees was often the only chance left before it takes over the entire orchard…. »

Bionics»

Pine cones inspire new materials that change their shape according to stimuli

By Damir Beciri
21 April 2013

pineconesInspired by the ability of pine cones to close their scales when wet and open them again once they have dried out, a group of researchers at ETH Zurich devised a new method to produce a variety of composite materials that are able to change their shape to a pre-programmed shape after being influence by… »