Advertisement
Videos
Subscribe to R&D Magazine Videos
View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

R&D Daily

Untangling how cables coil

October 3, 2014 10:48 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

A rip or tangle in any part of world’s 550,000-mile fiber-optic network can significantly slow telecommunications around the world. Now engineers have developed a method that predicts the pattern of coils and tangles that a cable may form when deployed onto a rigid surface. The research combined laboratory experiments with custom-designed cables, computer-graphics technology used to animate hair in movies, and theoretical analyses.

TOPICS:

Undergrad helps develop method to detect water on Mars

October 3, 2014 9:25 am | by Eric Sorensen, Washington State Univ. | Comments

Washington State University undergraduate Kellie Wall, 21, recently looked for evidence that water influenced crystal formation in basalt, the dark volcanic rock that covers most of eastern Washington and Oregon. She then compared this with volcanic rock observations made by the rover Curiosity on Mars’ Gale Crater, inventing a new method for detecting water on Mars.

TOPICS:

Study: Lift weights, improve your memory

October 2, 2014 9:21 am | Comments

A new Georgia Institute of Technology study shows that an intense workout of as little as 20 min can enhance episodic memory, also known as long-term memory for previous events, by about 10% in healthy young adults. The research isn’t the first to find that exercise can improve memory. But the study took a few new approaches, including testing memory after just single period of exercise.

TOPICS:
Advertisement

Swimming sea-monkeys reveal how zooplankton may help drive ocean circulation

October 1, 2014 9:17 am | by Marcus Woo, Caltech | Comments

Brine shrimp, which are sold as pets known as sea-monkeys, are tiny—only about half an inch long each. With about 10 small leaf-like fins that flap about, they look as if they could hardly make waves. But get billions of similarly tiny organisms together and they can move oceans.

TOPICS:

Drug delivery capsule may replace injections

October 1, 2014 8:22 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

Given a choice, most patients would prefer to take a drug orally instead of getting an injection. Unfortunately, many drugs, can’t be given as a pill because they get broken down in the stomach before they can be absorbed. To help overcome that obstacle, researchers have devised a novel drug capsule coated with tiny needles that can inject drugs directly into the lining of the stomach after swallowed.

TOPICS:

Cheap hydrogen fuel from the sun, without rare metals

September 30, 2014 1:27 pm | by Emmanuel Barraud, EPFL | Comments

Michael Grätzel’s laboratory in Switzerland is producing hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water. By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes, scientists have obtained a 12.3% conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen, a record using earth-abundant materials as opposed to rare metals.

TOPICS:

California drought linked to climate change

September 30, 2014 9:42 am | by Ker Than, Stanford Univ. | Comments

The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought currently afflicting California are "very likely" linked to human-caused climate change, according to Stanford Univ. scientists. The team used a combination of computer simulations and statistical techniques to show that a persistent region of high atmospheric pressure hovering over the Pacific Ocean was likely to form from modern greenhouse gas concentrations.

TOPICS:

Scientists make droplets move on their own

September 29, 2014 12:51 pm | Comments

Droplets are simple spheres of fluid, not normally considered capable of doing anything on their own. But now researchers have made droplets of alcohol move through water, even moving through complex mazes. The droplets can be led to certain targets, using a surprisingly simple impetus. In the future, such moving droplets may deliver medicines, moving entire chemistries to targets.

TOPICS:
Advertisement

Magnetic field opens and closes nanovesicle

September 24, 2014 9:18 am | Comments

Researchers in the Netherlands have managed to open nanovesicles in a reversible process and close them using a magnet. Previously, these vesicles had been “loaded” with a drug and opened elsewhere using a chemical process, such as osmosis. The magnetic method, which is repeatable, is the first to demonstrate the viability of another method.

TOPICS:

Nanotubes help healing hearts keep the beat

September 23, 2014 2:58 pm | Comments

A Rice Univ. team led by bioengineer Jeffrey Jacot and chemical engineer and chemist Matteo Pasquali have created new pediatric heart-defect patches infused with conductive single-walled carbon nanotubes that allow electrical signals to pass unhindered. The nanotubes overcome a limitation of current patches in which pore walls hinder the transfer of electrical signals between cardiomyocytes, the heart muscle’s beating cells.

TOPICS:

Smallest possible “diamonds” help form ultra-thin nanothreads

September 22, 2014 2:52 pm | Comments

For the first time, scientists led by John V. Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn State Univ., have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers. The core of the nanothreads is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of a diamond's structure.

TOPICS:

Startup scales up graphene production, develops biosensors and supercapacitors

September 19, 2014 10:59 am | Comments

Glenn Johnson, CEO of BlueVine Graphene Industries Inc., said many of the methodologies being utilized to produce graphene today are not easily scalable and require numerous post-processing steps to use it in functional applications. He said his company has developed a way to scale graphene production using a roll-to-roll chemical vapor deposition process.

TOPICS:

A new way to prevent the spread of devastating diseases

September 19, 2014 8:01 am | by Kimm Fesenmaier, Caltech | Comments

For decades, researchers have tried to develop broadly effective vaccines to prevent the spread of illnesses such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. While limited progress has been made along these lines, there are still no licensed vaccinations available that can protect most people from these devastating diseases. So what are immunologists to do when vaccines just aren't working?

TOPICS:

Scientists refine formula for nanotube types

September 17, 2014 9:52 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Many a great idea springs from talks over a cup of coffee. But it’s rare and wonderful when a revelation comes from the cup itself. Rice Univ. theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson, acting upon sudden inspiration at a meeting last year, obtained a couple of spare coffee cups from a server and a pair of scissors and proceeded to lay out—science fair-style—an idea that could have far-reaching implications for the nanotechnology industry.

TOPICS:

Researchers control surface tension to manipulate liquid metals

September 16, 2014 9:40 am | by Matt Shipman, News Services, North Carolina State Univ. | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State Univ. have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.

TOPICS:

Pages

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading