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Tiny robots designed to float through the bloodstream

Future Tech: Featuring nickel-free watches & take-out from Europe.

Minuscule ‘Syncells’ could be used to monitor oil or gas piplines

From Science Daily:

Tiny robots no bigger than a cell could be mass-produced using a new method developed by researchers at MIT. The microscopic devices, which the team calls “syncells” (short for synthetic cells), might eventually be used to monitor conditions inside an oil or gas pipeline, or to search out disease while floating through the bloodstream.

The key to making such tiny devices in large quantities lies in a method the team developed for controlling the natural fracturing process of atomically-thin, brittle materials, directing the fracture lines so that they produce minuscule pockets of a predictable size and shape. Embedded inside these pockets are electronic circuits and materials that can collect, record and output data.

The novel process, called “autoperforation,” is described in a paper published in the journal Nature Materials, by MIT Professor Michael Strano, postdoc Pingwei Liu, graduate student Albert Liu, and eight others at MIT.

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These ‘tear-proof’ watches look like they’re made of paper

From Popular Mechanics:

Paprcuts watches are handmade from Tyvek — that same weather-resistant material you staple to the sheathing of your house before installing siding. On the wrist, they feel like paper, but they’re actually a kind of recycled plastic made out of high-density polyethylene fibers. This means they’re super-light, waterproof and, as the literal German-to-English translation on the website touts, “tear-proof”.

If that’s not enough for the conscious consumer in your life, Paprcuts watches are sustainably sourced, recyclable, vegan and fair-produced. Thanks to the EU, they’re also nickel-free. The European Union’s Nickel Directive ensures that jewelry and other worn products release minimal amounts of nickel onto your skin — 0.5 micrograms per cm per week to be exact.

All this good and conscientious stuff aside, the thing that really sold me on these watches was how great they look. The enormous design selection ranges from wanderlust nature scenes to old-timey sailor-and-compass prints to kittens shooting lasers out of their eyes (sold out, obviously). That aesthetic recently earned Paprcuts the CrowdfundingSilver Award in Design by the City of Berlin.

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Is overnight take-out from overseas possible?

From Fast Company:

Joe Ariel was a New York kid who ended up in the South, attending Vanderbilt University studying economics. Ariel fell in love with the food of the South, only to end up back in New York as a young professional, and find himself pining for those old flavors. So he did what any entrepreneur would do and improvised.

“I would call some of these guys, and say, ‘Put it into a box, I’ll pay for FedEx overnight.’ Some of these restaurants sent me stuff,” says Ariel. “Reheating the food, I learned chefs knew how to get it so it tastes just like it does in the shop. That didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was the moment when I’d open the box, smell those smells, see the grease-stained menus, and I’d be transported to a different time.”

Today, Ariel is the CEO of Goldbelly, a service that will overnight you $75 macarons from Paris, $125 bagels from New York, $100 cheesesteaks from Philadelphia or $250 BBQ from Texas. Born out of Y Combinator in 2013, Goldbelly now has a million customers and $15 million in new cash from celebrated restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments, which will be spent on expanding the logistics team at its new New York headquarters and signing up more restaurants to the service.

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The Editors

The Editorial Team develops articles, company profiles and resources for the Business Hub to bring IT, tech and innovation stories to the Manitoba business community.

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