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Archive for the ‘engineering’ category

Jul 7, 2019

Demonstrations of DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI, transportation

DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program aims to improve mobility, survivability, safety, and effectiveness of future combat vehicles without piling on armor. The demonstrations featured here show progress on technologies for traveling quickly over varied terrain and improving situational awareness and ease of operation.

These demonstrations feature technologies developed for DARPA by:

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Jul 5, 2019

Multiplex Automated Genomic Engineering (MAGE)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, evolution

A machine that speeds up evolution is revolutionizing genome design and selection of designer microbes.

Jul 2, 2019

Mind-Uploading: The Impending Meta-System Transition of Humanity

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

The most probable mainstream non-invasive way to transfer human consciousness in the intermediate future, with initial stages in the 2030s, could be the convergence of optogenetics, nanotechnologies, neuroengineering, Cloud exocortex and an array of neurotechnologies allowing to connect our wetware directly to the Cloud.

Initially, each of us will have a personal exocortex in the Cloud, the third non-biological “de-cerebral” hemisphere, which will be in constant communication with the other two biological brain hemispheres.

At some point, this “third hemisphere,” will have a threshold information content and intimate knowledge of your biology, personality and other physical world attributes in order to seamlessly integrate with your persona as a holistic entity.

Jul 1, 2019

Solving a condensation mystery

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, sustainability

Condensation might ruin a wood coffee table or fog up glasses when entering a warm building on a winter day, but it’s not all inconveniences; the condensation and evaporation cycle has important applications.

Water can be harvested from “thin air,” or separated from salt in desalination plants by way of . Due to the fact condensing take heat with them when they evaporate, it’s also part of the cooling process in the industrial and high-powered computing arenas. Yet when researchers took a look at the newest method of condensation, they saw something strange: When a special type of is covered in a thin layer of oil, condensed water droplets seemed to be randomly flying across the surface at high velocities, merging with larger droplets, in patterns not caused by gravity.

“They’re so far apart, in terms of their own, relative dimensions”—the droplets have a diameter smaller than 50 micrometers—” and yet they’re getting pulled, and moving at really high velocities,” said Patricia Weisensee, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Jul 1, 2019

The Problems (and Possible Solutions) for Long Distance Space Travel

Posted by in categories: engineering, space travel

The idea of travelling amongst the stars is often romanticized in science fiction and pop culture. Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly are just a few examples where space flights are developed enough in that universe that traveling to another world is as easy as it is for us to travel to another country. Traveling by spacecraft in science fiction is often akin to travelling by airplane in the real world. But even as advanced as our technology is compared to when Star Trek first aired or when Star Wars graced the movie screens, it still is not quite at that level. The furthest mankind has ever touched down in space is the Moon, a relatively meager 238,900 miles away. For reference, Mars- the next place humanity may travel to- is 33.9 million miles away, and that’s only the next planet over from Earth! But in order to truly understand the troubles NASA and other space agencies are having with one of modern day’s biggest engineering problems, we must examine what makes it so hard for people to explore space.

Jun 28, 2019

Jason—a secretive group of Cold War science advisers—is fighting to survive in the 21st century

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, government, science

With the end of the Vietnam and Cold wars, Jason members began to branch out from physics and engineering. In 1977, they did their first assessment of global climate models and later advised DOE on which atmospheric measurements were most critical for the models. Since the mid-1990s, Jason has studied biotechnologies, including techniques for detecting biological weapons.


After near-death experience, top scientists seek a long-term home in the U.S. government.

Jun 27, 2019

Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal pollution cloud

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, engineering

When ozone and skin oils meet, the resulting reaction may help remove ozone from an indoor environment, but it can also produce a personal cloud of pollutants that affects indoor air quality, according to a team of researchers.

In a computer model of indoor environments, the researchers show that a range of volatile and semi-volatile gases and substances are produced when , a form of oxygen that can be toxic, reacts with skin oils carried by soiled clothes, a reaction that some researchers have likened to the less-than-tidy Peanuts comic strip character.

“When the ozone is depleted through , we become the generator of the primary products, which can cause sensory irritations,” said Donghyun Rim, assistant professor of architectural engineering and an Institute for CyberScience associate, Penn State. “Some people call this higher concentration of pollutants around the human body the personal cloud, or we call it the ”Pig-Pen Effect.””.

Jun 27, 2019

Lightning bolt underwater

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, physics

Electrochemical cells help recycle CO2. However, the catalytic surfaces get worn down in the process. Researchers at the Collaborative Research Centre 1316 “Transient atmospheric plasmas: from plasmas to liquids to solids” at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) are exploring how they might be regenerated at the push of a button using extreme plasmas in water. In a first, they deployed optical spectroscopy and modelling to analyse such underwater plasmas in detail, which exist only for a few nanoseconds, and to theoretically describe the conditions during plasma ignition. They published their report in the journal Plasma Sources Science and Technology on 4 June 2019.

Plasmas are ionised gases: they are formed when a gas is energised that then contains free electrons. In nature, plasmas occur inside stars or take the shape of polar lights on Earth. In engineering, plasmas are utilised for example to generate light in fluorescent lamps, or to manufacture new materials in the field of microelectronics. “Typically, plasmas are generated in the gas phase, for example in the air or in noble gases,” explains Katharina Grosse from the Institute for Experimental Physics II at RUB.

Jun 25, 2019

“Reverse Engineering the Universe”

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, physics, space

Andrei Linde, the Harald Trap Friis Professor of Physics at Stanford University, will give the Applied Physics/Physics colloquium on Tues., May 8, 2018 entitled “Reverse Engineering the Universe.” This lecture will be held in the Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 200.

Event Sponsor:

Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium

Jun 25, 2019

Can we engineer the universe?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, engineering

From harnessing the power of a black hole to giving stars a nudge, the prospect of playing with solar systems puts our engineering feats on Earth into perspective.

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