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Harvard

Robotics

Harvard's RoboBee now perches on overhanging surfaces to preserve power

When the insect-sized RoboBee first took flight in 2012, its developers were unable to keep it aloft for more than a few seconds at a time. These days, the tiny drone is so adept at flying that researchers are actively bringing it down to rest. In the latest exhibition of their flying microbot, Harvard researchers have demonstrated the RoboBee's newfound ability to land on surfaces during flight, a neat trick that allows it save power and remain in action for longer periods of time.Read More

3D Printing

Harvard tech allows for mid-air 3D printing of metal structures

Suppose that you had to build a tiny spring, antenna or other structure for use in a microelectronic device such as a biomedical implant… how might you go about doing it? Well, a new 3D printing technique developed at Harvard University would certainly make the process easier. It allows people to essentially draw minuscule metal items in mid-air.Read More

Medical

New low-cost Zika test looks good on paper

Researchers have developed a low-cost, paper-based method of detecting viruses like Zika and Ebola in a biological sample, and which can even identify a specific strain. The team believes the test can be used in the field to quickly and easily detect the presence of a virus, and be used to help slow the spread of future outbreaks.Read More

Good Thinking

Smartglasses help the visually-impaired to use smartphones

Smartphone users with limited vision will often utilize the phone's zoom feature, making one section of the phone's display larger and thus easier to see. The problem is, it can be difficult to keep track of which part of the overall display they're zoomed-in on. That's why researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have developed a Google Glass-based alternative.Read More

Materials

Transforming metamaterial alters size, volume, and shape on command

Harvard researchers have created a 3D programmable mechanical metamaterial that can be programmed to change shape, volume and size on command, making it ideal for building a range of different assemblies and structures that can be automatically altered to suit their purpose or environment. Claimed to be able to take the weight of an elephant when laid flat, the new material could be used to make everything from tiny self-deploying nanostructures for use in medical procedures, all the way up to large buildings that are able to metamorphose for different purposes on command. Read More

Science

A touch of silver lets smart windows go from clear to translucent

Imagine if instead of installing curtains or blinds, you could simply adjust the opacity of the glass in your windows. Not only would this allow you to vary the amount of privacy they provided, but it would also let you determine how much sunlight got through, keeping rooms from overheating during the day yet still letting light in later on. Well, that's how the various types of smart windows work. Researchers at Harvard University have now developed one of their own, which they say is simpler and cheaper than what's come before.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Fruit and veg intake shown to have long-lasting benefits in cutting breast cancer risk

The general health benefits of eating fruit and vegetables are well known, but researchers have provided young women with yet another reason to eat their greens. A large-scale study carried out by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which followed thousands of women for several years, has found a strong correlation between a high-fiber diet during adolescence and young adulthood and a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later in life.Read More

Medical

Insulin-producing mini stomachs promise patient-specific diabetes treatment

Patients with Type 1 diabetes suffer from an absence of pancreatic cells called beta cells, which are responsible for producing insulin. Researchers have been trying to tackle the deficiency for decades, but now it seems that significant progress may have been made – a team of scientists lead by researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have discovered that it might be possible to engineer tissue from the lower stomach to address patients' insulin needs.Read More

Materials

Liquid-like graphene could be the key to understanding black holes

Researchers at Harvard University and Raytheon BBN Technology have discovered that the charged particles inside high-purity graphene behave as a fluid with relativistic properties. This find could lead to devices that efficiently convert heat into electricity, as well as graphene-based chips that can accurately model the behavior of faraway celestial objects like supernovas and black holes.Read More

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