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We Welcome You, Robotic Pharmacist

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords -- especially when they're the ones dispensing meds. UCSF Medical Center's new robotic pharmacist is a massive drug-dispensing machine that removes the "human-error" variable from the sometimes-tedious task of measuring and packaging doses. According to UCSF, the robotic pharmacist hasn't messed up once in 350,000 dispensations. All hail the robots!...

Robotic Snake Slithers in for Surgery Through a Hole in Your Chest

Having a snake burrow its way through your chest doesn't sound like a terribly enjoyable experience, but that's exactly what the Cardio Arm is designed to do to patients undergoing heart surgery. Created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the Cardio Arm is a snake-like robot capable of entering a patient's chest through a three-quarter inch incision in the solar plexus. The snake and...

Laser Wand Scans Molecules for Melanoma Within Seconds

Detecting potential skin cancer cells is an inexact process that depends on a doctor identifying a suspicious mole before waiting a few weeks for the biopsy results to come back from a lab. But according to Technology Review, scientists at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BBCA) have developed a handheld wand that could help doctors instantly identify melanoma by scanning the molecular makeup of...

'POND PONG' and 'PAC-mecium' Games Run on Living Organisms

Most video games offer some sort of escape from reality, but researchers at Stanford University are now working to inject actual life back into the gaming ecosystem -- one single-celled organism at a time. As NBC Bay Area reports, the scientists recently developed a series of games involving microscopic organisms, which players must move around various obstacle courses. Thus far, the team has...

Scientists Battle Back Pain With Shocking Spinal Smart Chip

Implantable chips offer seemingly infinite healing possibilities, particularly for the blind, the disabled and those who suffer from Parkinson's Disease. Australian scientists now believe a developmental chip could offer tantalizing benefits for sufferers of another affliction. According to Popular Science, National ICT Australia recently revealed its design for "a smart chip that, when embedded...

Scientists Show Off Device That Prints Jello-Like Skin Grafts

Earlier this year, Invetech and Organovo embarked on a joint plan to "print" living tissue (quite different from the more frivolous 3-D printing exploits of other developers). Then, in April, the U.S. Army and Wake Forest University's Institute for Regenerative Medicine started talking up a skin-printing system that laser-maps a wounded area, and -- using two "print heads" -- layers the injury...

'Microneedle' Patches Claim a Pain-Free Vaccination Experience

A new vaccine delivery system is being developed by Georgia Tech and Emory University: a small patch embedded with 100 "microneedles" that is, supposedly, almost painless. The needles themselves are about 0.65 milimeters long, filled with frozen vaccine and applied to the skin like a Band-Aid. Once the needles have deposited their weakened virus, they dissolve into the skin and leave no trace....

Scientist Installs Virus-Infected RFID in His Body

Dr. Mark Gasson, a senior researcher at the University of Reading, has become the first human to be 'infected' with a computer virus. Gasson embedded himself with an RFID tag, similar to those that are used to track pets, and willingly loaded it with malware. The experiment was meant to prove that computerized implants carry dangers as well as benefits. Medical implants, such as pacemakers,...

Biofuel Cells Power Pacemakers With Sugar and Air

Share Everyone's worried about energy, right? Whether it's the thought of a peak-oil catastrophe (while a zillion gallons fester in the Gulf), or just an ecological desire to go green, we've become a country that frets about our future power sources. And what about pacemakers, or artificial kidneys? We can't very well expect those to go solar, but it turns out that a sugary diet might be able to...

Military Tech Knows You're Sick Before You Show Symptoms

Within "a couple of years" Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg, director of Duke's Institute for Genome Science and Policy, believes that suitcase-sized devices capable of detecting disease long before a person shows any symptoms will be arriving on battlefields across the globe. The project, funded with money from the Pentagon, may prove to be a major advancement off the battlefield as well. Instead of...

UCSD Researchers Develop Biotech Underwear

Your underwear already holds plenty of secrets, ones that we'd rather not even mention here. (The brave can check out this fascinating and disturbing analysis of undie contents.) Your skivvies are about to get a bit more knowledgeable, if a study from U.C. San Diego portends the future of intimates. Researchers from Taiwan and the California university have been working on a way to print...

Design Concepts: For Your Health

Share The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless. ...

Stanford Researchers Tap Algae as a 'Green' Electricity Source

Researchers at Stanford University have found a way to harvest 'green' electricity from algae. WonHyoung Ryu and her team enveloped a gold electrode in an algae cell membrane, and used it to trap electrons created during photosynthesis. This is 'green' energy in its purest form (and color), since only protons and oxygen are released during this process. "This is potentially one of the cleanest...

My Printer's Jammed With... Skin Cells?

We wrote about Organovo's game-changing human tissue printer back in January, and the company's endeavor has gained a ton of attention since then. But organs are rather complex chunks of meat, and we've got a while to go before we see freshly printed livers shooting out of tissue machines in operating rooms. Skin, by comparison, is relatively simple stuff. Researchers at the Armed Forces...

Need a Kidney? Just Hit 'Print' and 3-D Bioprinter Swaps Ink for Cells

Print-on-demand technology -- utilized by companies like Vistaprint and CafePress -- has become widely implemented over the last decade as digital printing has steadily replaced costly letterpress plates and other complicated methods. At the same time, 3-D printers (like our favorite, the MakerBot) have become more commonplace in the manufacture of products and prototypes. And, now, biotech...