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Light-Capturing Nanomaterials to Boost Efficiency of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

July 23, 2015

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Light-Capturing Nanomaterials Boost Efficiency and Reduce Costs of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

A new method to incorporate light-capturing nanomaterials into future solar-panel designs could make it easier for engineers to boost the efficiency and reduce the costs of photovoltaic solar cells. Although the domestic solar-energy industry grew by 34 percent in 2014, fundamental technical breakthroughs are needed if the U.S. is to meet its national goal of […]

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“Windbots” – The Future Explorers of Planetary Skies?

July 23, 2015

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Windbots Could Someday Explore the Skies of Jupiter

Engineers are investigating the feasibility of creating a windbot, a new class of robotic probe designed to stay aloft in a planet’s atmosphere for a long time without wings or hot-air balloons, to someday explore planets like Jupiter. Among designers of robotic probes to explore the planets, there is certainly no shortage of clever ideas. […]

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Researchers Develop a New Device for Studying Changes in T Cells

July 22, 2015

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New Device Tracks Changes in T Cells

Scientists at the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a passive-flow microfluidic device for imaging latent HIV activation dynamics in single T cells. While studying latent HIV cells, researchers in the laboratory of Prof. Kathryn Miller-Jensen have developed a device that could make it a lot easier to track changes in cells […]

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Hybrid Boron Nitride Nanostructures Will Keep Small Electronics Cool

July 21, 2015

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White Graphene Structures Excel at Thermal Management for Electronics

Researchers from Rice University have completed the first theoretical analysis of how 3D boron nitride might be used as a tunable material to control heat flow in small electronics devices. The research by Rouzbeh Shahsavari and Navid Sakhavand appears this month in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials and Interfaces. In its two-dimensional form, […]

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Distributed Electric Propulsion May Usher in a New Era of Flight

July 21, 2015

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NASA to Usher in a New Era of Flight

NASA scientists believe distributed electric propulsion is set to usher in a new era of aviation, allowing engineers to do things that they have wanted to do for 50 years. Mark Moore imagines a world where clean, agile airplanes conquer highway gridlock, where soul-sapping, two-hour commutes are replaced with a quick leap through the sky. […]

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New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

July 21, 2015

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This New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

Chemists at UCLA have developed a new technology that is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks — an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells. The materials in most of today’s residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds […]

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ESA Selects Contractor for JUICE Mission to Jupiter and Its Icy Moons

July 17, 2015

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ESA Prepares for the JUICE Mission

Airbus Defence & Space in France has been selected as the prime industrial contractor for ESA’s JUICE mission to Jupiter and its icy moons. The spacecraft should be launched in 2022 and arrive in the Jovian system in 2030. The agency’s Industrial Policy Committee approved the award of the €350.8 million contract yesterday. Pending the […]

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Harvard Engineers Create a 3D Printed Autonomous Robot

July 13, 2015

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3D Printed Soft Robot

Using a 3D printer, Harvard engineers have developed one of the first soft robots that moves autonomously. Traditional industrial robots are rigid — mostly metal — as well as fast, precise, and powerful. Their speed and accuracy come at the cost of complexity and can often pose a danger to humans who get too close. […]

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New Network Design Exploits Power-Efficient Flash Memory

July 10, 2015

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New Network Design Exploits Cheap, Power-Efficient Flash Memory

Engineers from MIT have developed a new system that, for several common big-data applications, should make servers using flash memory as efficient as those using conventional RAM while cutting cost and power consumption. Random-access memory, or RAM, is where computers like to store the data they’re working on. A processor can retrieve data from RAM […]

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MIT Engineers Develop Basic Computing Elements for Bacteria

July 9, 2015

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MIT Scientists Develop Basic Computing Elements for Bacteria

New research from MIT unveils a series of sensors, memory switches, and circuits that can be encoded in the common human gut bacterium. The “friendly” bacteria inside our digestive systems are being given an upgrade, which may one day allow them to be programmed to detect and ultimately treat diseases such as colon cancer and […]

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Niobium Nanowire Yarns Make High-Performance Supercapacitors

July 7, 2015

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Niobium Nanowire Improves Supercapacitors

Using yarns made from niobium nanowire, researchers at MIT have developed a new approach to making supercapacitors. Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough power to transmit data. Now, researchers at […]

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UC Engineers Break Distance Barriers for Fiber Optic Signals

June 30, 2015

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Engineers Break Power and Distance Barriers for Fiber Optic Communication

Scientists at UC Diego have increased the maximum power at which optical signals can be sent through optical fibers, breaking key barriers that limit the distance information can travel in fiber optic cables and still be accurately deciphered by a receiver. This advance has the potential to increase the data transmission rates for the fiber […]

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LiquiGlide Nonstick Coating Coming to Consumer Goods

June 30, 2015

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LiquiGlide Nonstick Coating Ready for Consumer Goods

You won’t have to shake, rattle and roll those last drops of condiments out of the bottle anymore. LiquiGlide, a liquid-impregnated coating that acts as a slippery barrier between a surface and a viscous liquid, has just been licensed to a major consumer-goods company. The days of wasting condiments — and other products — that […]

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Could The Prandtl-m Become the First Mars Airplane?

June 30, 2015

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Could This Be the First Mars Airplane

Later this year NASA researchers will test prototype aircraft aerodynamics that could lead to the first aircraft on Mars. When an aircraft makes its first flight on Mars in the 2020s, a NASA Armstrong innovation may have made it possible. A prototype of the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-m, which […]

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New Battery Design Cuts Lithium-Ion Battery Cost in Half

June 29, 2015

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New Technique Slices Lithium-Ion Battery Cost in Half

By using a battery design that is a hybrid between flow batteries and conventional solid ones, engineers have developed a new manufacturing approach that slices lithium-ion battery cost in half. An advanced manufacturing approach for lithium-ion batteries, developed by researchers at MIT and at a spinoff company called 24M, promises to significantly slash the cost […]

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Throwable Camera Sends Panoramic Images to Your Smartphone

June 26, 2015

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Throwable Tactical Camera

A softball-sized tactical camera that can be tossed into unseen areas to send panoramic images back to a smartphone is set for commercial release. Unseen areas are troublesome for police and first responders: Rooms can harbor dangerous gunmen, while collapsed buildings can conceal survivors. Now Bounce Imaging, founded by an MIT alumnus, is giving officers […]

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Floating Nuclear Power Plant that is Safer and Cheaper

June 25, 2015

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The proposed Offshore Floating Nuclear Plant structure is about 45 meters in diameter, and the plant will generate 300 megawatts of electricity. An alternative design for a 1,100 MW plant calls for a structure about 75 meters in diameter. In both cases, the structures include living quarters and helipads for transporting personnel, similar to offshore oil drilling platforms.

Since nuclear power plants emit no carbon dioxide, they are considered an important component for a greener energy future. A new nuclear power plant promises to be safer, cheaper, and easier to deploy than current plants, but what makes it especially unique is that it will float eight or more miles out to sea. Many […]

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New High-strength Steel Could Help Improve Fuel Efficiency in Automobiles

June 24, 2015

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Molten steel is poured in the Missouri S&T foundry in McNutt Hall.

A new third-generation advanced high-strength steel being developed at Missouri University of Science and Technology is designed to be strong, lightweight, and easy to make. This can help automakers improve fuel efficiency to meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation CAFE regulations. A high-strength steel being developed at Missouri University of Science and […]

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