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Engineering and Computing

Go with the Flow

Go with the Flow

Modeling flexible microscopic sheets that sculpt themselves The Swiss Army Knife is a necessity for survivalists and the outdoorsy, providing tools for any situation you might encounter. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s De­partment of Chemical Engineering have created a

Robot Swarm: Self-organizing ability of robots without central control

Robot Swarm: Self-organizing ability of robots without central control

Can technology develop a mind of its own? The robot apocalypse is not yet upon us, but the Sharpe group from European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Barce­lona has recently demonstrated the capability of a group of robots to self-organize

Divide and Conquer: Sequencing two types of RNA in a single cell

Divide and Conquer: Sequencing two types of RNA in a single cell

Imagine a police officer chasing two suspects down a narrow alleyway. He almost catches up to them, when suddenly, the alleyway splits into two paths going in opposite directions. One of the suspects takes the left path while the accomplice

Preying on Pollutants: Technology imitates life to generate cleaner water

Preying on Pollutants: Technology imitates life to generate cleaner water

The sea anemone Actinia is a deceptive organism, in both name and appearance. For one, it is known as the “flower of the sea” for its colorful ring of tentacles. It also adopts a sessile lifestyle, preferring to lie and

Can we engineer Spicy tomatoes?

Can we engineer Spicy tomatoes?

Chili peppers, often conjuring both tears of pain and pleasure, serve an important role in the culinary exploits of many cultures. Less well known, however, are the medicinal properties of the compound responsible for the distinct heat of chilis. Peppers

Wrap it, Wear it, Robotic?

Wrap it, Wear it, Robotic?

What if there existed a gadget that could take an inanimate object and turn it into life? Researchers at Yale have been imagining and working on robotic skins that do just this. Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering &

Do Self-Driving Cars Have Morals?

Do Self-Driving Cars Have Morals?

With the rise of self-driving cars has come the grim reality that cars may have to choose between saving one life and ending another. Unlike a reckless human driver, an autonomous vehicle itself cannot be held legally or morally responsible

Robotic Role Models Show Therapeutic Promise

Robotic Role Models Show Therapeutic Promise

We often take for granted our ability to detect social cues such as facial expressions and body language. For many children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD),  this social-communicative ability is not innate and instead must be learned. Unfortunately, most

New, Inexpensive Nanoscale Polymers Have Many Potential Applications

New, Inexpensive Nanoscale Polymers Have Many Potential Applications

Imagine if we could turn all the world’s saltwater into drinking water using a simple filter with tiny pores to catch salt particles. Such purification technology, which could save millions of lives, may be possible using materials called nanophase-separated block

Membranes Versus Microbes: How Yale and Shandong University researchers are zapping antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our water supply

Membranes Versus Microbes: How Yale and Shandong University researchers are zapping antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our water supply

Fishing can be quite the challenge, even for the experienced fisherman. The challenge of removing every live fish from the ocean thus seems rather silly. It becomes even more difficult when the problem is scaled down to the world of