The second post on improvements to concrete in a week, this one’s not quite as outlandish as “bacteria that make concrete heal itself,” but it’s still a useful development: probes, intended to measure the health of concrete structures in a coastal environment, which are sturdy enough to survive in the alkaline conditions inside of concrete for a significantly longer time than previous versions. You can hook them up to a computer wirelessly and get a decade or more of reports on the condition of a concrete structure.
Since blood has 100 times the sugar concentration as spit, pricking a finger to measure blood sugar has been the default way to figure out how much sugar is in a person’s system. But now that might be about to change: a biochip that’s been developed at Brown University can use super-sensitive light interferometry to determine the level of glucose in saliva, even at an extremely low concentration. What’s more, the same chip can be made to detect other chemicals, such as markers for disease and toxins. Lots of potential, but still in early developmental stages; maybe ten years down the road?