Technology Tuesday: April 12

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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: Scientists save the Kepler Telescope, a game changing stem cell repair system, Samsung patents smart contact lenses, SpaceX successfully lands rocket at sea, and a programming language for living cells.


The Kepler Space Telescope is Brought Back Online

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Last week, things were looking pretty bleak for the planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope when it unexpectedly went into ’emergency mode’ (EM) just before its latest campaign was due to start. NASA scientists promptly declared a ‘state of emergency‘ and diverted all ground communications towards rescuing the mission.

But the Kepler team has just made everyone’s week by announcing that they’ve managed to recover the spacecraft from EM and get it back online again – and will hopefully have it back in ‘science mode’ soon.

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New Stem Cell Technique Could Revolutionize Medicine

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Stem cell therapies capable of regenerating any human tissue damaged by injury, disease or ageing could be available within a few years, following landmark research led by UNSW Australia researchers.

The repair system, similar to the method used by salamanders to regenerate limbs, could be used to repair everything from spinal discs to bone fractures, and has the potential to transform current treatment approaches to regenerative medicine.

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Samsung Patents “Smart” Contact Lenses with Built in Cameras

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In the future, we could all be wearing smart contact lenses, like the ones secret agents use in movies.

Samsung has been granted a patent in South Korea for contact lenses with a display that projects images directly into wearer’s eyes, according to the Samsung-focused blog SamMobileA built-in camera and sensors are controlled by blinking.

 

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SpaceX Lands Falcon 9 Rocket on Ocean Barge

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Elon Musk has had a pretty good week. After four unsuccessful attempts to land one of its rockets on a floating drone platform, SpaceX finally nailed a perfect landing this afternoon. The Falcon 9 rocket launch was part of the company’s CRS-8 mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The haul includes the highly anticipated Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, an inflatable habitat that may one day be used as a space hotel.

READ MORE


MIT Creates a Programming Language Used To Program Living Cells

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MIT biological engineers have created a programming language that allows them to rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells.

Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain environmental conditions. They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.

“It is literally a programming language for bacteria,” says Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”

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