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Science

Materials

Self-adaptive composite heals itself and returns to its original shape

Self-healing materials that can repair cracks and other damage automatically have been the dream of scientists and engineers for decades, but a team of scientists at Rice University have come up with a new twist. It's a Self-Adaptive Composite (SAC) that is not only self healing, but also has reversible self-stiffening properties that allow it to spring back into shape like a sponge.Read More

Biology

Beastcam gets quick 3D scans of live critters

When studying wild animals such as sharks, it can be difficult to get ahold of one every time you want to check something out. Having a 3D model of the creature would certainly help, although getting a shark to sit still for several minutes while being scanned could be quite the challenge. That's why a University of Massachusetts Amherst team led by biologist Duncan J. Irschick created the portable, quick-scanning Beastcam. Read More

Space

New Dawn image release provides high-res views of Ceres' craters

High resolution images snapped by NASA's Dawn spacecraft capture four of Ceres' craters in stunning detail. Dawn recently completed transitioning to its third and final mapping orbit, which will see the spacecraft collect its most detailed images and readings to date from a height of roughly 240 miles (385 km) above the dwarf planet's surface.Read More

Space

World's largest connected radio telescope expands into Ireland

Ireland has been chosen as the site for latest expansion of the world's largest connected radio telescope. The Ireland-LOFAR consortium (I-LOFAR) has been awarded grants totaling €1.9 million (US$2 million) to extend the network for the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT), in hope of providing it with a resolution rivaling that of the Hubble Space Telescope.Read More

Environment

"Light recycling" tech could save incandescent bulbs from obsolescence

Incandescent light bulbs may put out a warmer-looking, more familiar type of light than LEDs or compact fluorescents, but they're far less efficient – the majority of the energy they use is wasted, mainly in the form of heat. Technology may save them yet, however. Scientists at MIT and Purdue University have developed an ultra-efficient new incandescent bulb that reuses the heat it gives off, converting that heat into more light.Read More

Medical

Enzyme that governs sugar metabolism may uncover treatments for obesity and diabetes

Scientists have uncovered a new enzyme that works to block the adverse effects of sugar on the body. Present in all mammals, the enzyme plays the role of disposing of the unwanted byproducts of heightened glucose levels. In discovering this key step in the metabolism of sugar, the scientists say they have uncovered a new therapeutic target for conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity, and are now working to develop drugs that boosts its activity. Read More

Materials

"Metal glue" could replace welding and soldering – in some applications

Usually, if you want to join two metal objects together, you either weld or solder them – depending on how big they are. Both processes involve the application of heat, however. This can damage the items (in the case of electronics), or even cause explosions (in the case of things like gas pipes). That's why scientists at Boston's Northeastern University created MesoGlue. It's a glue that bonds metal to metal – or to other materials – and it sets at room temperature.Read More

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