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Engineering News

Trickle-down is the solution (to the planetary core formation problem) — ScienceDaily

Scientists have long pondered how rocky bodies in the solar system — including our own Earth — got their metal cores. According to research conducted by The University of Texas at Austin, evidence points to the downwards percolation of molten metal toward the center of the planet through tiny channels between grains of rock. The finding calls into question the interpretation of prior experiments and simulations that sought to understand how metals behave under intense heat and pressure when planets…

NEST360’s low-cost jaundice detector passes first test in Africa

BiliSpec is a low-cost, battery-powered reader designed to diagnose jaundice by immediately quantifying serum bilirubin levels from a small drop of whole blood. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University The first clinical study of a low-cost, hand-held jaundice detector invented by Rice University students couldn’t have come at a better time for NEST360°, an international team of scientists, doctors and global health experts preparing for a Dec. 11 competition for $100 million from the MacArthur Foundation. The money would allow the team to…

With the right tools, we can mine cities

Cities like Melbourne are a store for such huge amounts of resources that they could be used as urban mines. Credit: Donaldytong (own work)/Wikimedia From 1900 to 2010, the amount of materials accumulated in buildings and infrastructure across the world increased 23-fold. We are depleting our resources at unprecedented rates. Instead of extracting dwindling raw materials from nature at ever-increasing cost, the time has come to start re-using materials from buildings and infrastructure in our cities. We have been working…

North Korea and the Paradox of Nuclear Weapons

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, North Korea launched a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).  Analysis of the flight path and other data indicates that the new model, called the Hwasong-15, can probably reach any point in the continental U. S.   And last September, Kim Jong-un ordered a successful underground test of a thermonuclear weapon whose yield exceeded 100 kilotons of TNT, the standard measure of nuclear-weapon power.  While North Korea has yet to demonstrate the ability to deliver nuclear…

Voyager 1 fires up thrusters after 37 years — ScienceDaily

If you tried to start a car that’s been sitting in a garage for decades, you might not expect the engine to respond. But a set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully fired up Wednesday after 37 years without use. Voyager 1, NASA’s farthest and fastest spacecraft, is the only human-made object in interstellar space, the environment between the stars. The spacecraft, which has been flying for 40 years, relies on small devices called thrusters to orient itself…

3-D-printed minifactories — ScienceDaily

There will soon be nothing that cannot be produced with 3D printing. However, the materials used for this process are still “dead matter” such as plastics or metals. A group of ETH researchers led by Professor André Studart, Head of the Laboratory for Complex Materials, has now introduced a new 3D printing platform that works using living matter. The researchers developed a bacteria-containing ink that makes it possible to print mini biochemical factories with certain properties, depending on which species…

Novel technology to model pressure-induced cellular injuries in the brain — ScienceDaily

Hundreds of thousands of patients from newborns to the elderly are forced to grapple with the devastation of brain injury each year, and unlike many diseases where certain demographics are protected, brain injury can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere. Elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), which is a byproduct of the rigid skull in which the brain resides, is the primary cause of initial injury. High ICP in turn causes cellular injuries in the brain and additional neurological deficits beyond those…

Observations of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid behavior could impact public health — ScienceDaily

In our increasingly health-conscious society, a new fad diet seems to pop up every few years. Atkins, Zone, Ketogenic, Vegetarian, Vegan, South Beach, Raw — with so many choices and scientific evidence to back each, it’s hard to know what’s healthy and what’s not. One message, however, has remained throughout: saturated fats are bad. A new Columbia University study reveals why. While doctors, nutritionists and researchers have known for a long time that saturated fats contribute to some of the…

Research finds that consuming encapsulated placentas has little to no effect on postpartum mood and maternal bonding; detectable changes shown in hormones — ScienceDaily

A groundbreaking study by UNLV researchers shows that taking placenta capsules has little to no effect on postpartum mood, maternal bonding, or fatigue, when compared to a placebo. Consuming the placenta (in pill form) following childbirth is an increasingly popular trend in industrial countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and the United States. Although precise estimates are not yet available, most experts agree there are many thousands of women in the U.S. alone who practice maternal placentophagy.…

cDC2 dendritic cells key to vaccine effectiveness — ScienceDaily

In vaccination, a certain subpopulation of dendritic cells is vital to triggering the body’s adaptive immune system, report researchers at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), Yale University and Astra-Zeneca. Their findings have important implications for vaccine delivery, as the usual method, intramuscular injection, is likely not the most effective way to target those dendritic cells. Vaccines train the immune system to fight a given pathogen (e.g., bacteria or virus), known generally as an antigen, by simulating a natural infection. When an…