Engineering Design

  1. Materials Science

    This glitter gets its color from plants, not a synthetic plastic

    In the new material, tiny arrangements of cellulose reflect light in specific ways to create vibrant hues in an environmentally friendly glitter.

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  2. Life

    From icebergs to smoke, forecasting where dangers will drift

    Smoke drifts. Fish eggs float downstream. Where such drifting things end up may seem a mystery. But research can predict where they’ll end up.

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  3. Humans

    Snap! High-speed video captures the physics of snapping fingers

    Inspired by the infamous snap of the Avengers rival Thanos, scientists set out to investigate the physics behind finger-snapping.

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  4. Environment

    A new way to make plastics could keep them from littering the seas

    Borrowing from genetics, scientists are creating plastics that will degrade. They can even choose how quickly these materials break down.

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  5. Microbes

    Genes point to how some bacteria can gobble up electricity

    A new study shows how some microbes absorb and release electrons — a trait that may point to new fuels or ways to store energy.

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  6. Earth

    Analyze This: Nutrients from sewage may harm coastal ecosystems

    A new model suggests that 58 percent of coral reefs and 88 percent of seagrass beds are exposed to excess nitrogen from wastewater.

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  7. Life

    Scientists Say: Experiment

    An experiment is a set of procedures to learn about the world — and an important part of the scientific process.

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  8. Archaeology

    Vikings were in North America 1,000 years ago

    Wooden objects provide the most precise dating yet for a Viking settlement on the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.

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  9. Humans

    Want to improve your reading skills? You might just need more space

    A simple change by publishers and Web designers could help kids — both with and without dyslexia — read faster and better.

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  10. Tech

    Someday soon, smartwatches may know you’re sick before you do

    Such an early detection of flu-like infections could tell you when to avoid others to limit the spread of disease.

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  11. Computing

    Easy for you, tough for a robot

    Robots still can’t do many things that we find easy. Can engineers reduce how klutzy robots are and boost their common sense?

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  12. Physics

    Future cars may offer personal sound zones — no earphones needed

    Zones that offer each passenger personal listening are closer to reality. A new design improves performance by adapting to the conditions in your car.

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