QUICK TO RISE: A 30 story building would take what, the best part of a year to build? Try 15 days. In Hunan Province, China, Broad Group manufactured prefabricated modules to a high precision, then assembled them in 15 days to complete the building. The steel structure has been tested to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 9, and includes features to make it extremely energy efficient. That's scarily fast. More at Gizmodo and video here.
BURN SWEETENER: Bad burns may lead to bad scarring. Now researchers at Johns Hopkins University have created a drug-free hydrogel that appears to help the skin regenerate without scars. The hydrogel promotes the formation of new blood vessels and skin, including hair follicles. It's a water-based three dimensional framework of polymers that includes a dissolved polysaccharide. It's absorbed harmlessly over 21 days while tissue regenerates. So, that's a version of sugar
water, right? Johns Hopkins University has details.
UNDERWATER TELESCOPE: The KM3NeT telescope will be sited in Europe — at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. It's an array of thousands of optical sensors, designed to help in the search for dark matter. When neutrinos collide with the Earth they emit charged particles. Those particles then create a faint light deep in the sea. The facility will also house instrumentation from Earth and marine
sciences. It seems exploring the universe is a wet job. More information at KM3NeT.
SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany are working on a way to bend sound waves, to create a cloak of silence. They created a plate from both soft and hard microstructured polymers. Different rings of material within the plate resonated at different frequencies, guided sound waves around a central area and trapped them. In their small-scale proof-of-concept the scientists created an area where the sound waves were neither absorbed nor reflected — as though they just weren't there. Now you hear it; now you don't. Details at Gizmag.
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GAPS IN TIME: What could you do with 50 picoseconds? Researchers from Cornell University have found a way to create tiny gaps in the travel of light, so making it possible to hide a brief event — provided it's no more than 50 picoseconds long. They pass a beam of light through a split time lens. The lens makes a portion of a light beam more blue so it travels faster. It makes the next portion more red so it slows down. That creates a brief gap. Then the faster light can be slowed down so the slower portion catches up again and the gap is sealed. That just has to be useful to someone. Ars Technica has more.
- Miraz Jordan knowit.co.nz