July 30, 2021
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The main parts of a firearm are gunpowder, a tube, and projectiles that are forced out of the tube by the force created when the gunpowder deflagrates. These parts came together in what weapon?

The "bang stick" of 8th century Java
The "spitting cobra" of 9th century Persia
The "fire lance" of 10th century China
The "carbonara" of 11th century Venice
Spotlight on Biotechnology
Prosthetic technicians are providing repairs and in some cases new limbs to athletes at the 2021 Paralympic Games in facilities provided by Ottobock, the official technical service partner for the games. Some of the requests are challenging as athletes from third world countries sometimes present orthoses and prostheses that require the technicians to widen their technical abilities, according to John Snethen, a certified prosthetic assistant and technician who is working his second Paralympic Games.
Full Story: O&P Almanac (Adobe Flash required) (7/2021) 
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Researchers in South Korea used 3D printing to create an implant that accounts for the shape of a damaged tissue to continuously deliver drugs to patients with acute liver failure. The implant requires only one surgery to be placed next to the liver and be connected to a port that allows for the drug supply to be topped up.
Full Story: Korea Biomedical Review (7/28) 
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Synchron has received approval from the FDA to begin clinical trials of its Stentrode, a brain-based implant technology for patients with paralysis. The company has received US approval to test its commercial solution in humans before Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain-computer interface project.
Full Story: Bloomberg (7/28) 
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Innovations & Trends
A group of farmers in the Netherlands has partnered to create a hydrogen-powered field robot called the E-robotiller with funding from the Dutch government. The automated machine, which is designed to perform a variety of functions in the field, is expected to launch this autumn.
Full Story: Future Farming (The Netherlands) (free registration) (7/29) 
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Amazon is kicking off what it describes as "one of the fastest modern commercial electrification programs" by testing electric delivery vehicles in Detroit and 15 other cities. The retail giant could operate 10,000 electric vehicles as early as 2022, en route to an eventual fleet of up to 100,000 vehicles.
Full Story: DBusiness Magazine (Detroit) (7/28),  WDIV-TV (Detroit) (7/28) 
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A steel industry case study demonstrates that digital analytics has the potential to track product quality as well as equipment performance. The trial, which involved digital twins and industrial internet of things applications, cut project completion time in half.
Full Story: Plant Engineering (7/28) 
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Leadership & Development
Three groups in Oakland County, Mich., are offering a 14-week certification program in robotics technicians and programmable logic controllers. "The goal of the program is to get people up-skilled and then out working in the industry," says Kristen Charlton, program manager at Oakland Community College.
Full Story: C&G Newspapers (Michigan) (7/29) 
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TRIZ is a structured, "left-brained" approach to breakthrough innovation through the use of patterns documented in the world's most inventive patents. This analysis reveals an algorithm, which when followed, allows anyone to provide breakthrough and novel solutions to problems as well as new product and business concepts. Lead product innovation in your organization with skills you learn in the TRIZ Virtual Classroom.
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Issued in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of ASME’s history and heritage committee, this new book collects, in a single place, historical contributions published over the past fifty years in ASME’s flagship magazine: Mechanical Engineering.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
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