Supermarket shoppers squeeze fruit to see if it’s ripe. The same sort of test could one day be applied to cells in a lab dish as a way of diagnosing disease. Ted Hubbard, a mechanical engineer at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has developed a pair of silicon claws small enough to squeeze individual cells just a few micrometers in diameter. Using spring-loaded joints controlled by an electrical current, the microgripper can measure the force needed to break the cells, an indicator of cellular health that could be used to test, say, blood cells for infection or cells from a biopsy to see if they are cancerous. Hubbard has shown that his device can grip dead, dry cells, and he is now developing a version able to grab live cells in liquid. He is part of a group of researchers that plans to develop, within seven years, a prototype micromachined diagnostic device incorporating the microgripper, for the lab or doctor’s office.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google
Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.
Video: Geoffrey Hinton talks about the “existential threat” of AI
Watch Hinton speak with Will Douglas Heaven, MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for AI, at EmTech Digital.
Doctors have performed brain surgery on a fetus in one of the first operations of its kind
A baby girl who developed a life-threatening brain condition was successfully treated before she was born—and is now a healthy seven-week-old.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.