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April 2022 News Wire

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Picturing Our Climate Future

The warming of our planet due to fossil fuels is underway. Decisions in our lifetimes will have to be made to stop the worst outcomes. The Climate Central group has created a website that allows you to type in any location to see how it will be affected by future increases in sea level caused by climate change.

Engineers 3D-Print Personalized, Wireless Wearables That Never Need a Charge

University of Arizona engineers have developed a way to 3D-print medical-grade wearable devices based on body scans. While wearable sensors to monitor everything from step count to heart rate are common, they’re not medical grade. For measuring the onset of frailty in older adults, promptly diagnosing deadly diseases, testing the efficacy of new drugs or tracking the performance of professional athletes, medical-grade devices are needed. The University of Arizona engineers have developed a type of wearable they call a “biosymbiotic device,” which is custom 3D-printed and based on body scans of wearers, that also operates continuously with a mix of wireless power transfer and compact energy storage.

Creating a Chinese Computer

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, apparently there were no personal computers in China like the Apple II in the US. So Bruce Rosenblum re-programmed an Apple II computer so it could operate with the Chinese language, one of the most widely used languages on Earth. The first step was to create digital versions of thousands of Chinese characters. Each character required 256 decisions about where to place dots that, together, would create the character on a computer screen. While the computer was never produced, the work creating digital versions of Chinese characters was used by others to create computers that use the Chinese language.

Sunsets on Other Worlds

When the sun goes down on Earth, at the end of a day, we all know what it looks like: warm blue or grey colors are slowly replaced by a black night sky. Have you ever wondered what sunsets on other planets look like? A NASA scientist used information about atmospheric gases and amount of sunlight to create images of what sunset looks like on Venus, Uranus, and Trappist-1, an exoplanet orbiting another star.

Habitat for Humanity Sells a 3D Printed Home

The first US east coast 3D printed home has been built and sold by Habitat for Humanity, a group that helps build affordable housing. They worked with a US 3D printing construction company that uses concrete to build buildings. Concrete keeps temperatures even while protecting from hurricanes and other extreme weather. Printing the house saved at least weeks of construction time compared to building with wood. Habitat for Humanity also has built a 3D printed house in Tempe, Arizona with a German 3D printing construction company.

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