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Customizing 3D Printing – New System Automatically Turns CAD Files into Visual Models

September 3, 2015

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New System Automatically Turns CAD Files into Visual Models

A new Web-based interface allows a wide range of modifications to basic designs that are printable on a 3-D printer, allowing novices do in minutes what would take experts in computer-aided design hours. The technology behind 3-D printing is growing more and more common, but the ability to create designs for it is not. Any […]

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A New Tool To Identify Nuclear Weapons Without Divulging Secret Information

September 2, 2015

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Zero Knowledge Warhead Verification

The Zero Knowledge Warhead Verification Program aims to identify nuclear weapons while protecting secret information. “Energy is incredibly fundamental to life,” MIT graduate student Ruaridh Macdonald says. “That’s why I keep studying it.” This tenet has been the thread throughout Macdonald’s nearly eight years at MIT — first as an undergraduate, then as a master’s […]

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Engineers Develop Optical Devices That Shape Light in Exotic Ways

September 1, 2015

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Ultrathin Optical Devices Shape Light in Exotic Ways

Engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology have developed innovative flat, optical lenses that are capable of manipulating light in ways that are difficult or impossible to achieve with conventional optical devices. The new lenses are not made of glass. Instead, silicon nanopillars are precisely arranged into a honeycomb pattern […]

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Yale Engineers Develop a Shape-Shifting Navigation Device for the Visually Impaired

August 27, 2015

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Engineers Develop a Shape-Shifting Navigation Device for the Visually Impaired

Researchers from Yale University have developed a shape-shifting navigation device for both the sighted and visually impaired. Combine mechanical engineering, experimental theater, and an old dark church, and you’re bound to get some interesting results — a new navigation device, for instance. That’s what happened when Yale University engineer Adam Spiers, a postdoctoral associate in […]

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Solid Electrolyte Paves the Way for Rechargeable Batteries with Almost Indefinite Lifetimes

August 17, 2015

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Rechargeable Batteries with Almost Indefinite Lifetimes

Engineers from MIT and Samsung have developed an approach for a solid electrolyte that could greatly improve both battery lifetime and safety, while providing a significant boost in the amount of power stored in a given space. If you pry open one of today’s ubiquitous high-tech devices — whether a cellphone, a laptop, or an […]

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Aluminum “Yolk-and-Shell” Nanoparticle Boosts Capacity and Power of Lithium-ion Batteries

August 14, 2015

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Yolks and Shells Improve Lithium-Ion Batteries

New research from MIT and Tsinghua University in China reveals that an aluminum “yolk-and-shell” nanoparticle could boost the capacity and power of lithium-ion batteries. One big problem faced by electrodes in rechargeable batteries, as they go through repeated cycles of charging and discharging, is that they must expand and shrink during each cycle — sometimes […]

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New Biosensors Turn Bacteria Into a Source of Natural Energy

August 13, 2015

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Researchers Turn Engineered Bacteria into a Source of Natural Energy

New biosensors enable complex genetic reprogramming of common bacteria like E. coli. The process could be leveraged for sustainable biomanufacturing, using the metabolic processes of bacterial cells to generate valuable chemicals and fuels. Super-productive factories of the future could employ fleets of genetically engineered bacterial cells, such as common E. coli, to create valuable chemical […]

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SEAS Engineers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

August 12, 2015

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SEAS Researchers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

Using a technique that mimics how plants use solar energy and forcing two otherwise incompatible molecules to work together to cover the full color spectrum, engineers from Yale University have significantly increased the efficiency of polymer solar cells. The researchers, in Dr. Andre Taylor’s Transformative Materials & Devices Lab, developed a solar cell that performed […]

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NASA SLS Program ‘Right on Track’ for Journey to Mars

August 5, 2015

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NASA on Schedule for Journey to Mars

NASA’s Space Launch System Program has completed its review – another step forward for the program that will help launch astronauts on missions to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit, and eventually to Mars. You know the feeling of pride and achievement when you’ve worked really hard on a term paper, and finally turn it […]

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UCLA Unveils An Augmented Reality Sandbox

August 4, 2015

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UCLA's Augmented Reality Sandbox

The Augmented Reality Sandbox allows students to interact with a miniature landscape, sculpting mountains, valleys, rivers and even volcanoes, with off the shelf readily available parts. Gary Glesener, director of UCLA’s Modeling and Educational Demonstrations Laboratory, gives us a tour of the lab’s Augmented Reality Sandbox. The video was produced by Sebastian Hernandez of the […]

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New Polymer Gel Could Create Edible Devices for Ultra-Long Drug Delivery

August 2, 2015

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New Technology Opens Possibilities for Super-Long-Acting Pills

A team of scientists has developed a polymer gel that could allow for the development of long-acting devices that reside in the stomach, including orally delivered capsules that can release drugs over a number of days, weeks, or potentially months following a single administration. Medical devices designed to reside in the stomach have a variety […]

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Gallium Nitride Electronics Poised to Drastically Cut Energy Usage

July 29, 2015

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Gallium Nitride is Poised to Become the Next Semiconductor

Using an exotic material called gallium nitride (GaN), Cambridge Electronics Inc. has announced a line of GaN transistors and power electronic circuits that promise to cut energy usage by 10 to 20 percent worldwide by 2025. In 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) dedicated approximately half of a $140 million research institute for power electronics […]

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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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