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Open University science citizen

Nov 13 2012, 11:05 am

I have come across a cool project that some of my friends are doing - sciencecitizen.org. Similar to the idea of an open university, sciencecitizen.org is trying the take the research component of universities (as opposed to the education component) and open it to individuals!

Citizen Science this is called - normal people performing science. I really think it will have a positive impact!

Hey, this is an interesting idea. I think one of the great benefits of this is it would allow production at the point of need - making it so that people who couldn't afford their own stoves could actually build them. Great idea, I'm excited to see how it progresses.

test test

Mar 29 2011, 11:27 pm

International Collaboration Format Great idea ...

Oct 15 2008, 03:33 pm

I think this is a really good idea, we need to research how google translate works.


Universal Medical Kits

Jan 27 2008, 03:45 am

I posted a new link to a book called "Where there is no Doctor" in the references section. It is basically a manual for health care in a rural setting, where there is no doctor. This book is so closely related to this project, that the potential for this project to produce something is much improved. I am reading the book, and more will come soon.

Jan 24 2008, 10:47 pm

DESIGNBREAK EMAIL! I made it so that every designbreak account is also an email account. You can now send emails by sending a message and putting an email address as the recipient. As well, you can recieve emails at yourusername@designbreak.org. This was a fun project, enjoy!!


Fruit is full of water, and perhaps we could use this to our advantage. Obviously, different plants survive in different environments, and there is selection both for water storage and water uptake (eg cacti or willow trees). One focus for this project could be to compile information about water storage, uptake and potability from a variety plants which are adapted to a variety of climates. If there is potential perhaps we could look into selecting for these as useful traits in these plants!

nice idea. I think that generally there are two alternitives which are used to date: cloth rollors, and blowers.


Oct 23 2007, 05:13 am

We need to implement multi-language support for designbreak. There are several approaches that we could take.

1. Software translation of the entire site into other languages such that everything, including the blogs and the chats could be shared. The drawbacks are obvious, translation software tends not to be very good.

2. Wiki-translation. This has high potential in terms of accuracy but lacks applicability real-time. Perhaps we could eventually apply this to our publications when we have them.

3. Language delocalization. We could make separate designbreaks for different languages like Wikipedia. (e.g. fr.designbreak.org)

4. A combination of (1) and (2). Similar to Google translate, you could view a computer translated version of a page and you can hover your mouse to see the original sentence, and correct it if the translation is wrong. This has the advantages of both (1) and (2) and eliminates some of their drawbacks. I like this especially because it means that we can collaborate more effectively with speakers of other languages.

I want to hear what other people think about this, and especially if they know of, or want write a program to implement (4). Thanks,



Oct 17 2007, 10:53 pm

Certain chars will screw up the sql queries such as apostrophes.

Molecular Separators

Oct 10 2007, 03:52 am

Nano-scale robots are simply too sci-fi to be practical for these purposes. However, molecules are often separated for scientific research purposes or engineering. These methods tend to differentiate by these characteristics: by mass/charge ratio, by rate of diffusion across specific membranes or columns, by size, by mass and by chemical precipitation. If a device was to be able to separate specific molecules from any impure substance, it would have to do several of these in tests in series to get the final substance.

The methods of separation used to date are fairly slow, for example a HPLC measurement takes several hours. If one was to make a practical separation device, it would have to have these features:

1. Mid to High through-put

2. Low energy per gram requirement

3. Good separation efficiency

4. Simple to tune to a specific molocule

The only thing I can think of that can do these things are biological systems. Well I don't think 4 would be so easy for a biological system. But that is where I would start. Is there an easyway to tune say a bacteria to eat a specific molecule? MRNA perhaps?

Sep 14 2007, 05:44 am

Welcome to Zachary Apte's designbreak blog! This is my first blog entry, and I am excited because I have just released the alpha version of the designbreak website! I hope that people will work with me on the development of this site, and I wish you all luck in your open design endeavors.