Todd's blog

Spinning Silk into Sensors

Technology Review: Spinning Silk into Sensors:

A simple process turns cocoons into optical devices with biological applications.
By Katherine Bourzac

Fiorenzo Omenetto on the steps of the Tufts bioengineering building, where he makes silk optical devices.
Credit: Porter Gifford

Silkworm cocoons shipped by the boxful from Japan to an optics lab at Tufts University will meet a different fate from those headed to textile factories around the world. Rather than being woven into curtains or clothing, the strong protein fibers that caterpillars once spun around themselves will be used to build optical materials that can serve as the basis for sensors and other devices. Bioengineer Fiorenzo Omenetto, who creates the devices, ultimately hopes to build implantable, biodegradable sensors that could help monitor patients' progress after surgery or track chronic diseases such as diabetes.

See how cocoons are turned into optical devices.

Watch Fiorenzo Omenetto explain his work in silk optics.

(Via Technology Review)

 

The Return of Amateur Science

The Return of Amateur Science: "Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder explains how the natural tinkerers who built the web are starting to hack the world.
Last week, while browsing the Popular Science archives (which recently became available on Google), I noticed that the earlier issues of this 138-year-old magazine contained quite a few articles devoted to amateur science. The 1940s and 1950s were a heyday for basement-based research, with experiments such as making hydrogen gas, building a photomicrographic camera out of a stovepipe, constructing…

(Via GOOD - Blogs)

Scientists try to let the blind 'see' fish

Scientists try to let the blind 'see' fish: "As brightly colored fish dart in and out of the rocks scattered in a small aquarium, a bewildering melody follows each of their movements.
Video here.
(Via USATODAY.com Science and Space - Top Stories)

aerostaticmusic.com relaunch

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Friends Michele Darling and Terry Golob relaunch the website for their aerostatic music project today.

An RSS feed for their news is here.

Todd Thille built the site with Drupal and custom PHP.

Duncan at The Stone, NYC - Dec 9th

Duncan Laurie and David Last will perform "The Secret Music of Plants" at The Stone in NYC on Dec 9th beginning at 10pm.

From The Stone website:

Duncan Laurie (plant interface artist) David Last (plant interpreter)
House plants connected to lie detector equipment produce alien tones.