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University of Michigan

The sun gets a soundtrack (Image:NASA)

We've all seen mesmerizing footage of the sun's fiery surface as it bubbles and seethes at 6.5 million degrees, but now we can hear it! Researchers from University of Michigan and a composer from Alumnus School of Music have interpreted the sun's solar wind into music by a process called sonification. This has allowed them to understand events happening the sun in a whole new way.  Read More

The energy-recycling foot enhances the power of ankle push-off (Image: Steve Collins)

Most of us take it for granted, but walking isn't as simple as it looks. With the natural human gait the ankle exerts force to push off the ground. A typical prosthesis doesn’t reproduce the force exerted by a living ankle, resulting in amputees spending much more energy in comparison to walking naturally. A new prototype artificial foot recycles energy that is otherwise wasted in between steps to significantly cut the energy spent per step, making it easier for amputees to walk.  Read More

A low-power sensor system developed at the University of Michigan is 1,000 times smaller t...

Researchers have developed a solar-powered sensor system that is just nine cubic millimeters in size. It is 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts and can harvest energy from its surroundings to operate nearly perpetually. The system could enable new biomedical implants as well as building and bridge-monitoring devices. It could also vastly improve the efficiency and cost of current environmental sensor networks designed to detect movement or track air and water quality.  Read More

Paper strips used in toxin detection with progressively increasing number of coatings with...

Engineers at the University of Michigan have developed a strip of paper infused with carbon nanotubes that can quickly and inexpensively detect a toxin produced by algae in drinking water. The paper strips perform 28 times faster than the complicated method most commonly used today to detect microcystin-LR, a chemical compound produced by the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) commonly found on nutrient-rich waters. Microcystin-LR is among the leading causes of biological water pollution and is believed to be the culprit of many mass poisonings going back to early human history.  Read More

Japan's Tokai Challenger solar vehicle has taken victory in the Global Green Challenge

Japan's Tokai Challenger solar vehicle has taken victory against a strong international field in the 2009 Global Green Challenge. After covering almost 1860 miles (3000km) in four days across Australia's baking red center, the entry from Japan's Tokai University crossed the finish line at 3.39pm local time. The team's run was nearly flawless, reporting only a single flat tire with just over 100 miles of the course to race and the win breaks a string of four consecutive victories by the Dutch Nuon team, which is currently battling it out for second place against University of Michigan Solar Car Team.  Read More

Thankfully prosthetic technology has come a long way since 1944 -  the latest developments...

Existing robotic prostheses have limited motor control, provide no sensory feedback and can be uncomfortable to wear. In an effort to make a prosthesis that moves like a normal hand, researchers at the University of Michigan have bioengineered a scaffold that is placed over severed nerve endings like a sleeve and could improve the function of prosthetic hands and possibly restore the sense of touch for injured patients.  Read More

Using nanotechnology, scientists are working on safer methods of morphine delivery to inju...

The threat of injury and even death hangs over the head of most active men and women in the armed forces. However, the treatment for some injuries can be life-threatening as well. Soldiers unfortunate enough to be injured in the line of duty are usually given morphine for pain relief in the field. However, morphine also depresses normal breathing and blood pressure, sometimes to near-fatal levels. So medics need a short-acting drug that aids normal respiration and heart beat, but in doses that still allow effective morphine pain relief. It’s a bit like a dangerous ‘balancing act’, made worse because it’s often performed under extreme circumstances. Using nanotechnology, University of Michigan (U-M) scientists have developed a combination drug that promises a safer, more precise way for medics and fellow soldiers in battle situations to give a fallen soldier morphine, together with a drug that limits morphine’s dangerous side effects.  Read More

At 25 mpg, an original Model T would still give you better fuel economy that most vehicles...

Gizmag is always on the lookout for alternative means of powering vehicles and saving precious fossil fuels. But, in truth, the vast majority of us still drive exclusively petrol-powered cars. And the even sadder truth, outlined in a new research from the University of Michigan, is that the average fuel efficiency of a US vehicle has improved only three miles per gallon since the days of the Ford Model T.  Read More

A glass lab-on-a-chip.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have succeeded in developing a chip used to conduct experiments on fluids which is driven by sound rather than electromechanical valves. This approach to controlling "lab-on-a-chip" devices could be a big step forward in reducing costs and complexity in areas ranging from chemical analysis to environmental monitoring, potentially leading to innovations like handheld devices you could sneeze onto to find out if you have the flu.  Read More

Smart bridge system

From mundane traffic overpasses to marvelous feats of soaring engineering, bridges are something we tend to take for granted - until something goes wrong that is. A team from the University of Michigan is leading a five-year, $19 million project to engineer an intelligent infrastructure monitoring system designed to prevent tragedies like the collapse of the Interstate 35 West bridge over the Mississippi river in 2007 in which 13 people were killed and 145 were injured.  Read More

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