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Deep-diving whales could hold answer for synthetic blood

September 25, 2015 12:00 pm | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | Comments

The ultra-stable properties of the proteins that allow deep-diving whales to remain active while holding their breath for up to two hours could help Rice Univ. biochemist John Olson and his colleagues finish a 20-year quest to create lifesaving synthetic blood for human trauma patients.

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Soft Exoskeletons Tested by Army

September 25, 2015 8:39 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Trudging through the Maryland woods, the soldier carried a bulbous pack. He held a gun in his hands. But something was different. Cables hung around him, extending from his pack to his pants. At the Aberdeen Proving Ground, scientists are performance testing a battery-powered soft exoskeleton.

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Google's Robotic Dog is in Basic Training for Marine Corps.

September 23, 2015 8:40 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

The Marines are currently testing a series of robotic creations to gauge how well they will perform in the field.

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How Drones Could Become the Future of Construction

September 22, 2015 11:50 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich released a video showing drones building a bridge as part of the Aerial Construction Project.

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3-D Printing Promotes Nerve Regrowth

September 21, 2015 10:06 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Visually, it seems like a simple process. An extruder drizzles clear liquid in a Y formation. Red and green dots are added before the apparatus is complete with more layers of clear liquid. Unlike its deceptive simplicity, the object is meant to guide a complex process.

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Siberian Traps likely culprit for end-Permian extinction

September 16, 2015 3:30 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Around 252 million years ago, life on Earth collapsed in spectacular and unprecedented fashion, as more than 96% of marine species and 70% of land species disappeared in a geological instant. The so-called end-Permian mass extinction—or more commonly, the “Great Dying”—remains the most severe extinction event in Earth’s history.

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Scientists use sound waves to control brain cells

September 16, 2015 8:08 am | by The Salk Institute | Comments

Salk scientists have developed a new way to selectively activate brain, heart, muscle and other cells using ultrasonic waves. The new technique, dubbed sonogenetics, has some similarities to the burgeoning use of light to activate cells in order to better understand the brain.

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Ultra-fast electron camera visualizes ripples in 2-D material

September 11, 2015 12:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Comments

New research shows how individual atoms move in trillionths of a second to form wrinkles on a three-atom-thick material. Revealed by a brand new “electron camera,” one of the world’s speediest, this unprecedented level of detail could guide researchers in the development of efficient solar cells, fast and flexible electronics and high-performance chemical catalysts.

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Hybrid solar cell converts light and heat from sun’s rays into electricity

September 10, 2015 12:00 pm | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Scientists have developed a new hybrid, solar-energy system that harnesses the full spectrum of the sun’s radiation by pairing a photovoltaic cell with polymer films. The films convert the light that goes unused by the solar cell into heat and then converts the heat into electricity. They report on their device, which produces a voltage more than five times higher than other hybrid systems, in ACS Nano.

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Bubble, bubble…boiling on the double

September 8, 2015 1:00 pm | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

The boiling of water is at the heart of many industrial processes, from the operation of electric power plants to chemical processing and desalination. But the details of what happens on a hot surface as water boils have been poorly understood, so unexpected hotspots can sometimes melt expensive equipment and disable plants.

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Untangling the mechanics of knots

September 8, 2015 7:20 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Got rope? Then try this experiment: Cross both ends, left over right, then bring the left end under and out, as if tying a pair of shoelaces. If you repeat this sequence, you get what’s called a “granny” knot. If, instead, you cross both ends again, this time right over left, you’ve created a sturdier “reef” knot.

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Time-lapse analysis offers new look at how cells repair DNA damage

September 3, 2015 1:20 pm | by Dan Krotz, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Time-lapse imaging can make complicated processes easier to grasp—think of a stitched-together sequence of photos that chronicles the construction of a building. Now, scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are using a similar approach to study how cells repair DNA damage.

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Bacterial litmus test provides inexpensive measurement of micronutrients

September 3, 2015 10:45 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

A bacterium engineered to produce different pigments in response to varying levels of a micronutrient in blood samples could give health officials an inexpensive way to detect nutritional deficiencies in resource-limited areas of the world. This “bacterial litmus test,” which currently measures levels of zinc, would require no electrical equipment and make results visible as simple color changes.

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Water heals a bioplastic

September 1, 2015 4:00 pm | by A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Penn State Univ. | Comments

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers.

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Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production

August 28, 2015 12:30 pm | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | Comments

Generating and storing renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, is a key barrier to a clean-energy economy. When the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis was established in 2010, the U.S. Dept. of Energy Energy Innovation Hub had one main goal: a cost-effective method of producing fuels using only sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis in plants.

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