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UCSD

— Science

Oscillating electric field used to remove nanoparticles from blood

Nanoparticles as a vehicle for delivering drugs precisely where they are needed promise to be a major revolution in medical science. Unfortunately, retrieving those particles from the body for detailed study is a long and involved process. But that may soon change with a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego developing a technique that uses an oscillating electric field to separate nanoparticles from blood plasma in a way that may one day make it a routine procedure.

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— Robotics

Aptly-named DucTT robot crawls through ducts – and could one day clean them

Despite what various spy movies may have us believe, sending people into buildings' ductwork isn't a good idea. That said, those ducts do need to be cleaned periodically, otherwise the human inhabitants of the buildings can develop serious respiratory problems. Robots have been designed to do the job, although they've generally been wheeled or tracked devices that can only move horizontally. Now, however, scientists at UC San Diego's Jacob's School of Engineering have created DucTT – a highly-efficient robot that can climb up ducts, and run for up to six hours on one charge of its battery pack.

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— Children Review

Claws-on with the self-balancing Miposaur robot

We first saw WowWee's Miposaur robot at the London Toy Fair in January where it was self-balancing on two wheels similar to its older android sibling MiP. We recently tested out this T-rex's new features, which include an indoor GPS system for its TrackBall, a new phone app that extends the robot's abilities, and backwards compatibility with the old MiP to duke it out, virtual-laser-style. Read More
— Medical

Mouth guard could continuously monitor diabetes, and more

We've already heard about an electronics-packing mouthguard that can be used to detect serious impacts to the head. Now, scientists at the University of California, San Diego have developed one that could provide continuous readings of users' health markers including lactate, cortisol and uric acid. It may be used to monitor the well-being of people such as diabetics, to track the performance of athletes, or to detect stress in soldiers.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Software objectively assesses children's pain levels

It's important to know how much pain young hospital patients are experiencing, and not just because no one wants them to suffer – additionally, excessive pain can indicate problems that need addressing. That's why scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have developed facial pattern recognition software that objectively assesses children's pain levels based on consistent indicators.

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— Environment

Nanoparticle-based material turns up the heat on concentrated solar power

The key factor when it comes to solar power plant efficiency – be they of the photovoltaic or concentrated solar power variety – is the amount of light that can be captured by the light-absorbing material and converted into electricity or heat. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new nanoparticle-based material that promises to improve the efficiency of CSP plants with its ability to absorb and convert over 90 percent of the sunlight it captures into heat. Read More
— Electronics

Temporary tattoo lactate sensor converted into sweat-powered biobattery

Last year, researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) unveiled a sensor imprinted on a temporary tattoo that, when applied to the skin, is able to continuously monitor lactate levels in a person's sweat as they exercise. Now the research team has leveraged the technology to create a biobattery powered by perspiration that could lead to small electronic devices being powered by sweat. Read More
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