July’s Fascinations of the Month

9 | By Michael A. Robinson

Call it the Battle of the Jellyfish Breakthroughs…

A couple weeks back, in a piece for our sister publication Money Morning, I talked about a Pentagon-funded robotic jellyfish that uses hydrogen as its power source; heat transfer gets the bot to move like the real thing. Military experts see this robofish as capable of helping in underwater rescues (or spy missions).

Turns out that wasn’t the only big advance inspired by this primitive sea creature…

Just this week, we learned that a crack research team has created something incredible called Medusoid. That’s their nickname for an artificial jellyfish they made from rat heart cells and a silicone polymer. This bioengineered creature swims by squeezing its muscles, the same way a real jellyfish does.

More to the point, Medusoid could become a great model for testing new drugs. It also could lead the way to advances in artificial hearts and other human organs.

As I see it, these two breakthroughs coming so close together proves that the Era of Radical Change is here. Cutting-edge high tech really is moving at warp speed, with new advances coming faster than any one person can track.

Indeed, there was plenty of fodder for my fascinations of the month.

Take a look…

Spray-On Batteries and Medical Treatments

In the near future, just about any old object could become a battery…

Researchers at Rice University recently took apart a battery’s components and turned them into liquids. The team then sprayed the surface of bathroom tiles with the material needed to make a lithium-ion battery, used in all sort of electronics. They topped the central tile with a solar cell that turned light from the lab into energy. Once fully charged, the system ran a series LED lights for six hours.

The results bode well for storing energy needed to power all sorts of gadgets.

Not only that, but spray-on tech could help treat disease, too.

A team from Northwestern University recently created a lotion that can change a patient’s DNA.

Here’s their secret. They used tiny groups of ribonucleic acids. Known as RNA, these acids transfer the body’s genetic code and can penetrate skin. Once inside cells, the RNA turned off genes that cause disease.

Tests so far on mice and human skin found no side effects, the team said.

High-Tech Gloves that Improve Mobility and Translate Speech

Traditional gloves protect our hands and keep them warm.

Modern gloves do so much more… like help disabled people join the mainstream.

Take the new wireless “musical” glove that can improve the sense of touch and motor skills for patients with spinal cord injuries. Georgia Tech researchers reported great results in a test of the Mobile Music Touch system. The gloves look like those for exercise, but had a small box on the back.

When users played the piano, the box vibrated to tell them which keys to press. The project required test subjects to practice 30 minutes a day, three times a week. They also wore the gloves at home for two hours each day.

After two months, those who had used the gloves showed better results in tests for grasping and sensation skills. Researchers believe the system renewed brain activity that goes dormant after a severe injury to the spinal cord.

Meanwhile, a team in the Ukraine has made a pair of gloves that can translate sign language for the deaf into speech. Their EnableTalk wireless system connects Bluetooth to a smart phone. It relies on a text-to-speech system and a library of gestures they can tweak to account for dialects and the like.

The new tech could have a wide impact. Roughly 40 million people around the world are deaf, mute, or both. Many use sign language to communicate. But most non-deaf people don’t know sign language.

Best of all – they made a prototype for only $75.

Smartphone Apps that Can Find Bombs and Ear Infections

Dealing with bombs and explosives and crowd response requires years of special training. But not every first responder at an emergency is a member of a bomb squad.

Not to worry… the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security now has an app for that.

Called The FiRST app, it combines Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) maps, search, email, phone, and road and weather data. Among other things, the system tells those first on the scene where to place roadblocks and which buildings to evacuate.

The app works on Google Android devices and iPhones. And it costs just $12.

Of course, smartphone apps are already taking the world by storm. In fact, the iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has given rise to the mobile health (Mhealth) sector, a market that will grow to $23 billion in five years.

I wrote about this field last month in a report for our Money Morning (click here to read my story).

Turns out mobile-health startup CellScope has created a device that turns a smartphone into an otoscope – the device a doctor uses to check a patient’s ear for infections.

