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Toys that give girls confidence in problem-solving

Toys that give girls confidence in problem-solving

Darwinians Try to Usurp Biomimetics Popularity As we've reported often before, biomimetics is hot. Supported by university departments and peer-reviewed journals, scientists and engineers are racing to copy nature's designs. It's all based on "design thinking," from concept to application, and thus an excellent illustration of the fruitfulness of intelligent design in science, even if that fact goes largely unacknowledged. Sharks: A startup company called Sharklet Technologies has designed a new material that mimics shark skin's ability to resist attachment by microbes, algae, and barnacles. If living designs were not so good, nobody would be inspired to mimic them. As if running to catch up with the bandwagon, S. Patek points to the example of geckos. The invention of Geckskin relied on key insights from previous evolutionary analyses of adhesive scaling combined with the physics of adhesion. Patek's argument boils down to three points: It's pretty shocking to hear such an admission after 154 years of Darwinian theory.

14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry: Nature as R&D Lab Companies seeking breakthrough products tend to ignore the greatest invention machine in the universe: life’s more than three-billion-year history of evolution by natural selection. What’s missing is a systematic way of capturing nature’s creativity, says Janine Benyus, a biologist, "innovation consultant" and author. Engineering practices are fractured, Benyus says. Experts in biomimetics study materials; bionics engineers work on prostheses and mechanics. "There was no umbrella term that encompassed everything from agriculture to business," she says. And thus no way to systematize innovation. So she launched what she calls a new discipline, biomimicry, the title of her 1997 book. Click ahead for some striking examples of biomimicry. With assistance from Tom Randall.

AIM Manufacturing Videos and virtual factory tours Award Search: Award#1362899 - Advanced Manufacturing Project-Learning in Focused Innovation (AMPLiFI) Award Abstract #1362899 Advanced Manufacturing Project-Learning in Focused Innovation (AMPLiFI) This project is creating a flexible technician education framework that draws on the experience of the National Network Manufacturing Institutes (NNMIs) to prepare the workforce for the advanced manufacturing technical occupations of the future. Intellectual Merit : Emerging advanced manufacturing educational efforts traditionally lag behind the required technician competencies in the industrial sector, which increases the shortage of qualified technicians and slows the adoption of new advanced manufacturing technologies. Broader Impacts : The materials utilize components of deeper learning to engage students from a broad variety of cultural and socio-economic demographics. Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch@nsf.gov.

The Air Force Collaboratory J-TECH Innovation & Evolution - NHK WORLD - English TORAY - Weaving the Future with Carbon Fiber Carbon fiber has come a long way since it was first used as a filament by Thomas Edison to create the first functional light bulb. Individually, those fibers lacked the tensile strength of today's modern fibers. But they proved valuable for being heat-resistant and good conductors of electricity. The crystal alignment of carbon fiber gives it high strength-to-volume ratio. Research has led to the development of techniques to bundle the fibers so they can be woven into a fabric. Toray is the leading manufacturer of carbon fiber materials, including Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP), which is widely used to make products for the aerospace industry, civil engineering, the military and motorsports, along with other competition sports. With its experience as a weaving company and its research in the development of synthetic threads, Toray has teamed up with Boeing to develop and manufacture the main structural parts for the 787 Dreamliner.

Spacecraft Propulsion Device Invented by 19-year Old Student By: Amanda Froelich, True Activist. With passion to persevere and see a project succeed, anything is possible. This is certainly true for a young student in the Middle East.Aisha Mustafa, a 19-year old female student from the University of Sohag in Egypt, recently developed a new type of propulsion system for space crafts. The new system exploits the quirky law of quantum physics which states “there is no such thing as a vacuum devoid of particles, and energy”. annihilate each other in such a short amount of time they cannot be easily detected. For her invention, Mustafa developed a way of tapping this quantum effect, which is also known as the dynamic Casimir effect. Mustafa’s device differs from current methods of initiating movement in space. The potential of this new design is enormous. Many scientists and staff at the University were enthusiastic about her invention and supported the application process to patent the invention with resources, materials, and support.

Scientists improve microscopic batteries with homebuilt imaging analysis (Phys.org) —In a rare case of having their cake and eating it too, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other institutions have developed a toolset that allows them to explore the complex interior of tiny, multi-layered batteries they devised. It provides insight into the batteries' performance without destroying them—resulting in both a useful probe for scientists and a potential power source for micromachines. The microscopic lithium-ion batteries are created by taking a silicon wire a few micrometers long and covering it in successive layers of different materials. The analogy becomes obvious when you see the batteries attached by their roots to silicon wafers and clustered together by the million into "nanoforests," as the team dubs them. But it's the cake-like layers that enable the batteries to store and discharge electricity, and even be recharged. More information: V.P.

DARPA amplifier circuit achieves speeds of 1 trillion Hz, enters Guinness World Records Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (earlier version) (credit: Northrop Grumman Corp.) Officials from Guinness World Records have recognized DARPA’s Terahertz Electronics program for creating the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit ever measured: one terahertz (1012 GHz), or one trillion cycles per second — 150 billion cycles faster than the existing world record set in 2012. “This breakthrough could lead to revolutionary technologies such as high-resolution security imaging systems, improved collision-avoidance radar, communications networks with many times the capacity of current systems, and spectrometers that could detect potentially dangerous chemicals and explosives with much greater sensitivity,” said Dev Palmer, DARPA program manager. The TMIC showed a measured gain (on the logarithmic scale) of nine decibels at 1.0 terahertz and eight decibels at 1.03 terahertz. “Nine decibels of gain is unheard of at terahertz frequencies” said Palmer.

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