Robots with superpowers and 3D printed brain tissue – IMPRESSO #35

In this IMPRESSO: Robots with superpowers, 3d-printed walking brains and life on Mars 2.0


Robots with superpowers

Robots are cool. And some animals have special powers, e.g. the ability to sniff explosives. What do you get when combining those two? Robots with superpowers, of course! The first step in creating them, was just taken by researchers at Tel Aviv University. They connected a robot to a dead locust’s ear. The surprising result? The robot received the ear’s electrical signals… and responded to them! Nature’s gifts and technological innovation may be joining forces here for a broad variety of applications. Think about these super-robots being able to identify criminals, sense earthquakes or detect diseases, such as such as Covid-19! Read more and watch the robot with his new ear in action here


3D-printed brain tissue

When suffering from a neurodegenerative disease, or a brain and spinal cord injury for example, the regeneration process of the damaged brain tissue is extremely difficult. That’s where the latest research of Northwestern University could be the beginning of a breakthrough! Their newly developed biomaterial can not only mimic functions of brain tissue but on top of it, it can be 3D printed! The next step to bring this incredible research to a new level is the creation of a platform that may serve multiple purposes: Producing brain tissue in vitro for transplantations to a patient but also being applied in regenerative therapies and thus, improving and saving lives! Read more


Life on Mars 2.0

Scholars from Rhode Island could have accidentally advanced the Perseverance Rover Mars mission! First, they found microbes living below the seafloor in ancient sediment. So far so good. And then things got really interesting: those microbes are actually primarily sustained through the byproduct of the natural radioactive process, rather than by photosynthesis! This finding may not only be used in the nuclear industry, e.g. for storing strategies for nuclear waste, but may also deliver new insights into the possibilities of other planetary items. Life on Mars … count me in! Read more