Shape-shifting architectures that mimic plant movements

A new system that allows underwater and airborne sensors to directly share data

Paper that can bend or fold by means of a low-cost actuation technology

Building components with structural configuration out of concrete

A new type of slab has been developed by the researchers at ETH Zurich. It is just 20 mm thick at its thinnest point, decoratively ribbed and not even half as heavy as a conventional concrete ceiling. Smart Slab is one of the core elements of the residential unit DFAB House at Empa’s and Eawag’s research and innovation platform NEST in Dübendorf. The 80 m2, 15 tonne ceiling consists of eleven concrete segments and connects the lower floor with the two-storey timber volume above. 3D concrete printing is currently experiencing a boom in architecture, and entire houses have already been printed layer by layer. However, for the Smart Slab project, the researchers did not produce the building components themselves with 3D printing but rather the formwork.

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2018.12.25

Ultrathin device that harvests electricity from human motion

A new, ultrathin energy harvesting system has been developed by the engineers at Vanderbilt University's Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory. Based on battery technology and made from layers of black phosphorus that are only a few atoms thick, the new device generates small amounts of electricity when it is bent or pressed even at the extremely low frequencies characteristic of human motion. At the moment, there is a tremendous amount of research aimed at discovering effective ways to tap ambient energy sources. These include mechanical devices designed to extract energy from vibrations and deformations. Thermal devices aimed at pulling energy from temperature variations.

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2018.12.25

Newly created healthy nutritious drink from soy pulp

Scientists from Singapore have given an added value to the okara, which is a by-product that is usually filtered out, creating a new nutritious drink that can significantly improve the health condition. The drink, made by PhD student Vong Weng Chan and Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan from the National University of Singapore contains live probiotics, dietary fibre, free isoflavones and amino acids. Researchers managed to encapsulate these nutrients in a beverage, making them capable to be absorbed into the human body promoting gut health. Furthermore, since it is the by-product of the soy milk and tofu the process of the creation is zero-waste. In addition, scientists have already filed a patent.

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2018.12.25

The millimeter-scale robot for microsurgery and micromanipulation

An on-skin loudspeaker and microphone in one membrane

The easy way to remove ice without power or chemicals

The new method for creating microcapsules for drug delivery

The new printing method that uses sound waves to generate droplets from liquids with an unprecedented range of composition and viscosity has been developed by scientists from Harvard University. This method could eventually ensure the production of many new biopharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food products and enhance the capabilities of optical and conductive materials. With the help of acoustic power, scientists are focused on creating a new technology that allows you to print millions of materials "on demand." The research was conducted by Jennifer Lewis, the Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Daniele Foresti, first author of the paper, the Branco Weiss Fellow and Research Associate in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at SEAS and the Wyss Institute.

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2018.12.25

Low-cost source of drinking water

The new technology that can provide an inexpensive source of drinking water, as well as reduce the operating costs of the power plant, was developed by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. About 39 percent of all freshwater withdrawn from rivers, lakes and reservoirs in the US is for cooling power plants using fossil fuels or nuclear power, and most of this water ends up in the clouds of steam, but the new MIT system could potentially save a significant portion this lost water and could even become an important source of clean and safe drinking water for coastal cities where seawater is used to cool local power plants.

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2018.12.25

ElecTrobe - a wine testing device

Winemaking or vinification is an extremely complex process that requires great skill, precision and control at all stages of the production of a specific sort of wine. Therefore, a scientific team, led by Associate Professor Conor Hogan from the La Trobe University in collaboration with the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) has developed an innovative ElecTrobe technology that can help wineries controlling the quality of the wine using a smartphone.  The technology can quickly and easily detect and measure sulfur dioxide levels in wine for a better quality product. This innovational method not only much accurate and cost-effective but can completely change and significantly benefit the wine industry.

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2018.12.25

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