We’ve seen a number of options for controlling real worms, but never a worm robot, until now. Enter Meshworm, the latest creation from researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University. The bot is made from “artificial muscle” composed of a flexible mesh tube segmented by loops of nickel / titanium wire. The wire contracts and squeezes the tube when heated by a flowing current, but cut the power and it returns to its original shape, creating propulsion in a similar way to its living kin. Taking traditional moving parts out of the equation also makes it pretty hardy, as proven by extensive testing (read: hitting it with a hammer). DARPA is known for getting its fingers in all sorts of strange pies, and it also supported this project. We can’t see it being the fastest way of gathering intel, but the potential medical applications, such as next-gen endoscopes, sound plausible enough. Full impact tests in the video after the break.

Whenever a painful procedure must be done on the arms, hands, face, feet or legs, this is the most common type of anesthetic that is used. It is given near the nerve bundles so that the pain is blocked. The muscle then relaxes and that specific part of the body cannot be moved voluntarily, much like Novocain when one has dental work. During surgeries using regional anesthesia, the patient is often awake, but is sometimes sedated for part of the procedure. This option is usually left up to the patient. Regional anesthesia can be given through a single injection, through a catheter or intravenously. While there are more risks involved with regional anesthesia than with local anesthesia, it is a very safe procedure. Once you talk to the anesthesiologist, you will understand the procedure better. These specialists are usually very kind and supportive, wanting to answer your questions. Learn as much as you can and with the help of your anesthesiologist, your surgery will be over in a short period of time! Anesthesiologists who want to learn more about about the latest news and discoveries about anesthesia should definitely make plans to attend the Eurpoean Society of Regional Anaesthesia. The next ESRA 2012 congress registration is taking place and you don’t want to miss this unique opportunity.

For years you’ve probably been hearing about blogs, bloggers, the blogosphere, and all things “bloggy”. When most people hear the term blog they might think of some geek in their underwear writing unimportant and pointless stuff for other geeks to read. While many blogs might be like this, political blogs are of a different class. Political blogs can be very informative, enlightening, and funny. If you like politics and think you have what it takes to write a blog on politics, you came to the right place. I’m going to share a few tips with you on how to write a great political blog. Even if you don’t know how to write like a journalist it doesn’t matter -all you need is passion (and a little knowledge). If you don’t have strong political opinions then let me stop you right there and suggest you pick a different topic than politics. In order to write a great blog on politics you have to have politics on the brain, meaning, you have to be a politics enthusiast.

That doesn’t mean you have to like politics or politicians (good luck finding someone who does) but you should care about how politics and politicians affect your daily life and the lives of others. Alright, so you’ve decided that you absolutely, positively want to write a political blog. In order to connect with people who might stumble across your blog you will want to align yourself with a label. A label let’s people know “hey, this person thinks like me”. While some people say they don’t like labels or don’t fall into any label or category you shouldn’t take the label too seriously. A label can be something specific like “far left wing liberal” or it can be broad like “independent”. I find it easier to gain followers by being narrow (i.e. conservative) than by being broad (i.e. moderate) but that’s your call. An easy way to be broad is to write on something all-encompassing like Canadian politics or American politics. I highly recommend using Blogger’s free blog hosting service.

Go to Blogger’s website and take a tour and read the tutorial. Even if you have never used HTML you will find Blogger very easy to use. Also get a Gmail account which is integrated into Blogger and makes everything so much easier. Don’t even think about it, just start writing. Pick a few topics you want to write about and start hammering away. Once you get a few articles under your belt you’re going to feel very satisfied with what you just created. Try to keep your articles between 150 and 400 words. Any more than that is simply too long -most people don’t have time to read long blog posts. Most people don’t even read newspaper articles in their entirety. Think quality, not quantity. You will want to connect with other blogs that write on the same topic. If you write a blog on the U.S. Senate, try to find other blogs on that same topic and develop a business relationship with them. This way, you will create a symbiotic relationship with others who share you interests. Their fans and followers will become your fans and followers. Step Five: Be consistent! Who wants to bookmark a blog that only posts once a month. Posting weekly is the bare minimum. I cannot stress how effective it is to post daily. People like routine, they like checking in on the same websites on their lunch break or after work when they sit down in front of the computer. You can appeal to these people by always having something new to see and read every day. People will come back to you. Now you are ready to write your own blog on politics! Remember to welcome input from readers -they are your customers!