Daily Archives: November 14, 2008

3D Printer Feeds On Paper And Glue

Mcor Matrix 3D Printer Feeds On Paper And Glue | Mark’s Technology News

Finally, we’re getting closer to a consumer-level 3D Printer. This model, called the Matrix, is made by UK company Mcor and crafts intricate three-dimensional objects using nothing more than cheap sheets of standard A4 paper and glue.

The cost savings over plaster modeling and proprietary media are huge. In the image above, the head comes in at €7.20 ($9.25), the house €1.20 ($1.54), the hand €3.70 ($4.75) and the teeth cost as little as €0.63 (80c). You could probably do even better than this too by using scrap paper and picking up lots of regular PVA when it’s going cheap. Note: You are supposed to use their “proprietary glue”, but seriously, how different can they be? Both are water-based PVA.

The printer seems almost magical, but the process really is quite simple. Starting from the ground up, it feeds a sheet of paper and applies glue to the required areas, as dictated by your design. It feeds another sheet on top and the excess is trimmed away with a tungsten-carbide tipped blade. Compared to a Concrete-Jet 3D Printer, it’s child’s play.

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Learning to Ride the SBU – Self Balancing Unicycle

Self Balancing Unicycle – mad!

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Bobby Benz


Now Everyone Can Drive A Mercedes…Well, Almost. | Mark’s Technology News

It’s not just adults that appreciate fine automobile design and that’s something Mercedes seems to have caught on to. Their latest creation is a limited edition, tot-sized, ride-on version of their SLK AMG called the Bobby Benz, which joins their smaller, made-to-order model cars aimed squarely at this neglected audience of car aficionados.

Who knows what their motivation is? To instill brand loyalty from a young age? To take advantage of a relatively untapped market? To help the company remain solvent through the economic downturn? Nah, maybe they’re just trying to bring a little happiness to the children of the world uber-rich.

According to the company’s recent press release, the Bobby Benz is the successor to the classic children’s go-cart and like any decent luxury vehicle, features ergonomic leg positioning and noise reduction technology. It also includes a Direct-Steer system that reduces the vehicle’s turning circle…imagine that.

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Alligator-Like Vacuum Has LEDs For Eyes


Miele S7: High-Tech, Alligator-Like Vacuum Has LEDs For Eyes | Mark’s Technology News

German appliance manufacturer Miele have come up with an impressive new ultra-flexible vacuum cleaner called the S7, which features an array of bright LED lights on the suction head to floodlight all your dirt and dust. Apart from looking great, this simple addition should help prevent missing a spot and the cursing that inevitably ensues.

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Freelance Designers wanted!

Freelance, innovative, product designers Job

Don’t let your BIG IDEAS go to waste, this is an opportunity for established designers and talented students alike.
We are a global company, with bases in the UK, HK and Australia, that has an exciting and fresh range of gadgets, toys and designed led gifts. We’re now seeking freelance designers to work with us to increase our product offering, in return we will produce and distribute your product based on a royalty agreement for units sold. Ingenious products sought.

http://www.yankodesign.com/

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Design Manager (job) in Sydney

Design Manager – Design + Industry, Australia – Balmain, Sydney | Job Postings from Coroflot.com

An exceptional position exists for a Design Manager to work within our concept team in our Sydney office.

The Design Manager will enjoy freedom to implement their own vision in the conceptual design of commercially competitive products. This individual will be exposed to world leading clients and work on diverse, challenging and highly stimulating projects.

The Design Manager has a minimum 10 years experience, consultancy preferred. Essential qualities include a strong eye for 3D form, proportions and overall aesthetics as well as the ability to research and interpret trend data. They will have experience and practical expertise in product design and manufacturing processes. They will have the ability to balance concurrent projects as well as establish and maintain design excellence within the concept team.

Design-Industry (http://www.design-industry.com.au/en/)

In 20 years Design + Industry has become the largest and leading
industrial design consultancy in Australia with a team of over 35
specialist design engineers.

The core function of D+I is to achieve global design and engineering
excellence through the development of competitive and innovative design
solutions for companies striving to become world leaders.

