Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Sep 19, 2022

Reverse-engineering the brain to decode input signals from output neuron firing

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, neuroscience

The brain is an extremely complex organ whose exact functioning remains difficult to understand. On average, the human brain contains 100 billion neurons that fire upon receiving input signals from multiple sensory organs. But, what is truly remarkable about our brain is the synchronization of this neural firing when triggered by a common input. Put simply, common inputs can generate a collective response in neurons that are not only spatially separated but also have different firing characteristics.

The neural synchronization has been observed before in experiments, and is commonly demonstrated during rest and activities involving tasks. However, the common inputs which produce this are typically unknown in real-world situations. This raises an interesting question: is it possible to reconstruct this input by looking at the output of the ?

In a new study published in Physical Review E on September 12, 2022, a team of researchers from Japan, led by Professor Tohru Ikeguchi from Tokyo University of Science (TUS), set out to answer this question. The team, including Associate Professor Ryota Nomura of Waseda University (formerly TUS), and Associate Professor Kantaro Fujiwara of The University of Tokyo, looked at the firing rates of neurons and managed to reconstruct the using a method called “superposed recurrence plot” (SRP).

Sep 16, 2022

Rocket Lab celebrates 30th launch and 150th satellite sent to orbit

Posted by in categories: engineering, satellites

Today’s launch by Rocket Lab, “The Owl Spreads Its Wings,” was as unremarkable as a rocket going to orbit can be, but it also marked a few milestones for the growing space company: 30 launches and 150 satellites taken to space.

The company’s first trip to orbit was in January of 2018, technically Electron’s second test flight but the first successful delivery of a payload to space. That was after more than 10 years of design, engineering and manufacturing since the company was founded in 2006.

It then had an unbroken streak of 18 launches, but on its 20th there was an anomaly and it lost the payload and vehicle. But as founder and CEO Peter Beck told me shortly afterwards, “no more than seconds after we realized that we had an anomaly on our hands, the team was already working it.” And they were clear to fly a month later.

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Sep 15, 2022

Novel implantable sensor sniffs out possible signals of osteoarthritis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, engineering, evolution

If smoke indicates a fire, nitric oxide signals inflammation. The chemical mediator promotes inflammation, but researchers suspect it can do its job too well after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures and related injuries and initiate early onset osteoarthritis. Typically, the degenerative disease is only diagnosed after progressive symptoms, but it potentially could be identified much earlier through nitric oxide monitoring, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, James E. Henderson Jr. Memorial Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State.

Cheng and his student, Shangbin Liu, who earned a master’s degree in engineering science and mechanics at Penn State this year, collaborated with researchers based in China to develop a flexible biosensor capable of continuous and wireless nitric detection in rabbits. They published their approach in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Real-time assessment of biomarkers associated with inflammation, such as nitric oxide in the joint cavity, could indicate pathological evolution at the initial development of osteoarthritis, providing essential information to optimize therapies following traumatic knee injury,” Cheng said.

Sep 15, 2022

Intriguing material property found in complex nanostructures could dissipate energy

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and North Carolina State University have discovered, for the first time, a unique property in complex nanostructures that has thus far only been found in simple nanostructures. Additionally, they have unraveled the internal mechanics of the materials that makes this property possible.

In a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found these properties in oxide-based “nanolattices,” which are tiny, hollow materials, similar in structure to things like sea sponges.

“This has been seen before in simple nanostructures, like a nanowire, which is about 1,000 times thinner than a hair,” said Yong Zhu, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State, and one of the lead authors on the paper. “But this is the first time we’ve seen it in a 3D .”

Sep 15, 2022

China to produce clean energy with nuclear fusion by 2028, top weapons expert claims

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, physics

So far, Chinese scientists have achieved a reaction running at a slightly cooler 70 million degrees celsius for more than 17 minutes.

China aspires to produce unlimited clean energy through nuclear fusion by 2028.

The “world’s largest” pulsed-power plant will be built in Chengdu, Sichuan province, according to Professor Peng Xianjue of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics, The Independent reported on Wednesday.

Sep 13, 2022

US defense agency is engineering a small military vertical-takeoff aircraft

Posted by in categories: engineering, military

Minimizing personnel costs and vulnerability

“The goal is to build a plane that can launch from ship flight decks and small austere land locations in adverse weather without launch and recovery equipment typically needed for these systems,” stated DARPA’s press release published on Friday.

Sep 11, 2022

A Quantum of Sensing—Atomic Scale Bolsters New Sensor Boom

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Once-esoteric physics will underlie sensor revolutions in medicine, tech, and engineering.

Sep 9, 2022

Stretchable, self-powered bioelectronics mimic skin in form and function

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, engineering, health, nanotechnology

Skin-like electronics could seamlessly integrate with the body for applications in health monitoring, medication therapy, implantable medical devices, and biological studies.

With the help of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Sihong Wang, an assistant professor of molecular engineering at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, has secured patents for the building blocks of these novel devices.

Drawing on innovation in the fields of semiconductor physics, solid mechanics, and energy sciences, this work includes the creation of stretchable polymer semiconductors and transistor arrays, which provide exceptional electrical performance, high semiconducting properties, and mechanical stretchability. Additionally, Wang has developed triboelectric nanogenerators as a new technology for harvesting energy from a user’s motion—and designed the associated energy storage process.

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Sep 7, 2022

Korean nuclear fusion reactor achieves 100 million°C for 30 seconds

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy, physics

A sustained, stable experiment is the latest demonstration that nuclear fusion is moving from being a physics problem to an engineering one.

Sep 7, 2022

Manufacturers could save time and money with the help of new research led by the Clemson Composites Center

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, economics, engineering

The Clemson Composites Center is developing new ways of 3D-printing low-cost manufacturing tools and is funding the research with $5.16 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and industry partners. Collaborators on the project include Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, Ohio State University and Additive Engineering Solutions, LLC.

The Clemson Composites Center is leading a new study that could help manufacturers save time and money while reducing their environmental impact– a project that adds to the center’s fast-growing portfolio of industry-guided automotive and advanced manufacturing research.

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