A magnified view of IVN therapeutics on bacteria. The Defense Advanced Research Agency hopes to use nanotechnology to treat diseases and other soldier afflictions, such as traumatic brain injury. (Source: DARPA)
Lots of good stuff underway. I'm hoping that not only does DARPA solve some of these real problems, but that there is some sort of open door between the government-sponsored research and the private sector to cross-pollinate ideas and commercialize some of the more compelling technologies.
Nice article, Elizabeth. Darpa keeps coming up with surprising new technology, much of it, as Beth points out, that can be a big benefit to the civilian world. It looks like Darpa is this generation's Bell Labs.
Another article I've seen this month talked about the hazards of nanotechnology in the textile industry. It called out nano-silver, specifically, breaking down through use and abrasion. The particles released into the skin through sweat are thought to contribute to microbial resistance in humans.
Although different from what DARPA is looking into, it speaks to consumer acceptance. Nanotechnology has been widely embraced in many sectors but we're starting to experience a backlash. Some things moved too quickly to market before more research was complete.
Was there any info about timing? How long are trials expected to last after they choose a project to move forward?
I like the idea of future consumer technology spin-offs from these military developments and tests. My father-in-law just had a harrowing experience with a Sepsis attack that almost took his life. Quick diagnosis saved his life, so I'm hoping that more developments like these can continue to reduce response time to these diseases in the future.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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