Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Cloath That Can Change Its Colour

@ Nature Publication
The emergence of wearable electronics and optoelectronics requires the development of devices that are not only highly flexible but can also be woven into textiles to offer a truly integrated solution. Here, we report a colour-tunable, weavable fibre-shaped polymer light-emitting electrochemical cell (PLEC). The fibre-shaped PLEC is fabricated using all-solution-based processes that can be scaled up for practical applications. The design has a coaxial structure comprising a modified metal wire cathode and a conducting aligned carbon nanotube sheet anode, with an electroluminescent polymer layer sandwiched between them. The fibre shape offers unique and promising advantages. For example, the luminance is independent of viewing angle, the fibre-shaped PLEC can provide a variety of different and tunable colours, it is lightweight, flexible and wearable, and it can potentially be woven into light-emitting clothes for the creation of smart fabrics.

Light-emitting electrochemical cells1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, in particular polymer light-emitting electrochemical cells (PLECs), have been widely studied for various applications, including flexible flat panel displays, signage and lighting4, 5, 6. Like organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs), PLECs have a structure that is usually composed of two metal electrodes connected to an organic semiconductor. However, PLECs differ in that mobile ions are incorporated into the organic semiconductor, thereby offering promising advantages such as low operating voltage, high electron/photon conversion efficiency and high power efficiency compared with OLEDs7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. More importantly, PLECs do not require the use of low-workfunction cathodes composed of calcium or magnesium (which are sensitive in air). In contrast, PLEDs require a low-workfunction cathode and high-workfunction anode to realize efficient charge injection19, 20, 21. In a typical PLEC, the electroluminescent polymer layer forms an in situ light-emitting p-i-n junction for the injection of both electrons and holes from the electrodes4, 5, 22. This means that PLECs can be effectively operated with relatively rougher surfaces than is generally possible with OLEDs and PLEDs, which is advantageous when scaling them up for practical applications with low cost and high efficiency23, 24, 25.

Based on these described advantages, the PLEC is particularly promising for use in portable and wearable electronics, which are being developed for a wide range of applications, from microelectronics to biomedicine, transport and areospace26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. Conventional planar light-emitting devices, including both rigid and flexible films, cannot satisfy the basic requirements for such an application, including softness, light weight and weavability33, 34. To this end, advances in the textile industry have suggested a useful direction in which to pursue a solution: if a PLEC is made into a continuous fibre using a melting or all-solution-based process, it can be woven into various flexible textiles or integrated into soft substrates for use in portable and wearable electronic devices35.

For practical applications it is also important to be able to emit various colours from a single device, so modifications such as polymer blending and electrochemical doping can be made to develop the desired light-emitting devices36. However, it is difficult to independently tune colours as well as their intensities. To truly realize in situ colour tunability, tandem structures with two to three sub-cells connected in series have been widely explored, although these are limited by the available colours and complex fabrication procedures, low efficiency and high cost37, 38.

In this Article, a novel fibre-shaped PLEC is reported using all-solution-based processes. The fibre-shaped PLEC has a coaxial structure that includes a modified metal wire cathode and a conducting aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet anode, with an electroluminescent polymer layer sandwiched between them. The fibre shape has unique and promising advantages, such as the luminance being independent of the observation angle. Furthermore, the use of an aligned CNT sheet as the anode can significantly decrease the light loss compared with the indium tin oxide of a conventional planar OLED37, 38. A wide variety of colours are achieved by assembling two fibre-shaped PLECs that emit different colours, and the luminance of each can be continuously and independently tuned by varying the external current source. As expected, the fibre-shaped PLEC is lightweight, flexible and soft, and it can be woven into light-emitting textiles for large-scale applicatio

Fabrication of fibre-shaped PLECs

Figure 1a,b shows the fabrication process for the fibre-shaped PLEC. A stainless steel wire was first dip-coated with a thin layer of ZnO nanoparticles, which functions as an electron transfer layer and protects the subsequently coated electroluminescent polymer from fluorescence quenching by the metal matrix. More importantly, the ZnO nanoparticle layer can significantly decrease the leakage current, enhancing the current efficiency and possibly resulting in a more balanced injection of electrons and holes6, 39. The electroluminescent polymer layer, consisting of a blend of a blue light-emitting polymer (PF-B), ethoxylated trimethylopropane triacrylate (ETT-15) and lithium trifluoromethane sulphonate (LiTf), was deposited on the modified steel wire, also using a dip-coating method. PF-B was selected because of its built-in oligo (ethylene oxide) side groups, which are beneficial for ionic conductivity and high electroluminescent performance (Supplementary Fig. 1). ETT-15 serves as the ionically conductive component, and LiTf provides the ionic dopant for the doped polymer in the formation of the p-i-n junction in the PLEC. An aligned CNT sheet was uniformly wrapped around the modified steel wire to produce the designed fibre-shaped PLEC (see inset of Fig. 1c for a photograph of a fibre-shaped PLEC with arcuate shape). The entire fabrication was carried out in air and is suitable for large-scale production.
Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the preparation and structural characterization of the PLEC.

a, Schematic of fabrication of a fibre-shaped PLEC. b, Schematic of wrapping an aligned CNT sheet around a modified stainless steel wire. c, Schematic of the structure of a flexible fibre-shaped PLEC. Inset: photograph of a fibre-shaped PLEC biased at 10 V. d, AFM image of the polymer layer coated on the ZnO nanoparticle layer. e, SEM side-view image of a fibre-shaped PLEC. f, Aligned CNT sheet wrapped around the modified stainless steel wire with an angle of 15°.

