Wired Wednesday 010: 5D Storage, 3D BioPrinters & Mattel’s $300 3D printer

Ben Wilson @ News 1130

This week on News 1130 radio in Vancouver, I spoke about these tech topics for Wired Wednesday with Ben Wilson:

  • ‘Five-dimensional’ glass discs can store data for up to 13.8 billion years (source)
    Scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK have created a new data format that encodes information in tiny nanostructures in glass. A standard-sized disc can store around 360 terabytes of data, with an estimated lifespan of up to 13.8 billion years even at temperatures of 190°C. That’s as old as the Universe, and more than three times the age of the Earth.
  • 3D bioprinter can make human-sized ear, muscle, and bone tissues (source)
    For the first time, scientists have produced 3D-printed structures made of living cells that are big enough and strong enough to replace human tissues. A bioprinter, described today in Nature Biotechnology, was used to make ear, bone, and muscle structures out of plastic-like materials and living cells belonging either to humans, rabbits, rats, or mice. The cells survived the printing process — a feat that has not been easy to accomplish in the past — and the structures were stable enough to be successfully implanted in rodents, the researchers report. If the technology works in humans the way it has in animals, doctors may soon find themselves using bioprinters to produce replacement cartilage and bone for people who have been injured, using a patient’s own cells.
  • Mattel’s $300 3D printer lets you design and create your own toys (source)
  • In the 1960s, Mattel’s ThingMaker let children create their own toys by pouring liquid plastic into metal molds. Now, Mattel has updated the idea for a new century using 3D printing. The reinvented ThingMaker is a $299.99 3D printer which works with an iOS and Android app to let children (and adults, of course) design new figurines and send them wirelessly from their phone or tablet straight to the printer.

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