Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - Dissolvable Electronic Stent Can Monitor Blocked Arteries->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: To restore blood flow in a narrowed or blocked artery, doctors can implant a metal stent to hold open the vessel. But over time, stents can cause inflammation and turbulent blood flow that lead to new blockages. Now, researchers have designed a stent carrying a suite of onboard electronic blood-flow and temperature sensors, drug delivery particles, data storage, and communication capabilities to detect and overcome these problems. The entire device is designed to dissolve as the artery heals. Medical device companies and cardiologists could look at this electronic stent as a kind of menu from which they can pick whatever components are most promising for treating certain kinds of cardiovascular disease, the researchers say.
Link to Original Source

+ - Tiny Capsules Tailor Light->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Dyes that can convert low-energy and ambient light to higher energy green or blue light could help boost the efficiency of solar cells and enable new kinds of medical imaging and light-based therapies. In a step that could help make these so-called upconverters more practical, researchers have demonstrated a way to encapsulate the dyes within particles. They make the particles with a microfluidic system that traps a droplet of a solution of upconversion dyes within three protective layers: a surfactant to help stabilize the droplet, a thin layer of water, and a polymer shell. These triple-layer coatings protect the sensitive dyes from oxygen without dimming their light.
Link to Original Source

+ - Making Legal Marijuana Safe->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice writes: Where once the use of Cannabis strains such as banana kush, Dr. Greenthumb’s ghost, and gorilla glue #4 was hidden behind closed doors, it is now increasingly in the open. Four states—Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon—have legalized both recreational and medicinal use, and another 19 allow medicinal use only. With that openness, however, comes new challenges in the form of safety concerns and evolving regulations to protect production workers and consumers. Companies are working on those issues, in particular finding ways to safely extract cannabinoids and other compounds from the plant material to yield concentrated oils and waxes used in vaporizers, foods, salves, or other products.
Link to Original Source

+ - Self-Healing Coating Turns Cotton Into Superhero-Worthy Fabric->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Superprotective garb for withstanding both flood and fire is on the horizon now that chemists have come up with a self-healing, triple-dip coating that renders cotton flame resistant and waterproof. Flame-retardant fabric coatings often wash away, so researchers wanted to see if adding a waterproof layer could extend the life of water-soluble fire retardants.The chemists dipped cotton samples in two flame-retardant compounds and then in a superhydrophobic compound called F-POSS that has self-healing properties. They tested the coating by holding a flame to the bottom of a 30-cm-long vertical strip of fabric for 12 seconds. Untreated cotton burned away in 14 seconds, yet no more than 4 cm of the treated cotton burned before the flame extinguished itself. Even after mimicking sun damage and mechanical wear-and-tear, the fabric retained its flame retardancy and regained its water repellency after a few hours.
Link to Original Source

+ - Some Biodegradable Plastics Don't Live Up To Their Claims-> 1

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: From bread bags to beverage bottles, many plastics now contain additives designed to make the materials biodegradable. But a new study shows that plastics made with such additives do not biodegrade in the environment significantly faster than those without the compounds. Researchers prepared films of commercial plastics with three different types of additives supplied by their manufacturers. The researchers then treated the film samples to mimic disposal of such plastics in a compost pile, a landfill, and soil. After about six months of composting, a year and a half of landfill-like conditions, and three years of soil burial, the plastics with additives did not show any more evidence of biodegradation than plastics without them.
Link to Original Source

+ - Motion-Powered Fabric Could Charge Small Electronics->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Wrapped around a person’s wrist, a new foldable fabric patch can scavenge enough energy from arm movement to power small electronic devices. The fabric patch paves the way to clothing that can charge smart watches and cell phones while the wearer moves or walks around, the researchers say. The new energy-generating textile relies on the triboelectric effect, the phenomenon behind static electricity. The researchers made a flexible generator out of four layers of the textile that put out 170 V and 120 microamps, and it maintained this output for more than 12,000 compression cycles. The researchers attached the generator to a jacket sleeve and embedded six LEDs, a small liquid-crystal display, and a keyless car remote control in the jacket. When the wearer moved his arms or wrists, the generator produced enough power to turn each gadget on one at a time.
Link to Original Source

+ - Polymers Brighten Hopes For Visible Light Communication->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Today nearly all computers, tablets, and smartphones have Wi-Fi capabilities, receiving and transmitting data over a range of radio frequencies. But a burgeoning technology known as visible light communication could someday carry those data in the same light that illuminates a room. Now a tag team of semiconducting organic polymers is bringing that dream one step closer. When excited with a blue LED, the polymer pair helps to create white light that can be rapidly switched on and off to encode information. A proof-of-principle device using the polymers sent data at 350 Mbps over a distance of 5 cm with minimal errors, a rate 35 times faster than a commercially available phosphor used for blue-light color conversion.
Link to Original Source

+ - Novel Fluorinated Compounds Discovered in Firefighters' Blood->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Perfluorinated compounds help firefighting foams rapidly flow over flaming liquids such as gasoline and jet fuel, cooling and quenching fires. But despite environmental scientists’ concerns about these possibly toxic compounds, researchers don’t know the identity of many of the chemicals in the mixtures on the market. For the first time, a new study borrows a medical research tool to pinpoint fluorochemicals in the blood of firefighters, identifying novel compounds that have never before been publicly reported.
Link to Original Source

+ - Fantastic Voyage: Self-Propelled Micromotors Swim In Mouse Stomachs->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice writes: The idea sounds like something out of a science-fiction novel: Tiny medical machines zooming around the body delivering drugs, taking tissue samples, or performing small surgical repairs. But, now, for the first time, researchers have demonstrated a simple micromotor that can propel itself inside the body. When introduced into a mouse’s stomach, the micromotor swims to the stomach lining and delivers cargo.

