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Streamline Tedious Lab Chemical Management Tasks

April 1, 2015 | by Accelrys/Biovia/Dassault | Videos | Comments

If you’re feeling pressured to be more efficient, you’re not alone. Research labs are facing an ever-growing number of chemical safety regulations and reports. This short video shows how to ensure compliance.

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Engineering students create real-time 3-D radar system

May 5, 2015 7:44 am | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

Spencer Kent stands nervously in front of Team D.R.A.D.I.S.’ booth at Rice Univ.’s annual Engineering Design Showcase. Judging begins in about 10 min, and his teammate Galen Schmidt is frantically typing computer code into a laptop beside the team’s custom-made radar system.

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How studying bat touch could help build better planes

May 4, 2015 8:51 am | by Columbia Univ. Medical Center Videos Comments

Bats are masters of flight in the night sky, capable of steep nosedives and sharp turns that put our best aircrafts to shame. Although the role of echolocation in bats’ impressive midair maneuvering has been extensively studied, the contribution of touch has been largely overlooked. A study published in Cell Reports shows, for the first time, that a unique array of sensory receptors in the wing provides feedback to a bat during flight.

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How some beetles produce a scalding defensive spray

May 1, 2015 9:36 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office Videos Comments

Bombardier beetles, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, have a pretty easy life. Virtually no other animals prey on them, because of one particularly effective defense mechanism: When disturbed or attacked, the beetles produce an internal chemical explosion in their abdomen and then expel a jet of boiling, irritating liquid toward their attackers.

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How metal contamination makes gasoline production inefficient

May 1, 2015 8:45 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Videos Comments

Scientists have identified key mechanisms of the aging process of catalyst particles that are used to refine crude oil into gasoline. This advance could lead to more efficient gasoline production. Their recent experiments studied so-called fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) particles that are used to break long-chain hydrocarbons in crude oil into smaller, more valuable hydrocarbons like gasoline.

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Students use smarts for damaged hearts

April 30, 2015 8:23 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

A smartphone app created by students at Rice Univ. may someday serve as the ultimate remote to help control the flow of blood through human hearts. The Flowtastic team of Rice senior engineering students created a combined software-hardware interface that works with an Android app to monitor and even control a high-tech pump that resides in the aorta and regulates the flow of blood.

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Magnifying vibrations in bridges, buildings

April 23, 2015 9:40 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office Videos Comments

To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. But in fact, these large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations that, depending on their frequency, may indicate instability or structural damage. Researchers have now developed a technique to “see” vibrations that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, combining high-speed video with computer vision techniques.

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Gamers feel the glove

April 23, 2015 7:51 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

Rice Univ. engineering students are working to make virtual reality a little more real with their invention of a glove that allows a user to feel what they’re touching while gaming. The Hands Omni glove developed at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen will provide a way for gamers and others to feel the environments they inhabit through the likes of 3-D heads-ups displays.

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New tactic targets brain tumors

April 20, 2015 11:41 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

Drugs that target insulin pathways to slow or stop the growth of brain tumors are going in the right direction, but appear to be on the wrong track, according to new research. Through detailed computer models and experiments on two distinct glioblastoma cell types, the researchers have found reason to believe therapies that attack the insulin signaling pathway thought to influence tumor development have had mixed results in trials.

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Technology can transfer human emotions to your palm through air

April 20, 2015 8:03 am | by Univ. of Sussex Videos Comments

Human emotion can be transferred by technology that stimulates different parts of the hand without making physical contact with your body, a Univ. of Sussex-led study has shown. Sussex scientist Dr. Marianna Obrist has pinpointed how next-generation technologies can stimulate different areas of the hand to convey feelings of, for example, happiness, sadness, excitement or fear.

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Science Connect: Positive Energy: Sustaining a Great Lab Environment

April 17, 2015 1:33 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor Videos Comments

The design of laboratories for sustainable construction and operation has become a major driver in the A/E/C industry over the past 10 to 15 years. These days, most lab clients are looking for sustainable design approaches at a minimum—and third-party certification, such as LEED, in many cases.

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Science Connect: Next-Generation Engineering Facilities

April 17, 2015 1:29 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor Videos Comments

In the past decade, the expansion of research focus areas in engineering has undergone a transformation. The demands of engineering labs present challenges for institutions because most occupied spaces were conceived during an era with radically different needs and required services.

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Could maple syrup help cut use of antibiotics?

April 17, 2015 8:42 am | by Chris Chipello, McGill Univ. Videos Comments

A concentrated extract of maple syrup makes disease-causing bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics, according to laboratory experiments by researchers at McGill Univ. The findings suggest that combining maple syrup extract with common antibiotics could increase the microbes’ susceptibility, leading to lower antibiotic usage.

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Thumbnail track pad

April 17, 2015 7:36 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office Videos Comments

Researchers are developing a new wearable device that turns the user’s thumbnail into a miniature wireless track pad. They envision that the technology could let users control wireless devices when their hands are full: answering the phone while cooking, for instance. It could also augment other interfaces, allowing someone texting on a cellphone, say, to toggle between symbol sets without interrupting his or her typing.

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Packing heat: New fluid makes untapped geothermal energy cleaner

April 16, 2015 7:43 am | by Frances White, PNNL Videos Comments

More American homes could be powered by the Earth's natural underground heat with a new, nontoxic and potentially recyclable liquid that is expected to use half as much water as other fluids used to tap into otherwise unreachable geothermal hot spots. The fluid might be a boon to a new approach to geothermal power called enhanced geothermal systems.

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Making injections less painful

April 15, 2015 10:45 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. Videos Comments

If the Rice Univ. freshman engineering design team Comfortably Numb has it their way, children will be less fearful and feel less pain when they go to the doctor’s office for a shot. The trio of freshmen has created a device to ease the pain of an injection. Their device numbs the skin prior to a shot by producing a rapid chemical reaction to cool the patient’s skin.

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