NASA is funding research into 3D-printed food. As Quartz reveals, Mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor received a $125,000 grant from the agency to build a prototype 3D printer with the aim of automating food creation. It’s hoped the system could provide astronauts food during long-distance space travel, but its creator has the loftier aim of solving the increasing food shortages around the world by cutting down on waste. The software for the printer will be open-source, while the hardware is based on the open-source RepRap Mendel 3D printer.
The concept is to use basic “building blocks” of food in replaceable powder cartridges. By combining each block, a wide range of foods should be able to be created by the printer. The cartridges will have a lifespan of 30 years, more than long enough to enable long-distance space travel. After proving his system works on a basic level by printing chocolate, Contractor will start his project within the next few weeks by attempting to print a pizza.
if someone invents a 3d printer that prints pizza I’m pretty sure the rules say you win the economy
The pizza printer will first print a layer of dough, which will be cooked while being printed, before mixing tomato powder with water and oil to print a tomato sauce. The topping for the pizza will be a nondescript “protein layer.” It’s early days for the project, but if it’s successful it would be a real milestone on the way towards a Star Trek-style Replicator.
Concerns that the expansion of 4G services in the UK could cause interference for homes using Freeview may have been unfounded.
Tests conducted by at800, the firm set up to troubleshoot the issue, have so far found very few problems.
Tests of around 200,000 homes in the West Midlands and London have uncovered just 15 TV interference issues.
The firm denied that it rendered the money set aside to deal with the problem unnecessary.
“It is important for us to exist so that we can take an appropriate approach to mitigating the effects of 4G depending on where it is rolled out,” said communication director Ben Roome.
Funding for at800 comes from mobile firms to the tune of £180m.
“The mobile firms were obliged to fund us but any money not spent, they do get back,” said Mr Roome.
The firm is now running a trial in Brighton where Freeview is transmitted at frequencies much closer to those for the new 4G services. The area around the city is also far hillier than in previous tests, which could have an impact on interference.
“We have already seen a handful of issues there,” said Mr Roome.
Initially Ofcom had estimated that up to 900,000 homes could experience interference with Freeview, which operates close to the 800MHz frequency that will be used by 4G services.
Engineers can fit filters if there are interference issues.
4G services will begin rolling out in the summer. Existing 4G services offered by EE operate in different frequencies and do not disrupt TV signals.
This Incan girl was sacrificed some 500 years ago has been uncovered perfectly intact, as the freezing temperatures atop a volcano preserved her to the point where it looks as if she could wake up at any moment.
With temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius below zero, the 15-year-old girl, along with a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old, were discovered to be perfectly maintained.
Check out this account of it by anthropologist Marta Flores:
Three children, ages 6, 7 and 15, left their towns one day and set off toward the peak of a volcano. Accompanied by Inca priests, they walked for months or even years until they at last reached the Llullaillaco Volcano in northwestern Argentina. There, the priests got them drunk and buried them alive as an offering to the gods. “The Incas selected the two girls and one boy for their beauty and perfection. The girls wore tunics, fitted at the waist, and long braids in their hair. The boy donned a large headdress made of white feathers. The priests buried them with various objects that symbolized life in the communities: miniature gold statues, vessels, sandals and small bags of dried food.
The bodies of the children were initially uncovered in 1999 by a troop of 14 men and women led by Johan Reinhard, a U.S. explorer for the National Geographic Society, climbed 6,700 meters above sea level.
“When we established the final camp, at a height of 6,600 meters, a storm broke,” recalled Christian Vitry, who was on the expedition. “It lasted four days, and the tents were covered in snow.”
With her clothes, skin and hair still in tact, this Incan teenagers is one of the most remarkable feats of human preservation ever seen.
A research team has restored a monkey’s hand function with an artificial neural connection.
Scientists working together from Japanese and American universities may have made a pretty large leap in restoring neural function using a “novel artificial neuron connection” over lesions in the spinal cord of a partially paralyzed monkey. This partially restored its arm-to-brain circuit and allowing greater hand control purely by brainpower.
