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Blood test results vary from drop to drop in finger prick tests

November 18, 2015 7:31 am | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | Comments

When it comes to needles and drawing blood, most patients agree that bigger is not better. But in the first study of its kind, Rice Univ. bioengineers have found results from a single drop of blood are highly variable, and as many as six to nine drops must be combined to achieve consistent results.


ITRI’s Fluid-Driven Emergency Lighting Technology

November 9, 2015 8:40 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

ITRI’s Fluid-Driven Emergency Lighting Technology is the world’s first ergonomics-oriented hydroelectric fire-fighting technology. It uses the existing water supply on the fire site to produce electricity.


Study shows some 3-D-printed objects are toxic

November 5, 2015 7:41 am | by Sean Nealon, Univ. of California, Riverside | Comments

Researchers at the Univ. of California, Riverside have found parts produced by some commercial 3-D printers are toxic to certain fish embryos. Their results have raised questions about how to dispose of parts and waste materials from 3-D printers.


Study predicts bedrock weathering based on topography

November 2, 2015 10:08 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Just below Earth’s surface, beneath the roots and soil, is a hard, dense layer of bedrock that is the foundation for all life on land. Cracks and fissures within bedrock provide pathways for air and water, which chemically react to break up rock, ultimately creating soil—an essential ingredient for all terrestrial organisms. This weathering of bedrock is fundamental to life on Earth.


Failed candy recipe solves sticky problem in the lab

October 30, 2015 7:46 am | by Gabe Cherry, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

Anyone who has made Jello knows how difficult it can be to spring the wobbly treat from its mold intact. Now, imagine trying to dislodge something 10 times softer than gelatin, while keeping every detail unscathed down to a microscopic level. That was the problem faced by Univ. of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Chris Moraes.


Persian Gulf could experience deadly heat

October 27, 2015 11:55 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

Within this century, parts of the Persian Gulf region could be hit with unprecedented events of deadly heat as a result of climate change, according to a study of high-resolution climate models. The research reveals details of a business-as-usual scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, but also shows that curbing emissions could forestall these deadly temperature extremes.


Bubble, bubble, at the flick of a switch

October 27, 2015 7:45 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

Boiling water, with its commotion of bubbles that rise from a surface as water comes to a boil, is central to most electric power plants, heating and cooling systems and desalination plants. Now, for the first time, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to control this process, literally with the flick of an electrical switch.


Researchers’ calculations reveal higher-than-expected global economic cost of climate change

October 22, 2015 12:00 pm | by Laura Seaman, Stanford Univ. | Comments

When thousands of scientists, economists and policymakers meet in Paris this December to negotiate an international climate treaty, one question will dominate conversations: What is the climate worth? A new study published in Nature shows that the global economy will take a harder hit from rising temperatures than previously thought, with incomes falling in most countries by the year 2100 if climate change continues unchecked.


An “apatite” for radionuclides

October 22, 2015 8:18 am | by Stephanie Holinka, Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories geochemist Mark Rigali and his colleagues are developing and deploying apatite-based technologies to protect groundwater at sites contaminated by radionuclides and heavy metals. Apatite is currently being used at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State and the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, “and, there are numerous other potential applications we are exploring,” Rigali said.


World’s first total-body PET scanner

October 22, 2015 7:58 am | by Dan Krotz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have set out to help build the world’s first total-body positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, a medical imaging device that could change the way cancers and other diseases are diagnosed and treated.


Using ultrasound to improve drug delivery

October 21, 2015 4:00 pm | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

Using ultrasound waves, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital have found a way to enable ultra-rapid delivery of drugs to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This approach could make it easier to deliver drugs to patients suffering from GI disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, the researchers say.


Cobalt atoms on graphene a powerful combo

October 21, 2015 8:21 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Graphene doped with nitrogen and augmented with cobalt atoms has proven to be an effective, durable catalyst for the production of hydrogen from water, according to scientists at Rice Univ. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour and colleagues have reported the development of a robust, solid-state catalyst that shows promise to replace expensive platinum for hydrogen generation.


“Geospeedometer” confirms super-eruptions have short fuses

October 21, 2015 7:47 am | by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt Univ. | Comments

Repeatedly throughout Earth's history, giant pools of magma greater than 100 cubic miles in volume have formed a few miles below the surface. They are the sources of super-eruptions, gigantic volcanic outbursts that throw 100 times more superheated gas, ash and rock into the atmosphere than run-of-the-mill eruptions, enough to blanket continents and plunge the globe into decades-long volcanic winters.


Affordable camera reveals hidden details invisible to the naked eye

October 16, 2015 12:00 pm | by Jennifer Langston, Univ. of Washington | Comments

Peering into a grocery store bin, it’s hard to tell if a peach or tomato or avocado is starting to go bad underneath its skin. But an affordable camera technology being developed by the Univ. of Washington and Microsoft Research might enable consumers of the future to tell which piece of fruit is perfectly ripe or what’s rotting in the fridge.


3-D-printed “soft” robotic tentacle displays new level of agility

October 15, 2015 11:00 am | by Daryly Lovell, Cornell Univ. | Comments

Cornell Univ. engineers have developed a method to re-create the arrangement of muscles of an octopus tentacle, using an elastomer and 3-D printer. The research was groundbreaking since until now, 3-D printing methods could not directly print a soft robotic device with as much agility and degree of freedom as the new method provides.



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