The device is a sensor, and it represents some of the core technology of MC10, a startup that makes flexible electronics. Ghaffari, cofounder and director of advanced technology at the company, isn't at liberty to tell me what, exactly, it senses. It could be temperature, muscle activity, or heart rate.
The sensor's counterpart is another rectangle of silicone. This one encases more traditional semiconductor chips, each about half the size of your pinky nail. Rather than being soldered to a brittle green board that's etched with interconnects, the chips are linked by what appear to be the same wavy, bendable wires. It's not as flexible as the passive sensor because of the chips, but it's still supple enough to bend around my finger. It's the brains of the system, Ghaffari tells me. It receives data from the sensor and then processes, stores, and passes on that information.
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 36 flight engineer, works to setup the Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR) fluorescence microscope in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. This configuration, along with the leak checks that the crew performed in June, is in preparation for the Aniso Tubule experiment launching on HTV-4 in August. Aniso Tubule will investigate the role of cortical microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins in plant growth while in microgravity.
Scientists from Japan have harvested solar energy using an exceptionally large number of light absorbers to relay photons via antennas into one final energy acceptor. This two-step sequence closely mimics natural photosynthesis, resulting in greater and more efficient energy transfer.