Archive | Technology


Artificial leaf clears developmental barrier

Putting together the chemical reactions that make photosynthesis happen has proven harder than scientists initially thought, but in a new paper in Nature Chemistry, Arizona State University (ASU) researchers describe the breakthroughs they have made toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. The researchers hope their work will one day allow the inexpensive production of hydrogen […]

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Sperm-like biological robot displays “remarkable” self-organization

Powered by cultured heart cells, tiny, self-organizing bio-hybrid machines that swim like sperm have been created by scientists at the University of Illinois. A report on the synthetic self-propelled bio-bots appears in the journal Nature Communications. “Micro-organisms have a whole world that we only glimpse through the microscope,” said Taher Saif, lead scientist on the […]

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Text messages coded into booze vapor

A team of scientists from the UK (University of Warwick) and Canada (York University) have demonstrated a system to code any generic message into evaporated alcohol molecules. The researchers believe their molecular communications system, which works in a similar fashion to how animals communicate with pheromones, could be used for the transmission of messages and […]

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Penguin propulsion could drive marine vessels

Scientists have created a highly efficient and extremely maneuverable propulsion system by mimicking the shoulder of an Emperor penguin. The mechanism, which features an innovative spherical joint with three actuated degrees of freedom, could lead to new types of propellers that have directional thrusting capability. Caltech’s Flavio Noca was inspired to design the device after […]

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Bacteria modified with squid protein could be a camouflage game-changer for military

In the latest issue of the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers report on the creation of a biomimetic infrared camouflage coating inspired by Loliginidae (also known as pencil squids, or more familiarly, as the menu item calamari). Lead researcher Alon Gorodetsky explained that the team devised a method to producereflectin (a structural protein the squid […]

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Novel geometry creates ultralight super-strong components from tiny interlocking 3-D printed parts

In what could herald an entirely new approach to manufacturing all manner of complex structures, MIT researchers have created tiny lightweight building blocks that can be snapped together much like Lego bricks to create structures that are exceptionally strong and light. The new approach to construction is described in a paper appearing this week in […]

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Cheap and simple desalination unit runs from battery

Using a small electrical field that removes the salts from seawater, German and American scientists have invented a new method for the desalination of seawater that consumes much less energy and is dramatically simpler than conventional desalination techniques. The new technique, known as electrochemically mediated seawater desalination, is described in the journal Angewandte Chemie. To […]

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“Flowers” self-assemble from basic chemistry

By simply manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, researchers at Harvard have found they can control the growth behavior of crystals to create beautiful, precisely tailored nanostructures. “For at least 200 years, people have been intrigued by how complex shapes could have evolved in nature. This work helps to demonstrate what’s possible just […]

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Scientists merge electronics with bio-printed ear

Using off-the-shelf 3D printing tools, Princeton scientists have built a functional cell-cultured ear that can “hear” radio frequencies. The bionic ear is the team’s first effort to create a cybernetic organ: one that not only replicates a human ability, but extends it using embedded electronics “There are mechanical and thermal challenges with interfacing electronic materials […]

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“Nanosponge” removes toxins from bloodstream

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego say they have created a “nanosponge” that is capable of safely removing a broad class of dangerous substances from the bloodstream – including toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli, venomous snakes, and bees. In a study using the toxin from MRSA, inoculation with nanosponges enabled 89 percent […]

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