Reverse Engineering The Brain

David Adler dreams of a Google map for the human brain

8 min read
photo of David Adler
Photo: Timothy Archibald

This is part of IEEE Spectrum’s SPECIAL REPORT: THE SINGULARITY

photo of David AdlerPhoto: Timothy Archibald

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Landsat Proved the Power of Remote Sensing

The Earth-imaging satellites have amassed a half-century of data on crops, borders, and war zones

6 min read
A satellite image shows vegetation in red tones and urban and rocky areas in grays and whites.

The first image captured on 25 July 1972 by the first Landsat satellite shows the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Robert Simmon/USGS/NASA

On 18 September 1969, U.S. President Richard Nixon addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was a difficult time in global politics, and much of his speech focused on the war in Vietnam, disputes in the Middle East, and strategic arms control. Toward the end, though, the speech took a curious and hopeful turn, as Nixon rhapsodized about the unifying potential of international cooperation in space exploration. As an example, he noted the United States was in the process of developing new satellites to survey Earth’s natural resources.

Three years later, on 23 July 1972, NASA launched what would be the first Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS). It gave scientists, land managers, policymakers, and others an unprecedented view of their planet. The program has since launched eight more satellites. Renamed the Landsat program in 1975, it is now celebrating its 50th anniversary of imaging the Earth.

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Graphene Tattoos Measure Blood Pressure Continually

Ultralight sensors could work for days

3 min read
photo illustration of forearm and hand with graphene tattoos inked on the forearm and a traditional blood-pressure monitor with armband cuff is in the image background

Graphene tattoos placed over the two major arteries in the wrist monitor blood pressure nonstop by measuring the impedance of electrical current through tissue.

University of Texas at Austin

Blood pressure measurement hasn’t changed much since the invention of the inflatable cuff-based sphygmomanometer in 1881. People can use the device to give readings a few times a day, but that’s not enough to give a holistic view of cardiovascular health.

New electronic tattoos made of graphene continuously read blood pressure for days. The ultrathin, light sensors could allow monitoring of a patient’s blood pressure while they go about their daily activities.

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Modeling Microfluidic Organ-on-a-Chip Devices

Register for this webinar to enhance your modeling and design processes for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices using COMSOL Multiphysics

1 min read
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Comsol

If you want to enhance your modeling and design processes for microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices, tune into this webinar.

You will learn methods for simulating the performance and behavior of microfluidic organ-on-a-chip devices and microphysiological systems in COMSOL Multiphysics. Additionally, you will see how to couple multiple physical effects in your model, including chemical transport, particle tracing, and fluid–structure interaction. You will also learn how to distill simulation output to find key design parameters and obtain a high-level description of system performance and behavior.

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