Engineers have demonstrated an inexpensive handheld device that can analyze up to 170,000 different molecules in a blood sample. The stapler-sized unit might one day make a doctor’s office checkup a thing of the past.
Measuring minute changes in the intensity of light flashed through a sample, the optical lab-on-a-chip could simultaneously investigate levels of insulin in the blood, viruses and disease markers that indicate cancer or other problems.
"We were looking to build an interface similar to a car’s dashboard, which is able to indicate gas and oil levels as well as let you know if your headlights are on or if your engine is working correctly," said Hatice Altug, an associate engineering professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and Boston University, in a statement.
This week on Txchnologist, we explored inventions and discoveries that have the potential to improve myriad lives. First, our correspondent talked to researchers who have engineered growth factors that speed the wound-healing process.
The quest to design better water filters continues. MIT researchers have created an efficient nanofilter by poking tiny holes in atom-thick graphene. Their results appear to be dramatically better than the traditional carbon water filters available on the market.
This week we also learned about new generators that produce energy from the smallest motions. The generator harvests the same kind of static electricity that you produce by shuffling across the carpet.
Our hearts melted when we watched 12-year-old Peyton Robertson describe his Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Education award-winning experiment. He used the scientific method come up with an innovative solution defending against floods.
Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.