Harvard scientists invented a material that ‘remembers’ its shape

B6A4A2F3-E1DD-44CE-99A6-1000E4A315DE

Still trying to wrap my head around this one, to be honest.

Scientists at Harvard are claiming they’ve invented a new “wool-like” fabric that changes shape and, if I’m being completely honest, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. First off, how the hell can a fabric have a memory and, secondly, what does that even mean?

A post on Harvard’s website uses hair as a metaphor in an attempt to clarify. If you straighten your hair — and your hair gets wet in the rain — it eventually goes back to its original shape, whether that’s curly or wavy or whatever.

Apparently that’s because hair has “shape memory”.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created a fibrous material that does much the same thing. The hope? This new material could be used in clothes to help reduce waste in the fashion industry. The example the Harvard article uses: a one-size all fits t-shirt that could automatically shrink or expand to fit to a person’s specific measurements. Or how about self-fitting bras or underwear?

Continue reading… “Harvard scientists invented a material that ‘remembers’ its shape”

0

Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to New York prison inmates

A6FF6F52-78E6-4298-B5B4-F4B2E2798410

Prisoners participating in Bard College initiative to provide them a liberal arts education beat Ivy League students who won national title only months ago

Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York prison inmates.

The showdown took place at the Eastern correctional facility in New York, a maximum-security prison where convicts can take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College, and where inmates have formed a popular debate club. Last month they invited the Ivy League undergraduates and this year’s national debate champions over for a friendly competition.

Continue reading… “Harvard’s prestigious debate team loses to New York prison inmates”

0

We’re going to mistake the drones of the future for annoying flying insects

 

FA31A64D-EEE1-4378-978F-4ABAD3C668C3

Harvard’s robotic flying bee has been in development for well over a decade now. And despite its incredibly simple design, over the past few years, its creators have improved Robobee’s capabilities, adding abilities such as the ability to hover and even steer itself down a pre-determined flight path. It’s too tiny to carry its own batteries and has been long reliant on a connected power cable. But last August, for the first time ever, Robobee made its first flight without a wire tether.

It wasn’t necessarily the most spectacular flight, however. Instead of soaring across the laboratory, buzzing past researcher’s ears, Robobee lifted off for a mere second under its own power before falling out of the sky—saved from a crash landing by an emergency kevlar safety wire. To achieve this feat, RoboBee received a couple of key hardware upgrades last year, including the addition of two extra wings, bringing the total to four, which contributed to a 38 percent boost in lifting power. It also got the smallest set of solar cells you can buy, weighing in at just 10 milligrams.

Continue reading… “We’re going to mistake the drones of the future for annoying flying insects”

0

Scientists are discovering the secrets behind whole-body DNA regeneration

6259749E-4707-4111-B211-A326372D6DCE

A team at Harvard has released a study on panther worms which revealed a regenerative master switch called early growth response, or EGR.

Scientists want to know why some fauna, like some species of the humble jellyfish, can regenerate their whole bodies following an injury. In a paper published last Friday, a team at Harvard have made some breakthroughs.

With three-banded panther worms as their test subjects, Harvard’s Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Mansi Srivastava and her team discovered a master control gene that’s activated by noncoding DNA, according to the Harvard Gazette.

Continue reading… “Scientists are discovering the secrets behind whole-body DNA regeneration”

0

A Harvard Professor Says Half of All Colleges Won’t Exist in 10 Years (and Why a New Model Might Provide a Better Path to Career Success)

5EC5D459-EDC3-4985-A885-B2FDFD86F71C

 

Sound far-fetched? Clayton Christensen’s argument is based on a premise familiar to successful entrepreneurs.

Similar to the prediction made by Futurist Thomas Frey in 2013, many colleges will soon struggle to survive.

If you’ve ever used the word disruption to refer to innovations that create new markets and displace long-established companies and products, you might have Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen and his best-selling book The Innovator’s Dilemma to thank.

More recently, Christensen has predicted traditional colleges and universities are ripe for disruption, arguing online education will undermine their business models (because education is, ultimately, a business) to such a degree that many won’t survive.

Continue reading… “A Harvard Professor Says Half of All Colleges Won’t Exist in 10 Years (and Why a New Model Might Provide a Better Path to Career Success)”

0

Who needs ink cartridges? Harvard’s acoustic printer can spit out honey or cells

We’re all about innovative printing methods here at Digital Trends and, boy, have the folks at Harvard not disappointed with their latest piece of research. It involves using sound waves to make it possible to print with virtually any liquid imaginable. That includes everything from human cells and liquid metal to optical resins and even honey. Needless to say, these aren’t the usual water-like printing materials found in ordinary inkjet printers. The results could prove useful in fields including pharmaceutical development, cosmetics, or even the food industry.

“We have developed a new drop-on-demand printing method that is conducive to printing liquids with low to very high viscosity,” Jennifer Lewis, the Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, told Digital Trends. “It’s exciting, because it can be applied to a very broad range of liquids.”

Continue reading… “Who needs ink cartridges? Harvard’s acoustic printer can spit out honey or cells”

0

Don’t bug out: Spider-like microbots will get under your skin … in a good way

It might sound like the beginning of a nightmare, but researchers are developing a line of small, insect-inspired robots that could one day crawl into your body and help fix broken bits. They’re suspicious in their squishiness. Soft, flexible, and shaped like spiders. But their creators think future versions could be designed to perform tasks that are out of reach of humans.

In a paper published recently in the journal Advanced Materials, a team of roboticists from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Boston University report that they’ve created these multifunctional microbots thanks to a new fabrication process that lets them build millimeter-scale machines with micrometer-scale features. Similarly sized robots have been created before, but not ones as dynamic as this. To demonstrate their breakthrough, they created a transparent spider bot modeled off of the brilliant Australian peacock spider.

Continue reading… “Don’t bug out: Spider-like microbots will get under your skin … in a good way”

0

We’re on the Brink of a New Era of Innovation. Will You Survive It?

IMG_6318

It’s better to prepare than adapt because, by the time you see the need to adapt, it may already be too late

One of the most interesting things I discuss in my book Mapping Innovation is what I call the new era of innovation, which will create profoundly new technologies, classes of data and business models. It is likely to be the most important shift we’ve seen in at least 50 years and perhaps in a century.

Continue reading… “We’re on the Brink of a New Era of Innovation. Will You Survive It?”

0

Robot bees can now dive in and out of water using tiny combustible rockets

Harvard’s robot bees have really evolved over the years. The RoboBee project was first unveiled in 2013, when the bots were only capable of takeoff and flying. Since then, they’ve been modified to stick to surfaces and swim underwater, and now their creators say they’re able to dive in and out of water — a big achievement for a tiny robot bee.

Continue reading… “Robot bees can now dive in and out of water using tiny combustible rockets”

0