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Heidi Hoopes

Heidi Hoopes
Heidi measures her life with the motley things she's done in the name of scientific exploration. While formally educated in biology and chemistry, informally she learns from adventures and hobbies with her family. Her simple pleasures in life are finding turtles while jogging and obsessively winnowing through her genetic data.

If you're like a lot of phone junkies and replace your phone as soon as the latest thing comes along, you'll know that often the hardware in the old phone is perfectly fine, even the battery. But fancier new screens and more powerful processors mean that battery life usually remains a problem, making battery packs a popular accessory. Enlighten's Better Re lets you get some more use out of your old phone's battery, by allowing it to slot into an adjustable external battery charger for your new phone.

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From the company that brought us Otto, the gif-capturing camera, comes CHIP, the US$9 computer. Its endowments of 1 gig processing, 4 gig storage, and 512 MB of RAM would only be average, were it not for the price, and the fact that it's ready-to-go despite its svelte stature – small enough to fit on a Post-It note. As with Otto, the company is seeking funding on Kickstarter and is also offering PocketCHIP, an enclosure to turn CHIP into an affordable smart device with touchscreen and keyboard.

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Goggle Pal marries wearable technology with the smooth exhilarating feeling of flying down a snow-covered mountain on a board or skis by placing a unobtrusive augmented reality HUD on any pair of goggles. Three levels of models add fitness and ride data, AR games, and social communication and tracking to an otherwise normal run. You can now pledge for the model of your choice on Kickstarter, where GogglePal is seeking funding. Read More
Hunger pains are the bane of any dieter's existence, kicking in even when skipping a single meal and goading the sufferer to indulge their desire for food. Controlling hunger is now better understood as neuroscientists tease apart why we (well, our model mouse cousins) feel hunger. Mind-bendingly, the same researchers have used genetic therapies to create feelings of satiety where none would otherwise exist. Read More
The Twiddler3 is a combination keyboard and mouse held in just one hand and relying on chorded movements similar to holding and playing a guitar. Receiving one for review, I was initially impressed by its natural feel in my hand and was curious how it would fit into work and play, and as a peripheral for both my laptop and Android phone. Read More
In an effort to increase awareness of nutritional requirements, and to bring simple tech into complex customs, a medical foundation in India has joined forces with a Singaporean ad agency. The plan is to combat iodine deficiencies using bindis, the decorative forehead dots worn by most Indian women and girls. Read More
Being a nurse, construction worker, or grocery stocker is a taxing and potentially risky job. Claiming almost 10 percent of lost days of work in Germany are due to lower back problems, Fraunhofer researchers in conjunction with industry partners are developing CareJack, an orthopedic prosthetic embedded with flexible, smart electronics to ensure those lifting heavy loads don't have to go home early. Read More
If you've visited a trade show or children's museum lately, chances are you've seen an interactive, motion-sensitive exhibit projected onto a wall or floor. Lumo is the at-home version of this technology, developed by technologists Meghan Athavale and Curtis Wachs who began creating interactive environments for commercial settings. Seeing a demand for a cheaper and more user-friendly version of their product for interactive gaming at home, they're launching an Indiegogo campaign to fund the continued development of Lumo. Read More
Most missions to the International Space Station range from 160 to 180 days, but this month Russia and NASA will launch a joint year-long mission designed to more fully test the stress of space travel on the human body. ISS veterans Scott Kelly (US) and Mikhail Kornienko (Russia) have been training for two years for this daunting mission, culminating in departure slated for March 27, 2015, 3:42 p.m. EST. from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome. Read More
Swiss company Nanolive has created 3D Cell Explorer, a new technology that creates vibrantly detailed 3D holograms of living cells on the nanometric scale. Created through combining 3D imagery with digital staining, the new microscope offers researchers and hospitals a novel tool to non-invasively peer inside living cells almost in real time, opening up new areas of biological research. Read More
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