Monday, April 22, 2024

Robot that can walk and jump on water

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Cronin is now working on a 3D printer worth £1,200 that would work on a molecular level to print drugs. The 3D printer uses a bathroom sealant as the primary substance to print reaction chambers of precisely specified dimensions, connected with tubes of different lengths and diameters. To this setup, the printer could then inject system reactants, or chemical inks, to obtain sequenced reactions.

Almost all drugs are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, as well as agents such as vegetable oils and paraffin. “With a printer it should be possible that with a relatively small number of inks you can make any organic molecule,” says Cronin.

Glowing fingerprints: the future of forensics
It looks like everything glows in the future, including the fingerprints left behind at the crime spot. A team from Zhejiang University led by Bin Su from Hangzhou, China, has come up with a direct, fast and simple method to make fingerprints visible at high resolution.

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Electrochemiluminescence is the phenomenon that makes it possible to light up fingerprints. In this phenomenon, application of an electrical charge causes a chemical formula to enter an excited state. The formula returns to its ordinary state by expelling the surplus energy as light.

Phys.org explains in a report: “The researchers use a small glass plate coated with indium tin oxide or just a piece of stainless steel plate as the electrode. A fingerprint is transferred to this plate and then a solution containing the reactants is added. In the places where the fat-containing components of the fingerprint cover the plate, the electrode is inactive; the electrochemical reaction cannot take place, and no light is emitted. This produces a negative image of the fingerprint that can be recorded with a CCD camera.”

According to the researchers, this method makes both fresh and old fingerprints visible without destroying them in the process of pointing them out. The fingerprints are so well-resolved that you can easily make out fine details like the branching and ends of lines, and even the tiniest features like the distribution of pores in the grooves.

Solar-powered train twice as fast as airplane?
Ever imagined a train that surpasses an airplane in speed? Elon Musk, chief executive officer, Tesla Motor, has disclosed plans for a new green vehicle that could transport people from Los Angeles to San Francisco—the two California cities—in as little as 30 minutes. If ‘Hyperloop’ successfully achieves this, it would surpass not just a bullet train but also an airplane in speed. Currently, the fastest way to travel between the two California cities is by plane, which takes about an hour.

According to a report by InHabitat, Musk recently discussed the new transit system at the first ever PandoMonthly event in Santa Monica, California. The system would be entirely powered by solar energy.

“We could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There is a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries,” Musk was quoted as saying.

DNA code can shape gold nanoparticles
University of Illinois researchers have found that DNA code, which holds the genetic code for all sorts of biological molecules and traits, can direct the shape of gold nanoparticles—tiny gold crystals that have many applications in medicine, electronics and catalysis.

Led by Yi Lu, the team published its findings in the journal AngewandteChemie.

Due to their unique physicochemical properties, gold nanoparticles have found wide applications in both biology and materials science. Shape and size of a gold nanoparticle largely determine its properties. So it is pertinent to tailor the properties of a nanoparticle for a specific application.

“We wondered whether different combinations of DNA sequences could constitute ‘genetic codes’ to direct the nanomaterial synthesis in a way similar to their direction of protein synthesis,” said Zidong Wang, a recent graduate of Lu’s group and the first author of the paper.

The researchers are now mulling over investigating how DNA codes direct nanoparticle growth. They also plan to apply their method to synthesise other types of nanomaterials with novel applications.

Analog Devices launches design contest
Analog Devices has launched Anveshan 2012—a system-level design contest for final-year electrical and electronics engineering students across India. The contest gives engineering students an opportunity to showcase their innovation, product design and problem-solving abilities.

Registered student teams will be invited to submit proposals for the prototypes of innovative electronic solutions across industry verticals like medical, infotainment, home security, surveillance, robotics, automotive, green energy, process control, instrumentation and consumer. Five to ten innovative proposals will be shortlisted and teams will have to build prototypes using at least three components from Analog Devices.

Analog Devices will fund the project development and also provide required samples and evaluation boards. Three of the most innovative and novel projects completed will be recognised as the winners.

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