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Technology Tuesday: January 19


This week: A look at Amazon’s drone delivery service, a new player in space exploration, a stem cell hub in Canada, an injectable foam for regrowing bone, and a new way to treat diabetes.


Delivery Drones: The Latest on what Amazon Prime Air Can Do


As the world awaits the implementation of various drone delivery services planned by major retailers, Amazon reveals what consumers can expect from their Amazon Prime Air.

“So Prime Air is a future delivery service that will get packages to customers within 30 minutes of them ordering it online at,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy told Yahoo News.



A New Space Taxi


By 2019, Sierra Nevada Corp, a private company, will be shuttling cargo to the International Space Station via their innovative new space plane. Ultimately, Sierra Nevada is joining Space Exploration Technologies—SpaceX—and Orbital ATK in the bid to ferry supplies from Earth.

No other details regarding the contract were disclosed; however, the estimated overall value of the three contracts is presumably capped at $14 billion, with each company guaranteed a minimum of six flights within the 2019 to 2024 timeframe.



Canada To Open “International Hub For Stem Cell Research”


Stem cells are remarkable. They have the ability to grow into a plethora of different kinds of cells. As the National Institute of Health notes, they are capable of “dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive.” And it is precisely this ability to grow and develop into different cell types that makes stem cells so useful in the fight again a host of diseases and ailments.

Now, Canada’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has just announced that the federal government is set to put in $20 million towards the development of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine. The move is set to support the establishment of a stem-cell therapy development facility in Toronto.



Injectable Bone Paste Can Be Used To Repair/Grow Bones


Calcium phosphate cements (CPC) have long been available for repairing bone problems caused by disease or accidents; however, recently published research reveals that French scientists just dramatically enhanced CPC by developing a remarkable new injectable bone foam that not only repairs bone damage but also allows bone formation.

Pierre Weiss, from the University of Nantes, leads the research team in developing a type of CPC that is both self-setting and macroporous. In other words, the team has created a foaming agent that creates air bubbles in the CPC mixture. This is necessary because, if injectable cements don’t have cavities larger than 50 nanometers, it makes it difficult to do things like treat bone degeneration or strengthen cancellous bone—a porous, flexible tissue that gets progressively weaker with osteoporosis.



Artificial Pancreas Could Regulate Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetics


There are a number of technologies that are taking over the human body. These devices help to regulate what our bodies should do on their own (like the artificial kidneys that are powered by blood pressure). Ultimately, this technology could save millions of lives worldwide, and a new major player has just entered the field.

Researchers from a joint collaboration will soon begin one of the biggest long-term clinical trials of a technology that is designed to regulate the blood sugar levels of those suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus.


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

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