CellScope attaches to a phone, giving users a view magnified 10 times inside the ear. It’s designed to let users or their parents take photos or video inside the ear to send to the doctor to check for infection.

This could help cut the costs of health care. After all, concerns about ear infections remain a leading reason why parents take their kids to the doctor.

Mhealth is moving so fast, even young scientists are reporting breakthroughs.

A team of students from John Hopkins was just awarded a $250,000 study grant for a project focused on HemoGlobe. It’s a $20 device that converts a cell phone into a detector for anemia, a blood disorder.

Anemic mothers face many complications before and during birth, including death from blood loss associated with the delivery. In addition, a baby that survives a birth from an anemic mother may face serious health problems.

This app could save a lot of lives. It will allow health workers around globe will quickly and safely detect this high-risk condition in pregnant women and newborns.

I hope you enjoyed July’s Fascinations of the Month. Don’t forget to share what’s fascinating you this month by leaving a comment below or writing to me at


9 Responses to July’s Fascinations of the Month

  1. sonny harben says:

    A nanotechnology company called Nanomech ( has a few new technologys that are fantastic.

    They have developed a coating that extends the life of cutting tools over 1000% and just announced an additive to lubricants thtt makes them frictionless according to a video with the Ark. Gov. on their website.

    Love your info.

  2. Mike Townsend says:

    I am really interested in the glove that transfers DNA. I have CLL and that might provide a cure.


    Thanks for keeping me up-dated in this tech advances, so as the chance of knowing the investing possibilities in this stuff .

    P.D. excuse me for my english, and thanks again

  4. k j shah says:

    Any one invented a spray that can be used to make our politicians honest and less greedy?
    Also can someone invent a invisible shield that one can activate by wearing it via a personal belt that can provide a person with temp. controlled enclosure that will be bug and dust proof.If it can be made bullet proof etc that would be even great!!
    K J Shah

  5. DarioC says:

    As I understand from another article on the heart-cell jellyfish the cells are stimulated by an electrical signal.

    Wonder what the possibilities are for using the same technology to fabricate an artificial muscle to replace the whirring gears and linear solenoids in animal-like robots?


  6. Steven Reed says:

    I am an engineering technologist who has recently conducted tests on an electrical generator that was producing more power than was being put in to it.I met the inventor, and conducted the tests myself with my own instruments.

    Power generators today are typically about 40 to 50 % efficient, which means more than half of the energy we put in to them is lost to heat. Our generators have been robbing us of power for more than 100 years

    A typical 6 horsepower generator, today, will deliver about 2,000 Watts.

    Use his generator,
    and the same 6 horsepower motor will deliver 10,000 Watts!

    It seems unbelievable, But remember, before 1903 nobody believed that heavier than air flight was possible. By 1906 most highly educated scientific types still didn’t believe it. But it changed the face of the 20th century.

    This is a real, working, over unity device! This changes everything! this will blow solar and wind power out the window, bye bye. Being connected to the power grid will eventually become an arcane notion when a device the size of a small air conditioner or a suitcase can power your entire home.

    How would you like to own an electric car that had no expensive, heavy batteries, never needed gasoline, never needed to be plugged in?

    Welcome to the 21st century Michael.
    Things are about to get really interesting


  7. theRedXpress says:

    To Steven Reed:
    Steve, do you have any documents/diagrams/videos to prove your statement?
    Would be very interested in viewing.

    Thank you.

    • Steven Reed says:

      For more information on this you can contact The Monolithic Dome Institute in Italy, Texas. That is where the tests were performed.

      An article about this generator will be published in the “Round Up” which is their on line magazine. The information on this generator, published there,is an article intended for the general public. It walks the reader through the test data.

      Observations, interpretations, approximations, and speculations are made in this article which are there to digest the hard data into a fascinating look at an actual, working, over unity generator.

      To be clear, the information, as such, in that article, is NOT intended to be taken as a white paper meant for academic peer review or anything of that sort.

      enjoy the article
      Steven Reed

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