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New steering tech for heavy equipment saves fuel, ups efficiency

September 24, 2013 7:42 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Purdue Univ. have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment. The new approach incorporates several innovations: It eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to precisely control hydraulic pumps.

Interlocking segments might be 3-D printed, assembled into parts

September 11, 2013 10:46 am | News | Comments

Purdue Univ. researchers are working with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to develop a technology for creating parts out of interlocking segments produced using 3-D printing to repair vehicles and other equipment in the field. The Purdue portion of the research focuses on clever, Lego-like building blocks called "topologically interlocking structures”.

Research yields first detailed view of morphing Parkinson’s protein

September 6, 2013 8:04 am | News | Comments

Researchers have taken detailed images and measurements of the morphing structure of a brain protein thought to play a role in Parkinson's disease, information that could aid the development of medications to treat the condition. The protein, called alpha synuclein, ordinarily exists in a globular shape. However, the protein morphs into amyloid fibrils, which are linked to protein molecules that form and cause neurodegenerative diseases.

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Researchers work on missile-defense software

August 19, 2013 7:56 am | News | Comments

Purdue Univ. researchers are peering into the future to help the U.S. foil enemy missile attacks. Working with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the research team is creating software that makes it possible to pose various "what-if" questions; scenarios that explore plausible future missile advances in adversarial nations and the defensive capability of the U.S.

Innovation could improve personalized cancer-care outcomes

August 14, 2013 5:21 pm | News | Comments

A recent invention at Purdue Univ. could improve therapy selection for personalized cancer care. Researchers have created a technique called BioDynamic Imaging that measures the activity inside cancer biopsies, or samples of cells. It allows technicians to assess the efficacy of drug combinations, called regimens, on personal cancers.

Science is harnessing shock waves to create new materials

August 12, 2013 1:42 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at Purdue Univ. are part of a national effort to develop new materials having super strength and other properties by using shock waves similar to those generated by meteorites striking the Earth. A new center has been established specifically for this type of investigation, and its primary mission is to predict shock conditions under which new materials can be synthesized.

Alternative materials could bring “plasmonic” technologies

August 6, 2013 7:50 am | News | Comments

Researchers are working on a range of options to overcome a fundamental obstacle in commercializing plasmonic metamaterials that could bring advanced optical technologies for more powerful computers, new cancer treatments and other innovations. The materials could make it possible to harness clouds of electrons called "surface plasmons" to manipulate and control light.

Discovery of gene function may help prevent kidney stones

July 25, 2013 10:35 am | News | Comments

The discovery of a gene's function in E. coli and other bacteria might lead to a probiotic to prevent the most common type of kidney stone, according to a Purdue Univ. study. Human cells can't metabolize oxalate, an acidic chemical found in nearly all plants we eat, so any oxalate we absorb from food must be excreted from the body. Calcium-oxalate urinary stones can form when oxalate reaches a high concentration in the kidneys.

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Nanoparticles, “pH phoresis” could improve cancer drug delivery

July 9, 2013 7:45 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a concept to potentially improve delivery of drugs for cancer treatment using nanoparticles that concentrate and expand in the presence of higher acidity found in tumor cells. The concept involves using nanoparticles made of "weak polybases," compounds that expand when transported into environments mimicking tumor cells, which have a higher acidity than surrounding tissues.

Testing method promising for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis

June 14, 2013 7:49 am | News | Comments

A medical test previously developed to measure a toxin found in tobacco smokers has been adapted to measure the same toxin in people suffering from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, offering a potential tool to reduce symptoms. The toxin, called acrolein, is produced in the body after nerve cells are injured, triggering a cascade of biochemical events thought to worsen the injury's severity.

“Temporal cloaking” could bring more secure optical communications

June 5, 2013 12:08 pm | News | Comments

Purdue Univ. researchers have demonstrated a method for "temporal cloaking" of optical communications, representing a potential tool to thwart would-be eavesdroppers and improve security for telecommunications. While the previous research in temporal cloaking required the use of a complex, ultrafast-pulsing "femtosecond" laser, the researchers achieved the feat using off-the-shelf equipment.

Visualization reveals virus particle have more individuality than thought

May 29, 2013 9:01 am | News | Comments

Virus particles of the same type had been thought to have identical structures, like a mass-produced toy, but a new visualization technique developed by a Purdue University researcher revealed otherwise. It was found that an important viral substructure consisted of a collection of components that could be assembled in different ways, creating differences from particle to particle.

Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors

May 23, 2013 8:07 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new type of transparent electrode that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics, and future "optoelectronic" circuits for sensors and information processing. The electrode is made of silver nanowires covered with a material called graphene, an extremely thin layer of carbon.

