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This week in news, The world’s first 3D-printed jet engine and What if lives could be saved through human head/body transplants? You’ll also read about Japan’s latest teddy-bear shaped robots and an Italian surgeon claims that the procedure of grafting one’s head onto another person’s body could take place in just two years.

Researchers Build World’s First 3D-Printed Jet Engine

Australian researchers have reportedly created the world’s first 3D-printed jet engine, which is expected to lead to cheaper, lighter, more fuel-efficient jets. The technology was developed through the partnership between Monash University and Amaero Engineering. The breakthrough is said to allow engineers to make and test parts in days instead of months. 3D-printing or additive manufacturing is a process where 3D-designs are downloaded into a printer which then creates a 3D-dimensional item using laser-fusion. Monash University’s Professor Ian Smith said the technology could one day be used across metal and engineering manufacturing industries. (Zee News)

Scientist Paves the Way for Human Head Transplant

Italian Surgeon Sergio Canavero claims that the world’s first full-body transplant could take place in just two years. He believes that the procedure, in which someone’s head would be sewn onto a donor body, could save the lives of people diagnosed with terminal diseases. Previous experiments met with limited success when they were performed on a dog in the 1950s and a monkey in 1970. However, Canavero says, “I think we are now at a point when the technical aspects are all feasible.” (CNET)

Robear: Japan’s Nurse from the Future

Meet Robear, Japan’s latest teddy-bear shaped robots specifically designed to care for the country’s growing elderly population. Robear is the third iteration of the bear-faced robots, the first and second of which were named RIBA and RIBA-II respectively. In contrast to the earlier prototypes, Robear is capable of gentler movements because it has capacitance-type tactile sensors that feed data to its actuators, which can quickly sense any resistance to exerted force from patients’ bodies. Equipped with giant padded arms, Robear is designed to take on heavy-duty tasks such as lifting and moving bedridden patients into wheelchairs and beds. (PCWorld)

Alipay’s Mobile Transactions Hit $640 Million During CNY

Nowadays, lucky money—or Hongbao—don’t have to come in red envelopes; they can easily be sent electronically. Alipay, the e-payment arm of Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group, claims that more than 100 million people participated in sending Hongbaos via mobile apps during the Chinese New Year holiday this year. The company said a total of 4 billion yuan ($640 million) was transacted via Alipay between Wednesday, Feb 18, or Chinese New Year’s eve and Saturday, Feb 21. (ZDNet)

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