Technology Tuesday: March 15

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Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: A new procedure that allows kidney transplants from any donor, searching for life on Mars, a robot surgeon, bringing the Matrix to real life, and bringing space tourism to the masses.


Open Sourced Kidneys

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In the anguishing wait for a new kidney, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists may never find a match because their immune systems will reject almost any transplanted organ. Now, in a large national study that experts are calling revolutionary, researchers have found a way to get them the desperately needed procedure.
In the new study, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, doctors successfully altered patients’ immune systems to allow them to accept kidneys from incompatible donors. Significantly more of those patients were still alive after eight years than patients who had remained on waiting lists or received a kidney transplanted from a deceased donor.

 

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Europe Begins New Phase of Searching For Life On Mars

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Could there be life on Mars? The red planet would not be an easy place to thrive, but perhaps somewhere below the surface, sheltered from the harsh radiation of the surface, with a few drops of water to drink, life could get by.

There are traces of methane in Mars’ atmosphere. Its most likely source is either geochemical or biological—either it comes from the breakdown of minerals, or from the farts of tiny microbial Martian organisms. To help us find out, Europe’s ExoMars orbiter is scheduled to launch in the early morning of March 14.

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Woman Has Lung Tumour Removed By Robot

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A MOTHER who would not have been able to lift and carry her newborn baby for weeks if she received conventional surgery was home within days of an operation on her lung using a robot in a UK first.

Doctors at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough delayed surgery until after she gave birth to Finlay, then used a sophisticated Da Vinci robot to carry out delicate stitching during the operation to remove a carcinoid tumour.


European Lab Working on Complete VR Immersion

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Two researchers in Estonia are figuring out ways to trick your brain that are effective enough to elicit physical responses, and push the sensations of virtual reality immersion way beyond anything that’s been experienced so far.

“We’re trying to see if there is a way to convince the brain that we are physically feeling something that is purely virtual.”

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BlueOrigin to Make Space Tourism Real

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Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin expects to begin crewed test flights of its reusable suborbital New Shepard vehicle next year and begin flying paying passengers in 2018, Bezos told reporters on Tuesday.

Bezos’ remarks, made during the first ever media tour of the Blue Origin manufacturing facility, marked the first time the billionaire founder of Amazon.com had put a target date on the start of the commercial space flights Blue Origin is developing.

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Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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