Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Feb 17, 2019

A new chemical process could turn a quarter of our plastic waste into clean fuel

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, sustainability

A new chemical process could turn about 90% of the world’s grocery bags, shrink wrap, and other polypropylene waste into clean fuel.

Grocery bags and other trash could be melted down to yield useful products like oil and gas.

The problem: The world’s landfill sites and oceans are being flooded with plastic. A mere 9% of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic produced over the last 65 years has been recycled, according to the United Nations. Over eight million tons of plastic flow into our oceans every year, harming wildlife.

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Feb 17, 2019

Stem Cells, Genome Editing, and the Path to Translational Medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, life extension

The derivation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and the stunning discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) holds the promise to revolutionize biomedical research and regenerative medicine. In this Review, we focus on disorders of the central nervous system and explore how advances in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) coincide with evolutions in genome engineering and genomic technologies to provide realistic opportunities to tackle some of the most devastating complex disorders.

Advances in stem cell biology are paving new paths toward their use in the clinic, especially toward understanding and treating neurological and neurodegenerative disease.

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Feb 14, 2019

PH has brainpower for a space agency: DOST officials

Posted by in categories: engineering, neuroscience, space

Alvin Retamar, Chief Science Research Specialist and Project Leader of Philippine Earth Data Resource and Observation Center (PEDRO) said some institutions they have been helping are even calling for higher level training in the space sciences.

“In some areas where we are providing support they are already keen on developing aerospace engineering degree programs,” Retamar said.

Original post from ABS-CBN News

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Feb 13, 2019

Running an LED in reverse could cool future computers

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, physics

In a finding that runs counter to a common assumption in physics, researchers at the University of Michigan ran a light emitting diode (LED) with electrodes reversed in order to cool another device mere nanometers away.

The approach could lead to new solid-state technology for future microprocessors, which will have so many transistors packed into a small space that current methods can’t remove heat quickly enough.

“We have demonstrated a second method for using photons to cool devices,” said Pramod Reddy, who co-led the work with Edgar Meyhofer, both professors of mechanical engineering.

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Feb 10, 2019

Red-eyed mosquitoes engineered to break the chain of Zika virus transmission

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Scientists in Australia are looking at some pretty creative ways to tackle the Zika virus, which continues to pose a risk to millions across Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. Following a trial last year where researchers were able to decimate disease-spreading mosquitos in the country’s north, scientists have now demonstrated an engineering technique that renders the biggest transmitter of the virus largely immune to it, raising hopes of a new way to control the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.

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Feb 9, 2019

Scottish space firm unveils world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, energy, engineering, satellites

Scottish space firm Orbex has unveiled an engineering prototype of a rocket that’s at the heart of plans to develop a UK satellite launch capability.

The company, which is involved in plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland unveiled the rocket at the opening of its new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres in the Scottish Highlands.

Designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit, Orbex Prime is a two-stage rocket that’s claimed to be up to 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category. It is also the first commercial rocket engine designed to work with bio-propane, a clean-burning, renewable fuel source that cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to fossil hydrocarbon fuels.

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Feb 6, 2019

Plasma-based system provides radical new path for water purification

Posted by in categories: engineering, physics

Many of today’s methods of purifying water rely on filters and chemicals that need regular replenishing or maintenance. Millions of people, however, live in areas with limited access to such materials, leading the research community to explore new options of purifying water in using plasmas. Many plasma-based approaches are expensive, but a new class of plasma devices may change that.

Researchers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville have been studying a new type of plasma generator for water purification. The new generator pulses voltage signals to ionize gas at atmospheric pressure and produce many useful byproducts, including , which cause a cascade of reactions that lead to purer water samples.

“We’re finding ways to speed up the purification process,” said Ryan Gott, a doctoral candidate in aerospace engineering at UAH who will present the research next week at the American Physical Society 71st Annual Gaseous Electronics Conference and the 60th Annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, which will take place Nov. 5–9 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

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Feb 6, 2019

Here’s the Army’s now-patented EMP rifle attachment for taking out small drones

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering, military

A U.S. Army engineer’s idea to turn the standard M4 rifle into an electromagnetic pulse gun recently got the nod from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

James E. Burke, electronics engineer at the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, received U.S. patent 10,180,309 on Tuesday, giving the Army intellectual property protections on Burke’s “Electromagnetic Pulse Transmitter Muzzle Adapter.”

This invention would enable a single soldier in a ground unit to destroy enemy electronics, such as small drones or improvised explosive devices, by attaching a special blank-firing adapter to their rifle’s muzzle, then firing a shot.

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Feb 6, 2019

US needs megawatt class combat lasers to counter hypersonic missiles

Posted by in categories: engineering, space

Michael Griffin, the undersecretary for research and engineering, expects future budgets to provide funds for lasers that the missile defense agency can more rapidly develop and field. Space-control needs to have megawatt-class lasers.

Hypersonic weapons’ low signature in flight and high degree of maneuverability upon final approach to targets make the weapons difficult to defend against.

The last time the US really invested in transformative capabilities that overwhelmed adversaries [in Desert Storm] was the Reagan era.

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Feb 4, 2019

This Wild Moon Base Idea Came from Architecture Students (Video)

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

Interesting concept.

Architectural students working with the European Space Agency (ESA) have created a new concept for a sustainable lunar habitat.

The ESA’s astronaut center in Cologne, Germany, partners with universities and research institutions to study moon-related concepts in preparation for future missions. Angelus Chrysovalantis Alfatzis is one of the researchers who has contributed to the development of a promising concept for a moon base, according to a statement from ESA.

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