Monday, February 25, 2008


Artificial Organs and Easy Airport Screening

National Defense Magazine has an interesting article on work being done to help grow artificial organs at Draper Laboratory. The researchers there are using micro-electromechanical technology (which is a step larger than nanotechnology, but is still really small) to create plastic scaffolding for growing artificial organs that has artificial vascular pathways built right into the scaffolding material. The center director says that growing complete artificial organs is still "15 to 20 years away," but in the meantime the work has the potential to improve existing organ assist devices and help create a liver-assist device. This research is sponsored by the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology and overseen by the Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.

There are also some interesting short articles in the magazine's Security Beat section. One is on a flat-folding gas mask prototype that looks like it would be ideal for throwing in your personal emergency kit if you live near a chemical plant or terrorism target. Another news article is on some old, classic sci-fi writers getting on their soapboxes at a Homeland Security technical conference about the delays and indignities of airline security screening and the potential for finding useful ideas in sci-fi stories. Lastly, there was also a story about work done on an airport security sensor tunnel that could eliminate the delays and indignities of airline security screening and which, strangely, looks like something right out of the sci-fi movie Total Recall.

Update (3/3/8): Changed movie reference from The Running Man to the correct Schwarzenegger flick.

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