The idea of creating a physical object from a digital file is fascinating. It conjures memories of the replicators in Star Trek that can create everything from clothes to starship components to different foods. Today’s 3D printing is making impressive strides in that direction, to the great interest of many manufacturers. It is now possible to print the components for sophisticated electronic devices with fairly simple equipment, for instance – as my research team has just shown by producing what we believe to be the first 3D-printed microphone.
In recent years, multiple space agencies have shared their plans to return astronauts to the Moon, not to mention establishing an outpost there. Beyond NASA’s plan to revitalize lunar exploration, the European Space Agency (ESA), Rocosmos, and the Chinese and Indian federal space agencies have also announced plans for crewed missions to the Moon that could result in permanent settlements.
More than 30 people across the world have received face transplants since the first procedure was successfully carried out in France in 2005. The discussion has long since moved on from initial apprehensions to the practicalities involved in improving the technique. As a treatment for facial disfigurement which enhances quality of life, the clinical need is established and results to date have been encouraging.