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— Science

Swarms of tiny "microgrippers" used to perform biopsies

When procuring tissue samples for medical diagnosis, doctors have been confined to bulky and invasive forceps. But with recent successful experiments in pigs, we may see doctors switching from the single forceps to hordes of a thousand "microgrippers." These metal discs, each only 300 micrometers in size, are designed to snip bits of tissue when introduced en masse into the body and then be easily retrieved by a doctor. Their small size, added to the fact that they need no batteries, tethers or wires, belies their complexity and autonomy in function, which could allow the microgrippers to provide diagnoses earlier, more easily, and with less trauma. Read More
— Sports

Cage-less Koala Bottle sticks to the bike using magnets

The standard bicycle water-bottle-and-cage system is pretty tried and trusted. That said, at one time or another, just about every cyclist has dropped their bottle on the road when they didn’t put it back in the cage properly ... or perhaps they’ve even wiped out, because they were distracted by trying to remove or replace the bottle. That’s why Anthony Goldman created the Koala Bottle system, which uses magnets to keep the bottle attached to the bike. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Magnetyze smartphone charger swaps cords for magnets

Phone chargers may not be way up there on peoples’ lists of troublesome devices, but if the things can be made simpler ... hey, why not? BuQu Tech’s new Magnetyze system attempts to do just that, with a magnetic case/charger combo. Users just place their Magentyze case-clad smartphone near the slab-like desktop charging platform, and it will be magnetically sucked into place and charged up – no cords need to be plugged in. Read More
— Automotive

Researchers charge cars with "remote magnetic gears"

Wireless charging systems seem like an easy way to keep electric cars running. You just drive up to a charge point and let the system beam power to your battery without ever having to step out into the cold and rain. However, these systems require high-frequency electromagnetic fields that can interfere with electronics and pose potential health hazards. To keep the hands-free advantages of wireless, yet get rid of the high-frequency fields, physics professor Lorne Whitehead and his team at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed an electromechanical vehicle charger that uses “remote magnetic gears”s instead of electrical coils Read More

The magnetic sands of Normandy

Sandy beaches are a delight for swimmers, surfers, sailors, and people strolling down the boardwalk. A horde of beautiful shells and buried coins (not to mention the occasional dropped ring) awaits the skilled beachcomber. Beach sand also carries within it a variety of traces of the history of that beach. A prime example is the magnetic sands of Normandy. Read More
— Environment

MIT researchers devise technique to clean up oil spills using magnets

Possibly the only good thing to come out of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is the subsequent increase in research into finding more effective ways to clean up oil spills, including such initiatives as the X PRIZE Foundation's Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. Joining the list is a new method devised by researchers at MIT who propose separating oil and water using magnets. The new technique would allow the oil to be recovered to help offset the costs of the cleanup operation. Read More
— Science

Magnetically-labeled blood cells could provide a boost to medical research

Thanks to advances in stem cell therapy, it is now possible to use engineered white blood cells to fight diseases such as HIV within the human body. When such treatments are being developed, however, it can be difficult to track where the introduced cells travel within a patient’s system, and how many of them make it to their target. Now, thanks to research being carried out at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science, those cells can be magnetically labeled. Read More