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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category: Page 7

Feb 10, 2020

“Reverse fuel cell” converts waste carbon to valuable products at record rates

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering

Fuel cells turn chemicals into electricity. Now, a U of T Engineering team has adapted technology from fuel cells to do the reverse: harness electricity to make valuable chemicals from waste carbon (CO2).

“For decades, talented researchers have been developing systems that convert electricity into hydrogen and back again,” says Professor Ted Sargent (ECE), one of the senior authors of a paper published today in Science. “Our innovation builds on that legacy, but by using carbon-based molecules, we can plug directly into existing hydrocarbon infrastructure.”

In a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen come together on the surface of a catalyst. The chemical reaction releases electrons, which are captured by specialized materials within the fuel cell and pumped into a circuit.

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Feb 10, 2020

Handheld Skin 3D Printer Can Help Burn Victims

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, engineering

This handheld 3D printer deposits layers of skin tissue, and could one day help to heal deep wounds. Instead of waiting for skin patches to grow in a Petri dish, you apply it directly.

A team of Canadian scientists has successfully applied skin tissue to burn wounds using a handheld 3D printer. This technology may become a game-changer in the way severe burn victims are treated.

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Feb 8, 2020

India Is Becoming Its Own Silicon Valley | VICE on HBO

Posted by in category: engineering

Traditionally, India’s best and brightest tech talent has emigrated to the United States for lucrative job opportunities. But now they’re putting their entrepreneurial spirit and engineering skills to use at home.

VICE correspondent Krishna Andavolu heads to the city of Bangalore to explore what may indeed be the world’s next Silicon Valley.

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Feb 2, 2020

Dutch-US Scientists Use Bacteria to Produce Graphene for Electronics

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering

An international group of researchers has made graphene more affordably and with a lower environmental impact than current chemical methods by using bacteria.

Graphene is a very strong and conductive material that could revolutionize electronics and engineering. However, producing graphene in large quantities requires lots of energy and involves toxic chemicals, such as hydrazine, which damages the nervous system.

Researchers from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and the University of Rochester in the US have worked to overcome these problems by using bacteria to produce graphene. Their work has been published in the journal ChemOpen.

Feb 2, 2020

The building blocks of a brain-inspired computer

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

If you’re interested in mind uploading, then I have an excellent article to recommend. This wide-ranging article is focused on neuromorphic computing and has sections on memristors. Here is a key excerpt:

“…Perhaps the most exciting emerging AI hardware architectures are the analog crossbar approaches since they achieve parallelism, in-memory computing, and analog computing, as described previously. Among most of the AI hardware chips produced in roughly the last 15 years, an analog memristor crossbar-based chip is yet to hit the market, which we believe will be the next wave of technology to follow. Of course, incorporating all the primitives of neuromorphic computing will likely require hardware solutions even beyond analog memristor crossbars…”

Here’s a web link to the research paper:

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Feb 1, 2020

Trojan Horse Nanoparticle Eats Up Plaque to Clear Arteries

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, food, nanotechnology

A hungry nanoparticle that enters your body and eats away at your insides sounds like a nightmare straight out of a Michael Crichton novel. In fact, it could be a future defense against heart attacks, strokes, and potentially other fatal diseases — as strange as that might initially sound.

Developed by scientists at Michigan State and Stanford universities, the innovative new “Trojan Horse” nanoparticle works by munching away portions of the plaques responsible for heart attacks. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, the researchers recently showed that their specially developed nanoparticle is able to accurately home in on atherosclerotic plaque, which is responsible for atherosclerosis, one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

“What the nanotherapy does is it enters inflammatory monocytes [a type of white blood cell] in the blood, and carries them into the plaque — hence the ‘Trojan Horse’ label — where they become macrophages, and stimulatesthose and other macrophages in plaque to devour cellular debris,” Bryan Smith, associate professor of biomedical engineering at MSU, told Digital Trends. “This ‘taking out the trash’ attribute stabilizes the plaque with minimal side effects.”

Jan 31, 2020

Video: British engineer rockets to new record

Posted by in categories: engineering, transportation

Britain’s Tom Bagnall has always enjoyed making new things and has always been passionate about engineering.

Which explains why he was keen to be the person to set the Fastest speed in a jet-propelled go-kart after joining a jet-car team as one of the pit crew.

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Jan 30, 2020

Stress test reveals graphene won’t crack under pressure

Posted by in categories: engineering, materials

Graphene is a paradox. It is the thinnest material known to science, yet also one of the strongest. Now, research from University of Toronto Engineering shows that graphene is also highly resistant to fatigue—able to withstand more than a billion cycles of high stress before it breaks.

Jan 29, 2020

CAR T treatments could have fewer side effects than other cancer immunotherapies

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

New cancer immunotherapies involve extracting a patient’s T cells and genetically engineering them so they will recognize and attack tumors. This technique is a true medical breakthrough, with an increasing number of leukemia and lymphoma patients experiencing complete remissions since CAR T therapy was FDA approved in 2017.

This type of therapy is not without challenges, however. Engineering a patient’s T is laborious and expensive. And when successful, the alterations to the immune system immediately make patients very sick for a short period of time, with symptoms including fever, nausea and neurological effects.

Now, University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated a new engineering technique that, because it is less toxic to the T cells, could enable a different mechanism for altering the way they recognize cancer.

Jan 29, 2020

This skyscraper-sized air purifier is the world’s tallest

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

Circa 2018


It may look like just another giant smokestack, but a 200-foot tower in the central Chinese city of Xi’an was built to pull deadly pollutants from the air rather than add more. And preliminary research shows the tower — which some are calling the world’s largest air purifier — has cut air pollution significantly across a broad swath of the surrounding area.

Given those findings, the researchers behind the project say they hope to build an even taller air-purifying tower in Xi’an, and possibly in other cities around China.

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