The aligned CNT sheet plays a critical role in the successful fabrication of the fibre-shaped PLEC. The CNT has a multi-walled structure with a diameter of ∼11 nm (Supplementary Fig. 2). The sheet was dry-drawn from a spinnable CNT array that was synthesized by chemical vapour deposition (Supplementary Figs 3 and 4)40, 41. The wrapping of the aligned CNT sheet onto the modified steel wire is shown schematically in Fig. 1b. The two ends of the modified steel wire were fixed by two motors and a spinnable CNT array was fixed onto a precisely motorized translation stage. A continuous, aligned CNT sheet was drawn out of the spinnable CNT array and attached onto the modified steel wire at an angle α. The thickness of the aligned CNT sheet on the modified steel wire was accurately controlled by varying the helical angle and width of the CNT sheet.

The flexibility of the aligned CNT sheet is important in order to achieve close and stable wrapping on the fibre-based substrate, and had been investigated by winding it on a flexible polymer fibre (Supplementary Fig. 5). The resistance of the resulting fibre varied by less than 6% after bending for 1,000 cycles (Supplementary Fig. 6). The CNTs were highly aligned, thereby providing the sheet with high electrical conductivities on the order of 102 to 103 S cm−1. The aligned CNT sheet (thickness of 18 nm) was optically transparent with a transmittance of over 87% at wavelengths above 550 nm (Supplementary Fig. 7) and a symbol located under the CNT sheet could be clearly observed (Supplementary Fig. 8). As a result of the high contact area between the aligned CNT and electroluminescent polymer layer, the aligned CNT sheet is closely attached to the modified steel wire predominantly by van der Waals forces.

Fabrication of the fibre-shaped PLEC was tracked by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The stainless steel wire had a uniform diameter along the axial direction, with a smooth outer surface (Supplementary Figs 9 and 10), and the ZnO nanoparticles were uniformly coated on the stainless steel wire with an average thickness of 45 nm (Supplementary Fig. 11). Supplementary Fig. 12presents an SEM image after the electroluminescent polymer layer has been applied. Importantly, the outer surface appears uniform and smooth, without obvious aggregates or curved structure, favouring a close and stable wrapping of the aligned CNT sheet. The surface smoothness of the electroluminescent polymer layer was also characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), and the roughness varied by less than 5 nm (Fig. 1d). The side view presented in Fig. 1e also shows the formed uniform electroluminescent polymer layer (thickness of ∼500 nm), while Fig. 1f andSupplementary Fig. 13 present typical SEM images after the CNT sheet has been wrapped around the modified steel wire (low and high magnifications, respectively). The CNTs remain highly aligned, maintaining their high electrical conductivity during wrapping. Supplementary Figs 14 and 15 show photographs of the resulting fibre-shaped PLEC, which can be bent easily into various forms. Metal wires with different diameters may be used to fabricate these fibre-shaped PLECs (although wires with a diameter of 510 µm have been studied here if not specified). Note that some attempts have been made to fabricate electroluminescent fibres based on OLEDs and inorganic phosphors (www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/2013/07/thread-becomes-functional-oled-emitter.html andwww.lytec-asia.com/products.html)42, but complicated fabrication processes are typically required.

Properties of fibre-shaped PLECs

The PLEC fibre was first driven to evaluate the time required to establish the p-i-n junction and device lifetime at 30 mA cm−2. As shown in Supplementary Fig. 16, the brightness of the device rises gradually to a peak value of 125 cd m−2 due to the gradual formation of a p-i-n junction in the electroluminescent polymer layer in the first 21 min (the time to establish such a p-i-n junction is determined mainly by the speed of ionic migration in the emissive layer). The emission intensity then gradually reduces to 63 cd m−2 in the following 4 h. We note that such a rather short operational stability is not uncommon in PLEC devices. Significant efforts have recently been reported in the literature to address this issue, with some success23, 43, 44, 45, 46. Many of those techniques could be introduced into or adapted for the fibre-shaped PLEC.

The fibre-shaped PLEC was further characterized after passing a current of 15 mA cm−2 for 10 min. The current density–luminance–driving voltage characteristic curves and current efficiency–luminance characteristic curves are presented in Fig. 2a,b. Light emission occurred at 5.6 V (at a light intensity of 1 cd m−2) and reached a peak value of 609 cd m−2 at 13 V. The current efficiency increased with increasing brightness and reached 0.83 cd A−1 at the end, with an external quantum efficiency of 0.35%. According to the CIE 1931 standard colour-matching functions, the emitted blue light can be demonstrated by x,y chromaticity coordinates (0.22, 0.36) (Supplementary Fig. 17). Due to the one-dimensional structure, which offers luminance in all directions, the brightness is almost independent of observation angle (Fig. 2c). The turn-on response of light emission from the p-i-n junction in the active layer was also investigated by means of a pulsed voltage operation (Fig. 2d). The pre-charged PLEC displays a rapid turn-on response that is similar to that of a conventional OLED. Figure 2e–h and Supplementary Fig. 18 also show that the PLEC fibre exhibits increasing blue light emission with increasing voltage. The uniformity of the brightness in the fibre-shaped PLEC was quantitatively compared at different locations biased at 9 V, and was found to vary by less than 7.8%.
Figure 2: Characterization of a fibre-shaped PLEC.

a, Current density–luminance–driving voltage characteristics of a fibre-shaped PLEC. b, Current efficiency–luminance characteristics of a fibre-shaped PLEC. c, Dependence of luminance on angle of a fibre-shaped PLEC. L0 and L correspond to luminance measured at 0° and the other angle, respectively. d, Transient light emission response under voltage pulses between 0 and 11 V with a 50% duty cycle for an initially charged fibre-shaped PLEC (50% duty cycle at 0.5 Hz). e–h, Photographs of a blue-light fibre-shaped PLEC biased at increasing voltages of 6 V (e), 7 V (f), 8 V (g) and 9 V (h). i–k, Fibre-shaped PLEC displaying blue and/or yellow light at its ends when biased at 9 V.

