Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Jul 2, 2020

Researchers observe branched flow of light for the first time

Posted by in categories: engineering, nanotechnology, physics

A team of researchers from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has observed branched flow of light for the very first time. The findings are published in Nature and are featured on the cover of the July 2, 2020 issue.

The study was carried out by Ph.D. student Anatoly (Tolik) Patsyk, in collaboration with Miguel A. Bandres, who was a postdoctoral fellow at Technion when the project started and is now an Assistant Professor at CREOL, College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida. The research was led by Technion President Professor Uri Sivan and Distinguished Professor Mordechai (Moti) Segev of the Technion’s Physics and Electrical Engineering Faculties, the Solid State Institute, and the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute.

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Jun 29, 2020

Habitat Mars: Learning to live sustainably on the red planet

Posted by in categories: engineering, habitats, space, sustainability

There’s quite a bit of buzz these days about how humanity could become a “multiplanetary” species. This is understandable, considering that space agencies and aerospace companies from around the world are planning on conducting missions to low earth orbit (LEO), the moon, and Mars in the coming years, not to mention establishing a permanent human presence there and beyond.

To do this, humanity needs to develop the necessary strategies for sustainable living in hostile environments and enclosed spaces. To prepare humans for this kind of experience, groups like Habitat Marte (Mars Habitat) and others are dedicated to conducting simulated missions in analog environments. The lessons learned will not only prepare people to live and work in space but foster ideas for sustainable living here on Earth.

Habitat Marte was founded in 2017 by Julio Francisco Dantas de Rezende, the professor of sustainability in the Department of Product Engineering at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) and the director of innovation with the Research Support Foundation (FAPERN). He is also the coordinator of Habitat Marte and Mars Society Brazil.

Jun 28, 2020

Faces of Technology — Women of NASA 2020

Posted by in categories: engineering, space travel

On this Women in Engineering Day, meet some of the NASA — National Aeronautics and Space Administration women who are making contributions to the technologies that make space exploration, including NASA’s Artemis missions to the Moon, possible. WATCH #INWED20

Jun 25, 2020

Engineering an immunotherapy to outwit cancer — and launch a biotech

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Tweaking an immune protein called interleukin-18 can overcome tumors that lure it into binding with a decoy receptor protein and render it harmless to cancer cells, new research in mice shows. In conjunction with the paper, published Wednesday in Nature, a company founded by senior author Aaron Ring announced $25 million in initial financing to create and commercialize a drug based on the discovery.

The approach adds another weapon to an immunotherapy arsenal that activates immune responses hijacked by cancer. Checkpoint inhibitors, for example, take the brakes off immune cells that should battle invaders. IL-18 is a cytokine that normally activates T cells and natural killer cells, two immune forces that fight infection, but it’s disarmed by the decoy wielded by tumors.

Jun 24, 2020

Experiment confirms 50-year-old theory describing how an alien civilization could exploit a black hole

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering

Aliens & Black Holes

Penrose predicted that the object would acquire a negative energy in this unusual area of space. By dropping the object and splitting it in two so that one half falls into the black hole while the other is recovered, the recoil action would measure a loss of negative energy—effectively, the recovered half would gain energy extracted from the black hole’s rotation. The scale of the engineering challenge the process would require is so great, however, that Penrose suggested only a very advanced, perhaps alien, civilisation would be equal to the task.

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Jun 23, 2020

MIT Automated Tabletop Fast Protein Synthesis Machine May Accelerate Drug Development

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, genetics

Automated tabletop machine could accelerate the development of novel drugs to treat cancer and other diseases.

Many proteins are useful as drugs for disorders such as diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. Synthesizing artificial versions of these proteins is a time-consuming process that requires genetically engineering microbes or other cells to produce the desired protein.

MIT chemists have devised a protocol to dramatically reduce the amount of time required to generate synthetic proteins. Their tabletop automated flow synthesis machine can string together hundreds of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, within hours. The researchers believe their new technology could speed up the manufacturing of on-demand therapies and the development of new drugs, and allow scientists to design artificial proteins by incorporating amino acids that don’t exist in cells.

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Jun 23, 2020

‘Janus’ nanorods convert light to heat that can destroy pollutants in water

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, health, nanotechnology, particle physics, sustainability

With a new nanoparticle that converts light to heat, a team of researchers has found a promising technology for clearing water of pollutants.

Trace amounts of contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and perfluorooctanoic acid in drinking water sources have posed significant health risks to humans in recent years. These micropollutants have eluded conventional treatment processes, but certain chemical processes that typically involve ozone, hydrogen peroxide or UV light have proven effective. These processes, however, can be expensive and energy-intensive.

A new nanoparticle created by Yale University engineers as part of an effort for the Rice-based Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) could lead to technologies that get around those limitations. The particle is described in a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jun 19, 2020

Synthetic Plasma Liquid Based Electronic Circuits Realization-A Novel Concept

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Circa 2016

Biomedical research is contributing significant role in the field of biomedical engineering and applied science. It brings research and innovations to a different level. This study investigated artificial human blood –synthetic plasma liquid as conductive medium. Keeping in mind the conductivity of synthetic plasma, astable multivibrator as well as differential amplifier circuit were demonstrated. The circuits were given normal input voltages at regular temperature and ideal conditions. The result shows desired response which supports the novel concept. For both the circuits, phase shift of 180° achieved by analysing biological electronic circuits.

Keywords: Synthetic plasma, biomedical science, human body.

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Jun 19, 2020

Tesla Model 3 gets a solar roof thanks to Lightyear

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, sustainability, transportation

A Tesla Model 3 has been modified with a solar roof as part of Lightyear’s solar car development program.

We have been reporting on Lightyear for a few years now.

The startup first caught our attention because it spun out of Solar Team Eindhoven, a group of engineering students from the Technical University of Eindhoven (Netherlands) who have been competing in the World Solar Challenge with their Stella and Stella Lux, energy positive solar cars — meaning that they can produce more energy than they consume.

Jun 18, 2020

Genetically engineering humans to survive missions to Mars is coming

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, genetics, space travel

One of the biggest concerns that space agencies like NASA and SpaceX have when it comes to bringing humans to Planet Mars is survival.

Humans are poorly suited to life in space. The BBC reports:

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