Tag Archives: Materials Science

A material that can regenerate itself when damaged

Model of a self-repairing material using nanorods (credit: University of Pittsburgh) What if you could program  a broken or damaged object to regenerate itself — replenishing the damaged or missing components, and extending its lifetime — instead of replacing it or requiring costly repairs? Now University of Pittsburgh researchers have developed computational models of a new polymer […]

IBM unveils concept for a future brain-inspired 3D computer

IBM Zurick’s vision of a 3D computer (credit: IBM Zurich) IBM has unveiled a prototype of a new brain-inspired computer powered by what it calls “electronic blood,” BBC News reports. The firm says it is learning from nature by building computers fueled and cooled by a liquid, like our minds. The human brain packs phenomenal computing power […]

Building 3D heart tissue with a programmable chip-making device

This image of shows multiple thin layers of an elastic “biorubber” polymer (purple) and interwoven muscle tissue (green) formed from neonatal rat heart cells (credit: MIT photo) By adapting a programmable device used to manufacture integrated circuits, MIT Draper Laboratory researchers have devised a semi-automated process to build three-dimensional heart tissue, MIT Technology Reviewreports. Tissue is […]

A battery made of wood: long-lasting, efficient, environmentally friendly

Wood fibers can withstand the swelling and shrinking in charging/discharging batteries (credit: University of Maryland) University of Maryland researchers have developed and tested a battery with anodes made of tin-coated wood that are a thousand times thinner than a piece of paper. Using sodium instead of lithium (which is used in many rechargeable batteries) makes the battery environmentally […]

UltraRope could make kilometer-high elevators possible

(Credit: Kone) With a new lightweight material known as UltraRope, however, elevators should now be able to travel up to one kilometer (3,281 ft) continuously, Gizmag reports. Using traditional steel lifting cables, they can’t go farther than 500 meters (1,640 ft) in one vertical run. UltraRope from Finnish elevator manufacturer Kone, unveiled this Monday in London, is ribbon- or […]

Transforming graphene into a semiconductor

New technique creates the necessary “band gap,” opening the possibility of new electronic and optical devices Insulating states and superlattice minibands in a graphene/hBN heterostructure. Schematic of the moiré pattern for graphene (gray) on hBN (red and blue), for zero misalignment angle and an exaggerated lattice mismatch of ~10%. The moiré unit cell is outlined […]

Multitasking neurons found essential to the brain’s computational power

(Credit: iStockphoto) There are many neurons, especially in brain regions that perform sophisticated functions such as thinking and planning, that react in different ways to a wide variety of things. MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller first noticed these unusual activity patterns about 20 years ago, while recording the electrical activity of neurons in animals that were trained to perform […]

Do-it-yourself invisibility cloaking with 3D printing

Yaroslav Urzhumov and the 3D-printed invisibility cloak (credit: Duke University) Seven years ago, Duke University engineers demonstrated the first working invisibility cloak in complex laboratory experiments. Now it appears creating a simple cloak has become a lot simpler, by using a 3D printer.. Yaroslav Urzhumov, assistant research professor in electrical and computer engineering at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, […]

Chinese project probes the genetics of genius

(Credit: iStockphoto) Researchers at BGI (formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute) in Shenzhen, China, the largest gene-sequencing facility in the world, are searching for the quirks of DNA that may contribute to genius in an ethically controversial study. They are scouring the genomes of 1,600 U.S. adolescents who signed up for the Study of Mathematically Precocious […]