The emitting mechanism of the fibre-shaped PLEC is described in existing literature.4, 5, 22. Ions in the electroluminescent polymer layer are redistributed upon application of a voltage, establishing electric double layers at the cathodic and anodic interfaces that allow electron and hole injection, respectively. Electrons are injected into the electroluminescent polymer layer through the ZnO nanoparticles from the stainless steel wire, while holes are injected into the electroluminescent polymer layer from the aligned CNT sheet. The injected electrons and holes are electrostatically attracted, compensating an electrochemical doping process, with the electroluminescent conjugated polymer becoming n-doped at the cathode and p-doped at the anode. Eventually, a light-emitting p-i-n junction is formed in the electroluminescent polymer layer that facilitates electron and hole injection from the steel wire and aligned CNT sheet, respectively.

This fibre shape has many unique and promising advantages. As already mentioned, its brightness is almost independent of viewing angle (Fig. 2c), which is important for the luminance when in use. Although, here, blue light has been investigated to demonstrate the fibre-shaped PLEC, other colours can also be realized by varying the polymer emitter. For instance, a yellow fibre-shaped PLEC has been produced with a similar structure, but with a yellow emissive layer instead. According to the CIE 1931 standard colour-matching functions, the emitted yellow light can be demonstrated by x,y chromaticity coordinates (0.46, 0.52) (Supplementary Fig. 19). Accordingly, different colours can be integrated into a single fibre device with a similar fabrication process; that is, a steel wire coated with ZnO nanoparticles is successively dip-coated with electroluminescent polymer layers that emit light of different colours, and an aligned CNT sheet is then wrapped onto the modified steel wire. A simple model with two colours at the end is shown in Fig. 2i. The two colours can be selectively lit, depending on the application requirement (Fig. 2j,k). Similarly, a series of fibre-shaped PLECs can also be made alternately on a metal wire (Supplementary Fig. 20).

The fibre-shaped PLEC is flexible, and its brightness was maintained at above 90% of its maximum after bending with a radius of curvature of 6 mm for 100 cycles (Supplementary Fig. 21). The surface structure of the electroluminescent polymer and the aligned CNT layer were further tracked by SEM images before and after bending (Supplementary Fig. 22). No obvious damage was observed in either layer after deformation. This means that the fibre-shaped PLEC can be easily woven into flexible electronic clothes to form patterns (Fig. 3a and Supplementary Fig. 23).Figure 3b–d shows that two crossed fibre-shaped PLECs can be selectively lit to produce various configurations. The fibre-shaped PLECs can also be easily woven into patterns, for example to form the word ‘FUDAN’, as in Fig. 3e–i, and each letter of the word may be selectively lit (Supplementary Fig. 24 and Supplementary Movie 1).
Figure 3: Integrated PLEC fibres and textiles.

a, Textile under bending and twisting. b–d, Two fibre-shaped PLECs with different colours being selectively illuminated (biased at 10 V). e–i, Fibre-shaped PLECs being woven into a ‘FUDAN’ pattern (biased at 9 V).j, Electroluminescent spectra with the brightness ratios of blue to yellow shown on the right (inset schematic: two co-assembled fibre-shaped PLECs). k, x,y chromaticity coordinates controlled by adjusting the brightness of two fibre-shaped PLECs of different colours. l, Schematic of testing method. m, Dependence of x,y chromaticity coordinate on viewing angle.

As previously mentioned, it remains challenging to emit different colours in practical applications. Here, fibre-shaped PLECs were woven into clothes and show tunable colours, as expected. The luminance of each fibre-shaped PLEC can be continuously and independently tuned by varying the external current source. The presented technology also provides a useful platform with which to adjust colours by co-assembling two PLEC fibres that emit different colours (Fig. 3j, inset), for example, yellow and blue. While keeping the brightness of the yellow PLEC fibre unchanged, the voltage applied to the blue PLEC was gradually raised to increase the blue-to-yellow brightness ratio from 0 to 7.13, thereby adjusting the resultant colour (Fig. 3j). The brightness of the blue PLEC was enhanced to achieve x,y chromaticity coordinates ranging from (0.46, 0.52) to (0.22, 0.36) (Fig. 3k). Based on a similar strategy, the area ratio of blue to yellow lights can be varied by changing the viewing angle to tune the brightness ratio. In this way, the x,y chromaticity coordinates were changed from (0.46, 0.52) to (0.22, 0.36) by increasing the angle from 0° to 180° (Fig. 3l,m).


In summary, a fibre-shaped PLEC has been developed by designing a coaxial structure and incorporating a flexible and conducting CNT sheet anode. We have demonstrated that the entire manufacture of fibre-shaped PLECs can be carried out in air using a simple dip-coating technique that is compatible with high-speed and low-cost roll-to-roll fabrication. The fibre-shaped PLEC provides the same brightness in all directions, and it is lightweight, flexible and wearable. It can be woven into various flexible electronic clothes using well-developed textile technology, so accurately designed and colourful textiles can be produced from these PLEC fibres with different colours. The driving voltages are a little higher than those of conventional OLEDs, but may be reduced after optimization such as increasing the electrical conductivity of the aligned CNT sheet.


Fabrication of the fibre-shaped PLEC

The stainless steel wire was sequentially washed in acetone, isopropanol and deionized water. The ZnO precursor layer was coated onto the precleaned stainless steel wire after immersion in a ZnO precursor solution47. The ZnO precursor was prepared by dissolving 1.46 g Zn(CH3COO)2·2H2O and 0.2 ml NH2CH2CH2OH in 25 ml CH3OCH2CH2OH under vigorous stirring for 30 min at 60 °C to achieve a hydrolysis reaction in air. The ZnO nanocrystal layer was produced by thermal annealing at 300 °C for 30 min in air, and this procedure was repeated three times to obtain a continuous nanocrystal film with a thickness of ∼45 nm. The polymer layer was then dip-coated onto the modified stainless steel wire, followed by vacuum drying for 1 h. The blue-light-emissive conjugated polymers were dissolved in anhydrous, inhibitor-free tetrahydrofuran, followed by the addition of ETT-15 and LiTf. The weight ratios for the polymer/ETT-15/LiTf were 20/10/1, with the final concentration of conjugated polymer being 40 mg ml−1 (ref. 23). The yellow-light-emissive conjugated polymers were dissolved in anhydrous, inhibitor-free tetrahydrofuran, followed by the addition of ETT-15, Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and LiTf. The weight ratios for the polymer/ETT-15/PEO/LiTf were 20/2/2/1, with the final concentration of the conjugated polymer being 3.5 mg ml−1 (ref. 6). The aligned CNT sheet was finally wrapped around the polymer-coated stainless steel wire to produce the fibre-shaped PLEC26 (for the synthesis of the CNT sheet see Supplementary Section ‘Synthesis of spinnable carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays’). The procedure for measuring the brightness is shown schematically in Supplementary Fig. 25 and is described further in theSupplementary Section ‘Calculation of luminance of the fibre-shaped polymer light-emitting electrochemical cell (PLEC)’. For convenience of characterization, the ends of two electrodes were connected to indium by an ultrasonic soldering mate (USM-V, Kuroda Techno).

The Light Emitting Fabric

Monday, March 23, 2015

Future farming a technology utilization

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) filming a combine harvester in wheat field in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France.

 Today’s agriculture has transformed into a high-tech enterprise that most 20th-century farmers might barely recognize.
After all, it was only around 100 years ago that farming in the U.S. transitioned from animal power to combustion engines. Over the past 20 years the global positioning system (GPS), electronic sensors and other new tools have moved farming even further into a technological wonderland.
Beyond the now de rigeur air conditioning and stereo system, a modern large tractor’s enclosed cabin includes computer displays indicating machine performance, field position and operating characteristics of attached machinery like seed planters.
And as amazing as today’s technologies are, they’re just the beginning. Self-driving machinery and flying robots able to automatically survey and treat crops will become commonplace on farms that practice what’s come to be called precision agriculture.
The ultimate purpose of all this high-tech gadgetry is optimization, from both an economic and an environmental standpoint. We only want to apply the optimal amount of any input (water, fertilizer, pesticide, fuel, labor) when and where it’s needed to efficiently produce high crop yields.

Global positioning gives hyperlocal info

GPS provides accurate location information at any point on or near the earth’s surface by calculating your distance from at least three orbiting satellites at once. So farming machines with GPS receivers are able to recognize their position within a farm field and adjust operation to maximize productivity or efficiency at that location.
Take the example of soil fertility. The farmer uses a GPS receiver to locate preselected field positions to collect soil samples. Then a lab analyzes the samples, and creates a fertility map in a geographic information system. That’s essentially a computer database program adept at dealing with geographic data and mapping. Using the map, a farmer can then prescribe the amount of fertilizer for each field location that was sampled. Variable-rate technology (VRT) fertilizer applicators dispense just exactly the amount required across the field. This process is an example of what’s come to be known as precision agriculture.

Info, analysis, tools

Precision agriculture requires three things to be successful. It needs site-specific information, which the soil-fertility map satisfies. It requires the ability to understand and make decisions based on that site-specific information. Decision-making is often aided by computer models that mathematically and statistically analyze relationships between variables like soil fertility and the yield of the crop.
Finally, the farmer must have the physical tools to apply the management decisions. In the example, the GPS-enabled VRT fertilizer applicator serves this purpose by automatically adjusting its rate as appropriate for each field position. Other examples of precision agriculture involve varying the rate of planting seeds in the field according to soil type and using sensors to identify the presence of weeds, diseases, or insects so that pesticides can be applied only where needed.
Examples of remote sensing in agriculture, top to bottom: vegetation density, water deficit and crop stress.
Site-specific information goes far beyond maps of soil conditions and yield to include even satellite pictures that can indicate crop health across the field. Such remotely sensed images are also commonly collected from aircraft. Now unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) can collect highly detailed images of crop and field characteristics. These images, whether analyzed visually or by computer, show differences in the amount of reflected light that can then be related to plant health or soil type, for example. Clear crop-health differences in images – diseased areas appear much darker in this case – have been used to delineate the presence of cotton root rot, a devastating and persistent soilborne fungal disease. Once disease extent is identified in a field, future treatments can be applied only where the disease exists. Advantages of UAVs include relatively low cost per flight and high image detail, but the legal framework for their use in agriculture remains under development.

Let’s automate

Automatic guidance, whereby a GPS-based system steers the tractor in a much more precise pattern than the driver is capable of a tremendous success story. Safety concerns currently limit completely driverless capability to smaller machines. Fully autonomous or robotic field machines have begun to be employed in small-scale high profit-margin agriculture such as wine grapes, nursery plants and some fruits and vegetables.
Autonomous machines can replace people performing tedious tasks, such as hand-harvesting vegetables. They use sensor technologies, including machine vision that can detect things like location and size of stalks and leaves to inform their mechanical processes. Japan is a trend leader in this area. Typically, agriculture is performed on smaller fields and plots there, and the country is an innovator in robotics. But autonomous machines are becoming more evident in the U.S., particularly in California where much of the country’s specialty crops are grown.
The development of flying robots gives rise to the possibility that most field-crop scouting currently done by humans could be replaced by UAVs with machine vision and hand-like grippers. Many scouting tasks, such as for insect pests, require someone to walk to distant locations in a field, grasp plant leaves on representative plants and turn them over to see the presence or absence of insects. Researchers are developing technologies to enable such flying robots to do this without human involvement.

