news 2013


Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical Engineering - Life Sciences - 10.12.2013
Researchers at Penn Help Develop a Dynamic Model of Tissue Failure
Researchers at Penn Help Develop a Dynamic Model of Tissue Failure
The idea of growing replacement tissue to repair an organ, or to swap it out for an entirely new one, is rapidly transitioning from science fiction to fact. Tissue engineering techniques are improving in their ability to generate three-dimensional masses of cells and provide them with vascular systems for keeping them alive, but a more mathematically rigorous approach for designing these tissues is still needed.

Physics - Mechanical Engineering - 03.12.2013
'Shaken, not stirred': Oscillator drives electron spin
'Shaken, not stirred': Oscillator drives electron spin
Contrary to many textbook illustrations, electrons aren't just balls floating around an atom. In quantum theory, they're more like little tops, exhibiting "spin," and each creating its own tiny magnetic field. Learning how best to manipulate these spins could open up technological advances in everything from quantum computers to encryption protocols to highly sensitive detectors.

Economics - Mechanical Engineering - 02.12.2013
Innovative founders give tech start-ups an edge, Stanford research shows
Innovative founders give tech start-ups an edge, Stanford research shows
A Stanford study highlights the critical importance of strong technical skills in launching tech ventures, casting doubt on the conventional wisdom that a founding team with diverse business skills is the best approach. New research on entrepreneurship shows that diverse business skills are not always the secret to success in the world of tech start-ups.

Mechanical Engineering - Environment - 20.11.2013
Droplets break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing
MIT research could aid ice prevention, wing efficiency, and more. Those who study hydrophobic materials - water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory - are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface.

Mechanical Engineering - Electroengineering - 20.11.2013
New modelling technique could bypass the need for engineering prototypes
A new modelling technique has been developed that could eliminate the need to build costly prototypes, which are used to test engineering structures such as aeroplanes. The study, by Dr Róbert Szalai at the University of Bristol, is published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A .

Mechanical Engineering - Physics - 06.11.2013
Nanoscale ’tsunami’ helps locusts tune in
The remarkable mechanism by which the tiny ears of locusts can hear and distinguish between different tones has been discovered by researchers from the University of Bristol. Understanding how the nanoscale features of the insect eardrum mechanically process sound could open up practical possibilities for the fabrication of embedded signal processing in extremely small microphones.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 01.11.2013
Plants use latex to harm and heal
o Study shows how plants benefit from the use of natural latex o Researchers hope the study will help us understand how materials are used in nature o The project could show where to look for natural latex suitable for industrial applications Plants use natural latex in different ways, to help poison insects or rapidly heal wounds, a new study has found.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 30.10.2013
Plants use latex to harm and heal
Plants use latex to harm and heal
Plants use natural latex in different ways, to help poison insects or rapidly heal wounds, a new study has found. Scientists from the Universities of Oxford, Sheffield and Freiburg tested latex samples from two different types of plant. They found that Euphorbia plants use slow-drying latex to keep insects in with their noxious sap whereas Ficus plants, such as the weeping fig, use fast-drying latex to seal wounds more quickly.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 09.10.2013
McGill discovery should save wheat farmers millions
The global wheat industry sometimes loses as much as $1 billion a year because prolonged rainfall and high humidity contribute to grains germinating before they are fully mature. The result is both a lower yield of wheat and grains of inferior quality. This phenomenon, known as pre-harvest sprouting or PHS, has such important economic repercussions for farmers around the world that scientists have been working on finding a solution to the problem for at least a couple of decades.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 24.09.2013
How the gut got its villi
Comparing species, researchers at Harvard SEAS and Harvard Medical School investigate a process they dub "villification" "You are not just a ball of cells," says Clifford Tabin , George Jacob and Jacqueline Hazel Leder Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School (HMS) . The way cells organize within the human body allows us all to function the way we do, but a couple of Harvard professors are concerned as much with that developmental process as with the end result.

