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Ben Coxworth

iPipet is an iPad app that uses glowing dots to guide lab techs as they're pipetting

If you've ever worked in a laboratory, or even if you've just seen them on TV, then you're probably familiar with the important but monotonous task of pipetting. To make it easier and less prone to errors, a team at the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute has created iPipet, an app that allows an iPad to visually guide "pipetters" in their work.  Read More

A GoRigIt prototype in use

Despite the ever-increasing popularity of the GoPro Hero actioncam, there's still not even one model of the darn thing that has a viewfinder. Users can buy a $70 add-on LCD screen, although if they're using a newer Hero, they can also just utilize its Wi-Fi connectivity to view the camera's output on their existing smartphone. The GoRigIt case makes it easier to take this approach, but joining the phone to the GoPro.  Read More

The nanoprop is able to easily pass between polymer chains, like those present in bodily f...

All over the world, scientists are creating microscopic "nanobots" for purposes such as delivering medication to precisely-targeted areas inside the body. In order for those tiny payload-carrying robots to get to their destination, however, they need some form of propulsion. Although some systems are already in development, a team of Israeli and German scientists may have come up with the most intriguing one yet, in the form of what they claim is the world's smallest propeller.  Read More

Scientists believe that a genetic mutation, which is detectable in blood samples, makes so...

While there are a wide range of scenarios that may cause a person to take their own life, the fact is that in a given situation, some people will do so whereas others won't. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine now believe that this difference can largely be traced to a genetic mutation in the people who are more likely to commit suicide. What's more, this mutation can be detected via a blood test.  Read More

A Strike Cam video still of a bass checking out a lure

If you're a sport fisherman, then you know the frustration of having a fish strike and reject your lure. What sort of fish was it, and how big was it? Well, the Strike Cam may not help you land such finicky fish, but it can at least answer those questions.  Read More

Pensa/Horse Cycle's Merge is designed for the mean streets of New York City

Although many people may think of commuter bicycles as being the boring frumpy cousins to fancier road and mountain bikes, lately we've been seeing more and more models featuring all sorts of intriguing innovations for life on the streets. Recently, non-profit group Oregon Manifest invited five design firm/bike-builder teams representing five US cities to create prototypes of the ultimate such bike. Members of the public are being invited to vote for their favorite, with the winning bike getting produced commercially by Fuji Bicycles. Here's a look at the contenders.  Read More

A prototype of the pupillometer

Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is a condition that can occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, compromising the autonomic nerves that control the gastrointestinal system, the heart and other vital organs. Among other things, it can cause arrhythmias, fainting, incontinence and an increased risk of bacterial infections. Thanks to a device being developed in Taiwan, however, it may soon be possible to detect the condition earlier, thus limiting its effects.  Read More

The Backtracker handlebar unit indicates the position of the cyclist (green LED at top) an...

Earlier this month, we first heard about a radar system for cyclists, known as the Backtracker. In a nutshell, it emits radar pulses to the rear of the bike, then warns the rider when it detects vehicles approaching from behind. Although it's not yet commercially available, I recently had the chance to try out a pre-production review unit. It definitely shows promise, but could perhaps use one tweak.  Read More

The Leatherdos serves seven functions (such as cutting), besides holding your hair or yarm... It's a spy movie cliché. The hero takes a bobby pin from the heroine's hair, and uses it to pick the lock on their handcuffs. Well, if she were wearing the new Leatherdos multitool hair clip, he'd also be able to do things like cutting through ropes, removing screws and, uh ... unlocking a grocery cart.  Read More

Jeremy Nussbaumer with the DrinkPure filter

It's no secret that hundreds of millions of people around the world have little or no access to drinkable water. While a number of projects are aimed at getting filtration systems to those people, many of those systems require electricity, contain costly materials such as silver, or treat the water at a slow rate. The low-cost DrinkPure filter, by contrast, is simply screwed onto the top of an existing bottle, and can purify approximately one liter (34 fl oz) of water per minute.  Read More

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