ADAPTA is an research blog that focuses on the interdisciplinary intersection of projects and phenomena that have the potential to change and improve something, anything, everything.
This project emerges form the conviction that design is action.





Researchers at Brigham Young University have developed a microscopic needle a 100th the size of a human hair, to improve and advance gene therapy practice - video embedded below:

The ability to transfer a gene or DNA sequence from one animal into the genome of another plays a critical role in the medical research of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

But the traditional method of transferring genetic material into a new cell, microinjection, has a serious downside. This method uses a hollow needle to pump a DNA-filled liquid into an egg cell nucleus, but that extra fluid causes the cell to swell and die 40 percent of the time.

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.

More Here

(via prostheticknowledge)

A team of scientists and engineers from carnegie mellon and the university of virginia have developed ‘the drinkable book’, a life saving tool that filters water and teaches proper sanitation and hygiene to those in the developing world. designed by new york-based typographer brian gartside for non-profit organization waterislife, each book is printed on technologically advanced filter paper capable of eliminating deadly waterborne diseases, as it is coated with silver nanoparticles, whose ions actively kill diseases like cholera, typhoid and E.coli.


Micro Robots

SRI International have developed incredibly small and fast robots that are capable of following building instructions - video embedded below:

SRI is developing new technology to reliably control thousands of micro-robots for smart manufacturing of macro-scale products in compact, integrated systems.

sriinternational have a Tumblr blog here


What would you use a drone for?

Gofor is an on-demand drones concept created by Alex Cornell and Phil Mills

The Ooho, created by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Pierre Paslier and Guillaume Couche holds water inside a transparent membrane that can be made in a variety of different sizes. The edible balloon is made using a technique called spherification, a method of shaping liquids into spheres first developed by scientists in 1946, which captured the public imagination when used in recipes at Adria’s restaurant in Spain. (via Edible water bottle uses algae to create biodegradable alternative)

The handle, PullClean, was developed by the British studio Agency of Design for Altitude Medical. It’s a simple column that can be fitted on any pull door, with a blue paddle on bottom that dispenses a dab of hand sanitizer when pushed. The aim, the designers explain, is to “make it so simple that sanitizing becomes habitual every time you open the door.” (via A Hospital Door Handle That Sanitizes Hands With a Touch | Design | WIRED)

Professors John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Igor Efimov of Washington University in St. Louis have developed a new cardiac intervention that uses MRI and CT machines to scan a patient’s heart, 3-D printing a model from that data, and using the print to make a metallic mesh sleeve that can be implanted in the patient’s chest. The result looks like a gold doily and wraps around the heart to detect arrhythmias, deliver corrective electric shocks, and ultimately save lives. (via A Gold Gadget That Would Let You Stop Heart Attacks With a Smartphone | Design | WIRED)


Three-Dimensional Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation

Tech demo of setup able to levitate, control and maneuver small light objects in a 3D space using ultrasound waves, defying gravity - video embedded below:

The essence of levitation technology is the countervailing of gravity. It is known that an ultrasound standing wave is capable of suspending small particles at its sound pressure nodes and, so far, this method has been used to levitate lightweight particles, small creatures, and water droplets.

The acoustic axis of the ultrasound beam in these previous studies was parallel to the gravitational force, and the levitated objects were manipulated along the fixed axis (i.e. one-dimensionally) by controlling the phases or frequencies of bolted Langevin-type transducers. In the present study, we considered extended acoustic manipulation whereby millimetre-sized particles were levitated and moved three-dimensionally by localised ultrasonic standing waves, which were generated by ultrasonic phased arrays. Our manipulation system has two original features. One is the direction of the ultrasound beam, which is arbitrary because the force acting toward its centre is also utilised. The other is the manipulation principle by which a localised standing wave is generated at an arbitrary position and moved three-dimensionally by opposed and ultrasonic phased arrays. We experimentally confirmed that various materials could be manipulated by our proposed method.

More Here

The Distributed Flight Array (DFA) has been developed by a team of researchers at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (IDSC) at ETH Zürich university in Switzerland. Each robot has a 3D-printed hexagonal plastic chassis with magnets fixed to the sides of the frame and a single propeller fitted in the middle. Independently, the honeycomb-shaped robots fly in an erratic and uncontrolled way. However, the robots are able to detect each other, link to form a bigger craft and then fly in a controlled manner as a single unit. The task of keeping the multi-propeller system in flight is distributed across the network of vehicles. Each independent module exchanges information with the others and uses sensors to determine how much thrust it needs for the array to take off and maintain flight.

This fall, MatterPort is releasing a camera that can scan, compile, and make cloud-ready a 3-D model of your house, all in about 45 minutes. “We’re moving towards a world where people can send 3-D realities to each other,” says CEO Matt Bell. The pitch may sound a little New Agey, but with a $3,000 price point and simple iPad interface, the goal is practicality.

Created by Anirudh Sharma, Lirong Liu and Pattie Maes at the MIT Media Lab (Fluid Interfaces Group), Glassified is a modified ruler with a transparent display to supplement physical strokes made on paper with virtual graphics. The goal of the device is to complement rather than replace a typical ruler and since the display is transparent, both the physical strokes and the virtual graphics are visible in the same plane. Digitizer embedded in the ruler captures the pen strokes and updates the graphical overlay, fusing the traditional function of a ruler with the added advantages of a digital, display-based system. The device serves two purposes — to aid the user in drawing straight lines and secondly, it is a tool for taking measurements. Glassified augments both of these functions by means of its transparent, graphical display.

D-printed casts for fractured bones could replace the usual bulky, itchy and smelly plaster or fibreglass ones in this conceptual project by Victoria University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill. The prototype Cortex cast is lightweight, ventilated, washable and thin enough to fit under a shirt sleeve.

The puck-like device is a sleek vital-signs recorder – tracking everything from blood pressure, body temperature and heart rhythm via myriad sensors. The gizmo then beams your vital signs to an app loaded on your phone or tablet, where it’s yours to keep forever. De Brouwer designed the Scanadu Scout to be a DIY doctor’s office, minus the frustration, endless waiting, and lack of empowerment that’s often associated with the health care system.


in fostering an exchange of products and information, ‘hyperlocal market’, an online food exchange platform by london-based designer and 2013 RCA graduate kayleigh thompson encourages the dialogue between buyer and seller, promoting local commerce. the system connects urban growers with fair and professional trade through an interactive website, which works together with a specially designed printer and smartphone application. the program initiates when one becomes a member of the ‘hyperlocal’ community, where users can upload, price and label their products with the app and sell them to a network of registered users.

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