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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category: Page 4

Apr 19, 2020

Under pressure: New bioinspired material can ‘shapeshift’ to external forces

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Inspired by how human bone and colorful coral reefs adjust mineral deposits in response to their surrounding environments, Johns Hopkins researchers have created a self-adapting material that can change its stiffness in response to the applied force. This advancement can someday open the doors for materials that can self-reinforce to prepare for increased force or stop further damage. A report of the findings was published today in Advanced Materials.

“Imagine a bone implant or a bridge that can self-reinforce where a high force is applied without inspection and maintenance. It will allow safer implants and bridges with minimal complication, cost and downtime,” says Sung Hoon Kang, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, and Institute for NanoBioTechnology at The Johns Hopkins University and the study’s senior author.

While other researchers have attempted to create similar synthetic materials before, doing so has been challenging because such materials are difficult and expensive to create, or require active maintenance when they are created and are limited in how much stress they can bear. Having materials with adaptable properties, like those of wood and bone, can provide safer structures, save money and resources, and reduce harmful environmental impact.

Apr 18, 2020

Scientist spends years proving psychic phenomena are real

Posted by in category: engineering

MYSTERY WIRE Are psychic abilities real, and if so, can they be measured? Yes to both questions, says Dr. Dean Radin.

For decades, the Department of Defense sponsored secret studies of psychic phenomena in hopes of training an elite team of psychic soldiers. Officially, the program was canceled, but research into psychic abilities continues in the private sector, and one of the scientists on the cutting edge is featured this week on mysterywire.com.

Radin earned advanced degrees in both electrical engineering and psychology, worked for prestigious companies and labs, and has spent decades trying to measure psychic abilities.

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Apr 18, 2020

A magnetic cork for the removal of water pollution

Posted by in categories: engineering, sustainability

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), together with the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas and the University of Porto, has patented a magnetic cork that could remove polluting particles from water, among other uses.

The magnetic has been created through a process of co-precipitation of iron oxide through which magnetite is obtained. This mineral is absorbed as soon as it comes into contact with the surface of the cork. “The patent arises from the need to make graded adhesive joints. It occurred to me, when reading about the various techniques that are used for graded joints and about cork, that we could make the cork magnetic using the process that is currently used to obtain magnetite,” notes Juana Abenojar, researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the UC3M.

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Apr 14, 2020

Researchers design intelligent microsystem for faster, more sustainable industrial chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, information science, robotics/AI, sustainability

The synthesis of plastic precursors, such as polymers, involves specialized catalysts. However, the traditional batch-based method of finding and screening the right ones for a given result consumes liters of solvent, generates large quantities of chemical waste, and is an expensive, time-consuming process involving multiple trials.

Ryan Hartman, professor of chemical and at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and his laboratory developed a lab-based “intelligent microsystem” employing , for modeling that shows promise for eliminating this costly process and minimizing environmental harm.

In their research, “Combining automated microfluidic experimentation with machine learning for efficient polymerization design,” published in Nature Machine Intelligence, the collaborators, including doctoral student Benjamin Rizkin, employed a custom-designed, rapidly prototyped microreactor in conjunction with automation and in situ infrared thermography to study exothermic (heat generating) polymerization—reactions that are notoriously difficult to control when limited experimental kinetic data are available. By pairing efficient microfluidic technology with machine learning algorithms to obtain high-fidelity datasets based on minimal iterations, they were able to reduce chemical waste by two orders of magnitude and catalytic discovery from weeks to hours.

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Apr 13, 2020

Team designs carbon nanostructure stronger than diamonds

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have architecturally designed plate-nanolattices—nanometer-sized carbon structures—that are stronger than diamonds as a ratio of strength to density.

In a recent study in Nature Communications, the scientists report success in conceptualizing and fabricating the material, which consists of closely connected, closed-cell plates instead of the cylindrical trusses common in such structures over the past few decades.

“Previous beam-based designs, while of great interest, had not been so efficient in terms of mechanical properties,” said corresponding author Jens Bauer, a UCI researcher in mechanical & aerospace engineering. “This new class of plate-nanolattices that we’ve created is dramatically stronger and stiffer than the best beam-nanolattices.”

Apr 13, 2020

Closing in on ‘holy grail’ of room temperature quantum computing chips

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, nanotechnology, quantum physics

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the other. Now, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have coaxed photons into interacting with one another with unprecedented efficiency — a key advance toward realizing long-awaited quantum optics technologies for computing, communication and remote sensing.

