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— Science

Edible electronic medical devices could be swallowed like regular pills

Over the past several years, scientists have developed so-called “camera pills,” that can be swallowed by patients and then transmit video from within their bodies. While such non-digestible gadgets could serve as an invaluable means of imaging, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are now looking into tiny electronic medical devices that could be swallowed and partially digested, providing non-invasive treatment in the process. Read More
— Electronics

"BITE ME" LED desk lamp makes a colorful end-of-life snack

When it comes to a light meal, Victor Vetterlein's "BITE ME" desk lamp has got you covered. The body of the brightly colored creation is made from bio-plastic that can be safely consumed at the end of its useful life. If eating lamps doesn't start your digestive juices flowing, the frame can also be thrown in the compost. Either way, the rather attractive electronics strip can be peeled away from the body and re-used elsewhere. Read More
— Electronics

"Transient electronics" dissolve once they're not needed

We’ve certainly been hearing a lot lately about tiny electronic devices that can do things such as delivering medication after being implanted in the body, measuring structural stress upon being attached to a bridge, or monitoring pollution after being placed in the environment. In all of these cases, the device has to be retrieved once it’s served its purpose, or just left in place indefinitely. Now, however, an interdisciplinary team of researchers have demonstrated “transient electronics,” which dissolve into nothing after a pre-determined amount of time. Read More
— Good Thinking

Sprout ... a living plant from a dying pencil

We live in a throwaway society, where even large and expensive products are merely trashed when they reach the end of their life and/or usefulness. It's a rather sad state of affairs, with waste that could be recycled or reused extensively placed in the ground to rot ... or, in the case of non-biodegradable materials, not rot. It's against this rather depressing backdrop that one group of product designers have created Sprout, an ordinary, everyday pencil which hides a rather special trick up its sleeve. Read More

Can starch fibers solve the bandage conundrum?

Should you rip it off fast or slow? Researchers at Penn State may have found the elusive third, painless option. Professor Greg Ziegler and research assistant Lingyan Kong have developed a process that spins starch into fine strands, creating fibers that could be woven into low-cost toilet paper, napkins and biodegradable bandages that don't need to be ripped off at all. Read More
— Robotics

Researchers aim to build eco-friendly robots from biodegradable materials

While many people are busy working on how to build robots capable of doing everything (and more) humans can do, few are considering the impact that creating a legion of robotic workers will have on the environment. Two university researchers aim to change this, by investigating how to build robots from biodegradable materials that will simply decompose at the end of their lives. Read More

Biodegradable fast food containers made from waste straw

Not only are polystyrene fast food containers usually not recyclable, but they also take eons to break down in a landfill, can emit harmful compounds, and require petroleum to create. Using paper is one alternative, but Hong Kong-based company Innovasians is now offering another – 100% biodegradable containers made from waste straw left over after wheat harvesting. Read More