The motors are 20-micron-long, 5-micron-wide cylindrical tubes made from a biocompatible polymer and filled with zinc. The zinc reduces hydrogen ions to produce bubbles of hydrogen gas. Inside the stomachs of mice, the tubes react with ions in gastric acids to swim around and penetrate the mucus layer on the stomach surface.

Link to Original Source

+ - Deep-Frying Graphene Microspheres For Energy Storage->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Materials scientists have constructed round, pom-pom-like graphene microparticles by spraying graphene oxide droplets into a hot solvent—a process akin to deep-frying. The technique could provide a simple, versatile means to make electrode materials for batteries and supercapacitors, possibly leading to devices with improved energy and power densities, the researchers say. The microparticles contain graphene nanosheets radiating out from their centers, which increases the exposed surface area of the graphene and creates open nanochannels that can enhance charge transfer. Electrodes made with the graphene microspheres had higher capacitance than those made with unassembled graphene sheets, demonstrating that the 3-D structure of the particles improved performance.
Link to Original Source

+ - U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice writes: The 2008 recession hammered the U.S. auto industry, driving down sales of 2009 models to levels 35% lower than those before the economic slump. A new study has found that because sales of new vehicles slowed, the average age of the U.S. fleet climbed more than expected, increasing the rate of air pollutants released by the fleet.

In 2013, the researchers studied the emissions of more than 68,000 vehicles on the roads in three cities—Los Angeles, Denver, and Tulsa. They calculated the amount of pollution released per kilogram of fuel burned for the 2013 fleet and compared the rates to those that would have occurred if the 2013 fleet had the same age distribution as the prerecession fleet. For the three cities, carbon monoxide emissions were greater by 17 to 29%, hydrocarbons by 9 to 14%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 27 to 30%, and ammonia by 7 to 16%.

Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers Direct Growth Of Neurons With Silicon Nitride Microtubes->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice writes: Bioengineers want to connect electronics and neurons to make devices such as new cochlear implants or prosthetic limbs with a seemingly natural sense of touch. They also could build synthetic neural circuitry to use to study how the brain processes information or what goes wrong in neurodegenerative diseases.

As a step toward these applications, a team of researchers has developed a way to direct the growth of axons, the connection-forming arms of neurons. They use transparent silicon nitride microtubes on glass slides to encourage the cells’ axons to grow in specific directions. The cultured nerve cells grow aimlessly until they bump into one of the tubes. The axon then enters the tube, and its growth is accelerated 20-fold.

Silicon nitride already is used in some orthopedic devices, and could serve as a substrate for electronics to interface with the growing neurons.

 

Link to Original Source

+ - Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice writes: Many drugs that treat bacterial and fungal infections were found in microbes growing in the dirt. These organisms synthesize the compounds to fend off other bacteria and fungi around them. To find possible new drugs, chemists try to coax newly discovered microbial species to start making their arsenal of antimicrobial chemicals in the lab. But fungi can be stubborn, producing just a small set of already-known compounds.

Now, one team of chemists has hit upon a curiously effective and consistent trick to prod the organisms to start synthesizing novel molecules: Cheerios inside bags. Scientists grew a soil fungus for four weeks in a bag full of Cheerios and discovered a new compound that can block biofilm formation by an infectious yeast. The chemists claim that Cheerios are by far the best in the cereal aisle at growing chemically productive fungi.

Link to Original Source

+ - Magnetic Fields Help Transform Adult Mouse Cells Into Stem Cells->

Submitted by MTorrice
MTorrice writes: Biologists have been building up evidence that magnetic fields affect living things in some ways. For example, plants and amphibian embryos develop abnormally when shielded from Earth’s geomagnetic field. Now, for the first time, an international team reports that low-strength magnetic fields may foster the transformation of adult cells into pluripotent stem cells. In fact, when the researchers blocked the Earth's natural magnetic field, the cells couldn't undergo the transformation at all. If confirmed, the phenomenon could lead to new tools for tissue engineering and help researchers understand the potential health effects of changing magnetic fields on astronauts.
Link to Original Source

+ - Engineers Build Ultrasmall Organic Laser->

Submitted by ckwu
ckwu writes: Researchers have made the tiniest organic laser reported to date. The 8-micrometer-long, 440-nanometer-wide device, which looks like a suspended bridge riddled with holes, is carved into a silicon chip coated with an organic dye. Integrated into microprocessors, such tiny lasers could one day speed up computers by shuttling data using light rather than electrons. The new organic laser is optically pumped—that is, powered by pulses from another laser. But it has a very low threshold—the energy required to start lasing—of 4 microjoules per square centimeter. The low threshold brings the device closer to engineers’ ultimate goal of creating an organic laser that can run on electric current, which would be key for on-chip use.
Link to Original Source

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.

Working...