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Category: Chemical Engineering

Warmer wetsuit will increase Navy dive time

From left, graduate student Anton Cottrill, Dr. Jacopo Buongiorno and Dr. Michael Strano try out their neoprene wetsuits at a pool at MIT’s athletic center. Cottrill is holding the pressure tank used to treat the wetsuits with heavy inert gasses. To protect Navy divers in freezing conditions, the Office of Naval Research is sponsoring work to design a wetsuit mirroring the insulating properties of animal blubber. Credit: Susan Young Diving in icy water is extremely dangerous to humans. Within seconds,…

Researchers control common cancer pathway in lab with pulses of light — ScienceDaily

Genetic mutations in a form of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may drive tumor formation by blurring cells’ perception of key growth signals, according to a new laboratory study published August 31, 2018 in Science. The research, led by UC San Francisco researchers, could have important implications for understanding and ultimately targeting the defective mechanisms underlying many human cancers. Healthy cells rely on the central Ras/Erk growth signaling pathway (also known as the Ras/MAPK pathway) to interpret external cues about…

Biodegradable plastic blends offer new options for disposal — ScienceDaily

Imagine throwing your empty plastic water bottle into a household composting bin that breaks down the plastic and produces biogas to help power your home. Now, researchers have taken an early step toward this futuristic scenario by showing that certain blends of bioplastics can decompose under diverse conditions. They report their results in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Plastic waste pollution is a global environmental problem, particularly in oceans, where plastic debris can harm or kill sea animals…

MU Engineering, CAFNR announce merger of biomedical, biological and chemical engineering

The departments of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering will join together to form the Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering Department starting this academic year. The merger of two departments will allow for greater benefits to University of Missouri students and new avenues for collaboration on cutting-edge research at MU. The departments of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering will join together to form the Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering Department starting this academic year. This new department will be shared by the College…

Geologists uncover new clues about largest mass extinction ever — ScienceDaily

A new study could help explain the driving force behind the largest mass extinction in the history of earth, known as the End-Permian Extinction. The event, also known as the Great Dying, occurred around 250 million years ago when a massive volcanic eruption in what is today the Russian province of Siberia sent nearly 90 percent of all life right into extinction. Geologists call this eruption the Siberian Flood Basalts, and it ran for almost a million years. “The scale…

ancient Austrian mine holds Bronze Age secrets

Exploited for 7,000 years, its excavation has yielded not only a steady supply of salt but also archaeological discoveries attesting to the existence of a rich civilisation dating back to the early part of the first millennium BC All mines need regular reinforcement against collapse, and Hallstatt, the world’s oldest salt mine perched in the Austrian Alps, is no exception. But Hallstatt isn’t like other mines. Exploited for 7,000 years, the mine has yielded not only a steady supply…

System could help researchers design new materials with specific properties — ScienceDaily

Most of the time, cooking is a matter of following a recipe — combine specific amounts of specific ingredients in the right way and the predictable outcome is that you’ll wind up with a tasty meal. Unfortunately, those same rules don’t apply in physics. Despite a deep understanding of the properties of individual atoms — the “ingredients” that make up a crystal — scientists found that, when they are combined they often display new, unanticipated properties, making efforts to design…

Researchers develop tools to predict the dispersal of chemical plumes, pollutants

Snapshot of video image showing chemical weapons attack in Syria. Chemical plume rises from the ground and disperses into the atmosphere. Credit: Dawa al-Haq News Agency, Syria On April 4, 2017, the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northwest Syria experienced one of the worst chemical attacks in recent history. A plume of sarin gas spread more than 10 kilometers (about six miles), carried by buoyant turbulence, killing more than 80 people and injuring hundreds. Horrified by the attack, but also…

Progress toward plugging an antibiotic pump

Susan Rempe stands in front of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, where some of her research on bacterial pumps was done. Her team from Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are studying the pumps to understand the mechanisms behind antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Credit: Sandia National Laboratories Each year in the U.S., at least 23,000 people die from infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using computer modeling,…

A paper battery powered by bacteria — ScienceDaily

In remote areas of the world or in regions with limited resources, everyday items like electrical outlets and batteries are luxuries. Health care workers in these areas often lack electricity to power diagnostic devices, and commercial batteries may be unavailable or too expensive. New power sources are needed that are low-cost and portable. Today, researchers report a new type of battery — made of paper and fueled by bacteria — that could overcome these challenges. The researchers will present their…