Archive for the ‘engineering’ category: Page 4

Aug 31, 2021

Genes can respond to coded information in signals —or filter them out entirely

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

Genes can respond to coded information in signals—or filter them out entirely.

New research from North Carolina State University demonstrates that genes are capable of identifying and responding to coded information in light signals, as well as filtering out some signals entirely. The study shows how a single mechanism can trigger different behaviors from the same gene—and has applications in the biotechnology sector.

“The fundamental idea here is that you can encode information in the dynamics of a signal that a gene is receiving,” says Albert Keung, corresponding author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State. “So, rather than a signal simply being present or absent, the way in which the signal is being presented matters.”

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Aug 31, 2021

Smart ‘E-Skin’ Identifies Your Movements

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, nanotechnology, wearables

Technion scientists have created a wearable motion sensor capable of identifying movements such as bending and twisting. This smart ‘e-skin’ was produced using a highly stretchable electronic material, which essentially forms an electronic skin capable of recognizing the range of movement human joints normally make, with up to half a degree precision.

This breakthrough is the result of collaborative work between researchers from different fields in the Laboratory for Nanomaterial-Based Devices, headed by Professor Hossam Haick from the Technion Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering. It was recently published in Advanced Materials and was featured on the journal’s cover.

This wearable motion sensor, which senses bending and twisting, can be applied in healthcare and manufacturing.

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Aug 30, 2021

Volkner pulls out all stops on Bugatti-stowing $7.7-million motorhome

Posted by in categories: engineering, habitats, space

Volkner’s over-the-top motorhome package slides a 1,480-hp Bugatti Chiron aboard its $2.4-million Performance S motorhome and treats owners of the elaborate ultra-luxury/hypercar vehicle experience.

In the past, we’ve seen Volkner edge out its few competitors for “most expensive motorhome of the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon” honors with stretched luxury homes as “modestly” priced as $1.7 million. This year, it leaves the competition in the dust, going all out on the priciest, most over-the-top motorhome package on the show floor. It slides a 1,480-hp Bugatti Chiron aboard its $2.4-million Performance S motorhome and treats owners of the elaborate ultra-luxury/hypercar vehicle experience to a lavishly appointed abode complete with custom Burmester audio system carefully tailored to the mobile space.

For more than a decade, Volkner has been wowing the Düsseldorf crowds with the sporty roadsters and supercars it manages to squeeze between the axles of its huge motorhomes. This year, it’s really upped its own game.

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Aug 28, 2021

Advanced Civilizations Could be Using Dyson Spheres to Collect Unimaginable Energy From Black Holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, engineering

Black holes are more than just massive objects that swallow everything around them – they’re also one of the universe’s biggest and most stable energy sources. That would make them invaluable to the type of civilization that needs huge amounts of power, such as a Type II Kardashev civilization. But to harness all of that power, the civilization would have to encircle the entire black hole with something that could capture the power it is emitting.

One potential solution would be a Dyson sphere – a type of stellar mega engineering project that encapsulates an entire star (or, in this case, a black hole) in an artificial sheath that captures all of the energy the object at its center emits. But even if it was able to capture all of the energy the black hole emits, the sphere itself would still suffer from heat loss. And that heat loss would make it visible to us, according to new research published by an international team led by researchers at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.

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Aug 28, 2021

Currently, there are over 128 million objects larger than a millimeter orbiting the Earth

Posted by in categories: engineering, space


# engineering.

Aug 27, 2021

Engineer Builds His Own X-Ray After Hospital Charges Him $69K

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

Almost a third of working Americans are in some form of medical debt, with nearly a quarter of those with an outstanding balance owing $10,000 or more. Many Americans feel anxious about health care costs and are depleting their own savings to pay the bills, or avoiding going to the doctor due to the cost, and in some cases, as in the case of William Osman, embarking on bizarre projects to highlight the issue.

