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Technology Tuesday: February 7


Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: Checking your breath for the flu virus, Uber is using a NASA scientist to try to make flying cars a reality, artificial lungs keep a woman alive for six days after both her lungs were removed, Boston Dynamics unveils a new bipedal robot, and China is building two vertical forests in Nanjing.


Using Your Breath To Check For The Flu


Perena Gouma, a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), just created a new device that can tell you if you have the flu after analyzing a single breath. The National Science Foundation funded the research to develop the device, and Professor Gouma’s article on the project was published in the journal Sensors.

The device works much like the breathalyzer a police officer might use to determine drunkenness during a traffic stop. It can detect various biometric indicators that are only present in people infected with the flu virus, including a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as nitric oxide. In a UTA press release, Gouma said, “I think that technology like this is going to revolutionize personalized diagnostics. This will allow people to be proactive and catch illnesses early, and the technology can easily be used to detect other diseases, such as Ebola virus disease, simply by changing the sensors.



Uber Taps NASA Scientist to Make Flying Cars a Reality


Uber’s ride sharing concept didn’t just revolutionize the transportation industry – it carved a totally new business model. It’s no surprise then, that the company is consistently investing in technology that will once again prove to be game changing.

Last October, Uber announced plans to develop vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft to provide a cost-effective and efficient ride sharing service that can shuttle passengers around cities. Now, former NASA engineer Mark Moore will be joining the team to bring these flying, on-demand vehicles into reality.



Artificial Lung Keeps Woman Alive for Six Days


In another display of the miracle of modern science, a woman was recently kept alive for six days after doctors removed her diseased lungs and she awaited a donor. She was kept alive using a small artificial lung, and became the first person to ever undergo such an operation.

The lucky lady is Melissa Benoit, a nurse from Canada. She developed severe complications from her cystic fibrosis and when initially hospitalized, she was only given hours to live. Doctors then decided that it was time to do or die and gave the option for this novel procedure.



Boston Dynamics Unveils a New Bipedal Robot Named Handle


Boston Dynamics, the robotics company behind the famous Atlas bot, has a new addition to its line up of two-legged machines. Meet Handle, a robotic biped that exchanged its feet for a pair of wheels. In a leaked video taken during a presentation given by Boston Dynamics founder, Marc Raibert, Handle is seen performing amazing stunts that beat the balancing acts of Atlas.



China is Building a Pair of Vertical Forests


China is looking toward more innovative — and in this case, breathtaking — solutions to its pollution problem.

More than eight million people live in Nanjing, the second largest city in the East China region, so there’s hardly any room to plant new trees to combat the city’s pollution. As an alternative, Nanjing is building a vertical forest by constructing living, breathing buildings that can serve to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen at the same time.



Know any interesting stories we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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