The basis of operation is a powerful and fully integrated 3D CAD
platform, offering greater efficiency and faster lead times in the
development of products from concept through to production. D+I has the
expertise and specialist skills to develop any product for any market,
suited to any process of manufacture and for any production quantity.

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Understand social innovation

Understand your social innovation topic (a step in Design Thinking) « Contagious Creativity

To understand a huge topic such as social innovation, the very first step would be our sincere interest and passion to know more about both elements: the social, and the innovation. The first time I learned about this was last year, as part of a training offered by the Centre for Social Innovation (you’d think I’d get a hint from their name, but that was a slow day for me). They describe the process as the new ideas that resolve existing social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges for the benefit of people and planet. A true social innovation is systems-changing – it permanently alters the perceptions, behaviours and structures that previously gave rise to these challenges. Some examples are the Wikipedia, the Open university in the UK, micro-credit, the fair trade movement, and community wind farms (Geoff Mulgan talks more about these examples). When you dig deeper into the research as part of your thinking mechanism (now that you became a design thinker), you get more information on the leadership qualities behind those who pioneer it, the environmental factors that facilitate its process, and even how to notice the missing gaps that can lead to a socially innovative idea. In the case of micro-credit, one of the leading figures and a Nobel Prize winner is Dr. Muhamad Younus, who noticed that a village of 42 people in Bangladesh only needed $27 to pay their debt and save them from the loan sharks. He loaned his own money to the villagers thinking it was a gift, and was surprised when the money was returned to him fully after the villagers recovered their losses. That initiated a movement of micro-credit around the world.

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Enabled by Design now a ‘dot org’ social start up


enabled by design

As of today, we are officially a ‘dot org’ social start up!

Marking an important new chapter in the Enabled by Design story, today sees the launch of the Innovation Exchange’s Next Practice programme. EbD and 13 other third sector innovation projects have been chosen to work with the Innovation Exchange and develop our work, taking them on to the next level. Sat within the Independent Living half of the programme, Innovation Exchange will provide us with business coaching and access to related networks, some tailored support around our needs as a business, and also a helping hand with some seed investment through NESTA’s Innovation Exchange Fund.

We’re extremely excited to be given a helping hand to move things on to the next level. Its hard to believe its only just over 7 months now since we took part in (and won!) the first ever Social Innovation Camp – but equally amazing is how much you can fit into a short space of time. Since the Camp, we’ve been awarded level 1 funding from UnLtd which has allowed us to work with cutting edge organisations such as Headshift (social software) and ThinkPublic (user involvement) to really focus on getting users to engage with the project. We’ve also spent a lot of time building relationships with key organisations as well as individuals, developed our branding, and more recently even formally established EbD as a company.

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A unified approach to visual and interaction design

Cooper Journal: A unified approach to visual and interaction design

At the end of the day, as designers, we want to look for a set of attributes that tells a comprehensive story that resonates with both stakeholders and users, and has a healthy amount of tension which will be productive for exploring and establishing boundaries. For example, the attributes innovative and mature create some natural, productive tension. This contrast establishes a continuum that we can explore between the attributes, while establishing an extreme for each opposing attribute. For instance, a design language that takes the concept of innovation to the bleeding edge can no longer be considered stable and mature, and therefore falls outside the boundaries of the strategy defined by the overall attribute set.


A set of four experience attributes, along with their supporting terms.
A good attribute set always contains productive tension that is good
for establishing the boundaries of a design language strategy.

A set of four experience attributes, along with their supporting terms. A good attribute set always contains productive tension that is good for establishing the boundaries of a design language strategy.

Along these lines, it is often as productive to describe the negative space as it is to discuss the positive. In other words, make sure you spend some time discussing and explaining what it is categorically not, as well as what it is. For instance, the product should be brilliant, but not “bleeding edge.” An ideal negative attribute is one that represents a good thing taken to its extreme, rather than an inherently negative concept. For all experience attributes, but especially for expressing the significance of negative attributes, providing a visual reference can be very effective.

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Reservation in India

Reservation in India – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Reservations in Tamil Nadu over 30 years have worked to such a level that OBCs are able to outshine the Forward Castes (See Tamil Nadu Figure Below) and hence the overall performance of the students have increased validating the argument that reservation brings out the best from the weaker sections of the society.

