Nanoinjector Lance Delivers DNA to a Cell

Now a multidisciplinary team of Brigham Young University scientists has developed a way to significantly reduce cell death when introducing DNA into egg cells. The researchers have created a microscopic lance that delivers DNA to the cells through electrical forces.

“Because DNA is naturally negatively charged, it is attracted to the outside of the lance using positive voltage,” said Brian Jensen, BYU professor of mechanical engineering. “Once we insert the lance into a cell, we simply reverse the polarity of the electrical force and the lance releases the DNA.”

Because the lance is 10 times smaller and no extra fluid is used, the cells undergo significantly less stress compared to microinjection, and thus, have a higher survival rate. The researchers describe their “metamorphic nanoinjection” process in an article published today by Review of Scientific Instruments.

http://news.byu.edu/archive14-may-nanoinjector.aspx

Office of Naval Research – Autonomous Swarm

The autonomous Swarm demonstration, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, highlights a first-of-its-kind technology that gives naval warfighters a decisive edge through enabling unmanned Navy vessels to overwhelm an adversary. The demonstration took place on the James River in Virginia during the first two weeks of August, 2014.

Mercedes-Benz Future Truck

From a vision to reality – the spectacular Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 study will be providing a visually exciting and technically feasible take on the long-distance truck of tomorrow at the 2014 International Commercial Vehicle show (IAA). In ten years’ time, trucks could be driving autonomously on motorways. Transport efficiency will increase, traffic will be safer for all road users, and fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will be further reduced. To do this Mercedes-Benz connects existing assistance systems with enhanced sensors to the “Highway Pilot” system. Autonomous driving is already possible at realistic speeds and in realistic motorway traffic situations. The Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 provides a glimpse of the future shape of trucks.

European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft twelve-year journey

This animation tracks Rosetta’s journey through the Solar System, using gravity slingshots from Earth and Mars to reach its final destination: Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta made three flybys of Earth, on 4 March 2005, 13 November 2007 and 13 November 2009, and one of Mars, on 25 February 2007. Rosetta has also visited two asteroids, taking extensive close-up images of 2867 Steins on 5 September 2008 and 21 Lutetia on 10 July 2010. Once the spacecraft is woken up from deep space hibernation on 20 January 2014, it will head for rendezvous with the comet in May. In November the Philae probe will be deployed to the comet surface. Rosetta will follow the comet to its closest distance to the Sun on 13 August 2015 and as it moves back towards the outer Solar System. The nominal mission end is December 2015.
Credits: ESA

The Cubli: a cube that can jump up, balance, and ‘walk’

Reaction wheels rotate at high angular velocities and then brake suddenly, causing the Cubli to jump up.  In addition to balancing, the motor torques can also be used to achieve a controlled fall such that the Cubli can be commanded to fall in any arbitrary direction. Combining these three abilities — jumping up, balancing, and controlled falling — the Cubli is able to ‘walk’.

This amazing work was done at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.