The basic, 19th-century design of the internal combustion engine remains stubbornly resistant to many further improvements in efficiency. But a major gain of more than 10% has been achieved by a team led by Amir Khajepour, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering at Canada's University of Waterloo, with input and exhaust valves that can fully adjust their functioning to different conditions.
Liquid metal reminiscent of the stuff in the "Terminator" movies is part of the answer provided by researchers who have developed a way for machines to repair themselves. The metal, a gallium-based alloy, is suspended in the form of droplets in an elastomer that, when damaged, releases the droplets to heal the harm and even restore electrical connections.
The hotly disputed Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia is now the subject of scrutiny by the state's Department of Environmental Protection. The builders have been put on notice that they're violating erosion control regulations and allowing sediment to enter waterways.
Heavy rains washing through construction sites are a suspected source of pollutants leading to early blue-green algae blooms in Wisconsin's Lake Mendota. Construction crews are taking precautions and officials are monitoring the situation carefully, but the problem persists.
The Mississippi River is seen as a rich possible source of the sediment needed to help rebuild Louisiana's shrinking coastline. State officials would like to create sediment diversions along the river to channel these waters into marshland that is dying.
Cornwall, Pa., authorities are taking a pass on a proposed state grant that could have been used to protect water supplies. It turns out that any project undertaken with the funds -- assessed against Sunoco pipeline construction violations -- would not have counted toward meeting the state mandate for curbing stormwater runoff in waterways.
A study of three urban watersheds assesses stroke scaling as a way to generalize a storm sewer network on a flood simulation as judged by total inflow of the outfalls and flooding results. Results suggested that differing sewer network complexities had no bearing on the outfall's total inflow in an area with a single drainage system but did make a difference in an area with more than one system.
New siding technology from Ply Gem Siding Group called SolarDefense Reflective Technology has three layers that create stronger light reflection and heat resistance. The new tech enhances the functionality from the existing Mastic by Ply Gem line.
A smart gym for infants can help single out developmental difficulties early on through a variety of interactions. The robotic device is the brainchild of professors Michelle J. Johnson and Laura Prosser of the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, after Johnson had worked with similar robotic systems designed to assist those suffering from cerebral palsy.
Fewer than half of patients receiving immunotherapy for treatment of leukemia see results, but a new, softer mesh used in scaffolding to produce T cells may help by yielding a much higher proportion of functional cells. The development by Columbia University biomedical engineers Lance Kam and Helen Lu replaces the hard plastic beads now used to grow the cells.
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