  • Casteism is the root cause of the suffering of more than half (according to the disputed Mandal Commission) of India’s population. To eliminate casteism we need to help underprivileged people to do well in their education and share the same social status as the upper caste people.

Suggestion by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

It has been suggested that although caste is an important factor of exclusion at work in Indian society; other factors such as gender, economic conditions, geographical disparities and kind of schooling received cannot be altogether ignored. For example, a kid studying in a village or municipal school does not enjoy the same status in society as another who has studied in an elite public school, caste notwithstanding. Some academics have argued that a better system of Affirmative Action would be one which seeks to address all the factors of exclusion at work in society which restrict a person’s competitive abilities. Notable contributions in this regard have been made by Professor Purushottam Agrawal of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the form of the Multiple Index Related Affirmative Action [MIRAA] system (see here: http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2006/june06/report3.html) and by Dr. Yogendra Yadav and Dr. Satish Deshpande of the Centre for the Study Developing Societies [CSDS].

Suggestions from others

  • Reservation decisions has to be taken based on objective basis
  • Emphasis should be given to proper primary (and secondary) education so that groups under-represented in higher education institutes and workplaces become natural competitors.
  • The number of seats should be increased in the prestigious higher education institutes (such as IITs).
  • Government should announce long term plan to phase out reservations.
  • Government should promote inter-caste marriages [29] in big way [30] for abolition of caste system as initiated by Tamil Nadu. [31]

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Dear Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister

The Knowledge Commission was given an ambitious mandate to strengthen India’s knowledge potential at all levels. We had agreed that if all sections of Indian society were to participate in and make use of the knowledge economy, we would need a radical paradigm shift in the way we thought of the production, dissemination and use of knowledge. In some ways this paradigm shift would have to be at least as radical as the economic reforms you helped usher in more than a decade ago. The sense of intellectual excitement that the commission generated stemmed from the fact that it represented an opportunity to think boldly, honestly and with an eye to posterity. But the government’s recent decision (announced by Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development on the floor of Parliament) to extend quotas for OBCs in central institutions, the palliative measures the government is contemplating to defuse the resulting agitation, and the process employed to arrive at these measures are steps in the wrong direction. They violate four cardinal principles that institutions in a knowledge based society will have to follow: they are not based on assessment of effectiveness, they are incompatible with the freedom and diversity of institutions, they more thoroughly politicise the education process, and they inject an insidious poison that will harm the nation’s long-term interest.

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All things being equal

CC June 2006 — Special Report


All things being equal

Multiple Index Related Affirmative Action (MIRAA) – a more
effective system for equal opportunity



BY PURUSHOTTAM AGRAWAL


Hence it is important to discuss reservation in the holistic context of much required social restructuring and not to convert it into a fetish of ‘political correctness’. Admittedly, caste remains a social reality and a mechanism of oppression in Indian society. But can we say that caste is the only mechanism of oppression? Can we say with absolute certainty that poverty amongst the so-called upper castes has been eradicated? Can we say that the regions of the North-east, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, are on par with the glittering metros of Delhi and Mumbai? Can we say that a pupil from a panchayat school in Bihar is equipped to compete with an alumnus of Doon School on an equal footing even if both of them belong to the same caste group? One of my students once remarked that he was regularly compelled to swim across a rivulet in order to reach his school and the rivulet in question did not distinguish between Brahmins and Dalits. Incidentally, this young man happens to be a Brahmin by birth! Can we also say that gender plays no role in denial of social opportunities? After all, this society discriminates against girls even before they are born. Why talk of access or opportunities, they’re denied birth itself. Such discrimination exists across religious and caste lines.

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Jambudvipa

A few years ago I sat in a cafe listening to Parag tell me about what he was doing in life and what his goal of work was. He spoke eloquently about what he and his friends/ contemporaries were doing to bring about social change. I heard of Jambudvipa for the first time from him. I heard him speak about his friend who had given up a promising career to become a monk – and was ‘devoting’ his life to help develop and improve the quality of life of his community. I was moved and have gone back to that conversation often.

I went to the Jambudvipa site recently and read their vision – which translates beautifully as a vision for design.

||: The Jambudvipa Trust :||

Jambudvipa, the ancient Buddhist name for the Indian sub-continent, represents for us the transformation of society and culture through ethical and spiritual values.

This vision was brought alive in India in recent times through the peaceful revolution Dr. Ambedkar initiated in converting to Buddhism.

The Jambudvipa Trust envisages a society free of caste and other social barriers, in which all people, whatever their background can participate fully.

  • In this society there will be no discrimination and human life will be valued and not exploited.
  • People will be encouraged to develop confidence, ethical attitudes, and social responsibility.
  • Each person will have the capability to imagine and develop their own future and have opportunities to develop knowledge and skills enabling them to lead self-respecting and economically self sufficient lives.
  • Life will take place in a safe, clean, and unpolluted environment wherein resources are not misused but replenished.

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Map of interaction design education in Europe

I looked at this and I thought it would be a good idea to do this for a paper on australian design education, then also for a design school vision for India.

designswarm thoughts » Blog Archive » Map of interaction design education in Europe

So I thought I’d map out the interesting academic environments where one might find a course that relates in some way shape or form to interaction design in the broadest sense possible (notice there aren’t any web courses here). I’m interested in how these schools form the professionals of tomorrow and how the field will find it’s way on the overall market. I’ll evenutally try to do the same with the interaction design businesses.

Note that this map is publicly editable so if I’m missing something, do add to it!

Map is here.

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Jeremy Yuille Explores IxD Education at Adaptive Path

I am very curious about Adaptive path – especially their work -‘charmr’ – on diabetes. I needed to see this about Jeremy – to jog me to speak to him.

Jeremy Yuille Explores IxD Education at Adaptive Path | jamin.org

Adaptive Path recently hosted a brown bag lunch with Jeremy Yuille regarding interaction design education. I skirted up from my Nokia office a few blocks away to take advantage of AP’s open invitation. It took me a while to realize that Jeremy is on the IxDA board, and that I had met him at the IxDA conference last February during a discussion about future IxDA conferences.

Jeremy is also Program Manager at ACID, Digital Media Coordinator at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Communication Design, Interaction Designer at overt.creation, according to LinkedIn. And he is working on a PhD in design, which was the impetus for coming to AP to talk about interaction design. To paraphrase, he wanted to talk to industry stakeholders before making claims about interaction design as an academic.

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On Government propping up dying Industries

I read this and I thought of the Austrlian government intervention to prop up the ding Auto industry in Australia. Same story – and rationale. What are we starving in this land – in this way of not supporting fledgling industry which needs crucial boost to grow? Is it the green technology industry?

Save the Rust Belt! – Megan McArdle

Should the government save these places too? Shall we support Eastman Kodak indefinitely, whether or not it can produce a product anyone wants to buy? And Xerox, and Carrier, and a thousand companies you’ve never heard of? Shall we make it illegal to make a better product than American corporations? Why not just ban new products that make old ones unprofitable?

To do that, we’ll have to take the money from other people, in other cities. Other businesses will not get the capital that we give to dying firms, so they won’t expand. Some other families, not yours, will lose their homes because their business failed, or have to move away from home in order to get jobs because their area is in the doldrums. Meanwhile, everyone in the country will be slightly worse off, because we’ve shifted limited economic resources towards products they demonstrably do not want.

I love western New York, which may be the most beautiful place on earth. I love the old cities, the Victorian shells that whisper of much happier days, and the broad, rolling hills, and the broad flat accents of the people who live on them. I love waterfalls softly falling downtown and the Buffalo City Hall. I love the place as you can only love somewhere that your family has been living for 200 years. I would save it if I could.

But I can’t save it. Pouring government money in has been tried . . . and tried, and tried, and tried. It props up the local construction business, or some company, for a few more years, and then slowly drains away. Western New York has been the lucky recipient of largesse from a generous federal government, a flush state government, and not a few self-made men with happy memories of a childhood there. And still, it dies.

Moreover, it wouldn’t be right to save it by destroying someone else’s business, killing someone else’s town. That’s the choice we are facing. At its heart, economics is not about money; it is about resources. Every dollar sent to Detroit buys a yard of steel, a reel of copper wire, an hour of labor that now cannot be consumed by a business that actually produces a profitable, desireable product. It’s not right to strangle those businesses in order to steal some air for the dying giants of an earlier day.

