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University of Michigan

— Health and Wellbeing

Filler makes old skin cells act young again

The latest development in the quest for eternal youth concerns that most visible sign of aging – the skin. Scientists at the University of Michigan (U-M) have found that it might be possible to slow the decline of aging tissue by focusing not on the cells but on the stuff that surrounds those cells. By adding more filler to the fiber-filled area around the cells, they were able to make the skin cells of senior citizens act like younger cells again. Read More
— Science

Cardio-powered pacemakers: human heart more than up to the challenge

Research using a prototype piezoelectric energy-harvesting device developed by the University of Michigan suggests that the human heart provides more than enough energy to power a pacemaker, according to a statement released by the American Heart Association. The research has led to fresh speculation that piezoelectricity, electricity converted from mechanical stresses undergone by a generator, may one day provide an alternative to battery-powered pacemakers that need to be surgically replaced as often as every five years. Read More
— Military

Most powerful military explosive tamed for use

The advent of unmanned combat vehicles is generating a need for smaller weapon systems to fit their reduced dimensions. As a result, more powerful explosives are being sought to get the most performance from smaller warheads. Introduction of new explosives is a rather slow process, as premature detonation of an explosive is extremely embarrassing. The desire for higher-performance explosives persists, though, so explosive chemists get used to dancing along the edge of instability. Fortunately, new chemistry occasionally appears that pushes the edge back a bit. The recent synthesis of a stable, high-performance explosive by a research team at the University of Michigan indicates that such new chemistry is now at hand. Read More
— Automotive

World’s largest field test of connected vehicle technology gets underway in the U.S.

Hot on the heels of Daimler announcing the largest ever field-test of its car-to-X vehicle communications system in Germany, a similar program being conducted by the U.S. Department of Transport (DoT) got underway this week in the Ann Arbor region of Michigan. Whereas the Daimler trial involves 120 network-linked vehicles, the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment Program will see some 3,000 vehicles hitting the road in the world's biggest ever real world test of connected-vehicle communication technology. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

UMSkinCheck iPhone app for skin cancer self exams

With skin cancer the most common form of cancer in the U.S., most people have got the message and will have had a skin cancer screening at the doctor at some point. But how many actually receive check-ups with the frequency necessary to catch harmful lesions forming on the skin before they become lethal? Scientists at the University of Michigan have created an app called UMSkinCheck that directs users to take photos of themselves in order to perform self-checks for different forms of skin cancer. Read More
— Space

Dark matter filaments detected for the first time

For the first time, a team of astronomers has "observed" a filament of dark matter connecting two neighboring galaxy clusters. Dark matter is a type of matter that interacts only very weakly with light and itself. Its very nature is mysterious. Mapping the dark matter filament's gravity was the key observation. The result is considered a crucial first step by scientists - it provides the first direct evidence that the universe is filled by a lacework of dark matter filaments, upon which the visible matter in the universe is distributed like small beads. This groundbreaking observation is consistent with modern cosmological models, but the story of dark matter actually starts some 80 years ago. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Mild electrical current found to prevent migraine attacks

It’s hard to convey the pain of a migraine to those who are fortunate enough not to suffer them. Compounding things, many sufferers get no relief from, or cannot tolerate, commonly prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications. Now researchers have shown that applying a mild electrical current to the brain via electrodes attached to the scalp can prevent migraines from occurring and reduce the severity and duration of those that do occur. Read More
— Space

NASA Observatory records 20 million-mph winds off stellar-mass black hole

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has recorded ultra-fast 20 million-mph (32 million km/h) winds roaring from a gas disk around the stellar-mass black hole IGR J17091-3624. The wind speeds are a record, a factor of ten greater than any previously recorded, for a black hole of this kind. It is hoped the surprise discovery will shed new light on the behavior of stellar-mass black holes. Read More
— Robotics

Harvesting energy from insects in quest to create tiny cyborg first responders

Insects have served as the inspiration for a number of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) that could be deployed to monitor hazardous situations without putting humans in harm’s way. Now researchers at the University of Michigan College of Engineering are proposing using actual live insects enhanced with electronic sensors to achieve the same result. The insect cyborgs would use biological energy harvested from their body heat or movements to potentially power small sensors implanted on their bodies in order to gather vital information from hazardous environments. Read More