Breeding + sensors + robots

High-throughput plant phenotyping (HTPP) is an up-and-coming precision agriculture technology at the intersection of genetics, sensors and robotics. It is used to develop new varieties or “lines” of a crop to improve characteristics such as nutritive content and drought and pest tolerance. HTPP employs multiple sensors to measure important physical characteristics of plants, such as height; leaf number, size, shape, angle, color, wilting; stalk thickness; number of fruiting positions. These are examples of phenotypic traits, the physical expression of what a plant’s genes code for. Scientists can compare these measurements to already-known genetic markers for a particular plant variety.
The sensor combinations can very quickly measure phenotypic traits on thousands of plants on a regular basis, enabling breeders and geneticists to decide which varieties to include or exclude in further testing, tremendously speeding up further research to improve crops.

Just another day on the future farm?

Agricultural production has come so far in even the past couple decades that it’s hard to imagine what it will look like in a few more. But the pace of high-tech innovations in agriculture is only increasing. Don’t be surprised if, 10 years from now, you drive down a rural highway and see a very small helicopter flying over a field, stopping to descend into the crop, use robotic grippers to manipulate leaves, cameras and machine vision to look for insects, and then rise back above the crop canopy and head toward its next scouting location. All with nary a human being in sight.

The technology is future of farming

Friday, March 20, 2015

Google new patent application for wearable technology
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office / Via appft.uspto.gov
A side view of Google's wearable and the magnetic nanoparticles inside the bloodstream.
Google's plans for a wearable that would zap harmful particles in the body are shaping up.
In a recently issued patent application, Google provided details on a novel medical that would involve sending tiny magnetic particles into patients' bloodstreams. The magnetic particles, activated by a smart wristband, would attack cancer cells and pathogens linked to other diseases. The patent was filed in September 2013 by Andrew Conrad, head of Google's life sciences division.
The patent appears similar to a treatmentGoogle described in October, but the company did not immediately return BuzzFeed News' requests for confirmation.
A patient would first inject, ingest, inhale, or absorb tiny magnetic particles into their bloodstream. These nanoparticles, as they're also known, would be designed to selectively bind with or recognize the targeted molecules. For example, they might be designed to stick to proteins that appear to foster the development of Parkinson's disease, according to documents.
The patient would wear a wristband a few millimeters from an artery or vein, although it could also be worn on the ankle, waist, chest, or elsewhere on the body, according to the patent. The device would then transmit energy, such as a radio frequency pulse, that would cause the magnetic particles to vibrate and heat up, and destroy or handicap the targeted pathogen.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office / Via appft.uspto.gov
What the wearable looks like from the bottom and top.
While it sounds wild, Google isn't one to shy away from ideas straight out of science fiction. Researchers in its experimental lab, Google[x], are also cooking up driverless cars, a smart contact lens for diabetics, and a network of high-altitude balloons that provide internet access. And like all of those projects, the nanoparticle treatment would have to clear a litany of technical and regulatory hurdles before it became reality. A product that doctors could use is at least five years away, industry experts have said.
The wearable, as described in the patent, wouldn't just zap pathogens. It could also include sensors for measuring blood pressure, pulse rate, and skin temperature. It'd also display the time and date — as if this were just another ordinary watch.

Googles wearable to zap cancer

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ethics of embryo editing

(Published @Nature)
Research that uses powerful gene-editing techniques on human embryos needs to be restricted, scientists agree — but they are split over why.
Some say that if safety fears can be allayed, such applications could have a bright future, and could help to eradicate devastating diseases. Others say that modifying the DNA of embryos, which means that the changes could be passed on to future generations, is an ethical line that should not be crossed.

The concerns are laid out in an article1 published in Nature on 12 March and in one expected to appear in Science, amid suspicions that scientists have already edited the genes of human embryos
Gene-editing techniques use enzymes called nucleases to snip DNA at specific points and then delete or rewrite the genetic information at those locations. Most recently, excitement has focused on a technique called CRISPR/Cas9, which is particularly easy to use. Current applications of the technology are in non-reproductive, or somatic, cells: for example, Sangamo BioSciences of Richmond, California, has used zinc-finger nucleases, an older gene-editing technology, to remove a gene from white-blood cells that encodes the receptor to which HIV binds to enter the cells.
But concerns focus on the use of gene editing to modify the genomes of eggs and fertilized eggs — a process known as germline modification.
Edward Lanphier, president of Sangamo and chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine in Washington DC, together with colleagues from both organizations, wrote the Comment article1 inNature calling on scientists not to modify human embryos, even in research. The authors warn that such work could be exploited for “non-therapeutic modifications” — to change a child’s eye colour, for example — and that a public outcry about such an “ethical breach” could hinder the use of gene editing in somatic cells.
They also have more basic objections. “We are humans, not transgenic rats,” says Lanphier. “We believe there is a fundamental ethical issue in crossing the boundary to modifying the human germ line.”
George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, agrees that there should be a moratorium on embryo editing, but only “until safety issues are cleared up and there is general consensus that it is OK”. Church, along with a group of scientists who met in Napa, California, in January to discuss the ethics and potential of the procedure, authored the piece for publication in Science detailing their concerns.
One concern is that nucleases could make mutations at locations other than those targeted, potentially causing disease. Church says that gene editing in animals is likely to reveal how to understand and avoid this complication. In one application, his group is editing genes related to the immune system in pig embryos to ‘humanize’ them, potentially allowing the pig’s organs to be transplanted into people.
Other indications of safety will come from trials on somatic cells. Sangamo has already demonstrated the safety of its modified white-blood cells in a clinical trial of people with HIV2.
Church sees no fundamental problem with editing the germ line — he notes that even the somatic-cell therapies are still a form of artificial modification. He compares gene editing in embryos to in vitrofertilization, which people objected to until it was shown to be safe.
“In the distant future, I could imagine that altered germ lines would protect humans against cancer, diabetes and other age-related problems,” says Nobel-prizewinning geneticist Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts in Worcester. In the nearer term, “there could be good reason to experiment with discarded embryos or embryonic stem cells for research purposes”, he says.
But Lanphier says that for most cases in which parents carry disease-causing genes, not all of a couple’s embryos will carry the faulty gene. Existing technology can be used to genetically screen and select healthy embryos before transplantation into the uterus, negating the need for permanent germline repair. “There are almost always alternatives,” he says.
Church, however, says that for the growing number of known cases in which several genes are involved in a disease, most embryos need to be discarded. Editing would greatly increase the odds of getting a healthy embryo.
Dana Carroll, a geneticist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City who was at the Napa meeting, says that a national agency such as the US National Academy of Sciences should convene a conference that includes medical professionals and the interested public to weigh up the positive and negative aspects of germline editing. They had better hurry: several researchers who do not want to be named told Nature’s news team that papers describing such work are currently being considered for publication in journals.
Carroll also cites the importance of educating the next generation of physicians about gene editing. “They should be learning now what the technology is able to do and what the social, as well as clinical, concerns are.”

