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Category: Chemical Engineering

Honeybees spread animal dung on the entrance of their hives to effectively ward off giant hornets — ScienceDaily

What’s the best way to ward off giant hornets if you’re a honeybee? Animal dung, according to a first-ever University of Guelph study. U of G researchers have discovered honeybees in Vietnam collect and apply spots of animal dung around hive entrances to deter deadly nest raids by an Asian hornet (Vespa soror) whose North American cousins have been dubbed “murder hornets.” This finding is also the first to document the use of tools by honeybees. An invasive species in…

Aquatic robot inspired by sea creatures walks, rolls, transports cargo

Bending the hybrid hydrogel with light resulted in a walking robot. Credit: Li et al., Sci. Robot. 6, eabb9822 (2020) Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind life-like material that acts as a soft robot. It can walk at human speed, pick up and transport cargo to a new location, climb up hills and even break-dance to release a particle. Nearly 90% water by weight, the centimeter-sized robot moves without complex hardware, hydraulics or electricity. Instead, it is activated by…

Young Honored with Top Investigator Award

  Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering Assistant Professor Matthias Young Matthias Young, assistant professor in biomedical, biological and chemical engineering, received the prestigious 2020 Paul H. Holloway Young Investigator Award from the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Thin Film Division. “I am truly honored to receive this award,” Young said. “Many people all over the world are doing great work in this field, and I am appreciative of the recognition for my contributions.” Young is being recognized for his work in…

Innovative proton conductor developed to be effective at high temperatures — ScienceDaily

A collaborative research team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Stuttgart (Germany), University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a proton conductor for fuel cells based on polystyrene phosphonic acids that maintain high protonic conductivity up to 200 C without water. They describe the material advance in a paper published this week in Nature Materials. Hydrogen produced from renewable, nuclear, or fossil fuels with carbon capture, utilization, and storage can help to decarbonize industries and provide…

Research team invents novel light-controlled contamination-free fluidic processor

Demonstration of the light-controlled contamination-free fluidic processor. Credit: The University of Hong Kong A mechanical engineering research team at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has invented a novel light-controlled, contamination-free fluidic processor, which can serve as a useful tool to greatly reduce the risk of infection of front-line medical workers in testing virus or bacteria in big pandemics like the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to minimize the risk of contamination during the process. The new technology has been published in…

Serotonin keeps mice waiting longer for food, depending on where in the brain it’s released — ScienceDaily

We’ve all been there. Whether we’re stuck in traffic at the end of a long day, or eagerly anticipating the release of a new book, film or album, there are times when we need to be patient. Learning to suppress the impulse for instant gratification is often vital for future success, but how patience is regulated in the brain remains poorly understood. Now, in a study on mice conducted by the Neural Computation Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science…

The CNO energy-production mechanism in the universe is detected — ScienceDaily

An international team of about 100 scientists of the Borexino Collaboration, including particle physicist Andrea Pocar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, report in Nature this week detection of neutrinos from the sun, directly revealing for the first time that the carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion-cycle is at work in our sun. The CNO cycle is the dominant energy source powering stars heavier than the sun, but it had so far never been directly detected in any star, Pocar explains. For much…

Scientists improve 3-D printing technology for aerospace composites using oil waste

Aviation parts printed on a 3D printer from new metal powders Credit: Sergey Gnuskov/NUST MISIS Scientists from NUST MISIS have improved the technology of 3-D printing from aluminum, having achieved an increase in the hardness of products by 1.5 times. The nanocarbon additive to aluminum powder, which they have developed, obtained from the products of processing associated petroleum gas, will improve the quality of 3-D printed aerospace composites. The research results are published in the international scientific journal Composites Communications…

Scientific analysis of an ancient portrait pigment reveals long-lost artistic details — ScienceDaily

How much information can you get from a speck of purple pigment, no bigger than the diameter of a hair, plucked from an Egyptian portrait that’s nearly 2,000 years old? Plenty, according to a new study. Analysis of that speck can teach us about how the pigment was made, what it’s made of — and maybe even a little about the people who made it. The study is published in the International Journal of Ceramic Engineering and Science. “We’re very…

Building a Better Fuel Gage for Satellites

NASA and other agencies that manage satellites over the course of their missions in orbit have difficulty tracking how much fuel is in its fuel tanks as the mission progresses. That’s because in orbit, fuel floats and sloshes around due to the low gravity in space, making it difficult to gage. To solve that problem, engineers at the National Institute Technology (NIST) devised a fuel gage that relies on a low-cost 3D imaging technique known as electrical capacitance volume tomography…