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Ben Coxworth

Ben Coxworth

An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.

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— 3D Printing

Scientists create artificial vascular networks using sugar

For a great number of people, the idea of being able to use a patient’s own cells to create lab-grown replacement organs is very appealing. Already, researchers have had success growing urethras (which are essentially hollow tubes), and miniature human livers. Before large, solid, three-dimensional organs can be grown, however, scientists must figure out a reliable way of incorporating blood vessels into them – if the lab-grown organs simply take the form of a block of cells, the cells on the inside won’t be able to receive any nutrients, and will die. Now, a team from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT has devised a way of building such vessels, using sugar. Read More
— Automotive

Ford developing biometric systems to manage "driver workload"

The Ford Motor Company recently invited Gizmag to attend its Go Further With Ford 2012 conference on technological trends, which took place last Tuesday through Thursday in Detroit. One of the presentations that we took in looked at the automaker’s MyFord Touch system, and where that technology may be heading. Among other things, the Ford engineers want the system to be able to automatically ascertain how mentally-taxed the driver is, so it can determine if it should deliver notifications to them, or just shut up and let them drive. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Focal Locus workstation splits the difference between sitting and standing

With digital technology making its presence felt in an increasing number of fields, more and more people are finding that their formerly somewhat-active jobs now entail their sitting at a computer all day. Unfortunately, as most of us are by now aware, sitting for long periods of time has been shown to significantly raise a person’s chances of dying from cardiovascular, metabolic, or other types of disease. While stand-up work stations have been offered as an alternative, standing for too long can also take a toll on our well-being. Focal Upright Furniture has attempted to reached a best-of-both-worlds middle ground, however, with its new Locus work station. Read More
— Children

ChildMinder reminds drivers not to leave their baby in the car

Hard though it may be for most of us to believe, it is possible for parents to forget that they’re driving with a baby in the car. If they subsequently leave the infant locked in a very hot or cold parked vehicle for several hours, the results can be deadly. That’s why Baby Alert International is offering the ChildMinder Infant-Toddler Elite Pad System – it’s a setup that notifies absent-minded parents if they try walking away from their car, sans baby. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Oxygen microcapsules could save lives when patients can't breathe

Six years ago, Dr. John Khier of Boston Children’s Hospital began investigating the idea of using injectable oxygen on patients whose lungs were incapacitated or whose airways were blocked. He was prompted to do so after a young girl that he was caring for passed away – she succumbed to a brain injury, which resulted when severe pneumonia caused her lungs to stop working properly, which in turn caused her blood oxygen levels to drop too low. Now, Khier is reporting that his team has injected gas-filled microparticles into the bloodstreams of oxygen-deprived lab animals, successfully raising their oxygen levels back to normal levels within seconds. Read More
— Environment

"Nanoscale sandwich" technique could mean thinner, cheaper solar cells

We certainly hear a lot about solar cells that are able to convert larger and larger percentages of the sun’s energy into electricity. That’s all very well and good, but if those more-efficient solar cells are too expensive, they will still ultimately prove impractical for everyday use. Researchers from North Carolina State University, however, have found a way of creating “ultra-thin” solar cells that should create just as much electricity as their thicker siblings, but at a lower cost. Read More
— Military

Homeland Security releases an app for bomb threat response

Imagine if you were a police officer who suddenly realized that the abandoned vehicle you were assessing contained a bomb. While you might have had some training in how to handle such situations, would it all easily come back to you in the heat of the moment? Well, even if it wouldn’t, you might still know what to do ... if you were using the FiRST app. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security developed the application for emergency response personnel, to serve as a step-by-step guide for managing bomb threats. Read More
— Sports

One-of-a-kind skateboard can descend stairs

Skateboards are definitely a part of the urban landscape, but you know what else is? Stairs. Generally, the two don’t go together – when skateboarders reach a set of stairs, they typically have to pick up their board and carry it. London-based product designer Po-Chih Lai would like to see boarders be able to roll right on down those stairs, however, so he created a one-off skateboard that lets them do just that. It’s called the STAIR ROVER. Read More
— Telecommunications

uWhisp allows Facebook users to leave each other voice messages

It’s probably safe to say that with some of our friends, we communicate with them almost exclusively via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. While these networks are fine for sending typed messages and photos, however, there are times when the sound of someone’s voice is much more appropriate. Video is one alternative, although many people are uncomfortable appearing on camera. That’s why four graduates from the School of Informatics at Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya created uWhisp – it’s a plug-in for use on existing social networks, that lets users send prerecorded voice messages. Read More