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Stanford University

— Electronics

Flexible, fast-charging aluminum-ion battery offers safer alternative to lithium-ion

Researchers at Stanford University have created a fast-charging and long-lasting rechargeable battery that is inexpensive to produce, and which they claim could replace many of the lithium-ion and alkaline batteries powering our gadgets today. The prototype aluminum-ion battery is also safer, not bursting into flames as some of its lithium-ion brethren are wont to do. Read More
— Drones

Bird-inspired self-folding wings could help drones recover from collisions

If you've ever watched a flying bird weaving its way through a forest, you may have wondered how it could do so without hitting its wings on the trees. Well, birds actually do hit trees with their wings. Unlike the rigid wings of an aircraft, however, birds' wings simply fold back under impact, then immediately fold open again to maintain flight. Now, scientists from Stanford University have developed wings for flapping-wing drones that do the same thing. Read More
— Science

Low-cost air filter could help Beijing breathe easy

Material scientists at Stanford University have developed a highly effective semitransparent air filter that can collect 99 percent of the very small PM2.5 particles, considered the most harmful to the human respiratory tract. The low-cost filters, which don’t require power to function, could be used to build better protective facemasks, window screens, filtration systems in hospitals, and perhaps even to reduce pollution from cars and industrial smoke stacks. Read More
— Science

Telomere-lengthening procedure turns clock back years in human cells

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new procedure to increase the length of human telomeres. This increases the number of times cells are able to divide, essentially making the cells many years younger. This not only has useful applications for laboratory work, but may point the way to treating various age-related disorders – or even muscular dystrophy. Read More
— Electronics

Smaller, faster, greener "high-rise" 3D chips are ready for Big Data

Stanford engineers have pioneered a new design for a scalable 3D computer chip that tightly interconnects logic and memory, with the effect of minimizing data bottlenecks and saving on energy usage. With further work, the advance could be the key to a very substantial jump in performance, efficiency, and the ability to quickly process very large amounts of information  –  known as "Big Data"  –  over conventional chips. Read More
— Environment

Mirror coating to cool buildings by pumping interior heat into space

Keeping buildings cool isn't easy. In fact, conventional air conditioning methods are very energy intensive and account for up to 15 percent of the energy used in buildings in the United States alone. However, engineers at Stanford University have come up with a new ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings, but also directs heat from inside out into space, cooling both the building and the planet as well. Read More
— Architecture

Stanford researchers develop earthquake-resistant house prototype

Though a large earthquake can prove catastrophic to life and property, even relatively minor tremors may compromise the structural integrity of a home, resulting in large repair costs. A team of engineers based at California's Stanford University has developed a new method of building earthquake-resistant homes that could be implemented relatively easily and inexpensively. Read More
— Electronics

"Smart" lithium-ion battery would warn users if it is going to ignite

There have been numerous cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire in everything from mobile phones and laptops to cars and airplanes. While the odds of this occurring are low, the fact that hundreds of millions of lithium-ion batteries are produced and sold every year means the risk is still very real. Researchers at Stanford University have now developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that would provide users with a warning if it is overheating and likely to burst into flames. Read More