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Henry Sapiecha

BODY PARTS GROWN ON DEMAND WITH NO REJECTION FACTOR

At the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Anthony Atala’s lab is the largest in the world “manufacturing” body parts. We’re not talking about prosthetics here, and not robotics – this is growing new, living organs – and they are yours – made up of identical tissue found in the rest of your body. Growing a finger from the ground up: layering cartilage, bone, then muscle. A beating, engineered heart valve that’s learning how to pump blood before it’s implanted. It’s regenerative medicine and the goal is to help the tens of thousands of people worldwide waiting for organ transplants. In Pittsburgh, Dr. Steven Badylak has discovered a compound that tricks the body into repairing itself, much like the body knows how to do when it’s in the womb. The U.S. military has invested $250 million in regenerative research aimed at helping soldiers with severe battle injuries, regrowing muscle and skin for burn injuries, as well as transplant technology for lost limbs.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

DARPA asks the public to design

a new combat support vehicle

By Darren Quick

The XC2V must be designed around the tubular chassis found in the Local Motors Rally Fight...

The XC2V must be designed around the tubular chassis found in the Local Motors Rally Fighter

In an effort to streamline the design and build process for manufacturing military vehicles, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is enlisting the “power of the crowd”. Through the Experimental Crowd-derived Combat-support Vehicle (XC2V) Design Challenge, which asks entrants to conceptualize a vehicle body design for combat reconnaissance and combat delivery & evacuation, the agency is looking to pick the brains of not only armed service members and engineers, but also members of the public and others that usually have no way to contribute to military design.

The challenge is being conducted with Local Motors, a Phoenix-based company that lets a community of car designers and engineers collaborate on designing cars, which can then be bought and built in regional micro-factories. Local Motors’ first “open source” production vehicle is the Rally Fighter, which was developed in 2008 using a crowd-sourced process. The XC2V design submissions must be based on the lightweight, tubular steel chassis and the General Motors LS3 V8 powertrain found in that vehicle.

Budding designers must also devise a vehicle that meets two mission sets – combat delivery and evacuation and combat reconnaissance. To meet the requirements of combat delivery and evacuation missions, the judges will be looking for flexible vehicle body designs that allow supplies, people and equipment to be transported around a potentially hostile battlefield in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

Meanwhile, in terms of combat reconnaissance, the vehicle must also be light and fast with the capability to mount sighting systems on the exterior and space inside to stow items such as camouflage and ammunition so it is easily accessible.

To help make the mission requirements easier to understand for those without a military background, DARPA has provided four different fictitious scenarios that illustrate how the vehicle might be used in different missions. DARPA and Local Motors will also provide feedback to competitors as submissions are received

Local Motors is accepting design submissions until March 3, 2010, which can be as simple as a sketch on a piece of paper or as detailed as a 3D CAD file. However, the submission must include a profile view, front/rear/Combo view and top (half or full) view.

Once the submissions are assessed, those that meet the competition requirements will be put to a vote on March 3 to 10, with anybody able to cast their vote on the designs, meaning that not only the designs, but the winner that is being crowd-derived.

Third place will be awarded US$1,000, second place $1,500, while first place will take home $7,500 and will get to see their vision become a reality as soon as June when a fully functional concept vehicle based on the winning design is due to be ready.

Entrants must be over 18 with full competition details and entry guidelines available at Local Motors’ website.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Ten intriguing Apple patents

to get excited about

January 20, 2011 – 11:08AM

This post was originally published on Mashable.com

Apple was granted 563 patents in 2010, some of which will show up in future products and might well change the consumer technology landscape just like the iPod, iPhone, App Store and now the iPad have.

Apple patent expert Jack Purcher of Patently Apple has been monitoring the company’s patents since 2006. Mashable asked him why he thought Apple is such an innovative company.

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“Many have asked me why I think that Apple is more innovative than others. I usually answer that question the same way each time,” says Purcher. “I’m not sure that they are on a technical level. The difference is that Apple has an inspired leader and CEO who, for decades, has had a real vision of where technology should go.”

