more top stories »


— 3D Printing

New "4D-printing" material can change shape in hot water

Researchers at the University of Wollongong, Australia have created a 3D printer-compatible hydrogel that is mechanically tough and able to repeatedly change shape in response to water temperature. The scientists have demonstrated the technology by 3D-printing an autonomous water valve, but the material could also be used to create soft robots, custom designed sensors and self-assembling macrostructures. Read More
— Environment

ReFlow reuses grey water, saves fresh water

"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink." The famous line from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge rings increasingly true, as all over the world water shortages threaten the way of life people have grown used to. Climate change and overpopulation have compromised water sources, a threat that calls for ingenious solutions to reduce demand. One of these is the ReFlow G2RSystem (or Re-Flow for short), a system that recycles grey water from the shower or bath to the toilet tank to flush waste. Read More
— Science

Inkjet printers could produce paper sensors that identify dangerous food and water contaminants

Sensors that identify infectious disease and food contaminants may soon be printed on paper using ordinary office inkjet printers. Researchers at McMaster University have developed a prototype that could lead to a commercial product in the next few years which helps doctors and scientists in the field quickly detect certain types of cancer or bacterial and respiratory infections or monitor toxin levels in water. Read More
— Aircraft

GE mixes lasers and water to keep turbine blades cool during drilling

Turbine blades for use in jet engines need to be made of a hard, unyielding exotic material made to exact specifications, which means the drilling of tiny cooling holes in the blades runs the risk of ruining them. To prevent this from happening, GE is combining the heat of the laser beam with the cooling of the water jet to drill holes without weakening the blades. Read More
— Space

NASA successfully launches SMAP satellite

On its third attempt, NASA has successfully launched its Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket. The orbiter is designed to take high resolution moisture maps on a global scale, mapping the entire planet in the space of only two to three days. The maps will grant us an improved ability to forecast droughts, floods, and even aid agricultural workers in crop planning and rotation. Read More