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Category: Chemical Engineering

First science with ALMA’s highest-frequency capabilities — ScienceDaily

The ALMA telescope in Chile has transformed how we see the universe, showing us otherwise invisible parts of the cosmos. This array of incredibly precise antennas studies a comparatively high-frequency sliver of radio light: waves that range from a few tenths of a millimeter to several millimeters in length. Recently, scientists pushed ALMA to its limits, harnessing the array’s highest-frequency (shortest wavelength) capabilities, which peer into a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that straddles the line between infrared light and…

Effects similar to those seen in regular smokers and patients with chronic lung disease — ScienceDaily

E-cigarette vapour boosts the production of inflammatory chemicals and disables key protective cells in the lung that keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles, reveals a small experimental study, published online in the journal Thorax. The vapour impairs the activity of alveolar macrophages, which engulf and remove dust particles, bacteria, and allergens that have evaded the other mechanical defences of the respiratory tract. The findings prompt the researchers to suggest that while further research is needed to better…

Hairy robot

Smart skin technology. Credit: University of Texas at Arlington The University of Texas at Arlington has patented a smart skin, created by a UTA researcher, that will give robots more sensitive tactile feeling than humans. “The idea is to have robots work better alongside people,” said Zeynep Çelik-Butler, a UTA electrical engineering professor. “The smart skin is actually made up of millions of flexible nanowire sensors that take in so much more information than people’s skin. As the sensors brush…

Scientists find elusive molecule that helps sperm find egg — ScienceDaily

Scientists affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have identified a key molecule driving chemoattraction between sperm and egg cells in marine invertebrates. The study was recently published in Nature Communications. More than 100 years ago, MBL Director F.R. Lillie of the University of Chicago discovered that eggs from marine invertebrates release a chemical factor that attracts sperm, a process called chemotaxis. Sperm, for their part, swim up a chemical gradient to reach the egg, assisted by a pulsatile rise…

Scientists test material that shows promise for flexible electronics — ScienceDaily

Rice University researchers have found that fracture-resistant “rebar graphene” is more than twice as tough as pristine graphene. Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon. On the two-dimensional scale, the material is stronger than steel, but because graphene is so thin, it is still subject to ripping and tearing. Rebar graphene is the nanoscale analog of rebar (reinforcement bars) in concrete, in which embedded steel bars enhance the material’s strength and durability. Rebar graphene, developed by the Rice lab of…

‘Smart’ machine components alert users to damage and wear

Scientists at UConn and the United Technologies Research Center used direct write technology, an advanced form of additive manufacturing, to create a novel sensor that can be embedded into machine components while they are being made. The sensors can detect and report wear and damage to a part to the machine’s user. Credit: Peter Morenus/UConn Scientists at the United Technologies Research Center and UConn used advanced additive manufacturing technology to create ‘smart’ machine components that alert users when they are…

Finding may lead to new ways to convert petroleum waste into useful compounds — ScienceDaily

For more than a decade in the middle of the 20th century, chemists debated exactly what “carbocations” — molecules with a positively charged carbon atom — looked like. What is known as the “classical view,” which was taught at the beginning of that century, stated that the carbon in these molecules held the charge; the “non-classical view” held that the charge could also be shared by other nearby atoms. Both theory and experiment eventually proved that non-classical carbocations existed, and…

MU Engineering announces faculty fellowships and honors

Clockwise from top left: Prasad Calyam, Jack Cheng, Curt Davis, Dong Xu, Chad Xing and Noah Manring. This past spring, faculty representatives from the College of Engineering developed a Faculty Honors Program to adhere to the campus guidelines for awarding faculty fellowships and honors. This program was approved by Christine Holt in March 2018, and Dean Elizabeth Loboa has since sought recommendations for honorees from the College’s Dean’s Council for Teaching Excellence, Dean’s Council for Research Excellence and Engineering Policy Committee.…

Nguyen thriving at Ames National Laboratory

Phong Nguyen is spending his summer at the Ames National Laboratory. Photo courtesy of Phong Nguyen. MU Chemical Engineering senior Phong Nguyen maximized his engineering and leadership skills this summer, landing an internship at the Ames National Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Learn a little more about his internship in his own words. Nguyen: This summer, I interned at Ames National Laboratory through the DoE SULI program. At Ames, I worked on characterizing demagnetizing fields of superconductors, providing experimental support for…

Why won’t Parker Solar Probe melt? — ScienceDaily

This summer, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will launch to travel closer to the Sun, deeper into the solar atmosphere, than any mission before it. If Earth was at one end of a yard-stick and the Sun on the other, Parker Solar Probe will make it to within four inches of the solar surface. Inside that part of the solar atmosphere, a region known as the corona, Parker Solar Probe will provide unprecedented observations of what drives the wide range of…