3-D Printing Is a Simplified Form of Biomimetics

first_img(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 One of the hottest industrial revolutions in progress is 3-D printing.  It can’t hold a candle, though, to biological materials construction.In a story on PhysOrg, Chad Henry of CSIRO proudly holds two large insect models he made with a 3-D printer.  His 40x creations, originally made as art, are shedding light on insect anatomy, the article goes on to say.  Live bugs, however, build up their tissues and organs with far more precision than any human machine.“The Future of 3-D Printing,” also on PhysOrg, is a good look at the new technology – especially the embedded video clip interview with Richard Hague, who found himself an early pioneer of the technique that may become as important as the personal computer.  A photo with the article shows a prosthetic arms complete with electrical connections inside, just like – well, the real thing, except vastly simpler.Hague’s team at the University of Nottingham has its sights set high: a revolution in manufacturing, returning the power of design and implementation to the people:“At the moment, 3D printing uses single materials, a polymer or a metal, which are fused together with a laser. You can create interwoven geometries but they’re still passive. What we’re looking to do, is activate those and make them functionalise. So rather than make a component, you make the whole system—an example might be rather than print a case for a mobile phone, you make the whole phone—all the electronics, the case, the structural aspects, all in one print.”In a very real way, that’s exactly what organisms do: they build materials layer upon layer under controlled conditions.  Nacre (mother-of-pearl), for example, achieves its desirable strength without becoming brittle by depositing successive layers of mineral and protein (see 7/26/04).  Materials engineers have been trying to mimic nacre and other biological materials for years (3/27/10, 2/07/11).  3-D printing may help this assembly of ideal materials.  It is also highly scalable.  Some day it may be used for nano-manufacture as well as for airplane parts.3-D printing imitates another biological technique: following a kind of “genetic code,” a set of programmed instructions that tell the printer where to deposit the individual ingredients.  These codes can be shared in a kind of “lateral gene transfer” one might say, so that humans across the world can duplicate toys, machines, or even edible artworks using the same instruction set.None of these articles referred to biomimetics, yet their examples of 3-D printed products include mimics of insects and human limbs.  Exciting as the new technology looks, it comes nowhere close to the assembly of materials from an embryo to an adult organism.  Some future 3-D printed art gallery will only be able to boast very cheap imitations of living systems, even if they are capable of movement.  Let one of those plastic beetles lay eggs and grow whole new adult beetles using available materials following an embedded code, and then humans may be a little closer to boasting of intelligent design.Update 10/21/13: Space.com posted a gallery of 3-D objects created out of metals and alloys, with its report of Europe’s Project AMAZE Conference (Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste and Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products), showing the precision and versatility of 3-D printing.We are at the forefront of a technological revolution comparable to cell phones and home computers.  Already, hobbyists are sharing downloadable designs for printing all kinds of models.  NASA won’t have to launch parts up to the space station; they can just beam up the code and let on-board 3-D printers make them on the spot.  What 3-D printing will do to the manufacturing industry and the economy is hard to say; similar worries were voiced at the advent of personal computers and other industrial revolutions.  Most likely, it will be a boon to the economy, opening up entrepreneurial opportunities and offering new high-paying jobs, while rendering other jobs as superfluous as Pony Express riders or telegraph linemen.  Who knows what useful products are forthcoming?  Hospitals may be able to print customized prosthetics on the spot.  Your garage may just need the design codes to build parts in the shop rather than ordering them from across town.  The Lego company may have to sell programs with bottles of resins instead of hard plastic parts.  Villains will find ways to use the new technology for harm, as usual, and governments will have new challenges for national security or pollution.  Most new technologies have potential for a lot of good, though.Soon, prices will fall to the point where every home will have to have a 3-D printer, just like it needs a microwave or internet connection.  Local stores will fill shelves with raw materials instead of finished products.  Websites will have downloadable codes ready to use on home printers.  Art galleries will show off the latest creative applications.  If you thought the golden age of invention was over, 3-D printing may be the next “Wow!” breakthrough.  Just remember, though, with all the whiz-bang devices coming forth, nature had it first.  The ability to assemble a living organism from a fertilized cell is the ultimate masterpiece of 3-D manufacture.  Most human designs are flimsy, cheap imitations of the Creator’s ultimate handiwork.  But that’s OK; our clumsy attempts at design give us all the more reason to glorify the omniscient Lord of life, who can make a butterfly cross continents, a tree pumping water nearly 400 feet from the ground, an arctic tern that can fly from pole to pole, and a human mother bringing forth a new baby, able to grow into a rational adult capable of composing music, breaking a pole-vault record, or writing a treatise on the nature of subatomic particles.  The more we try things, the more we can appreciate perfection.last_img read more

Africa’s biggest supercomputer

first_img15 October 2008The Department of Science and Technology and multinational technology company IBM launched the Blue Gene for Africa initiative in Cape Town last week, giving the country access to supercomputing power not previously seen on the continent.The BG4A is hosted by the Centre for High Performance Computing, an initiative of the department, and is managed by the Meraka Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).Addressing representatives from the government, academia and the industry, IBM vice-president Mark Dean said that Africa needed to invest in human capital development, infrastructure and increased research and development in order to spur further socio-economic development.With research infrastructure also being key to development, IBM said its donation of the Blue Gene supercomputer was its contribution towards sparking scientific and socio-economic progress on the continent.“There is going to be some fascinating work done on this computer. It will not only contribute to the advancement of science in the Africa region but also help grow economies in the region,” a statement by the CSIR quoted Dean as saying last week.“It is just a tool – the true difference for the region is the people. The tool will enable people to make a difference.”Fastest on the African continentThe donation of the supercomputer forms part of a US$120-million (about R1.1-billion) investment in sub-Saharan Africa announced by IBM in December 2007, and followed a series of meetings on economic development opportunities convened by IBM that year as part of its Global Innovation Outlook strategy.This donation has given impetus to the Blue Gene for Africa initiative, which has three interlinking thrusts: infrastructure, promoting collaborative with a major impact on the African continent, and human capital development – building of high-end computing capacity in Africa.The $2-million (about R18.4-million) Blue Gene/P system is capable of 14-trillion individual calculations per second, and is five times more powerful than the fastest research computer currently on the African continent, the Blue Gene/L in Egypt.Potential projects which could benefit from this initiative are environmental simulations (water management, climate and atmospheric simulations), plant genomics and agricultural modelling, energy, information analytics and complex systems modelling (such as business systems, risk management, financial models, transportation management and health).Frontrunners among the flagship projects, which are subject to a formal review process, include the following:A mineral beneficiation project, which will focus first on manganese, and then on other mineralsA project on global change impact, with a strong focus on climate, specifically the large-scale impact of climate change in certain regions of the African continentA project on food security and research into the nutritional values of cassava rootAn African supercomputerAs the Blue Gene is for the whole continent, Dean invited African higher education and research institutions to take advantage of the fastest research supercomputer in Africa to conduct cutting-edge, socially relevant research.Potential users who wish to access the high performance computing are encouraged to contact the Centre for High Performance Computing to find the optimal fit for their requirements.“There is a positive link between the nature of research enabled by the Blue Gene for Africa initiative and the prospect for improving the quality of life of ordinary South Africans and African citizens, particularly poverty alleviation,” said CSIR chief executive Sibusiso Sibisi.He also confirmed the importance of the Blue Gene for Africa initiative in promoting collaborative research internationally, adding that it also conformed to the CSIR’s aims.“The initiative underpins the power of partnerships in addressing the challenges that require urgent attention, and which are beyond the power of a single person, institution or country to address,” he said.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma bids farewell to African Union

first_imgNkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s term as the head of the African Union has drawn to a close. No stranger to politics, she held the position for two terms. We look at her career highlights.Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the first woman to head the African Union. Her term runs until the end of January 2017. (Image: African Union, Twitter)Brand South Africa reporterShe’s been a freedom fighter, a politician, a diplomat, a doctor and now her latest role as head of the African Union (AU) – the first woman to hold the position – has come to an end. As Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat takes the reins at the pan-African organisation, we look back at Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s career.On its website, the AU describes Dlamini-Zuma as “a lady of noble character; a visionary leader, with an incredible passion for the African continent, its developmental ambitions, and is a champion of the renewal of Africa”.She had shown depth and understanding about issues dealing with the African continent and had a great grasp of the dynamics of the AU, the organisation said.The strength of Africa lies in its unity and its Pan-Africanism.— Dr Dlamini Zuma (@DlaminiZuma) January 31, 2017Watch:Her early lifeDlamini-Zuma was born during apartheid, on 27 January 1949, in KwaZulu-Natal. But that did not hinder her academic ambitions. She went to the University of Zululand where she read zoology and botany. She graduated with a BSc degree and moved to the University of Natal to begin her medical degree. At the same time, she became involved in South Africa’s liberation struggle.In 1976, she became deputy president of the South African Students Organisation and went into exile. She still completed her medical degree, but at the University of Bristol in the UK.Dlamini-Zuma: the politicianAfter the first democratic elections in 1994, Dlamini-Zuma became South Africa’s minister of health in Nelson Mandela’s government.In that role, she:Successfully transformed a health system that was racially divided;Introduced anti-smoking legislation making public spaces and some private spaces such as schools, clinics, airports, hotels and offices largely smoke-free;Negotiated with pharmaceutical companies to provide generic, and often cheaper, medication to South Africa. “The successful settlement of the matter was hailed as a victory not only for South Africa, but also the poor around the world, particularly in the developing world,” reads her profile on the AU website, and;Initiated a pilot programme in which medical students and graduates participated in community service, often working in impoverished areas.From 1999 to 2009, Dlamini-Zuma was the minister of foreign affairs, during which time she actively worked towards peace, development and stability on the continent.In 2012, she was elected the chairperson of the AU, becoming the first women to hold the position.In a list http://www.trtworld.com/business/2016s-most-powerful-women-142718 of 2016’s most powerful women published by Turkey’s national public broadcaster, Dlamini-Zuma was number six.It was a list “not based on financial status, but rather skills, creativity and influence making a significant impact in various fields”, the article clarified.AU legacyWhen the AU marked its 50th anniversary in 2013, “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want” was unveiled. Dlamini-Zuma was integral to its development.Agenda 2063 is the AU’s vision to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, and is viewed as a new phase in efforts by Africans to catalyse development of the continent and strengthen African integration and unity.“It is her biggest deliverable,” said the outgoing EU representative, ambassador Gary Quince. “For the first time, the AU has a blueprint and a vision.”I have no doubt that the in-coming Commission will continue to strengthen & build upon these foundations, just like the foundations we met.— Dr Dlamini Zuma (@DlaminiZuma) January 31, 2017She also focused on gender empowerment within the organisation, and for women in general.“For me and my fellow commissioners, wherever I shall be and in whatever capacity, I shall forever remain soldiers of the African cause,” she tweeted at the end of January.The new leadership of the AU comprises:Elected Leadership of the @_African Union Commission #28thAUSummit pic.twitter.com/nLOkNeQkmQ— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) February 1, 2017Source: African UnionWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

DrnkPay helps drunks make a few less bad decisions

first_imgHow Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Follow the Puck Amanda Razani Tags:#breathalyzer#DrnkPay#featured#iBeTSE#Internet of Things#intoxicated#IoT#top#wearable Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts A new mobile payment device was recently introduced that can utilize a breathalyzer and fitness tracker-like band to help prevent people from spending too much money when they’re intoxicated.DrnkPay is a new app that is able to track and monitor how much individuals have drunk, and limit more purchases if they’ve had too much to drink, by connecting the device to a user’s credit and debit cards through the app.See Also: Will data analytics transform our healthcare system?A financial services consult, iBe TSE, developed this new system, deciding to participate when research produced by OnePoll showed half of alcohol drinkers in the UK between the ages of 18-34 have wished they hadn’t made another purchase when they were intoxicated.“This is a problem many of us have encountered, so we decided to create a simple solution which uses the latest technology,” stated Francesco Scarnera, CEO of iBe TSE.“Once you’ve hit your self-imposed limit, the app will lock your card and prevent you making further payments. It’s up to you whether to block all payments, or just certain ‘weak points’, such as takeaways, clubs, or that flight that seems like such a great idea at 4am.”Finally a pocket breathalyzerUtilizing a breathalyzer to monitor how much someone has had to drink is not a revolutionary concept, but not everyone wants to carry one around with them.  That is why using the wearable, Quantac Tally, is a much more convenient choice for many people.  This device is capable of analyzing the alcohol content in a user’s bloodstream before sending information to the app being used.iBe TSE is presently meeting with banks and card providers about sending the technology to their customers during the next 12 months.  Meanwhile, it is likely that the Quantac Tally will be sold independently, to be used with the app. Although this may not be something that everyone embraces, there is most definitely a market for this.last_img read more


first_imgIt was Australia Day in Jersey today with the Australian Masters teams winning all three ‘Rest of the World’ finals that they participated in at the 2004 European Championships. The Australian Women’s Masters won the Womens Open division defeating Colonials 3-2. The match was close and exciting, being won in a tense drop off. The Men’s 35 years division ‘Rest of the World’ Championship final was between the two Australian Senior teams with the Masters team defeating the Veterans 4-0. Please click on the link below for detailed resultsSenior Tour Daily DiaryAll photos attached to articles can be viewed by clicking on the following link Senior Tour Photo Gallery Once in the gallery use the scroll down box to visit to the Senior Tour Gallery. The Mens Open ‘Rest of the World’ Final was won by Australia 6-2. The Australian’s gradually improved throughout the tour, saving their best performance for the final. The Men played as a team, refusing to allow the New Zealand University team into the game at any stage. The Australian representatives have produced the goods at the right time once again, both on and off the field. They have been great ambassadors for Australia by educating and assisting all Touch teams participating in the European Championships. Congratulations to all tour members, you have done Australian Touch proud!last_img read more

A Johannesburgbased online TV service has acquire

first_imgA Johannesburg-based online TV service has acquired UK and US streaming rights to the Nollywood movie adaptation of best-selling novel Half of a Yellow Sun.PanaTV bills itself a “pioneer” in Africa, and said the acquisition of Half of a Yellow Sun “falls in line with our mission to tell the African story to the world, by making Africa’s stories easily accessible through the internet”.The UK deal was made with London-based distributor Soda Pictures, and the US agreement with Monterey Media.Half of a Yellow Sun stars Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose as a pair of sister caught up in the Nigerian Civil War. It also stars Academy Award-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.It launched in the US on June 29, where it has a limited exclusive window before becoming non-exclusive, and will go out in the UK from August.The service aims to legally stream African-produced content to online audiences worldwide. It has around 8,000 hours of shows comprising movies, music, television, lifestyle, educational and kids content.last_img read more