Today, it seems that three-dimensional, or 3-D, printers are everywhere. People use them in labs, schools —even at home. Anyone can draw an object using a computer program and then print it out of plastic. But some newly printed plastics may emerge with traces of dangerous chemicals, a new study finds. The good news: There also appears to be a cure for the problem.
Shirin Oskui is a bioengineer at the University of California, Riverside. The lab where she works develops tools to measure very small things. She needed a way to measure tiny zebrafish eggs and newly hatched baby fish. So Oskui designed and made a tool using a 3-D printer.
She immersed her tool in a dish [...]
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Radioactive materials make nuclear power possible. These elements, such as uranium, shed energy that can be harvested. But they also are dangerous. They emit radiation. This can harm people and the environment. Leslie Dewan believes, however, that she can reduce risks associated with nuclear power and its radioactive wastes.
She described how at EmTech 2015, a meeting convened here by Technology Review, a magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dewan is a nuclear engineer and co-founder of Transatomic Power, a local Cambridge-based company. “I became a nuclear engineer because I’m an environmentalist,” she says. Right now, fossil [...]
Fish that swim in the open ocean have nowhere to hide from hungry predators. But some may have evolved a kind of natural invisibility cloak that helps them hide in plain sight. Understanding how it works may let scientists and engineers develop new forms of ocean camouflage.
Some species of fish have microscopic structures called platelets in their skin and scales. These platelets look like thin, flat crystals. And they are so small that 100 could fit in a grain of sand! “It’s why fish seem so shiny and reflective,” says Molly Cummings. She is a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin. She also is a co-author of the new study.
For many years, scientists thought [...]