Archive for the ‘engineering’ category: Page 11

Aug 6, 2023

MIT engineers create an energy-storing supercapacitor from ancient materials

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, sustainability, transportation

The two materials, the researchers found, can be combined with water to make a supercapacitor — an alternative to batteries — that could provide storage of electrical energy. As an example, the MIT researchers who developed the system say that their supercapacitor could eventually be incorporated into the concrete foundation of a house, where it could store a full day’s worth of energy while adding little (or no) to the cost of the foundation and still providing the needed structural strength. The researchers also envision a concrete roadway that could provide contactless recharging for electric cars as they travel over that road.

The simple but innovative technology is described this week in the journal PNAS, in a paper by MIT professors Franz-Josef Ulm, Admir Masic, and Yang-Shao Horn, and four others at MIT and at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

MIT engineers created a carbon-cement supercapacitor that can store large amounts of energy. Made of just cement, water, and carbon black, the device could form the basis for inexpensive systems that store intermittently renewable energy, such as solar or wind energy.

Aug 5, 2023

Scientists Are Making Mr. Freeze’s Iconic Weapon A Reality

Posted by in categories: engineering, space travel

Updated 19 seconds ago.

It appears that a professor from the University of Virginia has figured out how to construct a freeze gun, similar to the one wielded by Batman‘s adversary, Mr. Freeze, in the 1997 movie Batman and Robin. According to Futurism, however, the professor’s discovery is not meant to be used to create a weapon. The goal of Patrick Hopkins, a professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, is to develop on-demand surface cooling systems for electronics in spacecraft and high-altitude jets.

Aug 5, 2023

Police use drone to find missing person with dementia

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

The device was equipped with infrared technology.

A police drone equipped with infrared capabilities has risen as a hero in the search for a missing person with dementia that disappeared from a Delta hospital on July 29. Delta is a city located in British Columbia, Canada.

This is according to a report by Global News published on Wednesday.

Continue reading “Police use drone to find missing person with dementia” »

Aug 4, 2023

Fourth Dimension Breakthrough: New Metamaterial Controls Energy Waves

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering

Scientists engineered a synthetic metamaterial to direct mechanical waves along a specific path, which adds an innovative layer of control to 4D reality, otherwise known as the synthetic dimension.

Everyday life involves the three dimensions or 3D — along an X, Y, and Z axis, or up and down, left and right, and forward and back. But, in recent years scientists like Guoliang Huang, the Huber and Helen Croft Chair in Engineering at the University of Missouri, have explored a “fourth dimension” (4D), or synthetic dimension, as an extension of our current physical reality.

Creation of a new synthetic metamaterial.

Aug 4, 2023

We’re closer to ‘engineering’ blood vessels

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have developed a fast, inexpensive and scalable method for engineering blood vessels from natural tissue.

Aug 2, 2023

Genetically Engineering Cells to Respond to Electricity

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

A paper published today in Nature Metabolism has described a method of genetically engineering cells to respond to electrical stimuli, allowing for on-demand gene expression.

Despite its futuristic outlook, this line of research is built upon previous work. The idea of an implantable gene switch to command cells in order to deliver valuable compounds into the human body is not new. The authors of this paper cite longstanding work showing that gene switches can be developed to respond to antibiotics [1] or other drugs, and the antibiotic doxycycline is used regularly for this purpose in mouse models. More recently, researchers have worked on cells that control their output based on green light [2], radio waves [3], or heat [4].

However, these mechanisms have their problems. A gene trigger that operates in response to a chemical compound requires that compound to have stable, controllable biological availability [5]. If it relies on any wavelength of electromagnetic radiation, that process may be triggered by mistake or require intense energy to function [3].

Aug 1, 2023

Innovative Liquid Cushioning Technology Promises Revolution in Safety Gear

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

New breakthrough in material design will help football players, car occupants, and hospital patients.

A significant breakthrough in the field of protective gear has been made with the discovery that football players were unknowingly acquiring permanent brain damage from repeated head impacts throughout their professional careers. This realization triggered an urgent search for better head protection solutions. Among these innovations is nanofoam, a material found inside football helmets.

Thanks to mechanical and aerospace engineering associate professor Baoxing Xu at the University of Virginia and his research team, nanofoam just received a big upgrade and protective sports equipment could, too. This newly invented design integrates nanofoam with “non-wetting ionized liquid,” a form of water that Xu and his research team now know blends perfectly with nanofoam to create a liquid cushion. This versatile and responsive material will give better protection to athletes and is promising for use in protecting car occupants and aiding hospital patients using wearable medical devices.

Aug 1, 2023

Engineering tRNA abundances for synthetic cellular systems

Posted by in category: engineering

Mature fields of engineering use physics-based models to design systems that work reliably the first time. Here the authors show how a similar approach can be used to design and build a cellular-scale system, protein synthesis, from scratch.

Jul 30, 2023

Artificial photosynthesis with engineering of protein crystals in bacteria

Posted by in categories: engineering, genetics, solar power, sustainability

In-cell engineering can be a powerful tool for synthesizing functional protein crystals with promising catalytic properties, show researchers at Tokyo Tech. Using genetically modified bacteria as an environmentally friendly synthesis platform, the researchers produced hybrid solid catalysts for artificial photosynthesis. These catalysts exhibit high activity, stability, and durability, highlighting the potential of the proposed innovative approach.

Protein crystals, like regular crystals, are well-ordered molecular structures with diverse properties and a huge potential for customization. They can assemble naturally from materials found within cells, which not only greatly reduces the synthesis costs but also lessens their environmental impact.

Although are promising as catalysts because they can host various functional molecules, current techniques only enable the attachment of small molecules and simple proteins. Thus, it is imperative to find ways to produce protein crystals bearing both natural enzymes and synthetic functional molecules to tap their full potential for enzyme immobilization.

Jul 29, 2023

Enhanced light absorption in thin silicon photodetectors with photon-trapping structures

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Photonic systems are quickly gaining traction in many emerging applications, including optical communications, lidar sensing, and medical imaging. However, the widespread adoption of photonics in future engineering solutions hinges on the cost of manufacturing photodetectors, which, in turn, largely depends on the kind of semiconductor utilized for the purpose.

Traditionally, silicon (Si) has been the most prevalent semiconductor in the , so much so that most of the industry has matured around this material. Unfortunately, Si has a relatively weak light absorption coefficient in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum compared to those of other semiconductors such as (GaAs).

Because of this, GaAs and related alloys thrive in photonic applications, but are incompatible with the traditional complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) processes used in the production of most electronics. This leads to a drastic increase in their manufacturing costs.

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