Engineering News -- ScienceDaily Engineering News and Research. Browse a wide-range of engineering projects and techniques from leading research institutes around the world. Full-text, images, updated daily.

  • Using light to turn yeast into biochemical factories
    on March 22, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Researchers have used a combination of light and genetic engineering to controlling the metabolism, or basic chemical process, of a living cell. Building on techniques that already have transformed the field of neuroscience, the researchers used light to control genetically-modified yeast and increase its output of commercially valuable chemicals. […]

  • Breakthrough in photonic biosensors could lead to super-accurate diagnostic and detectors
    on March 22, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Scientists have found a way to determine the density of charges on an area of a whispering gallery mode micro-bead's surface, as well as the charge of an ensnared nanoparticle or virus, which could allow researchers and manufacturers not just to identify nanoparticles, but to manipulate them. […]

  • Low-tech, affordable solutions to improve water quality
    on March 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Clever, fundamental engineering could go a long way toward preventing waterborne illness and exposure to carcinogenic substances in water. […]

  • Pipe-crawling robot will help decommission DOE nuclear facility
    on March 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    A pair of autonomous robots will soon be driving through miles of pipes at the US Department of Energy's former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, to identify uranium deposits on pipe walls. […]

  • Geoengineering polar glaciers to slow sea-level rise
    on March 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Targeted geoengineering to preserve continental ice sheets deserves serious research and investment, argues an international team of researchers. Without intervention, by 2100 most large coastal cities will face sea levels that are more than three feet higher than they are currently. […]

  • Liquid-to-glass transition process gains clarity
    on March 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Materials science and engineering experts have made significant experimental strides in understanding how, when and where the constantly moving atoms in molten metal 'lock' into place as the material transitions from liquid to solid glass. […]

  • Scientists mimic neural tissue in new research
    on March 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Researchers have discovered a process for engineering next-generation soft materials with embedded chemical networks that mimic the behavior of neural tissue. The breakthrough material may lead to autonomous soft robotics, dual sensors and actuators for soft exoskeletons, or artificial skins. […]

  • Graphene oxide nanosheets could help bring lithium-metal batteries to market
    on March 16, 2018 at 12:38 am

    A nanosheet helps prevent formation of lithium dendrites in lithium-metal batteries. […]

  • Existence of new form of electronic matter
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Researchers have produced a 'human scale' demonstration of a new phase of matter called quadrupole topological insulators that was recently predicted using theoretical physics. These are the first experimental findings to validate this theory. […]

  • 'Body on a chip' could improve drug evaluation
    on March 14, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Engineers have developed new technology that could be used to evaluate new drugs and detect possible side effects before they are approved for human use. Using a microfluidic chip that connects tissue samples from up to 10 organs, the researchers can accurately replicate human organ interactions, allowing them to measure the effects of drugs on different parts of the body. […]

  • Mending broken hearts with cardiomyocyte molds
    on March 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Whether caused by an undetected birth defect or by a heart attack (myocardial infarction), when a heart sustains damage, it can be difficult to repair. New research shows how cardiomyocytes grown in a heart-like environment mature more quickly, have improved functionality and are less likely to be rejected by patients' bodies. […]

  • Artificial and biological cells work together as mini chemical factories
    on March 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Researchers have fused living and non-living cells for the first time in a way that allows them to work together, paving the way for new applications. […]

  • Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they grow
    on March 13, 2018 at 12:16 am

    A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers. The TerraSentia crop phenotyping robot measures the traits of individual plants using a variety of sensors, including cameras, transmitting the data in real time to the operator's phone or laptop computer. […]

  • Extracellular vesicles could be personalized drug delivery vehicles
    on March 12, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Creating enough nanovesicles to inexpensively serve as a drug delivery system may be as simple as putting the cells through a sieve, according to an international team of researchers who used mouse autologous -- their own -- immune cells to create large amounts of fillable nanovesicles to deliver drugs to tumors in mice. […]

  • New conductive coating may unlock biometric and wearable technology of the future
    on March 9, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    A team of researchers have developed a mechanically robust conductive coating that can maintain performance under heavy stretching and bending. […]

