SciTech

SciTech Briefs

Credit: Courtesy of designmilk, via Flickr Creative Commons Credit: Courtesy of designmilk, via Flickr Creative Commons Top and frontal views of Adidas’ new shoe made from recycled ocean waste and illegally disposed  shing nets. (credit: Courtesy of designmilk, via Flickr Creative Commons) Top and frontal views of Adidas’ new shoe made from recycled ocean waste and illegally disposed shing nets. (credit: Courtesy of designmilk, via Flickr Creative Commons)

Buggy races boast new, exciting, sleek designs at Carnival

Carnegie Mellon students have built and raced buggies for more than a century. Over the decades, designs have become more ef cient and aesthetically pleasing. 2017’s Spring Carnival saw a continuation of this trend. Nine organizations — namely Student Dormitory Council (SDC), Pi Kappa Alpha, Fringe, Sigma Phi Epsilon, CIA, Apex, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and SPIRIT — participated in the rst set of heats.

Many teams’ buggies sported interesting paint jobs that conveyed fun messages. Technical designs were equally diverse. Even though all buggies had three wheels, some teams had two in the front and one in the back, while some teams had the opposite arrangement. The turning and breaking mechanisms in the buggies also varied from team to team.

Buggies were also very aerodynamic this year. All shells were modeled after the teardrop shape, making the buggies cut through the air and reduce drag. The fastest time was clocked by the SDC A team, with a time of 2:02.16.

Source: Carnegie Mellon University

HBO film reignites debate about cell use in research

The new HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has reignited debate about unauthorized cell donation from patients. The film, which stars Oprah Winfrey, chronicles the life of Henrietta Lacks, an impoverished African- American in 1950s America.

Lacks had undergone surgery for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins when her cells were sequenced, unbeknownst to her, for medical research. Her cells, named HeLa, demonstrated ‘immortal’ traits, being able to last and multiply for decades. HeLa has contributed tremendously to research in polio vaccines, chemotherapy, and in vitro fertilization. Lacks’ DNA has been copied as well, exposing her family’s genes to the medical world without her knowing.

The practice in medical research of taking patients’ cells without their permission has come under fire. Laws do not allow direct medical research and testing on human beings, but these same laws are lenient when it comes to cell testing. The HBO film premieres on April 23.

Source: Vox Media

Adidas plans to sell shoes made of plastic ocean waste

Adidas has turned its focus towards sustainability and the mighty oceans. In collaboration with Parley, an organization concerned with ocean protection, Adidas will unveil Ultra Boost, Ultra Boost Uncaged, and Ultra Boost X, made mostly from ocean plastic waste.

About 11 bottles go into making each pair of shoes. The plastic is used for the new PrimeKnit mesh present on the upper side of new shoes. Overall, about 95 percent of shoes will be made from ocean waste. The sports- wear company hopes to make a million pairs by the end of 2017. Adidas has signed contracts to do the same with soccer jerseys, although these will not be available to the public like the shoes are.

The shoes will sell on May 10, starting at $200. Adidas’ efforts at sustainability will hopefully spur its competitors to follow suit, and reducing the planet’s non-biodegradable waste ever so slightly. Even though the shoes are made from trash, they look as sleek and appealing as previous versions. To some, it may even look better.

Source: Engadget