What's this? It's a life-size ear, bioengineered from cow and sheep tissue. It may not look like something you'd want to have sticking out of your head. Nevertheless, its geometry is closer to life than a previous effort at bioengineering an outer ear, its creators say. In 1997, a team of surgeons from the Children's Hospital in Boston earned fame for engineering a small ear and implanting it in a mouse.
Routine questions for the makers of desktop 3-D printers: "what do you do with this thing?" and "why would you want one?" A study from Michigan Technical University answered that with some math: the researchers found that you could recoup the up-front cost of a 3-D printer in less than a year. The researchers used a RepRap printer and printed about 20 household items, from shower rings to iPhone cases, and found that the total cost of materials was about $18.
In the surge of energy of solar flares, physicists have now detected antimatter particles streaming away from the sun. Researchers already knew that the reactions that fuel the sun create antimatter particles called positrons, among other particles. However, this is the first time the sun's positrons have been detected in this way, according to the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Since 2008, Dr. Mark Post has been working on growing edible meat in a laboratory. Today, at an event in London, the first in-vitro hamburger has been served. Muscle stem cells were taken from a cow's shoulder in a gentle biopsy and grown in serum, with micro-exercise so they wouldn't be flabby. 20,000 cells were then assembled into a burger, bound with bread crumbs and egg (but curiously no salt), colored with beet juice and saffron, and presented to the public.
Experimental setups for letting paralyzed people communicate usually work by measuring brainwaves, so they can be pretty invasive for patients. For many, it's probably well worth the effort, but one team of researchers thinks there's a better and cheaper way. A team of brain scientists from Europe, Australia and the U.S. has demonstrated that some people with locked-in syndrome are able to answer yes-or-no questions by widening their pupils.