  • Six-legged robots get closer to nature
    on March 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    A study has uncovered new ways of driving multi-legged robots by means of a two-level controller. The proposed controller uses a network of so-called non-linear oscillators that enables the generation of diverse gaits and postures, which are specified by only a few high-level parameters. The study inspires new research into how multi-legged robots can be controlled, including in the future using brain-computer interfaces. […]

  • A new class of two-dimensional materials
    on March 9, 2018 at 12:05 am

    Scientists and engineers have developed a method to make new kinds of artificial "superlattices" -- materials composed of alternating layers of ultra-thin "two-dimensional" sheets, which are only one or a few atoms thick. Unlike current state-of-the art superlattices, in which alternating layers have similar atomic structures, and thus similar electronic properties, these alternating layers can have radically different structures, properties and functions, something not previously available. […]

  • Engineered cartilage template to heal broken bones
    on March 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Researchers have designed a novel, hybrid hydrogel system to help address some of the challenges in repairing bone in the event of injury. […]

  • Heat switch developed for electronics
    on March 8, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Researchers have developed new technology for switching heat flows 'on' or 'off'. […]

  • Self-driving robots collect water samples to create snapshots of ocean microbes
    on March 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    For the first time, scientists will deploy a small fleet of long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LRAUVs) that have the ability to collect and archive seawater samples automatically. These new robots will allow researchers to track and study ocean microbes in unprecedented detail. […]

  • Optical tools to detect metabolic changes linked to disease
    on March 7, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    A team led by engineers has opened a window into the cell by developing an optical tool that can read metabolism at subcellular resolution, without having to perturb cells with contrast agents, or destroy them to conduct assays. The researchers were able to use the method to identify specific metabolic signatures that could arise in diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. […]

  • New approach to measuring stickiness could aid micro-device design
    on March 7, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    At the scale of microdevices, adhesion is one of the most important forces that engineers need to contend with. Researchers have come up with a new way to measure it. […]

  • Scientists help robots understand humans with 20 questions game idea
    on March 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Information scientists have borrowed from the popular game "20 Questions," to make an important step towards helping robots maintain continuous and purposeful conversation with humans. They have developed an optimal strategy for asking a series of yes/no questions that rapidly achieves the best answer. […]

  • Reshaping energy landscape of phonons in nanocrystals
    on March 6, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Phonons, which are packets of vibrational waves that propagate in solids, play a key role in condensed matter and are involved in various physical properties of materials. In nanotechnology, for example, they affect light emission and charge transport of nanodevices. As the main source of energy dissipation in solid-state systems, phonons are the ultimate bottleneck that limits the operation of functional nanomaterials. […]

  • Engineer creates solution to cheaper, longer lasting battery packs
    on March 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    The new technology called a bilevel equalizer is the first hybrid that combines the high performance of an active equalizer with the low cost of the passive equalizer. […]

  • Drug-producing bacteria possible with synthetic biology breakthrough
    on March 5, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Bacteria could be programmed to efficiently produce drugs, thanks to breakthrough research into synthetic biology using engineering principles. […]

  • Modified, 3D-printable alloy shows promise for flexible electronics, soft robots
    on March 5, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Researchers have taken a key step toward the rapid manufacture of flexible computer screens and other stretchable electronic devices, including soft robots. […]

  • New way to 'see' the quantum world
    on March 5, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Scientists have invented a new imaging technique that produces rapid, precise measurements of quantum behavior in an atomic clock in the form of near-instant visual art. […]

  • Common bricks can be used to detect past presence of uranium, plutonium
    on March 1, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Researchers have demonstrated a technique that can determine whether bricks -- the common building material -- have ever been near a radiological source, and identify the specific type of source, such as high enriched uranium or plutonium. […]

  • Durable wood 'sponges' act as green sensors of mechanical strain
    on March 1, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Striking just the right balance between softness and sturdiness, balsa wood is a choice material for crafting anything from model airplanes to full-size wind turbine blades. Scientists have opened up a new realm of possibilities for balsa by hijacking its natural structure with chemical and physical treatments to transform it into a 'wood carbon sponge' capable of enduring repeated compression and other extreme mechanical conditions. […]