A University of Cincinnati partnership is reporting a significant leap forward in health diagnostics that are more accurate than what’s available today, yet considerably less invasive than something like a blood screening. It’s a lightweight, wearable device that analyzes sweat by using a smartphone.

In an article published in the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Jason Heikenfeld, a UC professor of electrical engineering and computing systems, highlights new developments regarding the gadget that can gather vital medical information in almost real time.

With that kind of information, athletes could avoid the killer cramps that could cause them to be carried off the field at the peak of their game or competition. Preemies’ vitals could be monitored without drawing blood – the pain and blood loss causing even more stress on a physically-stressed infant. One day, diabetics could maybe even avoid those painful sticks as well, as they check their glucose levels.

Heikenfeld says the patches are as light and flexible as a BAND-AID and use paper microfluidics – an inexpensively developed technology similar to that of a home pregnancy test – to collect and gather biomarkers carried in sweat. Those biomarkers – electrolytes, metabolites, proteins, small molecules, amino acids and such – can signal the physical state of the body.

In athletes for example, a drop in electrolytes can cause those paralyzing cramps. “Athletes want to constantly push their athletic training to the absolute limit. But it’s hard to tell when you’re pushing too far, when you’re basically causing tissue damage, and this will tell you that,” says Heikenfeld. “The newer patches in development are also meant to measure recovery from stress, which in many cases is more important initially than measuring the stressors themselves. One example goal is to measure cortisol levels and tell you how they return to normal over time.”

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Should You Study Engineering? A stupid video.

Really enjoyed this video, thanks for the submission!

how stupid would it be if I took a non-calculus based thermo class next semester, having never taken a physics class in my life, and probably taking my first college level chem class concurrently. lol

reason being, they haven’t offered it in 4 years and who knows when they will offer it again ?? i mean I’m going to transfer anyway but I want to get as many classes banged out here as I can

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Some say that the best way to overcome a phobia is to face the fear head-on. They also say this should be done gradually, so this swaying glass-bottomed bridge might be best left for the advanced stages of conquering acrophobia. The photos alone are enough to make our palms sweaty.

The hair-raising suspension bridge is located 180 meters (590 feet) above a valley floor in Pingjiang County, in the Hunan province of southern China. Suspended between two rocky peaks, the bridge measures 300 meters (984 feet) long and, yes, it really does tend to sway in the breeze.

But don’t worry about freaking out before you even get halfway across. Specially trained staff are on hand to assist visitors in need of emotional support and encouragement in order to complete the thrilling/terrifying journey across the glass bridge.

Yun Ku, a 23-year-old who did the walk, said: “I was fine at first but by the time I was a third of the way across I just went weak at the knees. I had to go back when it started to move and needed a lot of coaxing from my boyfriend. I thought I was going just melt on the spot. My legs wouldn’t work.”

[via The Telegraph and Metro.co.uk]

The brand-new FREE app from GoldieBlox is out now and it features an animated short that Lynn Wang & I directed!! You can check it out in the app store or at goldieblox.com. If you like it please do give it a rating or share it around, a bunch of good friends of ours put a ton of their time and effort into making it!

Lynn & I also want to give a shout out to Andrea Fernandez, Trevor Spencer, and Megan Lacera who were the creative directors of the whole thing. They worked their butts off and it definitely shows! And also a big thanks to Nick Keller for his awesome soundtrack he scored for the animation and Angelo Vilar for all his amazing backgrounds!

Check it out! The app turned out to be super cute and really fun, Lynn and I are really proud of everyone who worked on it. It also features the voice talents of Kari Byron (formerly of Mythbusters) and Emily Haines (of the band Metric)!

Ada Lovelace Day is just around the corner! Don’t miss PBS’ timely “Makers: Women in Space" special this Tuesday at 9pm (PST), or online the following afternoon. Narrated by Jodie Foster, the documentary features interviews with female astronauts, aviators, and engineers who have paved the way for women in STEM.

We’ll be celebrating women in science all week here with retrospective posts.

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The promising development of Compact Fusion at Lockheed Martin - Skunk Works.

More, elsewhere:

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British artist Alex Chinneck recently unveiled an awesome new art installation in the piazza of London’s Covent Garden. Entitled Take my Lightning but Don’t Steal my Thunder, the piece presents the fantastic optical illusion that a 40-foot-long building has broken free of its base and floated up 10 feet in the air where it hovers in flagrant disobedience of the law of gravity.

The magical building is modeled on the original architecture of Covent Garden’s 184-year-old Market Building. The structure is mostly made of CNC-cut polystyrene.

"A 14 tonne (15.68 US tons) steel framework and a 4 tonne (4.48 US tons) counterweight were used to support the structure, and Chinneck employed a team of specialists including architectural consultants, structural engineers, steel fabricators, carpenters, and set builders, to help build it. The installation was transported to Covent Garden in pieces by truck and assembled within four days."

The mind-bending installation was transported to Covent Garden in pieces and assembled on site over a 4 day period. It’ll be on display through Friday October 24, 2014.

Click here for a short video about the creation of this amazing feat of art, design, architecture and engineering.

Visit the Covent Garden website for lots of additional info and click here for more photos.

[via Inspirationist, The Telegraph and Gizmag]

 The first implanted mind-controlled prosthetic arm has restored a patient’s sense of touch

The prosthetic arm was developed by Swedish scientists, and is the first ever to plug directly into a patient’s bones, nerves and muscles, and translate their thoughts into action.

It was implanted into a Swedish amputee in January 2013 in order to test how stable and successful it would be long-term, and now the extremely positive results have been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"Going beyond the lab to allow the patient to face real-world challenges is the main contribution of this work," said Max Ortiz Catalan, the lead author of the publication and a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, in a press release.

But, incredibly, not only has the prostheses restored full dexterous control back to the man’s arm, it has also sent feedback the other way and allow him to feel touch sensations through the robotic arm.

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