Design your own baby

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Activating Voice Call On Whatsapp

WhatsApp's voice calling feature is now available to all Android users. The world's most popular messaging app with over 700 million monthly active users only introduced this feature recently and rolled it out gradually to its Android users. If you are not an Android user, you'll just have to wait a little longer to get this feature. But if you use Android, and haven't yet activated voice calling on WhatsApp, what are you waiting for?

The process isn't as simple as updating WhatsApp to start using the voice calling features. It involves a couple more steps that you need to follow. We've described these below, so take a look to enable voice calling on WhatsApp for Android.
  1. Download the latest version of WhatsApp for Android from here. The latest version on WhatsApp's website is 2.12.7, but if you're downloading from Google Play, ensure that your device has version 2.11.561. Older versions don't support this feature for all users.
  2. Once you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on your Android phone, ask someone who has WhatsApp calling enabled to make a WhatsApp call to your number.
  3. Multiple users have reported that giving a missed call doesn't work. You'll have to receive the call and wait for a few seconds before disconnecting to activate WhatsApp voice calling.
  4. When the feature is enabled on your smartphone, you'll see a new three-tab layout on WhatsApp, one each for Calls, Chats and Contacts.

How To Activate WhatsApp Voice Calling?

Lollipope Memory Leak Fix

It seems one of the bugs that plagued Android 5.0 Lollipop is still haunting some users who recently updated to Android 5.1 Lollipop, the first major update to Android Lollipop.

Some users have reported a memory leak issue in the Android 5.1 update that causes apps to crash and even fills device's memory.

The "Memory leak still present on Android 5.1" issue was reported last week on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) issue tracker by some users.

One of the users wrote on the issue tracker, "I woke up this morning and noticed that Gmail was laggy. I checked the RAM and it reported 800MB used. I cleared all open apps and it still the same. Restart [fixed] it of course. This was the only fix that I was looking forward to in the 5.1 update. So disappointed." The memory leak issue seems to be affecting limited devices such as Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 6, as can be seen on the issue tracker.

Google in no time acknowledged the memory leak issue in Android 5.1 Lollipop, and aproject member said, "This has been fixed internally. We do not currently have a timeline for public release." We can expect another incremental update to the Android 5.1 (possibly Android 5.1.1) to be released in the coming days or weeks.

The memory leak issue in Android 5.0 Lollipop was first reported back in November last year and a Google project member in December marked the issue for 'Future Release'that seemingly confirmed that the company was unable to roll out a fix for this particular bug even with the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update. Considering that users who recently updated to Android 5.1 Lollipop are still reporting the issue, it is confirmed that the memory leak issue still occurs.

Google starting last week announced the Android 5.1 Lollipop update that introduced some new features such as support for multiple SIM cards, Device Protection and HD voice on compatible devices with the update.

Android 5.1 Lollipop Memory Leak Issue Fixed Internally, Says Google

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Miracle Juice

Juice prepared from apple, beetroot and carrot has gained the name of being miracle drink due to the innumerable advantages which can be benefited from both brain and body. The name this drink has acquired is all due to the several advantages, this was discovered by Chinese Herbalists who have found this to be helpful in treatment of lung cancer and several other diseases.

The magical benefits this drink gives has helped this drink in becoming popular throughout the nation for which there is a need only to get apples, carrots and beetroots all of which have to be put in a juicer to extract juice from them but will not have to be stored instead should be consumed immediately after it is prepared.

Juice Recipe

There is no need to follow some strict quantities to prepare this juice instead it can be prepared as per the taste which might even require addition of either more carrots or apples, for those who want best out of this juice should mix equal quantities of these ingredients to which lime juice can be added making it better option than sugar.

Health Benefits and medicinal value of Miracle Juice

This juice is so nutritious only due to the presence of two vegetables and one fruit which is full of several lifesaving antioxidants, apple is full of Vitamins like A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K along with nutrients like Folate, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Sodium and Iron. While carrots are known to have vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and K along with Niacin and Pantothenic Acid supported by minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and Selenium. Maximum advantage can be gained from carrots in their juice form rather than the vegetable eaten directly.
Beetroot is a vegetable which is known to help the heart in prevention of any cardiovascular diseases which are full of nutrients like Vitamin A, C, B-complex, iron, copper, magnesium and potassium along with several anti-aging agents.
Combination of these three is enough to provide the body with all the necessary nutrients to keep the body going throughout the day apart from which they also are known to provide long lasting benefits to the body health. Some of the advantages which can be gained from this juice include:

1.    This drink few years ago was suggested to those who have been suffering from lung cancer for which it is necessary to drink this for 3 months continuously after which it has been found that they have completely healed from this life taking disease. This drink is not just limited to lung cancer but also is known to treat all types of cancer by restricting the growth of cells which can lead to cancer.

