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Darren Quick

Robotics

Artificial muscle set for a stretch in space

When the Dragon spacecraft is propelled into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket this week on a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), it will be carrying an artificial muscle material developed by Lenore Rasmussen and her company RasLabs. In addition to better prosthetic devices, it is hoped the material could find applications in robots on deep space missions. Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Unpowered ankle exoskeleton takes a load off calf muscles to improve walking efficiency

We might have started off in the water, but humans have evolved to be extremely efficient walkers, with a walk in the park being, well, a walk in the park. Human locomotion is so efficient that many wondered whether it was possible to reduce the energy cost of walking without the use of an external energy source. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina State have provided an answer in the affirmative with the development of an unpowered ankle exoskeleton.Read More

Medical

MRI-based cancer detection technique could replace biopsies

While non-invasive imaging technologies, such as mammograms or CT scans, are capable of detecting tumors, identifying whether they are malignant or benign usually involves getting out the scalpel and conducting a biopsy. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to noninvasively detect cancerous cells, offering the potential of supplementing biopsies or maybe one day replacing them altogether.Read More

Medical

Magnetic nanoparticles open blood-brain barrier for delivery of therapeutic molecules

The blood-brain barrier is a highly selective semipermeable barrier running inside almost all vessels in the brain that lets through water, some gases and a few other select molecules, while preventing potentially toxic elements in the blood from entering the brain. Researchers from the University of Montreal, Polytechnique Montréal, and CHU Sainte-Justine say that currently 98 percent of therapeutic molecules are also blocked by the barrier, but they have developed a technique using magnetic nanoparticles that opens the door for such molecules, thereby also opening the door to new treatments for brain diseases.Read More

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