ideate

create

innovate

JANUARY 2014

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses
Henry Ford

Low Calorie Diet Could Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
A study carried out by Malaysian endriconologist Dr Lim Ee Lin and a team of researchers found that an extremely low calorie diet had the effect of reversing Type 2 diabetes.
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World’s First Text Message Sent in Molecules
Sending a text message via molecular communication using alcohol could prove revolutionary.
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Powering LED Bulbs With A Step of The Foot
With one step of his foot, Zhong Lin Wang illuminated a thousand LED bulbs with no apparent source of stored or wired electric power.
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Plants As Tough As Steel
A team of researchers at Purdue University has shown that cellulose nanocrystals found in plants exhibit a stiffness of 206 gigapascals, equivalent to the stiffness of steel.
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Common Condiment Could Enable High-Tech Industry
Researchers found that sodium chloride enables commercial mass production of silicon nanostructures at significantly reduced costs.
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50 Most Innovative Countries. Bloomberg Rankings 2013
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Did You Know?
The Statue of Liberty is thought to have been hit by about 600 bolts of lightning every year
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January, 2014

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LOW CALORIE DIET could

study carried out by a team of researchers from Newcastle University Medical School in the UK found that an extremely low calorie diet over a period of two months had the effect of reversing Type 2 diabetes. The study was carried out over a two-month period with a daily diet that consisted of a 600-calorie food (consisting of liquid diet and non-starchy vegetables) intake per day. Out of a total of eleven volunteers who took part in the clinical trial, seven were tested to be free of diabetes three months after the end of the trial when they went back to their normal diet. Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition caused by excess glucose in the blood. Excess glucose in the blood is harmful to internal organs in the long term as the glucose is converted into fat which tends to be deposited in internal organs like the liver and pancreas. This results in the pancreas not being able to produce insulin that breaks down excess glucose. The diet used in the trial had the effect of reducing the fatty deposits in the pancreas, thereby restoring the pancreas to its insulin-producing capability. At present, an estimated 1.4 million Malaysians (or one is six adults above the age of 30), suffer from diabetes, of which 98 per cent have Type 2 diabetes. This study could prove to be ground-breaking for sufferers to get their lives back to normal. The research team from Newcastle University was led by Professor Roy Taylor and of which a team member is a Malaysian endriconologist, Dr Lim Ee Lin.

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Just as energy is the basis of life itself, and ideas the source of innovation, so is innovation the vital spark of all human change, improvement and progress.
Theodore Levitt

Applications
Reversal of Type 2 diabetes.

Further Readings
www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/item/malaysian-research www.ncl.ac.uk/magres/research/diabetes/.htm www.scientificmalaysian.com/2013/12/29/

Watch This Video
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XycfImagvC8

A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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ending a text message via molecular communication using alcohol may seem ordinary at first glance, but it could prove revolutionary where ubiquitous radio-based communication systems fail to deliver.

A team of scientists at York University in Canada and the  University of Warwick in the UK used alcohol molecules which were sprayed over a distance of four metres in a lab to successfully deliver the text message “O Canada”. “We believe we have sent the world’s first text message to be transmitted entirely with molecular communication, controlling concentration levels of the alcohol molecules to encode the alphabet, with single spray representing bits and no spray representing the bit zero,” says York University doctoral candidate Nariman Farsad, who was the leader of the team. Added Dr. Weisi Guo from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick, “Of course, signaling or cues are something we see all the time in the natural world-bees for example use chemicals in pheromones to signal to others when there is a threat to the hive, and people have achieved short-range signalling using chemicals. But we have gone to the next level and successfully communicated continuous and generic messages over several meters”. The breakthrough holds much promise for applications of molecular communication in situations and environments where electromagnetic waves can’t be used, like in times of emergencies with hazardous gas or fuel leaks in confined spaces like tunnels, and through sewage systems, water, gas and oil pipelines or on oil rigs. The breakthrough could also find potential use in medicine where nanoscale devices could be embedded into organs where they could gather important data.

MOLECULES
I have always found that my view of success has been iconoclastic: success to me is not about money or status or fame, its about finding a livelihood that brings me joy and self-sufficiency and a sense of contributing to the world.
Anita Roddick

WORLD’S FIRST TEXT MESSAGE SENT IN

Applications
Situations and environments where it is neither safe nor possible to use radio-based communication like in tunnels, sewage systems, water, gas, oil pipelines and oil rigs.

Further Readings
www.yfile.news.yorku.ca/2013/12/18/ www.plosone.org/article/ www.gizmag.com/molecular-signalling

Watch This Video
www.youtube.com/watch?v=39oEgkIThHU

A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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WITH A STEP OF THE FOOT

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ith one step of his foot, Zhong Lin Wang illuminated a thousand LED bulbs with no apparent source of stored or wired electric power. The current that powered the bulbs came from the same source as that tiny spark that jumps from a fingertip to a metal object when you walk across carpet on a dry day. The breakthrough discovery that Wang, a Regents professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his research team achieved was to harvest this power and put it to work. What Wang and his team applied is what is known as the triboelectric effect to create electric power by rubbing or touching two different materials together. A simple triboelectric generator uses two sheets of dissimilar materials, one an electron donor and the other an electron acceptor to create electron flow from one material to the other.

