I made this drawing in my freshman year of high school (2008), inspired by the TV in my French class. As with much of the technology found in California’s public schools, this TV was a sad-looking mass of plastic and metal that never quite functioned the way it was supposed to. Various cables, bungee cords, and strips of duct tape precariously adhered this monstrosity to an equally broken utility cart. My assigned seat was right next to it. 

I lived in perpetual fear that someday the cables would snap and the whole thing would topple over and squish me.

I don’t miss high school…

(Skyler Brown)

These tiny robot implants could give humans self-healing superpowers 

Last month, President Obama announced 19 executive actions to improve the mental health of U.S. troops and veterans, and one in particular is ripped straight from the world of science fiction: ElectRx, a $78.9 million research program to develop “new, high-precision, minimally invasive technologies for modulating nerve circuits to restore and maintain human health.”

In simpler words: DARPA is developing tiny, implantable robots that can monitor your body and send electric impulses to your nerves to help your body fix itself when something goes wrong — something like Stargate’s nanites or Doctor Who’s nanogenes.

Diseases that we could treat | Follow micdotcom

Incredible New Nanothreads Could Help Us Build a Space Elevator

Engineers looking for a material strong enough to support the tremendous forces exerted by a space elevator will want to pay attention to this remarkable new breakthrough. Researchers have weaved microscopically small diamonds into ultra-thin nanothreads.

Remarkably, the never-before-seen structure appears to be stronger and stiffer than today’s nanotubes. The breakthrough was made by John Badding and his team at Penn State University, the results of which now appear at Nature Materials.

At the heart of the nanothreads are a long, thin strand of carbon atoms that are arranged like the fundamental unit of a diamond’s structure — zig-zag “cychlohexane” rings of six carbon atoms bound together, in which each carbon is surrounded by others in the strong triangular-pyramid shape of a tetrahedron. This is the first team to coax molecules containing carbon atoms to form the strong tetrahedron shape and then link them together end-to-end to form a long, thin nanothread. The structure may also be the first member of a new class of diamond-like nanomaterials based on a strong tetrahedral core.

"It is as if an incredible jeweler has strung together the smallest possible diamonds into a long miniature necklace," Badding said in a press release. “Because this thread is diamond at heart, we expect that it will prove to be extraordinarily stiff, extraordinarily strong, and extraordinarily useful.”

It also helps that the structure has a certain thickness to it. More from the Penn State release:

The team’s discovery comes after nearly a century of failed attempts by other labs to compress separate carbon-containing molecules like liquid benzene into an ordered, diamondlike nanomaterial. “We used the large high-pressure Paris-Edinburgh device at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to compress a 6-millimeter-wide amount of benzene — a gigantic amount compared with previous experiments,” said Malcolm Guthrie of the Carnegie Institution for Science, a coauthor of the research paper. “We discovered that slowly releasing the pressure after sufficient compression at normal room temperature gave the carbon atoms the time they needed to react with each other and to link up in a highly ordered chain of single-file carbon tetrahedrons, forming these diamond-core nanothreads.”

Looking ahead, the researchers want to improve the threads, which appear to be “somewhat less than perfect.” But the main challenge will be to figure out a way to mass produce the material. Should they solve that problem — and that’s a big if — the nanothreads could be used to

protect the atmosphere, including lighter, more fuel-efficient, and therefore less-polluting vehicles. “One of our wildest dreams for the nanomaterials we are developing is that they could be used to make the super-strong, lightweight cables that would make possible the construction of a “space elevator” which so far has existed only as a science-fiction idea,” Badding said.

Read the entire study at Nature Materials: “Benzene-derived carbon nanothreads”.

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Three of Tech’s Hottest Trends Collide Tomorrow at Designers of Things

The world is changing. 3D printing is bringing manufacturing to the masses, the Internet is spreading out from our computers to connect all things in the Internet of Things and we are starting to get even more intimate with our technology by wearing it as clothing and accessories with wearable tech. These three shifts all have huge individual impacts on how we live our everyday lives as well as have influence on each other. One of the common threads between 3D printing, IoT and wearable tech is the ability to use this technology to design solutions that solve for real problems in our world which is at the core of tomorrow’s conference in San Francisco, Designers of Things.

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Image of the Week: Magnetized Fusion Technique Yields Results

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine have produced a significant output of fusion neutrons, using a method fully functioning for only little more than a year.

The experimental work is described in a paper to be published in the Sept. 24 Physical Review Letters online. A theoretical PRL paper to be published on the same date helps explain why the experimental method worked. The combined work demonstrates the viability of the novel approach.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/image-week-magnetized-fusion-technique-yields-results

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