Oops—Greg Gage does it again! With a ‘neuroscience’ talk for TED and launch for the Plant SpikerBox

I’ve written a couple times about Greg Gage and his Backyard Brains,  first, in a March 28, 2012 posting (scroll down about 40% of the way for the mention of the first [?] ‘SpikerBox’) and, most recently, in a June 26, 2013 posting (scroll down about 25% of the way for the mention of a RoboRoach Kickstater project from Backyard Brains) which also featured the launch of a new educational product and a TED [technology…

Continue reading


Oct. 9, 2017: Canadian Thanksgiving and US National Nanotechnology Day

For those of us north of the 49th parallel, it’s Thanksgiving. To everyone who celebrates this holiday on the 2nd Monday of October: Have a wonderful day! Onto nanotechnology, according to a Sept. 25, 2017 US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) news release, National Nanotechnology Day is an annual event featuring a series of community-led events and activities on or around October 9th to help raise awareness of nanotechnology, how it is currently used in products…

Continue reading


Beautiful solar cells based on insect eyes

What a gorgeous image! The compound eye of a fly inspired Stanford researchers to create a compound solar cell consisting of perovskite microcells encapsulated in a hexagon-shaped scaffold. (Image credit: Thomas Shahan/Creative Commons) An August 31, 2017 news item on Nanowerk describes research into solar cells being performed at Stanford University (Note: A link has been removed), Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could pave the way…

Continue reading


Model-type coding

By model, I mean Karlie Kloss whose computer coding camp project was profiled in an August 31, 2017 article by Elizabeth Segran for Fast Company (Note: Links have been removed), It all started on a whim. Four years ago, supermodel Karlie Kloss decided to take an intensive coding course at New York Flatiron School. She had never written a lick of code in her life, but she wanted to see what the fuss about coding was…

Continue reading


Hit and run gene therapy?

The approach looks promising but there’s a still long way to go before this ‘simpler, gentler’ approach to gene therapy will make its way into any treatments. From an August 30, 2017 news item on Nanowerk, A new biomedical tool using nanoparticles that deliver transient gene changes to targeted cells could make therapies for a variety of diseases — including cancer, diabetes and HIV — faster and cheaper to develop, and more customizable. The tool,…

Continue reading


Adopting robots into a health care system, Finnish style

The Finns have been studying the implementation of a logistics robotic system in a hospital setting according to an August 30, 2017 news item on phys.org, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland studied the implementation of a logistics robot system at the Seinäjoki Central Hospital in South Ostrobothnia. The aim is to reduce transportation costs, improve the availability of supplies and alleviate congestion on hospital hallways by running deliveries around the clock on every day…

Continue reading


‘Nano-hashtags’ for Majorana particles?

The ‘nano-hashtags’ are in fact (assuming a minor leap of imagination) nanowires that resemble hashtags. Scanning electron microscope image of the device wherein clearly a ‘hashtag’ is formed. Credit: Eindhoven University of Technology An August 23, 2017 news item on ScienceDaily makes the announcement, In Nature, an international team of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology [Netherlands], Delft University of Technology [Netherlands] and the University of California — Santa Barbara presents an advanced quantum chip…

Continue reading


Announcing Canada’s Chief Science Advisor: Dr. Mona Nemer

Thanks to the Canadian Science Policy Centre’s September 26, 2017 announcement (received via email) a burning question has been answered, After great anticipation, Prime Minister Trudeau along with Minister Duncan have announced Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, [emphasis mine]  at a ceremony at the House of Commons. The Canadian Science Policy Centre welcomes this exciting news and congratulates Dr. Nemer on her appointment in this role and we wish her the best in carrying out her…

Continue reading


Cosmopolitanism and the Local in Science and Nature (a three year Canadian project nearing its end date)

Working on a grant from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the  Cosmopolitanism and the Local in Science and Nature project has been establishing a ‘cosmopolitanism’ research network that critiques the eurocentric approach so beloved of Canadian academics and has set up nodes across Canada and in India and Southeast Asia. I first wrote about the project in a Dec. 12, 2014 posting which also featured a job listing. It seems I was…

Continue reading


Carbon nanotubes for water desalination

In discussions about water desalination and carbon nanomaterials,  it’s graphene that’s usually mentioned these days. By contrast, scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have turned to carbon nanotubes, There are two news items about the work at LLNL on ScienceDaily, this first one originated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offers a succinct summary of the work (from an August 24, 2017 news item on…

Continue reading