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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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