When the sheets are then separated, one sheet holds an electrical charge isolated by the gap between them. An alternating current can be generated if the process is repeated and if an electrical load is connected to two electrodes placed at the edges of the two surfaces to induce a current flow. “The fact that an electric charge can be produced through triboelectrification is well known,” Wang explains. “What we have introduced is a gap separation technique that produces a voltage drop, which leads to a current flow in the external load, allowing the charge to be used.” Wang further adds, “We are able to deliver small amounts of portable power for today’s mobile and sensor applications. This opens up a source of energy by harvesting power from activities of all kinds.”

Listen to anyone with an original idea, no matter how absurd it may sound at first. If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need.
William L. McKnight

Applications
Harvesting electric power from activities where triboelectrification can be applied.

Further Readings
www.news.gatech.edu/2013/12/07/ www.futurity.org/power-1000-led-bulbs www.machinedesign.com/energy/

Watch This Video
www.youtube.com/watch?v=joetshqFAOM

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January, 2014 The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
Michelangelo

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ell, not quite literally, but a team of researchers at Purdue University has shown that cellulose nanocrystals, the building blocks of tress and other plants, exhibit a stiffness of 206 gigapascals, equivalent to the stiffness of steel.

The stiffness of 206 gigapascals was derived by the team by precisely modelling the atomic structure of cellulose, based on crystals only 3 nanometres (a nanometre is a billionth of a meter) wide by 500 nanometres long. Cellulose nanocrystals are found in abundance, and can be harvested and refined, in trees and other plants and any number of other renewable sources such as algae, cellulose-producing bacteria, and tunicates or sea squirts.

PLANTS AS TOUGH AS

The research findings could prove to be the precursor to the creation of new biomaterials. “It is also the first step towards a multiscale modelling approach to understand and predict the behaviour of individual crystals, the interaction between them, and their interaction with other materials,” said Pablo D. Zavattieri, a Purdue University assistant professor of civil engineering. “This is important for the design of novel cellulose-based materials as other research groups are considering them for a huge variety of applications, ranging from electronics and medical devices to structural components for the automotive, civil and aerospace industries.” Indeed, biomaterials manufacturing could prove to be commercially viable as it could be a natural extension of the paper and biofuels industries whereby current processes and technologies could be leveraged to produce cellulose-based biomaterials.

Applications
Biomaterials for structural components for automotive, civil and aerospace industries, electronics and medical devices.

Further Readings
www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2013/Q4/ www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=129955 www.inhabitat.com/cellulose-super-material

A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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January, 2014

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he table salt is not normally thought of as “extraordinary”. However, a recent discovery is about to put it in a totally different league. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) found that sodium chloride possesses the potential to enable the commercial mass production of silicon nanostructures at significantly reduced costs. Silicon is the second most abundant element in Earth’s crust. Silicon nanostructures, which are smaller than a speck of dust, have the potential to be used in photonics, biological imaging, sensors, drug delivery, thermoelectric materials that can convert heat into electricity, and energy storage. However, until this discovery, current technologies employed to make silicon nanostructures were costly, limiting their use in very limited products that markets could afford to bear. Simpler technologies to make silicon nanostructures are not viable because extremely high temperatures are required. The OSU researchers discovered a highly cost-effective process of melting and absorbing heat at a critical moment during a “magnesiothermic reaction” where molten salt acts as a heat absorber and dissipator, preventing the collapse of the nanostructures during production. The molten salt can then be washed away, recycled and used again. According to David Xiulei Ji, Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the OSU College of Science, “This could be what it takes to open up an important new industry. There are methods now to create silicon nanostructures, but they are vey costly and can only produce tiny amounts. This process should allow the production of high-quality silicon nanostructures in large quantities at low cost”. This discovery has the potential to spawn new products arising from potential mass production of silicon nanostructure which were hitherto cost-prohibitive. Not bad for indeed for the humble table salt whose use can now be significantly expanded.

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
Carl Rogers

Applications
Mass production of silicon structures at significantly reduced costs to enable new high-tech industry.

Further Readings
http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2013/ http://voices.yahoo.com/table-salt http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130717

A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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Most Innovative

Countries
Bloomberg Rankings 2013
SOURCE: BLOOMBERG
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 41-50

United States South Korea Germany Finland Sweden Japan Singapore Austria Denmark France Netherlands Ireland Norway Russian Belgium Luxembourg Canada United Kingdom Slovenia Iceland

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Switzerland Australia Czech Republic Italy Portugal Hungary Spain New Zealand China Poland Estonia Estonia Israel Israel Lithuania Lithuania Slovakia Slovakia Croatia Croatia Hong Hong Kong Kong Turkey Turkey Malaysia Malaysia Malta Malta Tunisia Tunisia

Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Latvia, Argentina, Romania, Iran, Macedonia, Belarus, South Africa

Innovation was measured by 7 factors including R&D intensity, productivity, high-tech density, researcher concentration, manufacturing capability, education levels and patent activity
A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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CANDY CRUSH
Candy Crush has more active monthly players than the entire population of Canada. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

THE WORLD’S SMALLEST POISONOUS FROG
The world's smallest poisonous frog is less than a centimetre long and its skin is 200 times more toxic than morphine. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

NATURAL GAS
Natural gas is odourless. The smell is added artificially for safety reasons. Source: www.factslides.com

A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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January, 2014

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THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
The Statue of Liberty is thought to have been hit by about 600 bolts of lightning  every year. Source: www.factslides.com

THE INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB
Starting Jan 1, 2014, traditional 40 and 60 watt  incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available in the U.S Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

THE OCTOPUS
Octopuses have three hearts. Two branchial hearts pump blood through each of the two gills, while the third is a  systemic heart that pumps blood through the body. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

A publication of Unit Inovasi Khas, Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Malaysia

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