2.    This juice is known to be perfect choice for development of various organ’s health like kidney, liver and pancreas saving them from various problems which also helps in strengthening of heart and lungs.

3.    It is already known that this miracle drink consists of beetroot which is known to look after the health of heart along with presence of carrot which is known to help in promotion of heart health with compounds like alpha and beta carotenes and lutein. When all the goodness from these both vegetables is mixed with apple aids in keeping the cholesterol levels down and having a control on the blood pressure also acting like a shield in front of heart from diseases.

4.    There are many who state that this miracle drink will also help in keeping the skin without any spots, pimples and also extending the time during which the skin keeps on ageing. Younger and fresh skin that is dream of many can be easily acquired by one glass of this miracle drink daily.

5.    This juice is also said to improve the entire digestive system in the body that protects stomach health saving it from ulcers, controlling the bowel movements and relieving chronic constipation.

6.    This is the best drink which will help in providing brain with all the necessary nutrients which in turn increases the memory and helps in proper functioning of brain.
7.    This works great even for the eyes and is suggestible exclusively for those who are forced to work on computer for several hours which might result in drying up of eyes, irritation and tiredness.

8.    This juice also works great in enhancing the immunity system at the same time safeguarding the body from different types of allergies, this works even in curing any sort of throat infections.

9.    This miracle drink is also known to detoxify the liver and blood purification thereby helping in increment of red blood cells production.

10. Women suffering with too much pain during menstrual cycle can also go with this drink since it is known to relieve from any such pains and cramps apart from this it is said to relieve pain from any sort of activities which might also include physical activities.

11. This is also said to work wonders for those who are looking to lose some weight at the same time giving necessary energy without putting on additional calories.

In order to get maximum benefit from this miracle drink it is suggested to take it on empty stomach that too early in the morning and one hour after its consumption people can go ahead with their regular breakfast. But this does not have to be restricted only once but can even be take twice every day in the evening before 5 pm which may change from one person to another.
This drink can be taken for one month continuously or even 3 months for this drink to work effectively  making it part of diet to get benefit for longer duration

Health Benefit Of Miracle Juice

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Airborne internet Titan by Goole is about to tested

Google’s ambitious plans to provide Internet access to remote areas via solar-powered drones are getting ready to take off.
Titan Aerospace, the drone-maker acquired last year by Google to help realize the project, recently applied for and received two licenses from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to run tests over the next six month

The licenses, which are valid from March 8 until September 5, don’t give away much because Google has asked the FCC to keep many of the details confidential for commercial reasons, but they reveal the tests will take place inside a 1,345 square kilometer (520 square mile) area to the east of Albuquerque. The area includes the town of Moriarty, where Titan Aerospace is headquartered and conducts its research and development work.

The drone experiments are one of two projects at Google to deliver Internet from the skies.
The other, called Project Loon, involves the use of high-altitude balloons and is already well underway.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona earlier this month, Google’s Sundar Pichai said Project Loon balloons were now successfully staying aloft for as long as six months. Google is working with Vodafone in New Zealand, Telstra in Australia and Telefonica in Latin America to deliver Internet over LTE networks to handsets on the ground.
The drone tests, called “Project Titan,” are envisaged to work alongside the balloons to deliver connectivity to areas that need additional capacity, such as those hit by a natural disaster.
In Barcelona, Pichai said the Titan aircraft would be taking to the skies in the next few months.
Google acquired Titan Aerospace in April 2014 for an undisclosed amount.
While much interest has been focused on its Internet experiments, its aircraft have other possible uses. In dealings with the FCC, Titan describes itself as specializing in “developing solar and electric unmanned aerial systems for a variety of uses (e.g., broadband access in remote areas, environmental monitoring).” In previous communications with the Federal Aviation Administration, prior to its acquisition by Google, it said its aircraft could, in addition to telecoms, provide “surveillance services to public, private and government organizations.