The team, led by Yuping Huang, an associate professor of physics and director of the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, brings us closer to that goal with a nano-scale chip that facilitates photon interactions with much higher efficiency than any previous system. The new method, reported as a memorandum in the Sept. 18 issue of Optica, works at very low energy levels, suggesting that it could be optimized to work at the level of individual photons — the holy grail for room-temperature quantum computing and secure quantum communication.

“We’re pushing the boundaries of physics and optical engineering in order to bring quantum and all-optical signal processing closer to reality,” said Huang.

Apr 11, 2020

The ‘quantum magnet’

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

Circa 2011 essentially a magnet could be a battery and cpu and a gpu with magnonics.


Harvard physicists have expanded the possibilities for quantum engineering of novel materials such as high-temperature superconductors by coaxing ultracold atoms trapped in an optical lattice — a light crystal — to self-organize into a magnet, using only the minute disturbances resulting from quantum mechanics. The research, published in the journal Nature, is the first demonstration of such a “quantum magnet” in an optical lattice.

As modern technology depends more and more on materials with exotic quantum mechanical properties, researchers are coming up against a natural barrier.

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Apr 11, 2020

China’s space dream on track

Posted by in categories: engineering, satellites

Last January 3, China dazzled the world with the landing of the Chang’e-4 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, accomplishing a first for humanity. On December 14, its Yutu-2 rover set the record for longest active rover on the Moon, breaking the record of the erstwhile Soviet Union’s Lunokhod-1 that was active for ten and a half months (November 15, 1970 to October 4, 1971). Yutu-2 has travelled about 345 meters on the lunar surface and is entering its 13th lunar day.

Soon after China had successfully landed on the far side, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced several follow-on missions, to include the 2020 lunar sample return mission, Chang’e-5, followed by Chang’e-6, which will bring back samples from the lunar south pole, believed to be rich in resources like water ice. Chang’e-7 will land on the Lunar South Pole to carry out a comprehensive survey, followed by Chang’e-8, which will lay the groundwork for a research base on the Moon by 2036.

Some of these follow-on lunar missions, however, depended on China’s successful launch of its heavy lift rocket, the Long March 5. Two earlier test launches (2016, 2017) of the rocket were either partial or total failures, resulting in a two-year hiatus to fix the engineering problems. On December 27, the Long March 5 successfully launched into orbit in a stunning nighttime liftoff, sending the eight-tonne Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite into its planned orbit.

Apr 10, 2020

Off-the-shelf artificial cardiac patch repairs heart attack damage in rats, pigs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an “off-the-shelf” artificial cardiac patch that can deliver cardiac cell-derived healing factors directly to the site of heart attack injury. In a rat model of heart attack, the freezable, cell-free patch improved recovery. The researchers also found similar effects in a pilot study involving a pig model of heart attack.

Cardiac patches are being studied as a promising future option for delivering cell therapy directly to the site of heart attack injury. However, current cardiac patches are fragile, costly, time-consuming to prepare and, since they use live cellular material, increase risks of tumor formation and arrhythmia.

“We have developed an artificial cardiac patch that can potentially solve the problems associated with using live cells, yet still deliver effective cell therapy to the site of injury,” says Ke Cheng, Randall B. Terry, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Regenerative Medicine at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and professor in the NC State/UNC Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Apr 9, 2020

CERN establishes task force to contribute to global fight against COVID-19

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

CERN has established a task force to identify and support contributions from the Organization’s 18 000-strong global community to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Set up by the Director-General at the end of March, the CERN against COVID-19 task force has already received hundreds of messages suggesting ideas ranging from producing sanitizer gel to designing and building sophisticated medical equipment. The design of a novel ventilator, expected to be tested by healthcare experts in the coming weeks, is an example of deployment of CERN’s technology to the service of society in these troubled times. Details of the initiatives and projects supported will be published on the dedicated website cern.ch/against-covid-19, which will be regularly updated.

“CERN is a world leading laboratory in particle physics and in the related technologies. As such, it’s a hub of resources, including the World-wide LHC Computing Grid, WLCG, mechanical workshops, sophisticated design and prototyping facilities, advanced technologies and expertise ranging from science and engineering to industrialisation,” said Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. “We want to deploy our resources and competences to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CERN’s overall approach is to ensure effective and well-coordinated action, drawing on CERN’s many competencies and advanced technologies and working closely with experts in healthcare, drug development, epidemiology and emergency response so as to maximise the impact of the Organization’s contributions. To this end, the Organization has established links with local hospitals and emergency services, and in the context of an agreement established in 2011, entered into dialogue with experts at the World Health Organization. Discussions are also underway with sister European scientific organisations, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the European Bioinformatics Institute.

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