This week on Txchnologist, we looked at innovations improving the medical field and the environment around us. First, MIT researchers have unlocked the mystery of what makes oyster shells so strong. Their discovery could make lightweight, translucent and extremely strong armor.
Medical devices continue to advance in leaps and bounds. The newest discovery can monitor the heart and perform other hospital-quality diagnostic functions with tiny wearable sensors. This marks a new step in miniature, flexible and wearable medical technology. Other diagnostic methods are getting an upgrade thanks to developments made with Google Glass. A new app developed for the hardware can scan samples and digitally send them out for analysis. This development by UCLA researchers reduces the need for nearby labs and might improve medical treatment in areas without large medical facilities.
Some optimistic news about U.S. air quality came out recently. Research shows that Americans are breathing air with fine fewer particulates. The new study shows that this measure of air quality has significantly improved over the last decade thanks to effective state emission control plans.
Buildings regularly suffer lightning strikes, offering a brilliant - and destructive - light show during storms. Scientists say they have devised a way to save buildings from Zeus’ wrath using laser beams. The high-intensity beams can guide lightning away from buildings.
And now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.
A NASA satellite and aircraft have been monitoring the ice sheet that sits on top of Greenland for years. An analysis of their data is providing a dynamic view of the sheet as it loses mass.
The Greenland ice sheet covers about 80 percent of the island with a cap that averages a mile in thickness. In some areas, it can be up to almost two miles thick. It comprises almost 684,000 cubic miles of ice, which would significantly raise sea levels if it melts.
Top Image: Adventure tourists near an Iceberg in Ittoqqortoormiit in eastern Greenland via Shutterstock.