Here’s a trick to see if you’ve trimmed your sideburns to equal lengths without swiveling your head back and forth while looking in the mirror: Put your fingers at the end of your sideburns and look in the mirror. If they’re roughly the same distance down your face, you’re good.
This holiday season, Bill Gates wants stuff that doesn’t exist. Not for himself, mind you, but for the developing world. Gates has tons of ideas for products that would improve lives there, if only someone would build them.
The Argus II retinal implant is like a cochlear implant for the blind. It looks like computing goggles such as Google Glass, but it sends the images the eyeglass-mounted visual processing unit detects to a tiny electrode array that’s been implanted in the user’s retina. Electrical stimulation sends visual information up the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the user’s brain, allowing him or her to see.
It’s a question that’s perplexed philosophers for centuries and scientists for decades: Where does consciousness come from? We know it exists, at least in ourselves. But how it arises from chemistry and electricity in our brains is an unsolved mystery.
Researchers from the University of Iowa have developed a remarkable new procedure for regenerating missing or damaged bone. It’s called a “bio patch” — and it works by sending bone-producing instructions directly into cells using microscopic particles embedded with DNA.
Someday soon, liquid crystal lasers that can be printed onto product labels could join the arsenal of weapons being used to combat counterfeit goods. These lasers reflect light in a way that can distinguish the real deal from laser-less, fraudulent knockoffs.
Solid Concepts has successfully produced what it claims to be the world’s first 3D printed metal gun. And unlike the Liberator before it, this one looks a whole lot closer to the traditional firearms you’re used to seeing. According to its creators, the metal gun functions without issue and has already fired off over 50 rounds. Building it involved the process of laser sintering — which helped them manufacture over 30 individual components for the gun — and various powdered metals. The point of all of this, Solid Concepts says, is to provide yet more evidence of 3D printing’s potential; that the technology of far more than making “trinkets and Yoda heads.”
3-D printers are one of the coolest pieces of technology available. Part of what makes them so cool is how easily they can improve someone’s life. Paul McCarthy was looking for an inexpensive but functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon. Leon was born without fingers on his left hand.