The Strength of Ancient Roman Concrete

Concrete walls at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant were found to have become stronger over their lifetime
Concrete walls at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant were found to have become stronger over their lifetime

In a list of walls that you’d want to stay strong, those in a nuclear reactor would be near the top. Now, researchers have found that the walls in a decommissioned power plant in Japan have not only kept their strength but have actually gotten stronger with use, thanks to a rare mineral also found in ancient Roman concrete.

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Weapon Wednesday – New ENVision Slimmed-Down Night Vision

DARPA is launching a program to slim down night-vision eyewear from the bulky goggles in use today (pictured above)
DARPA is launching a program to slim down night-vision eyewear from the bulky goggles in use today (pictured above)

DARPA is starting a program to develop a new multispectral Enhanced Night Vision (ENVision) system for the military that replaces today’s heavy night-vision goggles with ones that are as light and compact as a pair of eyeglasses.

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Put Type 2 Diabetes into Remission

Research suggests low-carb diets are the most effective diets to manage type 2 diabetes but the benefits may be limited to a short, six-month timeframe
Research suggests low-carb diets are the most effective diets to manage type 2 diabetes but the benefits may be limited to a short, six-month timeframe

A new systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal has concluded adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet for six months is the most effective dietary strategy to put type 2 diabetes into remission. read more

Is This Superbugs Achilles Heal?

Researchers have found that bacteria-killing viruses could help make superbugs susceptible to antibiotics once again
Researchers have found that bacteria-killing viruses could help make superbugs susceptible to antibiotics once again

Viruses firmly hold the world’s attention at the moment, but we shouldn’t ignore the rising health threat that bacteria pose, too. The crafty critters are fast evolving resistance to antibiotics, meaning our best drugs could soon stop working entirely. Now researchers in Australia have found a way to bypass drug resistance in these so-called superbugs – by distracting them with predatory viruses.

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CityQ Better than eBike

The CityQ has four 20-inch wheels ... but no chain, belt drive or derailleur
The CityQ has four 20-inch wheels … but no chain, belt drive or derailleur
CityQ

Ebikes may indeed require less pedalling effort than regular bicycles, but most still offer little in the way of cargo capacity or protection from the elements. The CityQ is designed to provide both, along with four-wheeled stability.

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Weapon Wednesday – Finally a Realistic Flight Simulator

The T-7A Red Hawk simulation trainer can link digitally with an actual aircraft
The T-7A Red Hawk simulation trainer can link digitally with an actual aircraft
Boeing

Boeing has begun production of the “real-as-it-gets” ground-based training system (GBTS) flight simulator of the US Air Force’s new T-7A Red Hawk training jet. For immersive realism, each unit features dynamic motion seats and the Boeing Constant Resolution Visual System’s 8K native projectors, which have 16 times the resolution of a 1080p high-definition video screen. read more

Less Invasive Obesity Implant

Asst. Prof. Sung Il Park with the prototype implant
Asst. Prof. Sung Il Park with the prototype implant
Matthew Linguist, Texas A&M Engineering

When an obese person really needs to lose weight, gastric bypass surgery is sometimes performed – but it’s quite an invasive procedure. An experimental new implant, however, may produce similar results with much less fuss.

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The CubeSat Satellite to Harness Earth’s Magnetic Field

Artist's concept of MiTEE-1
Artist’s concept of MiTEE-1
University of Michigan

A student-built CubeSat from the University of Michigan will investigate whether small satellites can be maintained in low Earth orbit without thrusters or propellant. Scheduled to launch from the Mojave Air and Space Port on Virgin Orbit’s Launch Demo 2 on January 10, 2020, the Miniature Tether Electrodynamics Experiment-1 (MiTEE-1) will test the concept of using the Earth’s magnetic field to generate thrust.

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No Ordinary Gravel – It’s from an Asteroid

Chamber A of Hayabusa2's sample catcher shows material collected from the surface of asteroid Ryugu
Chamber A of Hayabusa2’s sample catcher shows material collected from the surface of asteroid Ryugu
JAXA

It’s rare that gravel gets scientists so excited, but these are no ordinary rocks. They’re the samples returned to Earth by Hayabusa2 after its 5.24-billion-km round trip to asteroid Ryugu, and this is our first glimpse at them after the spacecraft landed in the Australian Outback on December 6 and its sample container was transported to Japan.

 

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SpaceX Boosters will not Land – They’ll be Caught

SpaceX is planning to catch its Super Heavy booster (left) using the launch tower arm
SpaceX is planning to catch its Super Heavy booster (left) using the launch tower arm
Spacex via Instagram

SpaceX has been making controlled landings of its Falcon 9 boosters to allow them to be reused for a number of years now. Such landings involve the rockets touching down, be it on a boat or a launch pad, using legs built into the rocket. But SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk has revealed different plans for the Falcon 9’s bigger sibling, the Super Heavy, announcing the intention to have the launch tower arm catch the booster.

 

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