Mashable has taken a look at some of Apple’s recent patent applications to see what exciting developments might be in store for the future – as any one of these patents could be the next step in Steve Jobs’s master plan or vision. As Purcher puts it:

“Jobs’s vision for the digital lifestyle a decade ago is still on a roll. It’s innovation at its finest. But it began with a vision – and that’s the difference.”

1. iBike

Apple’s smart bike concept is like the Nike+ running system, but for those on two wheels. In addition to seeing pertinent data from you (heart rate, etc.) and the bike (speed, distance, etc.) on your iPod or iPhone, the system could be used as a tool for group communication when biking with others.

2. Wand remote

2. Wand Remote

Is gesture control the next big thing to follow touch? It seems Apple might think so with this patent for the Apple TV that sees the home entertainment gadget shipped with a Wiimote-like motion controller. Besides managing the on-screen cursor via movement, the “remote wand” could be used to browse through and control media.

3. Solar-powered iPhone

Is gesture control the next big thing to follow touch? It seems Apple might think so with this patent for the Apple TV that sees the home entertainment gadget shipped with a Wiimote-like motion controller. Besides managing the on-screen cursor via movement, the “remote wand” could be used to browse through and control media.
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3. Solar-Powered iPhone

Apple has come up with a way – in theory anyway – of adding solar tech to its portable devices without spoiling the all-important aesthetics. By integrating the photocells into the touchscreen, future iPods, iPads and iPhones could soak up the power of the sun via their displays, making for greener gadgetry.

4. Touchscreen iMac

Apple has come up with a way — in theory anyway — of adding solar tech to its portable devices without spoiling the all-important aesthetics. By integrating the photocells into the touchscreen, future iPods, iPads and iPhones could soak up the power of the sun via their displays, making for greener gadgetry.
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4. Touchscreen iMac

This clever concept gives the desktop PC iPad-esque functionality. While the monitor is upright, it’s a common iMac running Apple’s full operating system controlled with a mouse, but flip it horizontally and it switches to the iOS and the touch controls take over.

5. iKey

This clever concept gives the desktop PC iPad-esque functionality. While the monitor is upright, it’s a common iMac running Apple’s full operating system controlled with a mouse, but flip it horizontally and it switches to the iOS and the touch controls take over.
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Chances are your iPhone has already replaced your compact camera, MP3 player and handheld gaming console, but Apple could take the convergence a step further and replace your keys. The Cupertino company has patented the idea that your iPhone could unlock your car and home with a proximity-based PIN code system.

6. iHeadset

Chances are your iPhone has already replaced your compact camera, MP3 player and handheld gaming console, but Apple could take the convergence a step further and replace your keys. The Cupertino company has patented the idea that your iPhone could unlock your car and home with a proximity-based PIN code system.
5. iKey
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6. iHeadset

This is one patent we could definitely see coming to market. Apple has designed a Bluetooth headset with standalone media playback functionality. This could well be a future version of the iPod Shuffle – small, wearable and, thanks to the Bluetooth features, multi-tasking.

7. Shareable apps

This is one patent we could definitely see coming to market. Apple has designed a Bluetooth headset with standalone media playback functionality. This could well be a future version of the iPod Shuffle — small, wearable and, thanks to the Bluetooth features, multi-tasking.
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How would you like to be able to beam your latest App Store download to a buddy? Apple has come up with the idea of an “application seed” system whereby developers could choose to make their apps shareable via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It’s a fantastic concept for content providers who are looking to spread the word as far and wide as possible. Additionally, trial version options could be a great word-of-mouth money maker.

8. Video game comic books

How would you like to be able to beam your latest App Store download to a buddy? Apple has come up with the idea of an “application seed” system whereby developers could choose to make their apps shareable via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It’s a fantastic concept for content providers who are looking to spread the word as far and wide as possible. Additionally, trial version options could be a great word-of-mouth money maker.
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If you want to relive that last level of Mass Effect that you aced, Apple might offer a way to do so in the future. This unusual patent allows you to describe your progress through a video game, record it, and then turn it into a book or e-book in comic style.