And while a financial intervention at least holds out the possibility of creating value for all of us, a bailout of Detroit is definitionally guaranteed to destroy value for the rest of us. Yes, the Big Three and their suppliers will be better off. But we will have taken a limited store of resources and spent them on something that the rest of us value less than the alternative uses for steel, copper, manpower, credit, and so forth.

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Obama-Man

In june I took the will.I.am you tube video soundtrack and made a ring tone out of it. Obama made me acquire skills in Audacity. I sent it to some friends and colleagues – and they looked at me oddly. Needless to say – my plan for a viral campaign where the public spaces of Melbourne would be resonant with ‘yes we can’ rintnes. Alas it was only one phone that rang out this call. And received many odd looks. Its good to know there are many closet obama supporters and some not so closet ones.

Photo
Obama-Man – The Atlantic (November 12, 2008)

On the evening of the election, as I was watching the returns come in at an Obama election party, I met a man who was more informed about the election than anyone I’d met in the past twenty-one long months. CNN blared over the bar’s loudspeaker. Images of Obama in various thoughtful poses decorated the walls and the chests of more than half the crowd. The partygoers had come to drink, whether in celebration or commiseration—consequences for work the next day be damned. Moving toward the back of the bar, I shared a counter with a short black man dressed in a white button-down shirt and dress pants, wearing rimmed glasses that gave his round face an intellectual air. “Do you think Obama’s going to take Virginia?” he asked. We spoke for a minute about the possibility. “I’ll be honest with you,” he said, “when I look at the polls there, I start to think it might actually be possible—it looks good, but you never know.”

It was the kind of hopeful but guarded statement heard across America on Tuesday night, but this time, the speaker was a Soweto-born South African man who has never been to the United States. We were speaking at 3 in the morning in a bar in Johannesburg, South Africa, where an equal mix of Americans and South Africans had turned out to see—they hoped—the first black man elected president of the United States.

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Industrial Design Jobs – RitaSue Siegel Resources

In the mid nineties I used to send my students to look at Rita Sue’s site for Design Jobs. There seems to have been a bit of a change since then – the focus now seems to be – not just any designers – but ‘leaders’ and ‘innovators’. The question of course is in this day of Google and Facebook CEOs in their 20s – are people in the 20s potential leaders? And of course will firms looking for design leaders pick them from looking at graduating student portfolios?

About RSSR | What We Do | How we Work

RitaSue Siegel Resources (RSSR) is the premier retained search and advisory firm operating at the intersection of design, brand and business for over 30 years. Our fundamental mission since 1969 has been to serve as trusted advisors to the design industry and to industry on design. We enable organizations to gain sustainable advantage by delivering leaders who drive the growth of their brands and businesses through innovation and design. As the search offering of Aquent, a global staffing company and professional services firm with over seventy offices worldwide, our scope is wide and our reach is broad.

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Transformer furniture

quickie desk bed photo
quickie desk bed closed

Transformer Furniture: Quickie by Jared Dickey : TreeHugger

Transformer furniture lets people get more out of small spaces, and you are going to be a neat minimalist if you have to clean off your desk before you go to bed every night.

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The energy miser who is leaving a tiny carbon footprint

Joan Pick
Joan Pick, the energy miser who is leaving a tiny carbon footprint – Times Online

There are tribes in the Amazon rainforests who never use motorised transport, and in wooded Welsh valleys a few bold souls subsist without gas or mains electricity, but Joan Pick is doing it in Croydon.

After 36 years of self-imposed environmental abstinence, Miss Pick, 67, is now being recognised as an eco-heroine with one of the smallest carbon footprints in the country.

She never heats her flat and eats all her food raw. She has avoided travelling on any form of motorised transport since 1973. Instead, like a Yanomami hunter, she travels on foot, jogging 12 miles a day across the suburbs of southeast London.

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Using design to crack society’s problems

Putting people first » Using design to crack society’s problems

Hilary Cottam

Hilary Cottam Hilary Cottam is the 2005 UK Designer of the Year and former director of RED [archive site], the meanwhile closed innovation unit of the UK Design Council. I interviewed her last year for Torino World Design Capital site. And she is suddenly hot.