Chemistry - Mechanical Engineering - 30.08.2013
How to get fresh water out of thin air
Fog-harvesting system developed by MIT and Chilean researchers could provide potable water for the world's driest regions. In some of this planet's driest regions, where rainfall is rare or even nonexistent, a few specialized plants and insects have devised ingenious strategies to provide themselves with the water necessary for life: They pull it right out of the air, from fog that drifts in from warm oceans nearby.

Electroengineering - Mechanical Engineering - 29.08.2013
Discovery could make solar power cheaper, more accessible
Discovery could make solar power cheaper, more accessible
UAlberta research paves way for nanoparticle-based 'ink' to make printable or spray-on solar cells. University of Alberta researchers have found that abundant materials in the Earth's crust can be used to make inexpensive and easily manufactured nanoparticle-based solar cells.

Mechanical Engineering - Environment - 27.08.2013
No Evidence of Residential Property Value Impacts Near U.S. Wind Turbines, a New Berkeley Lab Study Finds
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values. "This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic [the first was published in 2009 - see below], and in both studies [using two different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measureable impact on home sales prices," says Ben Hoen, the lead author of the new report.

Chemistry - Mechanical Engineering - 09.08.2013
'Photo album' shows dances of droplets
'Photo album' shows dances of droplets
The splash from rain hitting a windowpane or printer ink hitting paper all comes down to tiny droplets hitting a surface, and what each of those droplets does. Cornell researchers have produced a high-resolution "photo album" of more than 30 shapes an oscillated drop of water can take. The results, a fundamental insight into how droplets behave, could have applications in everything from inkjet printing to microfluidics.

Health - Mechanical Engineering - 05.08.2013
Scientist looks for a deeper understanding of hearing through the bones in our heads
Stanford mechanical engineer Sunil Puria is unraveling the mysteries of bone conduction hearing, which could lead to a better understanding of hearing – and some types of hearing loss. It is a question that has long perplexed paleontologists and auditory scientists – and mechanical engineer Sunil Puria , a consulting associate professor at Stanford: Why do mammals have three middle ear bones? "Reptiles don't have them," Puria muses in his office in Durand Hall.

Mechanical Engineering - 05.08.2013
Scientists in a spin over Doppler Shift discovery
Scientists at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde have discovered rotational speed can be determined by measuring Doppler Shift - the same effect utilised in radar speed guns. Doppler Shift is a phenomenon everyone is aware of, if perhaps not by name, and is most often experienced by the sound of a siren from a police car or ambulance rising and falling in pitch as it passes by.

Mechanical Engineering - 05.08.2013
Date palm leaves show potential as building materials
Date palm leaves show potential as building materials
A collaborative project involving Imperial and the UAE is assessing the potential of date palm leaves as a renewable, low-carbon building material. Phoenix dactylifera, or the date palm tree, is perhaps best known for its sweet fruit but, as growers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have known for thousands of years, its leaves can also be used in construction.

Mechanical Engineering - Environment - 01.08.2013
Cleaning Solar Panels Often Not Worth the Cost, Engineers at UC San Diego Find
Don't hire someone to wash your dirty solar panels. That's the conclusion of a study recently conducted by a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego. Their Researchers found panels that hadn't been cleaned, or rained on, for 145 days during a summer drought in California, lost only 7.4 percent of their efficiency.

Mathematics - Mechanical Engineering - 30.07.2013
Figuring Out Flow Dynamics
Figuring Out Flow Dynamics
Turbulence is all around us-in the patterns that natural gas makes as it swirls through a transcontinental pipeline or in the drag that occurs as a plane soars through the sky. Reducing such turbulence on say, an airplane wing, would cut down on the amount of power the plane has to put out just to get through the air, thereby saving fuel.

Mechanical Engineering - Life Sciences - 18.07.2013
Secrets of bee honeycombs revealed
The mystery of the hexagonal shape of honeycomb cells has been revealed by simple mechanics. The honeybee comb is a widely studied natural cellular structure. The rounded hexagonal shape of its cells has intrigued natural scientists and philosophers for millennia. They have suggested many explanations some of which would need the bees to have an uncanny ability ("forethought" according to Pappus of Alexandria in 4 AD) to perform mathematical calculations or the magical quality to measure lengths and angles.
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