News

Instruments Measure Large-Scale Motion Around San Andreas Fault

Uplift (red) and subsidence (blue) based on GPS data (top) confirm predicted motion (bottom). An array of GPS instruments near the San Andreas Fault System in Southern California detects constant motion of Earth’s crust — sometimes large, sudden motion during an earthquake, and often subtle, creeping motion. The GPS array records vertical and horizontal motion of Earth’s surface. The challenge was to discern the broad, regional tectonic motion from the shorter-scale, local motion.

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Morphing Nanotubes into Tougher Carbon for Aerospace

Rice researchers (l-r) Robert Vajtai, Enrique Barrera, and Sehmus Ozden at the two-stage gas gun used to fire nanotube pellets at hypervelocity speeds. (Jeff Fitlow) Rice University materials scientists are making nanodiamonds and other forms of carbon by smashing nanotubes against a target at high speeds. The process will enrich the knowledge of engineers who design structures that resist damage from high-speed impacts. The diamonds are the result of a detailed study on the ballistic fracturing of carbon nanotubes at different velocities. Such high-energy impacts caused atomic bonds in the nanotubes to break and sometimes recombine into different structures.

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Existing Navigation Data Can Help Pilots Avoid Turbulence

Scientists demonstrated that turbulence can be detected in a much faster and more precise way using data already routinely broadcast by commercial airliners. (FUW, jch) Detecting turbulence remains the Achilles' heel of modern-day aviation. The reports submitted by pilots, subjective and often very inaccurate, are the least expensive and the most frequently used method for trying to predict where it will occur. Scientists from the University of Warsaw demonstrated that turbulence can be detected in a much faster and more precise way using data already routinely broadcast by the aircraft operated by commercial airlines.

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NASA Shines Lasers on Future Aircraft Concept

Boeing engineer Stephen Provost checks out a blended wing body model before a wind tunnel test at NASA Langley. (NASA/David C. Bowman) As NASA aeronautics engineers prepare to develop a series of greener, quieter, faster X-planes, they are already testing concepts that could be candidates. One of those is a Boeing blended wing body (BWB). A blended wing body doesn't look like a conventional airplane. Instead of the usual tube and wing design – it's shaped more like a triangle where the wings are merged into the body. Another difference is that it does not have a tail.

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Lightweight, Wearable Device Converts Body Heat to Electricity

TEG-embedded T-shirt (left) and TEG armband (right). Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new design for harvesting body heat and converting it into electricity for use in wearable electronics.

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Light Tames Lethal Heart Disorders

Graphic by Patrick M. Boyle/Johns Hopkins University Using high-tech human heart models and mouse experiments, scientists at Johns Hopkins and Germany’s University of Bonn have shown that beams of light could replace electric shocks in patients reeling from a deadly heart rhythm disorder.

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Small Implanted Device Could Improve Breast Cancer Survival

A small scaffold device is designed to attract breast cancer cells. (University of Michigan College of Engineering) A small device implanted under the skin can improve breast cancer survival by catching cancer cells. The implantable scaffold device is made of FDA-approved material commonly used in sutures and wound dressings. It’s biodegradable and can last up to two years within a patient.

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