Technology That Redefines Our World

Medical

Posted by on Feb 16, 2014

There are many resources for families considering long-term care facilities for their elderly members. Families for care constructed an interactive website called “Nursing Home...

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Technology

New Asbestos Detection Device allows for Real-Time Asbestos Detection

Posted by on May 21, 2013

A new product called Alert has been announced in the UK, which is a portable device that tests for airborne asbestos particles and gives results in real time. In most instances,...

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Law Enforcement

Smarter Guns: The Solution to Gun Violence?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013

Gun violence, while declining overall over the last few decades, remains a serious problem in the United States. Therefore, the efforts of a number of different technological firms...

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Biology

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013

Though Accutane has proved to be extremely powerful in ridding people of skin inflammation and cystic acne, it has created quite a bit of controversy since its 1982 introduction to...

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Recent Posts

How Green are Your Cleaning Products?

Wow Total CleaningAs more and more people are becoming aware of how their lifestyle and purchasing decisions can have an impact on the environment, makes of so called “green” products have seen a considerable increase in sales. This is very true especially among cleaning products, as many are looking to avoid using the usually harsh chemicals that are often found in cleaning products like grout cleaner, disinfectants, and toilet bowl cleaners.

Unfortunately, not all “green cleaning products” are really as environmentally friendly as manufacturers might have you believe. In fact, this issue is commonplace enough that the FTC has released an updated version of its “Green Guidelines,” helping consumers distinguish between products that are actually environmentally friendly and those that just claim to be.

Among their recommendations, the FTC encourages people to look for specifics on product labeling. Simply saying that something is “eco-friendly” is nowhere near specific enough — it should say exactly what features the product has that make it green. Additionally, consumers should read into “recycled” claims, and see whether the recycled title refers to the product itself, the product’s packaging, or both.

How to Become Invisible

How to Become Invisible

Apr 1, 2013

Researchers at the University of Texas are currently in the process of developing a material similar to the invisibility cloaks of science-fiction and fantasy. In a recent experiment, a research team led by Andrea Alu and others was able to successfully camouflage a roughly 18” tube from detection by microwaves by cloaking it in the material they have developed. It does so by disrupting, rather than merely redirecting, the waves.

At present time, however, this technology is far from being the kind of invisibility device that would match the popular imagination’s conception. The cloak works by having a miniscule pattern on its outside, which neutralizes the electromagnetic waves which bounce off of it. However, the pattern must roughly match the wavelength in order to function correctly, and as a result, only the tiniest of objects, those which are already so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, could be rendered invisible through this technique.

Nevertheless, the steady advance on this front suggests to many scientists that this type of technology may eventually become viable for use in camouflaging, especially for military uses. Of course, it could also lead to a national epidemic of [theft and robbery], so maybe it’s for the best that the invisibility cloak remains, for now, largely a figment of the imagination.

The Future of Transportation: Self-Driving Cars

The Future of Transportation: Self-Driving Cars

Mar 31, 2013

Google has a number of different projects in development right now, but clearly none is more exciting than the potential for self-driving cars to revolutionize how we live. While the technology is still a significant distance from being completed to the point of being safe for public use, Google has already test-driven some of these vehicles over a distance of hundreds of thousands of miles without an accident to this point. In fact, there is wide agreement that, in order for driverless cars to be commercially viable, they must be programmed to the point of being much less likely to be involved in a [car accident] than a car piloted by a human driver.

Still, a number of roadblocks remain before driverless cars can become a realistic possibility for the average user. For one, driverless cars have a hard time driving in inclement weather, particularly rain and snow, which can make roadways more difficult to analyze. Perhaps more importantly, driverless cars haven’t yet reached the point where they can react appropriately to unforeseeable conditions, such as police officers directing traffic when streetlights are out of service or cars stalled in the roadway. For these reasons, engineers at Google and other companies will continue to refine driverless car technology for some time yet.

In spite of these potential problems, I have to say that, from a personal standpoint, there are few technologies currently in the works that I’m aware of that make me more excited than this possibility. The combined benefits of reduced travel times, dramatically fewer auto accidents, and increased freedom for drivers (all benefits which have been credibly assessed to driverless car technology) all make this technology something I’m eagerly looking forward to trying out. Think about how great it would be to be able to read a book or eat breakfast during your commute instead of screaming at traffic and huffing at red lights. This is a future I can definitely get behind.

Medical Device to Prevent Heart Attack

Medical Device to Prevent Heart Attack

Mar 25, 2013

A new device currently being designed in Switzerland looks like it may hold enormous potential for the future of medical care. A research team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is currently in the process of refining a tiny 14-millimeter robot instrument which would be implanted in an individual’s bloodstream and monitor a wide range of different elements of their blood composition. At present, the device is intended to measure the presence of up to five different types of compounds, though future improvements could increase that number.

The reason this appears so promising for the future of medical care is that one of the molecules which could be traced by the device, troponin, is released by the body several hours before a heart attack occurs. As soon as the device detects this molecule, it could send an alert to the individual’s smartphone, through Bluetooth capabilities, which would let them know that a heart attack is imminent.

There are a wide range of different reasons why this could prove amazingly effective in preventing fatalities from heart attacks. For one, it could allow individuals to get medical attention before the attack occurs, which could help to prevent most of the worst consequences of a cardiac event. Furthermore, it could help to prevent medical mistakes like doctors failing to diagnose a heart attack, which remains a serious problem today.

While the technology isn’t available to the public yet, one more feature stands out in showing its revolutionary potential: estimated costs for the device are less than one dollar.