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Simple and cheap tunable gripper inspired by the gecko

By - June 17, 2015

A few months ago, we reported on the development of a material that uses the same technique employed by gecko feet to allow its adhesion to be turned on and off at will. This allows fragile components, like those used in the manufacture of semiconductors, to be carefully picked up and put down without suction or residue-leaving adhesives. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) have developed a gripper, also inspired by the gecko and also tunable, that they claim is much simpler, making it easy and cheap to mass produce.

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Graphene used to create world's thinnest light bulb

By - June 15, 2015 3 Pictures
Over 130 years ago, Thomas Edison used carbon as the conducting filament in the very first commercial light-bulb. Now a team of scientists and engineers have used that very same element, in its perfectly crystalline form of graphene, to create what they claim to be the world's thinnest light-bulb. Even though just one atom thick and covering an area almost too small to see unaided, the new device is so bright that the light it produces can easily be seen with the naked eye. Read More
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Avocado-derived molecule attacks leukemia at its roots

By - June 15, 2015 2 Pictures

Brimming with nutrients, antiooxidants and healthy fats, avocado – otherwise known as nature's butter – carries a multitude of health benefits inside its coarse, leathery skin. But new research is now pointing to what could be its most valuable secret yet. A Canadian scientist has discovered a lipid in avocado that could prove key to battling leukemia by attacking the deadly disease at its core, namely the highly resilient stem cells that drive the disease and make treating it such a difficult task.

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Time-lapse captures the death of white blood cells for the first time

By - June 15, 2015

With a pivotal role in fending off infections and disease, white blood cells are the engine room of the body's immune system. But little was known about what happens exactly when these cells reach the end of their life cycles. Scientists have now captured the death of white blood cells on camera for the first time, showing that they eject much of their contents while decomposing. One reason for this could be to warn neighboring cells of dangerous pathogens in the area. The researchers say learning more about their expiration could help bring about improved health treatments in the future.

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Earth's oceans found to be a much greater source of greenhouse gas than previously believed

By - June 8, 2015

A new study by MIT has revealed that the quantities of nitrous oxide (N2O), otherwise known as laughing gas, being released by the world's oceans has been dramatically underestimated. Heightened levels of N2O have the potential to seriously influence the health of our planet's ozone layer, as the gas is around 300 times more potent than the more prevalent menace of carbon dioxide emissions.

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