Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Science

Researchers have used a CT scanner and a 3D printer to create a physical model of a live r...

Researchers at Indiana’s University of Notre Dame recently placed an anesthetized lab rat in a CT scanner, created a digital 3D model of its skeleton from the scan data, and then sent that model to a commercial MakerBot 3D printer. A highly-accurate plastic replica of the skeleton was the end result.  Read More

The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, or MASC, is able to capture 3D photos of individual snow...

Falling snow can play havoc with radar systems, so the more that we know about the manner in which snow falls, the better that those systems can be equipped to compensate for it. That’s why for the past three years, researchers from the University of Utah have been developing a device known as the Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera – or MASC. Using three cameras and two motion sensors, it captures 3D photos of snowflakes in free-fall.  Read More

The beak of a giant squid (Photo: NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet)

You probably don’t give a lot of thought to squid beaks, but they actually possess a pretty interesting quality. While the end of the beak is hard and sharp, the beak material gradually becomes softer as it nears the mouth. This means that there’s no abrupt boundary between the hard beak and the soft mouth, which could result in discomfort or injuries. Inspired by the squid, scientists at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University have now developed a material with the same qualities, that could be used to create more comfortable, less harmful medical implants.  Read More

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar embarking on its circumnavigation of the globe in 2010 (Photo: ...

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar-powered boat, took to the seas once more on Thursday – this time, in the name of science. Equipped with unique instruments, the Tûranor will carry a team of scientists who will monitor the air and water of the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf Stream, a current which influences the climates of North America's east coast and Europe's west. The goal is to gain understanding of the processes which regulate climate.  Read More

A 3D printer built at Oxford University can produce droplet networks capable of folding in...

While the prospect of 3D printers pumping out biological tissues and replacement organs has many justifiably excited, researchers at Oxford University have gone in a slightly different direction with the creation of a custom 3D printer capable of producing synthetic materials that have some of the properties of living tissues. Rather than being intended for supplying spare parts for damaged replicants, the new materials could be used for drug delivery or replacing or interfacing with damaged tissues inside the human body.  Read More

I'm no veterinary, but I'm pretty sure that's cheating... Dr. Catriona Bell and Madeleine ...

Veterinary students at The University of Edinburgh now have a life-sized model of a horse sink their teeth, or, rather, arms into. The "equine simulator" comes equipped with inflating latex intestines to familiarize students with the symptoms of colic, abdominal pain that can sometimes lead to death, depending on the cause.  Read More

Fraunhofer's W-band radar is equipped with a three-channel antenna with dielectric lenses ...

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) have developed a lightweight, compact radar that can “see” through non-transparent materials and whiteout snow conditions. The compact radar operates at frequencies of 75 to 110 GHz in the millimeter range W-band of the radio spectrum. Radars at this frequency can not only identify small objects up to three kilometers (1.8 miles) away, but they can also penetrate all manner of non-transparent, dielectric, and non-metallic materials, such as clothing, plastic surfaces, paper, wood, snow and fog.  Read More

Antoine Louis Barye's 1865 Walking Lion is a perfect candidate for preservation via atomic...

Silver is a remarkable medium for artistic expression. It takes well to engraving, sculpting, casting, and fine detail while also having sufficient strength (especially in alloys) to insure the durability of art objects formed from this metal. Unfortunately, silver tarnishes when exposed to moist air, and removing layers of tarnish can damage the fine detail of artistic treasures. A new method for preventing the ravages of silver tarnish is now being developed by researchers in Maryland.  Read More

The quick body movements of sparring martial artists are tracked by The Captury's software...

Actors may soon say good-bye to those humbling Lycra body suits commonly used in the visual effects industry, thanks to a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII). They've formed a start-up called The Captury that is set to deliver its proprietary markerless motion capture software later this year. Their software can even capture a costume's surface detail in three dimensions, like the draping folds in a ballroom dress.  Read More

Nanofoams, such as this one made from porous silica, are able to absorb large amounts of e...

Given that scientists are already looking to sea sponges as an inspiration for body armor, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that foam is also being considered ... not just any foam, though. Unlike regular foam, specially-designed nanofoams could someday not only be used in body armor, but also to protect buildings from explosions.  Read More

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