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Scientists look at flower cells in 3D without wrecking them

Flower cells in 3D

Plants are delicate things, which makes them a pain to study under an electron microscope — you’ll probably damage the very cells you’re trying to look at. You’ll get a much better look if the University of Florida’s new imaging technique catches on, though. Their approach leans on both a compound fluorescence light microscope and a camera to capture several layers of cells, creating a detailed 3D snapshot of the cellular structure of something as fragile as a flower petal. The resulting pictures may not be shocking (surprise: there are lots of globs), but they should be a big deal for biologists. Researchers would have a better sense of how animal and plant tissues work when they’re untouched by humans, which could go a long way toward fighting diseases and learning about new species.

[Image credit: Jacob B. Landis]

Filed under: Science



Source: BioOne


Unmanned cargo chopper shows off its search-and-rescue talents

Hot Hook-Up

For three years between 2011 and 2014, the unmanned Kamen K-Max 1200 helicopter delivered more than 4.5 million tons of supplies to the most dangerous and far-flung US Forward Operating Bases throughout Afghanistan. It followed that feat up in 2014 by demonstrating its ability to coordinate with other UAVs in forest fire suppression operations. And in March of this year, the semi-autonomous helicopter once again proved that it can integrate operations with land-based drones to locate, identify and evacuate people stranded in desolate areas — all without putting more lives at risk.


March’s demonstration reportedly started with an injured party sending out a distress signal to first responders. But rather climb through rough terrain, they instead send in a remote-controlled ground vehicle to assess the situation as well as the patient. Once the patient has been positively identified, operators on the ground employ a tablet to instruct the K-Max as where to land. After the K-Max has set down, the injured party is belted into a bench on the aircraft’s exterior bench seat and flown to safety.

This is primarily being developed as a means of quickly pulling injured military personnel out of combat areas but could just as easily be adapted to similar civilian uses, like extracting injured backwoods hikers. Being strapped to the exterior of a remote controlled helicopter zipping along at 92 MPH may sound like a terrifying method of medical evacuation, but it’s certainly better (and faster) than having your buddies carry you out on an impromptu stretcher.

[Image Credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page/Flickr]

Filed under:


Source: Lockheed Martin


Lenovo’s super-light LaVie Z laptop is now available

Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550

If you’ve been jonesing for a featherweight laptop but feel that Apple’s MacBook rubs you the wrong way, you’re in luck: as promised, Lenovo is now selling the LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360 in the US. Both 13-inch systems largely resemble what you saw in January, and strike a careful balance between brisk performance and a light design that won’t strain your shoulder when it’s in your bag. They share Quad HD screens, fifth-generation Core i7 processors, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. The only big difference is the 360’s namesake convertible touchscreen, which turns your PC into a makeshift tablet.

Lenovo may have been optimistic about what it could deliver this month, though. The standard Z is ever-so-slightly heavier than claimed at 1.87 pounds, and the models available now are significantly more expensive than what we were quoted a few months ago. You’re looking at $1,700 ($1,500 after a discount) for the regular LaVie Z, and $1,850 ($1,699 on sale) for the 360 — that’s at least $200 higher than expected. It’s entirely possible that lower-end versions are coming, but you’ll have to pay a premium if you simply can’t wait.

[Thanks, Ibrahim]

Filed under: ,


Source: Lenovo (1), (2)


Schwing! ‘SNL’ app adds AirPlay and Android support

Since it launched in February I’ve been a pretty big fan of the Saturday Night Live app, and the latest update should make it quite a bit better. Now there’s native iPad support (hooray!) in addition to it being available on Android devices. NBC’s also gone back and remastered some of the old sketches, added around 400 more (including some of the late Phil Hartman’s “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” bits) and tossed AirPlay support in so you can watch the clips via an Apple TV. Curiously, Chromecast beaming is still missing in action, but at least now you can text the new Church Lady emoji to let a pal know they’re speeeecial.

Filed under: Cellphones, Home Entertainment, Software, HD, Mobile


Source: Google Play, NBC, iTunes


You can build Microsoft’s Kinect-powered holodeck at home

Microsoft RoomAlive

Got a Kinect, a projector and a knack for code? If so, you can create a Star Trek-like holodeck in your living room. Microsoft has released the RoomAlive Toolkit, a software framework that lets you string together Kinect motion trackers to create interactive projection maps. You can use it to build anything from extra-immersive games through to art displays. This isn’t exactly a trivial undertaking (Microsoft is promising lots of tutorials), but it means that you won’t have to wait for someone else to bring your augmented reality dreams to life.

Filed under: , ,


Via: Fast Company

Source: Kinect for Windows Blog, Channel 9, GitHub

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