Google's solar-drone Internet tests about to take off

Saturday, March 14, 2015


THE MOST EXCITING Apple announcement this week wasn’t a $10,000 smartwatch or a new, gold-colored MacBook. It was a battery technology that could have major implications for how long all future Apple products last between charges—including your next iPhone.
Apple’s battery breakthrough is already paying dividends in Apple’s super-slender MacBook. In order to achieve that 13.1 mm silhouette—and still deliver reasonable battery life while powering a 12-inch Retina display—the company’s engineers had to develop something entirely new. What they came up with is a terraced battery cell, a unique design that adds 35 percent more battery capacity than would otherwise be achievable.
“It might seem like a low level innovation, but it’s an incredibly clever design,” Jeff Chamberlain, executive director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, told WIRED. In fact, it’s a whole new way of thinking about batteries.
Rethinking the Battery
A typical lithium ion battery “pouch” type cell comprises layers of a thin sheet of aluminum or copper, coatings of a specialized material that can absorb lithium ions, and layers of plastic. Each of these layers is mere microns thick.
What Apple has figured out, according to a patent filed back in early 2012, is how to fit these stacked electrode sheets into any size cell they choose. These different-sized cells can then be stacked on top of one another, allowing its engineers to pack as much battery as possible into any given space.
In order to assemble the terraced battery cells in the MacBook, Apple says it used high speed cameras to take photos of the casing and the battery. This process documents the minute variations in each that occur during real-world production, so that Apple can fit the batteries inside each individual casing with an unprecedented degree of precision.
Apple also—according to what it said during its Monday keynote—tweaked the chemical formula inside the cells. That didn’t have any bearing on the unique battery shape, but by altering the composition, Apple could eke a little bit more efficiency over previous MacBook batteries.
Apple lists the MacBook has achieving up to nine hours of battery life. That may sounds relatively paltry—the 13-inch Air gets 12-hours of battery power—until you consider that it has to push power to a Retina display’s huge number of pixels. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina gets 10 hours of battery life, and the 15-inch model gets eight hours. In a form factor that’s 1.5 pounds lighter and .2 inches thinner (at its thickest point), the MacBook lasts comparably long. That’s impressive, even when you also consider its power-sipping Core M processor.
An Adaptable Innovation
What’s even more exciting, though, is that while the MacBook is the first consumer product to use this new battery technology, we’re sure to see it applied to other iDevices. Apple’s tick-tock upgrade cycle for the iPhone normally leaves minimal hardware changes for the “tock” models (the “S” versions, like the iPhone 4s and 5S). But with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus’s contoured exterior, it’s not a stretch that this year’s S model could include the new battery tech. The beefed up battery design could also easily make its way into the iPad line, and into future MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros (both of which only saw minimal updates during Monday’s event).
Even if we don’t see this tech applied to new products immediately, we will undoubtedly see it at some point. iFixit’s Kyle Wiens says that one of the most important results of this battery innovation is its implications on product design across a whole range of devices.
“It frees the industrial designers to be able to design what they want, and then fit the battery in after the fact, rather than creating the design around the battery,” Wiens told WIRED. Until now, hardware designers have been a slave to the battery size required of a particular device, and forced to build a rectangle, or rounded rectangle, around that.
So, naturally, Apple engineered a new design that frees Jony Ive and team to let their imaginations run wild with possibilities. In addition to the rectangular layers we see in the MacBook, this terraced battery could also theoretically work in circular, triangular, and other shaped spaces. That’s not to say we’re ever going to see a trapezoidal iPad. But at the very least, it enables unconventional thought, like contouring the battery around the spot where the Macbook’s rubberized black feet attach to the notebook (which Apple did).
The redesigned battery also doesn’t sacrifice overall longevity; the new MacBook will survive around 1,000 charges, just like all other Apple laptops. The one caveat would be that this is a proprietary battery, so it will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace yourself, should it wimp out before you’re ready to buy a new notebook. Then again, it’s not like Apple makes it easy to replace your battery anyway.
Eventually, some crazy newinnovation in mobile energy storagewill come along and end all our lithium ion woes. That could be a long way off, though. And the fact that Apple’s not content to sit around waiting for it could end up giving its devices—and you—more battery life relief than you could have imagined

Apple's new battery reveled!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The 1st Annual Translational Microbiome Conference

14th - 15th May 2015

Arrowhead Publishers and Conferences
To be announced
Boston, MA, United States
The 1st Annual Translational Microbiome Conference
Phone number:
Life Sciences
Life Sciences


J. Paul Brooks, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Statistical Sciences and Operations Research, Fellow, Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jim Brown, Ph.D., Director Computational Biology, GlaxoSmithKline
Colleen Cutcliffe, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO, Whole Biome
Jennifer Fettweis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, VCU Lifes Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Project Director, Multi-Omic Microbiome Study-Pregnancy Initiative
Robert Friedman, Ph.D., Vice President for Policy and University Relations, J Craig Venter Institute
Dale Gerding, MD, ViroPharma (now part of Shire Pharmaceuticals)
Audrey Hutchinson, Founder andCEO, Sweet Peach
Jackie Papkoff, Ph.D., VP Immunology Scientific Innovation, Johnson & Johnson California Innovation Center
Joseph Petrosino, Ph.D., Director, Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, Baylor College of Medicine, President and Founder, Metanome
Michael Snyder, Ph.D., Director, Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, (member of the Integrative Human Microbiome Project Research Consortium focused on Type 2 diabetes)
Larry Weiss, MD, Chief Medical Officer, AO Biome
Arrowhead Publishers, LLC is pleased to announce its 1st Annual Translational Microbiome Conference to be held May 14-15, 2015 in Boston.
This Conference will focus on the potential for translational interventions in microbiome research and the challenges the industry will need to address to make this space successful.
Therapeutic areas of research with potential for actionable interventions to be covered at this conference include:
♦ Women's Health
♦ Obesity and Type 2 diabetes
♦ Pulmonology and COPD
♦ Immunology and the Impact of C. diffiicle Infections
♦ Dermatology
♦ Periodontal Disease
Research into the microbiome is still in its infancy and yet has already revealed its potential role in a host of diseases, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, preterm birth and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), as well as numerous connections between the oral microbiome and systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac disease and pancreatic cancer. Reflective of the microbiome’s potential as “the most exciting frontier in medicine,” according to Francis Collins, Director, NIH, are the numerous collaborative research projects underway, such as the Integrative Human Microbiome Project Research Consortium and the Human Microbiome Project, as well as any number of consortia at research institutions as Stanford, Arizona State University and others.
With an increasing awareness that many of our modern diseases are “lifestyle” related and that greater than 50% of current medications do not work for the individuals taking them, research in the microbiome presents a potential opportunity to provide significant preventative treatments, cures, therapies and supplements – with few or no adverse events – for a worldwide audience. Reflective of this trend is the fact that investment opportunities are growing in this area and many companies are rapidly moving towards potential translational work and the introduction of commercial ventures.
But there are numerous challenges and hurdles to be overcome before that value can be fully realized. Building on Arrowhead’s bespoke knowledge developed over the last six years of the very similar issues facing the personalized medicine space, this conference will focus not on pure research but rather on research squarely focused on the potential for translational interventions and the challenges the industry will need to address to make this space successful.

Boston, MA, United States

The 1st Annual Translational Microbiome Conference

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