Data + Design Project

The Smallest Font? DNA Letters on a Nanometer Scale

Monday 06.25.2012 , Posted by

Have you ever found yourself needing to pack a lot of text into a small space? Are you a designer with a project requiring loads of fine print? Fear not, typography on a nanometer sale is here. Scientists at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts have recently created a series of glyphs made entirely out of microscopic fragments of DNA, woven together like building blocks. By leaving out specific blocks they’ve been able to create letters, numbers and even symbols like smileys and an eagles head. Here we bring you brilliant science journalist Ed Yong’s post, created entirely out of the miniscule font: “DNA Sans anyone?” [Read more...]

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Cell By Cell: Why We Haven’t Cured Cancer

Thursday 06.14.2012 , Posted by

The thought of getting cancer, and having your life cut short years before it should, is a constant fear we live with in our modern world. You can be walking down the street completely healthy, having the time of your life, when you realize something doesn’t feel right. You go to the doctor complaining of your ailment, and that’s when everything changes: they’ve found something, and it’s not good. We have all known someone throughout our lives that has been affected by this heinous disease, and with all of the medical advances made in the last 50 years we have to question: why hasn’t a cure been found?

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Fast, Microscopic 3d Printing Is Here!

Tuesday 03.13.2012 , Posted by

A new era of 3D printing technology is now upon us. Created by researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna), this high-precision printer is able to create microscopically small objects on a nanometer scale — at a speed orders of magnitude faster than similar devices. To be impressed with how accurate and quick this machine really is, you only need to see the short video below featuring a mere 4 minute creation time for a race car smaller than a grain of sand… in fact, the machine just set a new world record for speed. [Read more...]

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Does Wood Have an Expiration Date?

Thursday 12.22.2011 , Posted by

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The answer to the question above is for most a resounding “NO”… but for the US’s bloated medical industry, this is not the case. Many products that have no logical explanation for an expiration date, including wooden tongue depressors, are thrown away every year. Often these products are in dire need in other countries… so it is no wonder why our country has the highest cost per patient for healthcare of any country in the world.  The unfortunate truth is that it is illegal here to repurpose medical products, even if they have not been used. Worse yet, these products end up in landfills only polluting the world more. Now, an organization called MedWish has set out to find a solution to this problem [Read more...]

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Can We Live Forever? Growing New Organs

Friday 03.11.2011 , Posted by

Have you ever wondered if we could replace old worn body parts much like you’d replace parts on your car? Well, that time is nearly here and the possibility of greatly lengthening lifespan may be just around the corner. New discoveries in the scientific community are quickly advancing the ability to not only replace organs, but grow them from a patients own unique cells. This episode from NOVA reveals some of the unusual techniques that have allowed scientists to create the structures necessary for new ears, lungs and even hearts while showing us that the day of rejected donor organs and long recovery periods may well be gone.

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