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UC San Diego

Materials

Steel breaks record for not breaking

With iron being one of the most abundant metals on Earth, its transformation into steel also makes it one of the most useful. With applications in almost every realm of manufacturing and construction technology, steel has been the material on which the very structure of modern society has been built. In recent years, though, the heavy and unwieldy nature of steel has seen its decline as lighter – but more brittle – alloys replace it. Now a team of engineers has created a steel alloy that should be cheaper to produce than competing alloys, while being much strong without being brittle. The researchers believe that the new steel alloy could be incorporated in everything from motor vehicles and spacecraft to tools and armor.Read More

Medical

​New cataracts treatment restores infants' vision using stem cells

While you might generally associate cataracts with more mature patients, as many as three in every 10,000 children suffer from the condition, which can cause significant vision loss. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) have tested a new approach to tackling congenital cataracts, turning to existing stem cells to repair the patient lenses post-surgery, restoring vision.
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Energy

Researchers can now image the flow of energy in nuclear fusion ignition attempts

It's fair to say that nuclear fusion is the holy grail of clean energy production, with the potential to provide limitless clean energy, but right now there are a fair few barriers to making it a reality. An international team of researchers has inched the dream one step closer to reality, creating a method by which energy dispersal can be observed during ignition attempts, paving the way for improved energy delivery during the process.Read More

Medical

Mobile EEG cap to enable brainwave monitoring on the go

Like many scientists around the world, researchers working out of UC San Diego have high hopes for how our brainwaves might one day be used to control devices, tackle neurological disorders and everything in between. But for that to happen, the devices used to monitor them not only have to be highly advanced, but comfortable and practical to wear on our heads in everyday environments. The team has now taken a promising step towards such a future, unveiling what it says to be a first-of-its-kind EEG headset that will take brain monitoring out of the lab and into homes, cars and offices. Read More

Science

Ultra low-power wireless communication through the human body using magnetic fields

Be it on the inside or the outside, the human body is becoming host to an ever-increasing array of electronic devices that need to wirelessly communicate with each other. Now engineers working at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have come up with a different type of wireless communication that sends ultra low-power magnetic fields through the human body. This makes it extraordinarily more energy efficient and secure from prying eyes than comparable wireless communication technologies.Read More

Robotics

3D-printed microscopic fish could be forerunners to smart "microbots"

Tiny 3D-printed robotic fish smaller than the width of a human hair may one day deliver drugs to specific places in our bodies and sense and remove toxins, thanks to research at the University of California, San Diego. The so-called microfish are self-propelled, magnetically steered, and powered by hydrogen peroxide nanoparticles. And they might be just the first chip off the block for a future filled with "smart" microbots inspired by other biological organisms such as birds, each with its own specialized functionality.Read More

3D Printing

3D-printed semi-soft robot jumps using butane power

Some robots are hard and some are soft, but in nature soft and hard structures are commonly mixed. In an effort to emulate this, engineers from Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, have used multimaterial 3D-printing to create a combustion-powered jumping robot that transitions from a rigid core to a soft exterior.Read More

Medical

Nanobot micromotors deliver medical payload in living creature for the first time

Researchers working at the University of California, San Diego have claimed a world first in proving that artificial, microscopic machines can travel inside a a living creature and deliver their medicinal load without any detrimental effects. Using micro-motor powered nanobots propelled by gas bubbles made from a reaction with the contents of the stomach in which they were deposited, these miniature machines have been successfully deployed in the body of a live mouse. Read More

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