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: Scientists teleport a photon into space for the first time, promising results from personalized cancer vaccines, Volvo announces plans to go fully electric, a 3D printed heart, and transparent solar powered windows.
Scientists Teleport Photon into Orbit for First Time
Not long ago, in the early 1990s, scientists only speculated that teleportation using quantum physics could be possible. Since then, the process has become a standard operation in quantum optics labs around the world. In fact, just last year, two separate teams conducted the world’s first quantum teleportation outside of a laboratory.
Now, researchers in China have taken the process a few steps further: they successfully teleported a photon from Earth to a satellite orbiting more than 500 km (311 mi) away.
New Trials Showing Great Promise for Personalized Cancer Vaccines
Cancer comes in all shapes and sizes. It can affect any and every part of the human body in a variety of potentially debilitating — and even life-threatening — ways. So, while the vaccines developed as part of two recent studies published in the journal Nature could lead to a whole new age of groundbreaking cancer therapies and treatments, they are by no means a “cure” for all the different forms of cancer.
Even still, these new vaccines are remarkable. While these vaccines are new, cancer vaccines in general are not. The researchers explored the possibility of creating vaccines personalized to an individual’s unique cancer mutations in order to combat tumors. The two clinical trials run thus far were small: in them, the researchers attempted to design individual vaccines in hopes they would give the patient the ability to fight off tumors in a way optimized for their biology. These studies also briefly noted the potential to combine such vaccines with existing immunotherapies to give the body an increased chance of combatting a cancer’s spread
Volvo Announces Plans To Go Fully Electric
Electric vehicles are quickly becoming the future of automobiles, thanks to efforts by both veteran car manufacturers and startups. Perhaps taking a cue from electric car manufacturing leaders like Tesla, traditional auto industry heavyweight Volvo has decided to focus on electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019 and beyond.
“Volvo cars is taking a bold step forward,” the company explained in a video on Volvo’s official Twitter account, “heralding the end of an era for the pure internal combustion engine.”
A 3D Printed Heart That Can Do Everything a Real Heart Can
Scientists have been developing artificial hearts for quite some time now. However, many of the current designs are unfortunately clunky, which presents difficulties in successfully integrating them into human tissue. To approach this issue, a team of researchers from ETH Zürich decided to take a cue from the biological human heart.
Instead of using separate parts, the Swiss team, led by Nicholas Cohrs, 3D-printed an artificial heart using a soft, flexible material. The material was molded into a single part (or a “monoblock”) which allowed the team to design a complex inner structure complete with pumping mechanisms able to be triggered by silicon ventricles. This method imitates a realistic human heartbeat.
Transparent Solar Windows Installed in World First
A tech startup on a mission to make modern commercial and housing estates energy neutral has outfitted the headquarters of a Dutch bank with the world’s first commercial, fully transparent solar-power-generating windows.
The windows have solar cells installed in the edges at a specific angle that allows the incoming solar light to be efficiently transformed into electricity.
“Large commercial estates consume a lot of energy,” said Ferdinand Grapperhaus, co-founder and CEO of the startup, called Physee. “If you want to make these buildings energy-neutral, you never have enough roof surface. Therefore, activating the buildings’ facades will significantly contribute to making the buildings energy-neutral.”