The YouTuber and engineer, who is known for his bizarre projects that combine engineering and entertainment, posted a video last week outlining how a recent hospital visit requiring X-rays resulted in a staggering $69,210.32 bill.

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Aug 26, 2021

Researchers use stem cells to make insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells

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

The human body can be genetically inclined to attack its own cells, destroying the beta cells in the pancreas that make insulin, which helps convert sugar into energy. Called Type 1 diabetes, this disorder can occur at any age and can be fatal if not carefully managed with insulin shots or an insulin pump to balance the body’s sugar levels.

But there may be another, personalized option on the horizon, according to Xiaojun “Lance” Lian, associate professor of biomedical engineering and biology at Penn State. For the first time, Lian and his team converted human embryonic stem cells into beta cells capable of producing insulin using only small molecules in the laboratory, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.

Stem cells can become other cell types through signals in their environment, and some mature cells can revert to stem cells—induced pluripotency. The researchers found that their approach worked for human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, both derived from federally approved stem cell lines. According to Lian, the effectiveness of their approach could reduce or eliminate the need for human embryonic stem cells in future work. They published their results today (Aug. 26) in Stem Cell Reports.

Aug 21, 2021

New Technique Surveys Microbial Spatial Gene Expression Patterns

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, food, health

What do you do at different times in the day? What do you eat? How do you interact with your neighbors? These are some of the questions that biologists would love to ask communities of microbes, from those that live in extreme environments deep in the ocean to those that cause chronic infections in humans. Now, a new technique developed at Caltech can answer these questions by surveying gene expression across a population of millions of bacterial cells while still preserving the cells’ positions relative to one another.

The technique can be used to understand the wide variety of microbial communities on our planet, including the microbes that live within our gut and influence our health as well as those that colonize the roots of plants and contribute to soil health, to name a few.

The technique was developed at Caltech by Daniel Dar, a former postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Dianne Newman, Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology and executive officer for biology and biological engineering, and by Dr. Nina Dar, a former senior research technician in the laboratory of Long Cai, professor of biology and biological engineering. Daniel Dar is now an assistant professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. A paper describing the research appears on August 12 in the journal Science.

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Aug 20, 2021

The Next Steps for Sampling on Perseverance

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, space

I will always remember the moments around our first sampling attempt. Longtime friend (and Sampling System Chief Engineer) Louise Jandura and I were in the operations area awaiting the next data downlink. It was “so far, so good” with our earlier morning results showing we had achieved a full-depth borehole. Other members of the team began to filter in as images of the sealed sample tube came up on the ops room monitors. We were all starting to get that feeling you can get in this business when a big milestone comes together because, at first look, it appeared to be our first cored sample. But within minutes, the team noted that the volume probe indicated no sample was in the tube, and we quickly switched to problem-solving mode – once again trying to solve another problem tossed our way from the surface of Mars.

Our team has been working hard over the last 12 days to both ensure we have adequately assessed the data from the first coring attempt and also developed a solid plan forward. After further review of the engineering and imaging data, our final conclusion is the same as our initial assessment: The rock simply wasn’t our kind of rock.

The Sampling and Caching System aboard the rover performed as expected – quite well, as a matter of fact. However, the rock we chose for this first effort did not. The act of coring into it resulted in the rock breaking apart into powder and small fragments of material, which were not retained in the tube due to their size. Although we had successfully acquired over 100 cores in a range of different test rocks on Earth, we had not encountered a rock in our test suite that behaved in quite this manner.

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Aug 17, 2021

Can The Human Body Handle Rotating Artificial Gravity?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, space travel

Artificial gravity for spaceflight is a concept older than spaceflight itself, but we’ve only ever seen one small scale test ever flown in space. However decades of research have been performed to show that the human body can adapt to the conditions required for rotating artificial gravity. This shows that it’s an engineering problem that likely solvable for interested parties who want to spend the time, effort and money creating the classic rotating space stations from Science Fiction.

Here’s a couple of papers which were heavily referenced in researching this.

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