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"Makers" 3D print shapes created using new design tool, bare hands

May 14, 2013 4:38 pm | News | Comments

A new design tool interprets hand gestures, enabling designers and artists to create and modify 3D shapes using only their hands as a "natural user interface" instead of keyboard and mouse. The tool, called Shape-It-Up, uses specialized computer algorithms and a depth-sensing camera to observe and interpret hand movements and gestures.

New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries

May 8, 2013 7:56 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability. The Purdue researchers have developed a system that uses a flashbulb-like heat source and a thermal camera to read how heat travels through the electrodes.

New type of super-resolution microscope doesn’t need fluorescent dyes

April 29, 2013 10:11 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue University | News | Comments

Researchers at Purdue University have found a way to see synthetic nanostructures and molecules using a new type of super-resolution optical microscopy that does not require fluorescent dyes. The imaging system, called saturated transient absorption microscopy, or STAM, uses a trio of laser beams, including a doughnut-shaped laser beam that selectively illuminates some molecules but not others.

Imaging technology could reveal cellular secrets

April 25, 2013 2:30 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have married two biological imaging technologies, creating a new way to learn how good cells go bad. Being able to study a cell's internal workings in fine detail would likely yield insights into the physical and biochemical responses to its environment. The technology, which combines an atomic force microscope and nuclear magnetic resonance system, could help researchers study individual cancer cells.

U.S. Coast Guard accredits analytical system developed at Purdue

April 24, 2013 7:48 am | News | Comments

In efforts to prioritize and efficiently manage the repair of boats and stations damaged by Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Coast Guard has accredited a system called Coast Guard Search and Rescue Visual Analytics (cgSARVA) developed in collaboration with Purdue University.

Professor identifies proton pathway in photosynthesis

April 19, 2013 8:51 am | News | Comments

A Purdue University-led team has revealed the proton transfer pathway responsible for a majority of energy storage in photosynthesis. The team used X-ray crystallography to describe the molecular structure of the cytochrome complex isolated from cyanobacteria, the most primitive photosynthetic organism. The findings contribute to the understanding of the function of photosynthesis and that of membrane proteins.

In-package plasma process quickly, effectively kills bacteria

April 17, 2013 8:49 am | by Brian Wallheimer, Purdue University | News | Comments

Kevin Keener, a professor of food science at Purdue University, looks for new ways to kill harmful bacteria, and has determined that exposing packaged liquids, fruits, and vegetables to an electrical field for just minutes could remove all traces of foodborne pathogens. His method uses electricity to generate a plasma, or ionized gas, from atmospheric gases inside the food package.

Layered 2D nanocrystals promising new semiconductor

April 16, 2013 8:52 am | News | Comments

Researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology for future computers and electronics based on "2D nanocrystals" layered in sheets less than a nanometer thick that could replace today's transistors. The layered structure is made of a material called molybdenum disulfide, which belongs to a new class of semiconductors—metal di-chalogenides—emerging as potential candidates to replace today's CMOS technology.

Sunlit snow triggers atmospheric cleaning, ozone depletion in the Arctic

April 15, 2013 4:23 pm | News | Comments

A Purdue University-led team of researchers discovered sunlit snow to be the major source of atmospheric bromine in the Arctic, the key to unique chemical reactions that purge pollutants and destroy ozone. The team's findings suggest the rapidly changing Arctic climate—where surface temperatures are rising three times faster than the global average—could dramatically change its atmospheric chemistry.

A solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria

March 28, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Through the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, several types of bacteria have become resistant to drugs that were designed to kill them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that some of these "superbugs" are linked to tens of thousands of deaths in the United States annually, including 14,000 for C. difficile and 19,000 for MRSA. Technology developed by Purdue University researchers and commercialized through a Purdue Research Park-based firm could be effective against the increased number of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in the world.

Findings to help in design of drugs against virus causing childhood illnesses

March 21, 2013 11:12 am | News | Comments

New research findings may help scientists design drugs to treat a virus infection that causes potentially fatal brain swelling and paralysis in children. The virus, called enterovirus 71, causes hand, foot, and mouth disease and is common throughout the world. Although that disease usually is not fatal, the virus has been reported to cause fatal encephalitis in infants and young children, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, no cure exists for the infection. However, new findings show the precise structure of the virus bound to a molecule that inhibits infection.

Metasurfaces to usher in new optical technologies

March 15, 2013 10:25 am | News | Comments

New optical technologies using "metasurfaces" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light are nearing commercialization. According to Alexander Kildishev, an electrical engineer and professor at Purdue University, the metasurfaces could make possible "planar photonics" devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips for information processing and telecommunication

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