28 3 / 2014
Suvir Mirchandani, a 6th grader at Dorseyville Middle School in the Pittsburgh area, interested in applying computer science to promote environmental sustainability, decided to figure out if there was a better way to minimize the constant flurry of paper and ink as his science fair project.
Reducing paper use through recycling and dual-sided printing had been talked about before as a way to save money and conserve resources, but there was less attention paid to the ink for which the paper served as a canvas for history and algebra handouts.
Read more to see how his research showed savings of 30%, more is state governments jumped on board, in ink usage
24 3 / 2014
"When Manu Prakash, PhD, wants to impress lab visitors with the durability of his Origami-based paper microscope, he throws it off a three-story balcony, stomps on it with his foot and dunks it into a water-filled beaker. Miraculously, it still works.
Even more amazing is that this microscope — a bookmark-sized piece of layered cardstock with a micro-lens — only costs about 50 cents in materials to make.”
- See more
05 3 / 2014
Two studies presented at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections showed that a reformulated, long-acting injectable drug called GSK744 gave 100% protection to macaques from the hybrid simian/ human AIDS virus for up to three months against infection. Researchers from the University of Rockefeller and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested the drug in a separate study in different doses on animal subjects, which gained similar positive results. Researchers expect to launch trials in the coming months to test if the drug will work on humans.
27 2 / 2014
Engraving microscopic cracks in glass sheets can make it 200 times tougher than normal, McGill University mechanical engineers say. The insight could lead to improvements in regular glass objects like wine glasses or jars that don’t shatter when dropped, instead only deforming on impact.
Researchers took a clue from nature to uncover the fact that etching wavy lines in test glass slides prevented stress-induced cracks from spreading into the material’s failure. Their muse was the seemingly simple mother-of-pearl coating inside the shells of some mollusks.
This material is called nacre, and it is mostly composed of chalk, a brittle substance that normally disintegrates under the slightest pressure. But the organism constructs a biomaterial that is 3,000 times tougher than the weak chalk from which it is composed, writes François Barthelat, who runs McGill’s biomimetic materials lab and led the research. The secret is in how the creature builds nacre out of tiny tablets of chalk that are laid down in offset rows. This architecture, which is also seen in teeth and bones, counters a propagating crack by deflecting it and diffusing energy to surrounding tiles.
27 2 / 2014
NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered more than 700 new exoplanets, nearly doubling the current number of confirmed alien worlds.
25 2 / 2014
A star created from the supernova of a first-generation star appears to be the oldest of its kind in the universe, according to astronomers. SMSS J031300.362670839.3, as it’s called, has almost no iron in its chemical signature, according to a report in Nature. There was no iron in the first generation of stars that resulted from the Big Bang, but “as soon as we’ve got a little bit of iron in the universe, that enables much smaller stars to form and that’s what we’re seeing in this finding — one of those stars from the second generation,” said the study’s lead author Stefan Keller of the Australian National University.