9. Magnetic lenses

If you want to relive that last level of Mass Effect that you aced, Apple might offer a way to do so in the future. This unusual patent allows you to describe your progress through a video game, record it, and then turn it into a book or e-book in comic style.
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iPhotography is hot, and its potential is limited only by hardware restrictions. Although Apple has steadily improved the iPhone’s camera, it’s still just a point-and-shooter. This patent describes a way of enhancing a portable device’s camera functionality with a magnetic zoom or macro lens attachments.

10. MacBooks with built-in projectors

iPhotography is hot, and its potential is limited only by hardware restrictions. Although Apple has steadily improved the iPhone’s camera, it’s still just a point-and-shooter. This patent describes a way of enhancing a portable device’s camera functionality with a magnetic zoom or macro lens attachments.
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This exciting idea could see future Apple laptops coming with built-in projectors. Just think how handy it would be to be able to share what’s on your laptop screen – whether that’s a movie or a presentation – with a group of others by simply clicking a mouse.

Spourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

High-tech gadgets

dressed up to look old

Roy Furchgott

December 24, 2010

Clockwise from top left, the U.S.B typewriter, the Yeti THX-certified microphone, the BookBook MacBook Pro case, the Crosley portable U.S.B. turntable, the ThinkGeek Bluetooth handset and the Surround-sound X-Tube.Clockwise from top left, the U.S.B typewriter, the Yeti THX-certified microphone, the BookBook MacBook Pro case, the Crosley portable U.S.B. turntable, the ThinkGeek Bluetooth handset and the Surround-sound X-Tube.

This has been a great year for the next new electronic thing. The iPad, new iPhone, the Nexus S, HTC Evo and other Android phones, the Kindle 3 and Microsoft’s Kinect caught the eye of consumers.

But some people prefer their next new thing to look like an old thing. So what’s the appeal of the latest electronics wrapped in a retro design, like full-size jukeboxes that are really $US4000 iPod docks and manual typewriters reconfigured to work as USB keyboards? Has anyone ever said, “It’s a nice Ferrari, but it would be cooler if it looked like a covered wagon?”

There are theories: The throwback designs make challenging technology seem familiar. For the technically proficient, an old phone handset that connects to a cell phone seems comically ironic. Retro designs can also give a sense of permanence to disposable devices. Some of it is art.

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An example of the phenomena is a manual typewriter refashioned as a computer keyboard. Jack Zylkin of Philadelphia made one as a novel way for people to sign in when visiting Hive76, a Philadelphia communal studio for electronics tinkerers. “I thought it would be kind of a lark,” he said. “I didn’t realise there was such demand for them.” Now he is turning out several typewriters a week, with a two- to three-week lead time for new orders.

Zylkin says he starts with a typewriter that has been refurbished by a retired Remington salesman, then wires it with a sensor board that recognizes when a key is pressed. It leads to a USB plug that makes the typewriter work like any computer keyboard. Even if the type bar doesn’t hit the platen, a computer will recognize the input, but if you bang the keys hard enough you can make an old-school hard copy on paper while a computer also records your keystrokes.

The typewriters sell for $US600 to $US900 at the website Etsy, although it is $US400 if you supply your own typewriter. If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can buy Zylkin’s do-it-yourself conversion kit for $US70.

A variation of this theme of fashioning the old into new relies on the smart design of the old Western Electric Bell telephones. Consider the handset. Unlike today’s telephone earpieces and cabled headphone and mic arrangements, the large handset put the speaker over the ear and the microphone next to the mouth so bystanders weren’t forced to listen to bellowed phone conversations.

The gadget purveyors ThinkGeek have taken that old handset and added Bluetooth so you can have some privacy while connected wirelessly to a mobile phone. The $US25 handset can transmit and receive at a distance of about 30 feet from your phone.

Crosley Radio has been making the old new again since the early 1980s when a group of investors bought a discarded radio brand and started cranking out replica radios. The company has replica Wurlitzer-style jukeboxes that play music from CDs or iPods. “What really rolls out the door is the turntables, that has been a runaway train,” said James P. LeMastus, president of Crosley.

The company has had a hit with the Crosley AV Room Portable USB turntable, made exclusively for the youth-oriented clothing chain Urban Outfitters.

The $US160 portable player has built-in speakers and an amp, and a USB connection so it can be used with a computer to turn songs on vinyl records into MP3s. The company makes about 25 styles of turntables, some with iPod docks and CD and cassette tape players and recorders. They can be found at stores including Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and online.

The Yeti from Blue Microphones may look like something from the golden age of radio, but it is the first THX-certified microphone, meaning it is capable of high-fidelity reproduction. While it looks as if it belongs on the desk of Walter Winchell, it has three built-in miniature mics that can capture sound three ways: from just in front of the mic, in stereo or from an entire room.

The Yeti works on PCs and Macs and requires no software drivers to work, although there is a free recording program for it in the iTunes store. Good enough to record your band’s demo, the $150 mic is also popular with podcasters and VoiP users who want to sound as smooth as Orson Wells.

The X-Tube looks like a vacuum tube from inside an old radio that would have broadcast Wells. It’s really a small processor that plugs into a computer through a USB connection to produce surround sound for headphones. The warm glow? A blue LED light.

The device processes DTS Surround Sensation software to alter the volume of certain frequencies and add delays to some sounds, all psychoacoustic tricks to fool the brain into perceiving sound as coming not just from left and right, but from the front and back as well. The device, which comes with over-the-ear headphones, isn’t easy to find in the United States, but can be ordered from Japan for about $US95.

Sometimes, retro designers cloak the electronics in something other than older electronics. Makers of laptop covers usually brag about the high-tech materials they use: high-impact plastics, advanced neoprenes or carbon fiber. Twelve South brags that its MacBook Pro and iPad cases use old-fashioned bookbinding technology. The covers are leather-bound and distressed to look like a collectible volume. The cases have a hard cover on top and bottom, with a zipper around the center to keep your computer secure.

The BookBook covers are priced at $US80 to $US100, depending on the size of your computer. The company says the covers disguise the device inside and could deter thieves — unless they know that many collectible books are worth far more than the next new thing.

The New York Times

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


ThumbDrive inventor out to prove

he is no one-hit wonder

Bernice Tan

December 14, 2010

Henn Tan, chairman of Trek 2000 International posing in front of the company's signage in Singapore.Henn Tan, chairman of Trek 2000 International posing in front of the company’s signage in Singapore. Photo: AFP

Henn Tan could have ruled the global market in what became the ubiquitous USB flash drive that helped consign the floppy disk to the dustbin of technological history.

But his grip on the ThumbDrive slipped and the market was flooded with a myriad of brands for the handy memory device which could be small enough to dangle on a key ring.

Now the Singaporean entrepreneur hopes to prove he was no one-hit wonder.

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This photo shows various thumb drives displayed at the office of Trek 2000 International in Singapore.This photo shows various thumb drives displayed at the office of Trek 2000 International in Singapore. Photo: AFP

Tan, who holds the patent for the compact data storage device in over 30 markets and the global trademark for the ThumbDrive brand, now has a firmer hold on another invention with a rather unusual name.

The FluCard – a postage stamp-size storage device that can also transmit data wirelessly – is Tan’s new baby, and he hopes to see it used by millions of people; just like the USB drive.

Tan said many thought the ThumbDrive was a one-hit wonder.

“I told them no, but many refused to believe me,” the 54-year-old said.

“We are more than just about ThumbDrives and the power of this FluCard is going to be immense,” insisted the chairman and chief executive of Trek 2000 International, which is listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Tan laments that he made a mistake with the ThumbDrive by going it alone instead of partnering with an established player in 2000, an admittedly “naive” move that allowed rivals to get big slices of the USB-based data storage pie.

This time around, he has teamed up with Japan’s Toshiba Corp to promote the FluCard and ensure its patent is protected globally.

Why the name?

“It’s contagious and easy to recall,” says Tan, a marketing man who employs technical experts to flesh out his ideas.

“You go to Afghanistan, you say flu, and they understand.”

Marc Einstein, regional manager at technology consultancy Frost and Sullivan, said the FluCard is a sign of the convergence underway in consumer electronics and computer technology.

“I do think that this is where the future lies for technologies and consumer devices,” he said, adding that securing Toshiba’s support “is a good first step” for the Singapore firm.

Tan said his company and Toshiba, now the second largest shareholder in Trek 2000 International after him, formed a consortium of camera makers to adopt the FluCard as the industry standard.

Terence Wong, co-head of research at Singapore brokerage DMG and Partners, sees good commercial prospects for the FluCard and also feels partnering Toshiba is a right move for Tan.

“This FluCard can potentially kill off the dummy SD card if they get it right,” Wong said.

Shaped exactly like the Secure Digital (SD) memory cards now used widely in compact digital cameras, the FluCard comes embedded with Wi-Fi to transmit data to other wireless-enabled devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablet computers.

“It can do more than what an ordinary dumb, dumb SD card can do which is just to store data,” Tan said.

“As long as you have a hardware embedded with Wi-Fi, you can download anything from the FluCard.”

Launched earlier this year, the FluCard works in any device that has an SD slot and the camera market is the most obvious target for Tan.

SD cards are predominantly used in compact digital cameras, 100 million of which were sold in 2009 alone, according to industry estimates.

Using a FluCard in the digital camera the user has the option of uploading new photos directly to the internet for sharing with friends on Facebook and other social networks.

It also functions as a data storage back-up since the content inside the FluCard can be instantly transferred to a private user account on a portal set up by Trek 2000 International.

Tan’s idea for the FluCard came about after a holiday with his family in China five years ago was ruined when they lost their camera.

“You can’t be going back to the places to retake the photos, and I felt lousy there wasn’t any data backup,” said Tan.

“The power of this FluCard is going to be immense if I get it right,” he said, adding it could catapult his company from a fringe player into the major leagues of the data storage industry with Toshiba’s support.

Tan’s anguish was clear as he recalled how his company lost out to the “big boys” of data storage who came out with their own USB-based devices – and to pirates who simply made ThumbDrive knockoffs.

“Right now we are still generating income [from royalties] but not much,” said Tan.

“Size counts, and I learnt my lesson real hard.”

In retrospect, Tan said it would have been better if he had partnered one of the big brands when the ThumbDrive was launched in March 2000, but his eagerness got the better of him at the time.

“I was naive, I was gullible and I decided to take this product all alone, believing that we can do it.”

“Now I have Toshiba, I am riding on the coat-tails of Toshiba.”

Sourced & published by henry Sapiecha

Tracking Device Fits on the Head of a

Pin: Mini-Gyroscopes to Guide

Smartphones and Medical Equipment

Science (Oct. 8, 2010) — University of Illinois chemistry professor Alexander Scheeline wants to see high school students using their cell phones in class. Not for texting or surfing the Web, but as an analytical chemistry instrument.


Scheeline developed a method using a few basic, inexpensive supplies and a digital camera to build a spectrometer, an important basic chemistry instrument. Spectrophotometry is one of the most widely used means for identifying and quantifying materials in both physical and biological sciences.

“If we want to measure the amount of protein in meat, or water in grain, or iron in blood, it’s done by spectrophotometry,” Scheeline said.

Many schools have a very limited budget for instruments and supplies, making spectrometers cost-prohibitive for science classrooms. Even when a device is available, students fail to learn the analytical chemistry principles inherent in the instrument because most commercially available devices are enclosed boxes. Students simply insert samples and record the numbers the box outputs without learning the context or thinking critically about the process.

“Science is basically about using your senses to see things — it’s just that we’ve got so much technology that now it’s all hidden,” Scheeline said.

“The student gets the impression that a measurement is something that goes on inside a box and it’s completely inaccessible, not understandable — the purview of expert engineers,” he said. “That’s not what you want them to learn. In order to get across the idea, ‘I can do it, and I can see it, and I can understand it,’ they’ve go to build the instrument themselves. ”

So Scheeline set out to build a basic spectrometer that was not only simple and inexpensive but also open so that students could see its workings and play with its components, encouraging critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. It wouldn’t have to be the most sensitive or accurate instrument — in fact, he hoped that obvious shortcomings of the device would reinforce students’ understanding of its workings.

“If you’re trying to teach someone an instrument’s limitations, it’s a lot easier to teach them when they’re blatant than when they’re subtle. Everything goes wrong out in the open,” he said.

In a spectrometer, white light shines through a sample solution. The solution absorbs certain wavelengths of light. A diffraction grating then spreads the light into its color spectrum like a prism. Analyzing that spectrum can tell chemists about the properties of the sample.

For a light source, Scheeline used a single light-emitting diode (LED) powered by a 3-volt battery, the kind used in key fobs to remotely unlock a car. Diffraction gratings and cuvettes, the small, clear repositories to hold sample solutions, are readily available from scientific supply companies for a few cents each. The entire setup cost less than $3. The limiting factor seemed to be in the light sensor, or photodetector, to capture the spectrum for analysis.

“All of a sudden this light bulb went off in my head: a photodetector that everybody already has! Almost everybody has a cell phone, and almost all phones have a camera,” Scheeline said. “I realized, if you can get the picture into the computer, it’s only software that keeps you from building a cheap spectrophotometer.”

To remove that obstacle, he wrote a software program to analyze spectra captured in JPEG photo files and made it freely accessible online, along with its source code and instructions to students and teachers for assembling and using the cell-phone spectrometer. It can be accessed through the Analytical Sciences Digital Library.

Scheeline has used his cell-phone spectrometers in several classroom settings. His first classroom trial was with students in Hanoi, Vietnam, as part of a 2009 exchange teaching program Scheeline and several other U. of I. chemistry professors participated in. Although the students had no prior instrumentation experience, they greeted the cell-phone spectrometers with enthusiasm.

In the United States, Scheeline used cell-phone spectrometers in an Atlanta high school science program in the summers of 2009 and 2010. By the end of the 45-minute class, Scheeline was delighted to find students grasping chemistry concepts that seemed to elude students in similar programs using only textbooks. For example, one student inquired about the camera’s sensitivity to light in the room and how that might affect its ability to read the spectrum.

“And I said, ‘You’ve discovered a problem inherent in all spectrometers: stray light.’ I have been struggling ever since I started teaching to get across to university students the concept of stray light and what a problem it is, and here was a high school kid who picked it right up because it was in front of her face!” Scheeline said.

Scheeline has also shared his low-cost instrument with those most likely to benefit: high school teachers. Teachers participating in the U. of I. EnLiST program, a two-week summer workshop for high school chemistry and physics teachers in Illinois, built and played with cell-phone spectrometers during the 2009 and 2010 sessions. Those teachers now bring their experience — and assembly instructions — to their classrooms.

Scheeline wrote a detailed account of the cell-phone spectrometer and its potential for chemistry education in an article published in the journal Applied Spectroscopy. He hopes that the free availability of the educational modules and software source code will inspire programmers to develop smart-phone applications so that the analyses can be performed in-phone, eliminating the need to transfer photo files to a computer and turning cell phones into invaluable classroom tools.

“The potential is here to make analytical chemistry a subject for the masses rather than something that is only done by specialists,” Scheeline said. “There’s no doubt that getting the cost of equipment down to the point where more people can afford them in the education system is a boon for everybody.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

China’s Coming Age Of Invention

Rebecca Fannin, 06.07.10, 06:00 AM EDT

Now, everything is made in China–

but little is invented there.

image

When will the familiar label “Made in China” switch to something more challenging: “Invented in China”? Not for another decade at least, according to investors and technology entrepreneurs who gathered recently at an event in Beijing to discuss the topic. (For video of the event, click here.)

Sure, some things are already being invented in China. Internet whizzes have pushed advances in mobile gaming and instant messaging. But many obstacles prevent a full-scale leap into widespread inventing.

One hurdle is culture. Entrepreneurs in China are still afraid of failure, noted Feng Deng of Northern Light Venture Capital. A failed startup in Silicon Valley is practically a badge of honor. In addition, entrepreneurs in China may be good at coding software, but they make for lousy managers. That often keeps their businesses from scaling.

Innovation in China comes largely by accident, not by design, said DCM investor Hurst Lin, one of the first generation of China’s returnee entrepreneurs from the West and co-founder of Chinese Internet portal Sina. Facebook and Google ( GOOG news people ) were accidents of imagination that was allowed to roam and think differently. Such breakthrough ideas could not have been the result of an upbringing in China, said Lin, where education needs to move toward critical thinking and away from sheer memorization.

Even so, Lin and others (including myself) hold out hope–and the expectation–that China will climb the innovation ladder quickly. Why? Necessity is the mother of invention. Many of the country’s 1.3 billion people are yearning for middle-class living standards and the cars and consumer goods that go with it. The market for homegrown innovation is there.

Major and rapid developments are coming in clean tech–an area that Northern Light’s Deng is focusing on with bets in energy-efficient lights, wind power and energy storage. Let’s hope some of these ideas can clean up China’s polluted cities.
// <![CDATA[
// Before China’s tech hubs join the same league as Silicon Valley, however, the country needs more collaboration among university labs and venture capital firms to work on breakthrough ideas. This method has worked well in Silicon Valley and in Boston. In Shanghai and Beijing I’m told that professors and scientists prefer not to share their intellectual capital with financiers.

Still, corporations worldwide are pouring more investment into Chinese R&D operations every day, a point made by Egidio Zarrella of KPMG.

One example is corporate America’s interest in Chinese biomedical research and development–an area of investment that is rapidly becoming as hot as clean tech. Pfizer ( PFE news people ) recently established a joint venture with Crown Bioscience to work on finding a cure for cancers common in Asia–predominantly lung cancer. While in Beijing, I got a tour of Crown Bioscience, which is located in an immense life sciences park close to the Great Wall.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 7th June 2010

One-Part Adhesive Has High Thermal Conductivity


Master Bond Supreme 10AOHT is a single-component epoxy adhesive with high thermal conductivity and excellent electrical insulation properties. It exhibits high shear and peel strength. Supreme 10AOHT requires no mixing and cures at elevated temperatures. It has a service operating temperature range of –300°F to +400°F. Bonds are resistant to impact, vibration, thermal shock, and stress fatigue cracking. Supreme 10AOHT is 100% reactive and does not contain any solvents or diluents.

More Information

Sourced and Published by Henry Sapiecha 5th June 2010

Natural Solar Collectors

On Butterfly Wings

Inspire More Powerful Solar Cells

ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2009) — The discovery that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar collectors has led scientists in China and Japan to design a more efficient solar cell that could be used for powering homes, businesses, and other applications in the future.


In the study, Di Zhang and colleagues note that scientists are searching for new materials to improve light-harvesting in so-called dye-sensitized solar cells, also known as Grätzel cells for inventor Michael Grätzel. These cells have the highest light-conversion efficiencies among all solar cells — as high as 10 percent.

The researchers turned to the microscopic solar scales on butterfly wings in their search for improvements. Using natural butterfly wings as a mold or template, they made copies of the solar collectors and transferred those light-harvesting structures to Grätzel cells. Laboratory tests showed that the butterfly wing solar collector absorbed light more efficiently than conventional dye-sensitized cells. The fabrication process is simpler and faster than other methods, and could be used to manufacture other commercially valuable devices, the researchers say.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 15th April 2010