Google have put their driverless Street View cars to good use after listening to the people of the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan. The area which was devestated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster in March 2011 is still a no go zone – most badly affected was the township of Namie-machi.
Many of the displaced townspeople have asked to see the current state of their city, and there are surely many people around the world who want a better sense of how the nuclear incident affected surrounding communities.
Working with Google, they were able to drive Street View cars through Namie-machi to capture panoramic images of the abandoned city exactly as it stands today. This Street View imagery is available on Google Maps and the [Memories for the Future] site, so anyone from Namie or around the world can view it.
Private firm SpaceX have launched another rocket with supplies heading for the International Space Station.
Photo by NASA
I find it incredible that the cost of travelling out of our atmosphere has become so affordable that non-government organisations can bid for the contract, and that they can even make a profit by performing more cost-effectively than the government (NASA) ever could.
BigDog, by Boston Dynamics, handles heavy objects. Their goal is to develop techniques for using the strength of the legs and torso to help power motions of the arm. This sort of dynamic approach is routinely used by human athletes and is now improving the performance of robots. The research is performed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the Army Research Laboratory through the RCTA.
I find it a little terrifying to watch a machine pick up a breeze block and throw it a distance with ease; but there could also be many great applications for this skill set. The fact that the US Army are part funding it though suggests that it may be used in a non-civilian role.
Engadget have just announced the winners of their ’2012 Engadget Awards – Readers’ Choice’. There are some obvious winners in there, but also some surprises. The Nokia Lumia 920 winning mobile phone of the year doesn’t at all reflect its sales figures; likewise the Microsoft Surface RT winning Tablet of the year ahead of Apple and Samsung is mind blowing!
Click the source link for the rest… What would you have gone for?
Ofcom has finally granted permits for more UK mobile phone operators to launch their own 4G networks.
The four new winners are Hutchison 3G, a division of BT called Niche Spectrum, Telefonica O2 and Vodafone.
Existing 4G operator Everything Everywhere was also given expanded bandwith.
The auction raised £2.34bn for the taxpayer but the Government had hoped for a total of £3.5bn.
Britain’s last big mobile phone spectrum auction was in 2000 for 3G services and it raised £22.5bn.
In real terms, the 3G windfall would be worth more than £30bn today – more than 12 times the revenue raised on 4G.
Ofcom said the purpose of the auction was to “promote strong competition in the 4G mobile market”.
It said in a statement:
“This is expected to lead to faster mobile broadband speeds, lower prices, greater innovation, new investment and better coverage.
“Almost the whole UK population will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 at the latest.”
New entrants in the sector, including Chinese-owned firms, failed in their bids.
The regulator said that was simply because their bids were too low.
Ofcom also revealed that it was “planning now to support the release of further spectrum for possible future ’5G’ mobile services”.
It said that by 2030, demand for mobile data could be 80 times higher than it is in 2013.
Future development of 5G would be needed to meet this demand and avoid a feared “capacity crunch”.
Ofcom added: “More mobile spectrum is needed over the long term, together with new technologies to make mobile broadband more efficient.”
Initial 4G operator EE has already rolled out coverage to 28 towns and cities, to more than 46% of the population.
Demand for the new services has extended as penetration of smartphones has increased in recent years.
4G can supply data stream feeds typically five times faster than 3G.
Thales, a French aerospace company which manufactures traditional radar systems, has received funding from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to study the feasibility of using TV signals to locate aircraft through a technology called “passive radar.” According to the BBC, the system would monitor the timing of TV signals reflected from aircraft, which would enable equipment to display an exact location, while measuring the Doppler effect would provide speed and direction information.
Though it’s not based on GPS, the new system would reportedly be more accurate and efficient than what’s in use today, while also serving to free up spectrum that could be used for an upcoming 5G network.