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Category: Chemical Engineering

Fungi can help concrete heal its own cracks

Could a secret ingredient make crumbling concrete a thing of the past? Credit: m_e_mccarron, CC BY-SA Infrastructure supports and facilitates our daily lives – think of the roads we drive on, the bridges and tunnels that help transport people and freight, the office buildings where we work and the dams that provide the water we drink. But it’s no secret that American infrastructure is aging and in desperate need of rehabilitation. Concrete structures, in particular, suffer from serious deterioration. Cracks…

Accessible Colors for Data Visualization – Square Corner Blog – Medium

Part 1: Open-source style guide. A good graph is easy to read. A goal when creating data visualizations is to convey information in a clear and concise way. One of the most prominent features of most data visualizations is color, but what happens to a graph for someone who has difficulty differentiating colors? For example, an orange and green color that may appear separate to some could appear nearly identical to individuals with protanopia vision, a type of colorblindness. A GIF…

Flexible bonding—hard and soft at the same time

MetAK enables scoliosis corsets in new, modern designs with a high level of wearing comfort. Credit: Fraunhofer LBF To connect components with each other, gluing is preferred today instead of welding, riveting or using screws. That makes cars, planes and agricultural machines lighter. The requirements placed on the adhesive are high, though: it has to be flexible enough to compensate for stress peaks in the joint zone while still providing a rigid connection in the surface. Fraunhofer researchers have now…

Air Purifier: Combat Air Pollution at Your Home

As we live in this polluted world, what is that one thing we care for more than anything else? It’s Clean Air. Yes, this is one important basic aspect of our life which is possibly lacking in our surroundings, offices or homes. Even today, we seek fresh air somewhere far from urban areas i.e. in woods or mountains. But do you wonder if we are actually safe in our homes? Stale air, suspended dust and dust mites give rise to…

A phospholipid pathway from plants to parasites — ScienceDaily

Recent findings by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis may aid in the development of therapies to treat parasitic infections, including malaria, and may help plant scientists one day produce hardier crops. The research team’s work is published in the Dec. 29 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Choline is an essential nutrient that humans get from certain foods, including eggs, meat, leafy greens and nuts. The human body converts choline into phosphocholine (pCho), which it in turn…

An RNAmazing research breakthrough

Professor of Bioengineering and Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center Li-Qun (Andrew) Gu and Shi-Jie Chen, joint Professor of Physics, Biochemistry and the MU Informatics Institute and their team recently published “Nanopore electric snapshots of an RNA tertiary folding pathway,” in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. Photos by Amy Parris. Understanding ribonucleic acid (RNA) and its chemical properties and biological mechanisms is a key area of focus in health research. RNA is critical in the processing and movement of genetic information and…

Humans can feel molecular differences between nearly identical surfaces

Credit: CC0 Public Domain How sensitive is the human sense of touch? Sensitive enough to feel the difference between surfaces that differ by just a single layer of molecules, a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has shown. “This is the greatest tactile sensitivity that has ever been shown in humans,” said Darren Lipomi, a professor of nanoengineering and member of the Center for Wearable Sensors at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, who…

Like holiday enthusiasts, majoid crabs decorate their shells — ScienceDaily

‘Tis the holiday season and it seems homes are festively trimmed at every turn. Ornaments of all shapes and sizes embellish everything from trees to windows and yards. While tinsel originated in 17th century German decorating and modern day Christmas lights can be traced to the Victorian era, the idea of decorating is not an exclusively human trait. Majoid crabs — known as decorator crabs — are well-known among marine scientists for adorning their surface with items secured from their…

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…

Scientists reduce the chances of life on exoplanets in so-called habitable zones — ScienceDaily

Is there life beyond Earth in the cosmos? Astronomers looking for signs have found that our Milky Way galaxy teems with exoplanets, some with conditions that could be right for extraterrestrial life. Such worlds orbit stars in so-called “habitable zones,” regions where planets could hold liquid water that is necessary for life as we know it. However, the question of habitability is highly complex. Researchers led by space physicist Chuanfei Dong of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma…