I just got this send through, it is a NASA Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on Space systems engineering. The course starts 3rd of march and will feature weekly assignments and online interaction with NASA staff, scientist and fellow students.

More info is here.

I’ve never done a MOOC, so I think I’ll try this one for starters.

New Space and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. 

Two weeks ago Blue Origin succesfully tested their launch escape system. Click the link for more pictures. 

Frankenfish: Artificial jellyfish built from rat cells

Bio-physicist and -engineers from Harvard and Caltech have joined forces and created a swimming artificial jellyfish merely from rat cells. The jellyfish, or ‘medusoid’, is genetically rat with a silicone polymer ‘nerve system’ to control motion. The medusoid cannot eat, feel or reproduce, but mimics exactly the motion of the common jellyfish.

The researchers are normally occupied with ‘creating artificial models of human heart tissues for regenerating organs and testing drugs.’ They want to use the medusoid, or similar engineered ‘animals’, to test heart-drugs. 

Read more on Nature’s website
Published article (including more movies)

Awesome, the Grasshopper is up on SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor.

Awesome, the Grasshopper is up on SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor.

Playing God, a 2012 BBC documentary about the current state of bio engineering. 

Broadcast (2012) Adam Rutherford meets a new creature created by American scientists, the spider-goat. It is part goat, part spider, and its milk can be used to create artificial spider’s web. It is part of a new field of research, synthetic biology, with a radical aim: to break down nature into spare parts so that we can rebuild it however we please. This technology is already being used to make bio-diesel to power cars. Other researchers are looking at how we might, one day, control human emotions by sending ‘biological machines’ into our brains. 

Spare Parts for Humans: Tissue Engineers Aim for Lab-Grown Limbs, Lungs and More