Inspired by telescopes and the comic character Wolverine's retractable claws, Carnegie Mellon University's Keenan Crane and Stelian Coros began exploring just how many shapes could be reproduced in telescoping form. One result is a telescoping lizard prototype that suggests great potential, especially for 3D printing, with telescoping parts produced to create much larger structures than could be produced in a printer's confines.
Several needle-free alternatives are or soon will be available for painless injections, and one nearing commercial distribution uses high pressure. The portable PRIME device employs a linear electromagnetic actuator that pressurizes a vessel containing the liquid drug to be injected, pulsing it through a nozzle placed against the skin to emerge at 656 feet per second in a jet about the width of a hair.
The Agrophotovoltaic-Resource Efficient Land Use program in Germany combines farming and solar-energy harvesting in one facility. This method of energy harvesting increases land use efficiency by as much as 60%.
Five cutting-edge innovators and their breakthrough technologies were recently selected as winners of Mechanical Engineering magazine's new Emerging Technology Awards. Each of the five innovators are featured in the December issue of Mechanical Engineering, as well as on ASME's website. An innovator was recognized in each of five categories -- manufacturing, robotics, bioengineering, clean energy, and pressure technology -- that reflect the five core technology areas that the ASME board of governors has identified as key fields for the society. Learn more.
Preclinical trials are underway for a living-cell-based solution that would allow those with diabetes to avoid insulin injections. Previous trials of such implants have proved promising, but Encellin's new product takes the technology a step further by surrounding the insulin-producing cells with a porous membrane designed to prolong their life and eliminate the need for immunosuppressing drugs to prevent the patient's body from rejecting the cells.
CRISPR/Cas 9 technology is a kind of cut-and-paste technology used to edit genes, but it's a painstaking process and sometimes produces undesired results in the quest to cure diseases. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are suggesting a simpler and more predictable solution: using CRISPR instead as a switch to turn individual genes on and off.
Plastic tarps protect the strawberry crop outside Salinas, Calif., but they also amplify water runoff and erosion on hillside fields. The problem is exacerbated by recent heavy rains, sandy soil and the lack of county regulations to govern the situation.
Car tires and other rubber-based products made largely from fossil fuels may have a green future. Researchers at
University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a way to using entirely green sources to make tires that are identical to current models by focusing on deriving isoprene, the key tire ingredient, from things such as trees and grass.
A robot developed in Singapore closely mimics the efficient swimming motion of a manta ray with flexible fins that work in fluid coordination with the water. Fin flexibility is key to the robot's speedy movement, allowing it to travel about twice its body length every second.
A loss of radar contact with a fishing boat and subsequent unconventional maneuvers intended to avoid impact led to a collision, the Navy says of the May 9 incident involving the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain. The collision occurred in the Sea of Japan.
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