She made it last week into the International Herald Tribune, and now you can read another story about her company Participle in Fast Company magazine. Both stories are written by the same author Alice Rawsthorn, but have a somewhat different angle.

Participle isn’t a conventional bunch of social workers or do-gooders. It’s a design team. Participle’s interdisciplinary crew includes anthropologists, economists, entrepreneurs, psychologists, social scientists, and a military-logistics expert, but it is driven by design techniques and headed by Cottam, 42, who also has used such strategies to tackle the shortcomings of Britain’s school and health systems. “Hilary’s — and my — favorite kind of design has to do with making people’s lives better, often taking account of their mundane daily concerns,” says Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “Her projects not only work, they give people a sense of hope and strength.”

Cottam is one of a new wave of design evangelists who are trying to change the world for the better. They believe that many of the institutions and systems set up in the 20th century are failing and that design can help us to build new ones better suited to the demands of this century. Some of these innovators are helping poor people to help themselves by fostering design in developing economies. Others see design as a tool to stave off ecological catastrophe. Then there are the box-breaking thinkers like Cottam, who disregard design’s traditional bounds and apply it to social and political problems. Her mission, she says, is “to crack the intractable social issues of our time.”

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Smart DNA

Smart DNA: Programming the Molecule of Life for Work and Play: Scientific American

  • DNA molecules can act as elementary logic gates analogous to the silicon-based gates of ordinary computers. Short strands of DNA serve as the gates’ inputs and outputs.
  • Ultimately, such gates could serve as dissolved “doctors”—sensing molecules such as markers on cells and jointly choosing how to respond.
  • Automata built from these DNA gates demonstrate the system’s computational abilities by playing an unbeatable game of tic-tac-toe.


Logic gates made of DNA could one day operate in your bloodstream, collectively making medical decisions and taking action. For now, they play a mean game of in vitro tic-tac-toe

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Implants Tap the Thinking Brain


Putting Thoughts into Action: Implants Tap the Thinking Brain: Scientific American

# Surgeons have implanted a novel neural prosthesis into a paralyzed patient’s brain. The high-tech device enables the patient to communicate his thoughts to a computer, which translates them into spoken words.
# Nine people so far have received brain-implanted prostheses. In the past, patients have used these devices to spell words on a computer, pilot a wheelchair or flex a mechanical hand.
# One day implants may enable paralyzed people to move robotic arms or even bypass damaged parts of the nervous system to reanimate unresponsive limbs. In the meantime, the quest to develop implanted neural prostheses is revealing details of how the brain orchestrates movement.

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Smart Insulin: It Knows What You’ve Been Eating

» Smart Insulin: It Knows What You’ve Been Eating – DiabetesMine: diabetes, life, health, community

Imagine: Smart Insulin that could sense high glucose levels and automatically dispense insulin on demand. “As your glucose levels drop off, the drug stabilizes, trapping insulin until the next glucose spike.” WOW! So it knows if you’ve been bad or good and just jumps right in there to correct your BG like a healthy pancreas?!

You are kidding me, right? Weeeelll, not according to Todd Zion, founder and CEO of SmartCells, a privately held company based in Beverly, MA, that is developing such a self-regulating drug. It would be injected just once a day, using the same needles currently used for conventional insulin.

Two weeks ago, the company announced an agreement with the JDRF that includes $1 million in first-year funding to support preclinical safety and efficacy testing. “The partnership is structured to support milestone-based funding through proof-of-concept human clinical trials.” WOW.

As a reader noted in a recent email, “This sounds like the best news in diabetes in over a decade.” In longer than that, I might argue!

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True Confessions of a Good Diabetic

» True Confessions of a Good Diabetic – DiabetesMine: diabetes, life, health, community

I read other PWD’s blogs, and they always seem like they have it so together. But then again, when fellow diabetics meet me in person, they seem to think I have it all figured out, too. Closer to the truth is probably that we’re all just taking it day by day. And man, do I stray sometimes:

Sometimes I don’t test for HOURS after I eat. I just lose track of time. Or I can’t be bothered stopping whatever all-important thing I’m doing to get the out the gear and do what I know I should.

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