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Eindhoven University

Good Thinking

Specially-coated cotton collects water from desert fog – and releases it as liquid

In arid places where fog occurs overnight, some people utilize so-called “fog harvesters” to acquire fresh water. These are typically pieces of netting that collect fog droplets, which then roll down into a container below. Various researchers have tried to increase the efficiency of these harvesters, such as by making them from a combination of hydrophilic (water-absorbing) and hydrophobic (water-repelling) materials. Now, a team of scientists have done something a little different – they’ve created a cotton-based fog-harvesting material that switches between being entirely hydrophilic and entirely hydrophobic. Read More

The future of online user authentication is ... graphics cards?

The anonymity of the internet is both a blessing and a curse. Not only does it make it easy to pretend you’re someone else and live out a harmless fantasy online, it also makes it relatively easy for someone else to pretend they’re you and run up a hefty credit card bill or the like with nothing but a few key pieces of personally identifiable information. European researchers propose a more secure form of online user authentication that uses common computer hardware to identify specific users.Read More

Automotive

New coating technology promises self-cleaning cars

Nissan’s "Scratch Guard Coat” has been healing fine scratches on the company’s cars for a few years now, and the technology has also made its way into an iPhone case. More recent developments have produced coatings to heal more substantial scratches and scrapes using nano-capsules. Now researchers at The Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have developed a coating that is not only self-healing, but also promises to free car owners of the tiresome chore of washing the car.Read More

Environment Feature

The first lab-grown hamburger will cost $345,000

How much would you pay for a hamburger? How about US$345,000? No, it's not wrapped in edible gold leaf and held together with a skewer made out of a diamond stick pin that you get to keep. It's an ordinary burger that doesn't include the bun, lettuce, pickles or onions. It isn't even super-sized. This may seem like price gouging on a monumental scale, but it's actually the cost price for this particular burger. That's because even though it is a real hamburger made from real meat, it doesn't come from a cow at all. So where is all this heading? David Szondy investigates the past, present and future of lab-grown meat.Read More

Robotics

Robotic system designed to perform delicate eye surgery

By now, many readers are probably familiar with the da Vinci robotic surgery system. It allows a seated surgeon, using a 3D display and hand controls, to operate on a patient using robotic arms equipped with surgical instruments. Not only does the system allow for more laparoscopic surgery (in which surgical instruments access the inside of the patient’s body through small incisions, instead of one large opening), but it even makes it possible for the surgeon and the patient to be in separate geographical locations. Now, a researcher at the Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a similar system, designed specifically for operations on the eye.Read More

Medical

New technique delivers 'real' lab-grown muscle tissue

Most people who have sweated it out in the gym trying to add a bit of muscle definition to their bodies will know just how difficult such a task is, but trying to grow muscle tissue with a real muscle structure complete with blood vessels in the laboratory has proven to be an even more difficult brief for researchers. Now a team from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has done just that, paving the way for the creation of engineered muscle tissue that can be implanted into patients who have lost muscle tissue through accidents or surgery.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Ultrasound said to offer better technique for measuring blood pressure

Not only is the old inflatable-cuff-around-the-arm an uncomfortable way of having one's blood pressure measured, but it turns out that it doesn't always provide enough information, either. If a physician wishes to check for vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis or aneurysms, for instance, they're going to want to know how the blood is flowing in areas besides the patient's arm. Because the cuff works by temporarily stopping the blood flow, however, it's not going to work too well on a patient's neck or torso. Fortunately, scientists from The Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have discovered that ultrasound can be used instead, and that it provides more details. Read More

Environment

EU project to demonstrate 'cheaper, easier' method of CO2 capture

If there’s one big environmental concern surrounding power plants that burn material such as coal in order to produce power, it’s the amount of carbon dioxide that they release into the atmosphere. Various experimental technologies have been developed for removing most or all of the CO2 from smokestack effluents, although no one system appears to have been universally accepted as of yet. One technology that shows some promise, and that could perhaps be used in conjunction with other systems, is called Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC). Norwegian research group SINTEF is now building a special new type of CLC system, for use in the DemoCLOCK pilot project, to be installed at Spain’s Elcogas Puertollano power plant.Read More

Environment

Greener, more efficient process developed to produce hydrogen from natural gas

Hydrogen is certainly one of the big candidates when it comes to finding cleaner fuels to replace petroleum. While it only produces water when burnt as fuel, the process of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas is not quite so eco-friendly – it consumes a lot of energy, and creates carbon dioxide. Now a new process being developed at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) promises a much more efficient, innocuous alternative.Read More
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