No matter where you are

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Cool video about an expedition to the Antarctic ice and ‘Lake Whillans’: “Despite being of the most inhospitable places on Earth, Lake Whillans was still thought to contain life. In early 2014 a team of scientists trekked across the ice, tasked with drilling 800 metres down to the lake and looking for evidence of life.” – wait… is this a Arduino Mega there?! It proves: No matter where you are – the Arduino is your best friend!

arduino_ice

Wavepot – the digital audio workstation of the web

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Too much time in your life? Why not try Wavepot and code some digital music. Press on the play button in the top left corner and: Ha! The project is still in the funding period (almost finished!). Once completely funded it will offer user accounts, saving of tracks and a lot of tutorials as far as I can see. Very cool idea… wavepot

Behavioral Analysis of Cuttlefish Traveling Waves

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Amazing paper and analysis by Gilles Laurent’s group at the MPI in Frankfurt. They introduce the Cuttlefish as a new model organism to study traveling waves in chromatophore activity which can be taken as a proxy for underlying neuronal network activity. They performed a compelling analysis of different modes and activity patterns inside the skin of these beautiful and complex animals. Check out their paper in the latest issue of Current Biology (August 4th 2014). The video below is taken from their supplemental video.

Small and inexpensive – that’s the way we like it

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In their paper “Universal mobile electrochemical detector designed for use in resource-limited applications” in PNAS, Alex Nemiroski and his team describe a cool little device that “couples the most common forms of electrochemical analysis directly to “the cloud” using any mobile phone”. Their little tool doesn’t cost more than 30 bucks and builds upon the common Atmega328 8-bit micro controller (Arduino!). With their cleverly designed protocols they were able to measure “(i) glucose in the blood for personal health, (ii) trace heavy metals (lead, cadmium, and zinc) in water for in-field environmental monitoring, (iii) sodium in urine for clinical analysis, and (iv) a malarial antigen (Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2) for clinical research”. They then send the analyzed data via any standard mobile phone by placing a phone call and playing a sequence of sounds that then get decoded and stored. Very nice indeed.