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3D printed tires and shoes that self-repair

This is a severed 3D-printed shoe pad repairing itself. Credit: An Xin and Kunhao Yu Instead of throwing away your broken boots or cracked toys, why not let them fix themselves? Researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have developed 3D-printed rubber materials that can do just that. Assistant Professor Qiming…

Fate of the subducted oceanic crust revealed by laboratory experiments

A schematic image of subducted oceanic crust inferred from this study. Basalt and harzburgite layers of the oceanic crust accumulate beneath and above the 660 km discontinuity, respectively. Credit: Ehime University Professor Tetsuo Irifune of the Geodynamics Research Center (GRC) of Ehime University heads a research group investigating the Earth's interior by means of experiments…

‘X-ray gun’ helps researchers pinpoint the origins of pottery found on...

Ceramics from the Field Museum's Java Sea Shipwreck collection being analyzed by portable X-ray fluorescence. Credit: (c) Field Museum. Photographer Kate Golembiewski. About 800 years ago, a ship sank in the Java Sea off the coast of the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. There are no written records saying where the ship was…

Stimulating the vagus nerve in the neck might help ease pain...

A study participant undergoes fMRI while a heat stimulus is applied to his leg (red arrow); senior author Alan N. Simmons, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the fMRI Research Laboratory at Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, looks on. Credit: Image courtesy of University of…

Massive Bolivian earthquake reveals mountains 660 kilometers below our feet

Graphic showing the Transition Zone inside the Earth Princeton seismologist Jessica Irving worked with then-graduate student Wenbo Wu and another collaborator to determine the roughness at the top and bottom of the transition zone, a layer within the mantle, using scattered earthquake waves. They found that the top of the transition zone, a layer located…

Discovery of the oldest evidence of mobility on Earth

Previously, the oldest traces of this kind found dated to approximately 600 million years ago: the Ediacaran period, also characterized by a peak in dioxygen and a proliferation in biodiversity. Scale bar: 1 cm. Credit: A. El Albani / IC2MP / CNRS - Université de Poitiers An international and multi-disciplinary team coordinated by Abderrazak El…

The physical forces of cells in action

Molecular structure of the chemical tool (on the left), blue: electron-poor, red: electron-rich, that changes color like shrimps during cooking (middle, inspiration from the fishmarket in Barcelona) to reveal physical forces inside of living cells (on the right, here endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope). Credit: © UNIGE The detection of physical forces is one of…

Shedding light on the science of auroral breakups

All-sky images of the auroral breakup that occurred around 2220 UT on June 30, 2017. Photographed at Syowa Station, Antarctica. Left: five minutes before the breakup. Right: right after the breakup. Credit: Hiroshi Miyaoka(NIPR) Auroras, also known as Northern or Southern lights depending on whether they occur near the North or South Pole, are natural…

Pinpointing the cells that control the brain’s memory flow

Image of the mouse hippocampus. VIP interneurons are labeled red while other neurons innervating VIP cells are labeled green. Credit: Losonczy lab/Columbia's Zuckerman Institute From the cab driver heading for Times Square to the commuter returning home on the freeway, we all carry maps in our head labeled with important locations. And a new Columbia…

Ultra-lightweight ceramic material withstands extreme temperatures

The new ceramic aerogel is so lightweight that it can rest on a flower without damaging it. Credit: Xiangfeng Duan and Xiang Xu/UCLA UCLA researchers and collaborators at eight other research institutions have created an extremely light, very durable ceramic aerogel. The material could be used for applications like insulating spacecraft because it can withstand…

New role for brain’s support cells in controlling circadian rhythms

A micrograph of suprachiasmatic nucleus tissue (SCN) showing a subset of astrocytes within the nucleus, as revealed by staining by the GFAP-GFP marker. The inset is a magnification of the astrocyte highlighted in the low resolution figure, showing the distinctive shape of these cells. Credit: Marco Brancaccio Astrocytes, 'caretaker' cells that surround and support neurons…

Using artificial intelligence to engineer materials’ properties

Introducing a small amount of strain into crystalline materials, such as diamond or silicon, can produce significant changes in their properties, researchers have found. The mechanical strain is represented here as a deformation in the diamond's shape. Credit: Chelsea Turner, MIT Applying just a bit of strain to a piece of semiconductor or other crystalline…

Study reveals the hidden contributions of women to a branch of...

A NASA mathematician collects data. Credit: NASA From DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin to the NASA mathematicians in the film "Hidden Figures," the historical contributions of women to science are increasingly coming to light. And a new study by San Francisco State University researchers shows that it's possible to reveal women's once-hidden scientific work by analyzing…

A very small number of crops are dominating globally: That’s bad...

Soybeans (pictured above) are among a small handful of crops that are dominating global agriculture, and that's not a good development for sustainable agriculture says U of T environmental scientist Adam Martin. Credit: University of Toronto Scarborough A new U of T study suggests that globally we're growing more of the same kinds of crops,…

Life thrived on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, research suggests

Electron microscopy image of microbial cells which respire sulfate. Credit: Guy Perkins and Mark Ellisman, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research Three and a half billion years ago Earth hosted life, but was it barely surviving, or thriving? A new study carried out by a multi institutional team with leadership including the Earth-Life Science…

Questions in quantum computing: How to move electrons with light

The Quantum Dynamics Unit traps a 2D layer of electrons in liquid helium, held inside a sealed chamber and cooled to nearly absolute zero. Inside the chamber, a metal plate and spherical mirror on the top reflect microwave light (the red beam), and thus form a microwave cavity (resonator). The trapped microwaves interact with the…

A nearby river of stars

Night sky centered on the south Galactic pole in a so-called stereographic projection. In this special projection, the Milky Way curves around the entire image in an arc. The stars in the stream are displayed in red and cover almost the entire southern Galactic hemisphere, thereby crossing many well-known constellations. Credit: Astronomy & Astrophysics; Background…

Simple and low-cost crack-healing of ceramic-based composites

Propagation of introduced crack in Al2O3/Ti composite (a) and healed cracks after anodization at room-temperature (b, c and d), where cracks at dispersed titanium (white particles) as well as part of cracks at Al2O3 ceramics were filled by the formed titanium oxides. Fracture strength of cracked-composites was greatly decreased, but was almost fully recovered to…

From vibrations alone, acacia ants can tell nibbles from the wind

This photograph shows acacia ants on their host tree (Crematogaster mimosae, Acacia zanzibarica). Credit: Felix A. Hager and Kathrin Krausa Acacia trees are a prominent feature of the East African savannah. They're also a classic example of the long-standing and complex relationships between plants and insects, in this case acacia ants. The acacias provide food…

Machine learning detects importance of land stewardship in conservation policy

A machine-learning algorithm finds success in cooperative forest management policies that allow greater autonomy by smallholder farmers. Credit: Pushpendra Rana, University of Illinois At the southern tip of the Himalayas, farmers in the Kangra region of India's Himachal Pradesh graze cattle among rolling hills and forests. The forests, under management by the state or farmer…

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