A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Mimicking termites to generate new materials

Credit: Getty images; Mystery termite nest under the religion building in Chiang Rai province, Thailand

Researchers design new materials that mimic the fundamental rules in nature's growth patterns

Inspired by the way termites build their nests, researchers at Caltech have developed a framework to design new materials that mimics the fundamental rules hidden in nature's growth patterns. The investigators showed that, using these rules, it is possible to create materials designed with specific programmable properties.

The U.S. National Science Foundation-supported study, led by Chiara Daraio, was published in the journal Science. "Termites are only a few millimeters in length, but their nests can stand as high as four meters — the equivalent of a human constructing a house the height of California's Mount Whitney," says Daraio.

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Researchers create grippers capable of grabbing and lifting delicate objects

Credit: Jie Yin/ North Carolina State University

Kirigami-inspired technique results in a gentle, precise grip

U.S. National Science Foundation engineers based at North Carolina State University have developed flexible robotic grippers that can lift delicate items without damage and have the precision to grab a single strand of hair. The breakthrough has a host of applications for soft robotics, biomedical technologies and wound care, the researchers said. The team published its results in Nature Communications.

Using kirigami, an art that involves folding and cutting two-dimensional sheets of material to form three-dimensional shapes, the researchers developed a technique that involves cutting parallel slits across the material to create a three-dimensional structure.

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Scientists develop stable sodium battery technology

20220110-084057sodium_batteries_f Scientists fabricate a new anode material for a rechargeable battery technology; Credit: Yixian Wang/University of Texas at Austin

Scientists fabricate a new anode material for a rechargeable battery technology; Credit: Yixian Wang/University of Texas at Austin  

Sodium metal anode resists dendrite formation

Replacing lithium and cobalt in lithium-ion batteries would result in a more environmentally and socially conscious technology, scientists say. Toward that end, University of Texas at Austin researchers, funded in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, have developed a sodium-based battery material that is stable, can recharge as fast as a traditional lithium-ion battery, and has the potential for a higher energy output than current lithium-ion battery technologies.

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Immortality: Can we upload human consciousness?

Credit: Gettyimges

The modern world's situation

In 2021, we humans find ourselves in a fascinating though scary situation. More and more, we are developing our technologies, we have our scientific progress, we are spending more time in front of the computer than before anything else, we have almost immediate informational streams, social media, nano-chips, we are dreaming of going to Mars and so forth. However, on the other hand, we are still stuck in the same old problems, wars, famine, poverty, cruelty, and on top of it all, pollution, extinction of other species, deforestation. It's not enough that we are hurting each other but why not ruin our only home planet as well. For that reason, the topic of progress nowadays is quite ambiguous. For whom are we doing all these technological advancements? For future generations or just for the sport?

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Scientists create artificial neural networks that detect symmetry and patterns

Credit:  A rendering of an artificial neural network with a computer chip in the center;  mikemacmarketing (original); Liam Huang (cropped)

New AI neural network will do tons of work for scientific researches

A research team at Lehigh University, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, developed and effectively taught an artificial neural network to sense symmetry and structural similarities in materials and to create similarity projections. The researchers published their findings in the journal npj Computational Materials.

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Scientists discover novel thermoelectric material

Purified tin selenide, here in pellet form Credit: Northwestern University

Thermoelectric technology converts waste heat into energy

Researchers participating in a U.S. National Science Foundation-sponsored study have discovered a new material that is effective in fabricating thermoelectric devices that convert heat into electricity. Thermoelectric technology is now operational in space; this breakthrough will adapt the technology for use on Earth.

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Seven great authors share their view on the nature of Science

Image credit: Pexels

Thought can fly further than airplanes

To consider the influence and importance of Science and Technology today is a thought-provoking activity. Check out what famous think-tanks have shared with us.

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Future wearable electronic clothing could be charged by our own body heat

Photo by Karol D from Pexels

Wearable electronics powered by the user's own body heat could help tackle the issue of how to storage energy.

Thanks to rapid computing developments in the last decade and the miniaturisation of electronic components, people can, for example, track their movements and monitor their health in real time by wearing tiny computers. Researchers are now looking at how best to power these devices by turning to the user's own body heat and working with garments, polka dots and know-how from the textile industry.

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Bird-like robots could assist in medical emergencies and hunt down drones

The GRIFFIN project is seeking to create prototypes of highly autonomous, ultra-lightweight robot birds. Image credit - GRVC Robotics Lab

Robot birds

A bird flaps its wings, glides using air currents and then smoothly descends to perch on a pole. But this is not just any bird, it's a robot bird. And robots like these could in the next decade be used to respond to emergencies or to hunt down drones posing a threat to safety or security.

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New law of physics helps humans and robots grasp the friction of touch

Image credit: NCSU

Discovery advances a range of AI technologies

Although robotic devices are used in everything from assembly lines to medicine, engineers have difficulty accounting for the friction that occurs when robots grip objects -- particularly in wet environments. U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers have discovered a law of physics that accounts for this type of friction and may advance a wide range of robotic technologies.

"Our work opens the door to creating more reliable and functional devices in applications such as telesurgery and manufacturing," said Lilian Hsiao, a chemical and biomolecular engineer at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the work.

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Chip delivers COVID-19 test results on a phone

A new chip delivers COVID-19 test results in 55 minutes or less. Photo Credit: Jeff Fitlow

Programmed magnetic nanobeads enable diagnostic device

COVID-19 can be diagnosed in 55 minutes or less with the help of programmed magnetic nanobeads and a diagnostic tool that plugs into an off-the-shelf cellphone, according to Rice University engineers.

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Can bacteria make better crack-resistant materials?

Image credit: Qiming Wang, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Researchers harness the power of living organisms to make new materials


Biological systems can harness living cells for growth and regeneration, but engineering systems cannot -- or couldn't until now.

Qiming Wang and other researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering are harnessing living bacteria to create engineering materials that are strong and resilient. The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research is published in Advanced Materials.

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SSA Recent Posts

25 September 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
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