fastcompany
fastcompany:

"After I read about Google Glass and how we’re going to approach the situation … I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me," he says. I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly. I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense."
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fastcompany:

"After I read about Google Glass and how we’re going to approach the situation … I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me," he says. I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly. I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense."

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Meet baby Grace.

Read more on our site about how researchers at Duke University are using cord blood—from the umbilical cord, once discarded after birth as medical waste—to harvest and grow stem cells that can help treat and even cure diseases. 

And watch Grace, her mom Sara and an amazing scientist, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, all working together to help give Grace the best fighting chance at a full life — airing this Saturday night on aljazeeraamerica

rasputin

rasputin:

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer. 

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range. 

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

Whoa, this is amazing. (Speaking of sniffer dogs, check out these pups.)

This week on “TechKnow,” we go inside an operating room for the third-ever U.S. surgery to implant the Argus II, a sensor placed directly on the retina that can help people see again. 

One bonus to having such a great team of super-smart contributors: Kosta Grammatis once actually designed a prosthetic eye equipped with a camera for a filmmaker.

Learn more on our site, and watch Saturday on aljazeeraamerica.

Meet 18-year-old Petra Grutzik, whose award-winning research with UCLA neuroscientists is just the beginning.

Grutzik is from Manhattan Beach, Calif., and recently was recognized at the 2014 intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her research on a protein called FOXP2 and its link to speech disorders.

FOXP2 is found in both human brains and songbird brains. Songbirds learn to sing through social interaction the way humans learn to talk, and FOXP2 is expressed similarly in both.

With the help of mentor professors from uclaneuroscience, Grutzik conducted research over two years to determine how various levels of this protein affects the quality of communication through speech. 

“When a baby is first born, they cry,” Grutzik explains. “Finches learn how to sing, like we learn how to talk. FOXP2 is involved in speech development in humans and in songbirds. Scientists study FOXP2 in songbirds so they can learn more about it in humans.”

“It is the only single gene that, when mutated, results in a human speech and language disorder,” says UCLA’s Dr. Stephanie White.

“We have excellent undergrads at UCLA,” says Dr. Nancy Day, Grutzik’s mentor at UCLA. “But there’s something special about Petra. We saw it as an excellent opportunity to embrace this eager young woman so that we could not only challenge her but she could challenge us. Petra has infused an energy into the lab that we didn’t have before.”

Grutzik also tapped into her background in robotics to design and build a cage for the finches that was long enough and had two separate chambers in which she could conduct her testing on the birds.  

Read more at our site and watch aljazeeraamerica on Saturday 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT. 

On this week’s “TechKnow,” we work with scientists who are trying to unlock the mysteries of one of the world’s top predators—the tiger shark. 

"A holy grail in shark work is to determine some of these areas using for mating or gestating giving birth," says Dr. Neil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Lab. 

By inserting small tags—about the size of a AA battery—and installing about 30 hydrophones throughout the area of the Bahamas they’re studying, they’ll be able to track the sharks’ ultrasonic signals for seven years. 

For more, go to our site and be sure to watch aljazeeraamerica on Saturday night at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT.

How to wrangle one-ton tiger sharks for scientific research in the open ocean:

1) Insert a pump that pushes oxygenated saltwater through the shark’s gills (and gives her something to bite down on). Run a sonogram, take blood and fin samples, insert tracker.

2) Push her gently back into the water.

3) Let go.

4) Swim for a bit with the shark, petting her back.

For more, visit our site and watch aljazeeraamerica on Saturday at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT.