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UK Team Levitates Small Objects Using Sound

Posted: October 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Engineered Life | Tags: , | Comments Off on UK Team Levitates Small Objects Using Sound

UK Team Levitates Small Objects Using Sound

A team of UK scientists have cleverly used sound waves to levitate tiny objects, the breakthrough, published in Nature Communications, could lead to applications as out-there as Star Trek style tractor beams ::::

Co-author Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics at the University of Bristol, said while other groups had successfully levitated objects, this had been achieved only by surrounding the object with speakers. However, Professor Drinkwater and colleagues managed to move the tiny objects – less than one millimetre in size – using a single-sided array of loudspeakers.

The use of a single-sided device to manipulate objects in mid-air extends the potential of the technology as items would no longer need to be surrounded by loudspeakers, Professor Drinkwater said.

Professor Drinkwater said their new study built on the work of researchers at the University of Dundee. The Dundee team had shown there was a force attracting some acoustic waves back to their sound source.

“But they did not move anything and their system could not trap and hold any objects stable,”Professor Drinkwater said. “So, we have gone from knowing that the force exists to turning it into a stable working device.”

In the paper, the researchers revealed that they had not only levitated very small objects but could move them in a controlled manner using acoustic “tweezers”, “twisters” and “cages” to manipulate the objects.

Success Lies in ‘Brute-force Inversion’

Ironically, Professor Drinkwater said the team’s success lay in the absence of a mathematician amongst them.

“Not being mathematicians, we did not seek elegant solutions but used what I call ‘brute-force inversion’ to solve the problem,”Professor Drinkwater said.

This involved simulating as many possible configurations of sound sources and drive signal as possible and analysing the results to see which would “trap” the object. They then used the computer’s predictions to run practical experiments to test the results.

Professor Drinkwater said the successful sound wave configurations had interesting characteristics.

“The successful ones were all either tweezer, twister or cage-like in shape.” Professor Drinkwater said.

Tractor Beams to Delivering Cancer Drugs

Professor Drinkwater said the importance of developing a single-sided device was that it expanded the potential of the technology and paved the way for the development of ‘tractor beams’ that could pull objects toward the sound source.

“Single-sided devices potentially enable in vivo manipulation since the device could be applied directly on to the skin with the manipulation taking place inside the body; similar to an ultrasound scanner but for manipulating particles (that is, drug capsules, kidney stones or micro-surgical instruments),” the researchers note in the paper.” Professor Drinkwater said. “This is a significant advantage over two-sided opposed arrangements, which require the target area to be sandwiched by the arrays; also, single-beam traps do not have repeated patterns that could accidentally trap other particles.”

Professor Drinkwater said the development could also lead to “non-contact production lines” for handling delicate or dangerous materials without contact.

However he was most excited about the technology’s potential in treating diseases such as cancer by delivering drugs more efficiently.

“If we could hold drugs (or more likely microcapsules with drugs inside) in the place where they are needed and then slowly release them we could use much smaller doses, which would result in less side effects,” he said.

Video Credit: Courtesy of Asier Marzo, Bruce Drinkwater and Sriram Subramanian.


unRELATED! BACONS as BAD as Smoking!?


According to a new report by the World Health Organisation, Bacon is BAD! More accurately, the study says that processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and bacon can cause colon cancer and red meat is also a likely cause of the disease, World Health Organisation experts say, in a potentially heavy blow for the global meat industry.

The analysis of 800 studies from around the world by the International Agency for Research on Cancer – IARC – found “sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”.

“Each 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent,” it said in a statement.

The category includes meat that has been salted, cured, fermented or smoked, hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, dried meat like beef jerky or South African biltong, canned meat or meat-based sauces. The finding supports “recommendations to limit intake of meat” particularly in processed forms, the IARC said  :: Read the full article »»»»





CHRONIC! Australia to Legalise Cannabis

CHRONIC! Australia to Legalise CannabisAustralia’s Government has announced it will legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Health Minister Sussan Ley says the Government wants to give people suffering from debilitating illnesses access to all of the most effective medical treatments, including medical cannabis.

The minister said she had been moved by stories of people who get relief from the currently restricted drug, sometimes legally imported but not always. However, Ms Ley said the legalisation was only about medicinal cannabis, not recreational use.

“This is not a debate about legalisation of cannabis. This is not about illicit drugs. This is not a product you smoke. This has nothing to do with that,” Ms Ley said. “Most commonly the product is an oil or a tincture that you put on your skin.”

A progressive government in Victoria looks to have that state as the nation’s first onboard, the state Government plans to embark on a cannabis cultivation trial, based on the recommendations of a report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission :: Read the full article »»»»

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REBLOG! What’s the Biggest Killer? DIET! Overtaking 3rd World Disease

Scientists figured out the biggest contributor to early deaths across the world25 years ago, in 1990, maternal and child malnutrition, unsafe drinking water and sanitation were the leading risks for death. Today, unsurprisingly, poor diet has overtaken third world problems as the biggest contributor to early death around the world.

According to new analysis from the leading authority on global disease diet is the second highest (clearly aside from age) killer.

Smoking cigarettes still carries the highest risk factor of premature death, followed by high blood pressure and obesity.

However, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation – IMHE – says that a combination of dietary factors, from eating too few fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to too much sodium and cholesterol, is taking a toll on health across the globe.

The IMHE’s study found that the largest contributor to early death globally is high blood pressure, in which age and family history partly play a roll, but so do obesity, smoking, excessive salt consumption, lack of exercise, and drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Noteworthy, alcohol is also one of the top 10 risk factors associated with the highest number of deaths for both men and women.

The study looked at 14 dietary risk factors. Cumulatively, unhealthy eating, including diets low in fruit, whole grains, and vegetables, and diets high in red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages contributed to more deaths than any other factor, causing ischemic heart disease, stroke and diabetes :: Read the full article »»»»

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unRELATED! University Study Finds Social Media Assisting Students Cheating Exams

Study Finds Social Media Assisting Students Cheating Exams

The internet and smartphones have made it easier for students to cheat in exams, a new report into academic misconduct at the University of Sydney has found. The report followed investigations into ways to prevent and detect academic dishonesty and misconduct among students at the university.

The Academic Misconduct and Plagiarism Taskforce completed a number of investigations during May and June 2015, including interviews with representatives from each of the university’s 16 faculties :: Read the full article »»»»

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unRELATED! Mythbusting SciBabe Reveals Her Secrets to Debunking Pseudosciences

Mythbuster SciBabe Reveals Her Secrets to Debunking Science MythsYvette d’Entremont — chemist, blogger, and better known on the internet as “SciBabe” — has revealed how her medical history inspired her to debunk myths masquerading as science.

In her most famous stunt, she swallows the entire contents of a bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills – 50 in all – to prove that they do not have any effect.

Alternative medicine is one of her pet subjects for debunking, along with the anti-vaccination movement, anti-genetically modified organisms campaigners and people who promote fake cancer cures.

Scibabe doesn’t deny that some people reckon  that alternative medicines like homeopathy work for them, but says they are not based on any form of scientific evidence :: Read the full article »»»»

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unRELATED! Australian Researchers Throw Cold Water on Athletes Use of Ice Baths

Australian Researchers Throw Cold Water on Athletes Use of Ice BathsIce baths are not as effective as an active warm down in soothing athletes’ muscles, Queensland researchers have found.

The researchers have thrown cold water on the use of ice baths to soothe the overworked muscles of athletes.

According to conventional thinking, ice baths reduce inflammation and damage. however a joint study by the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology has found an active warm down is more effective in building muscle mass and strength.

The University of Queensland’s School of Human Movement’s Dr Llion Roberts tracked the progress of 21 men who did strength training two days a week for three months.

Half of them did an active warm down and the rest had a 10 minute ice bath at 10 degrees :: Read the full article »»»»

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unRELATED! Scientists Discover New Volcanic Eruption Trigger

Scientists Discover New Volcanic Eruption TriggerScientists say they’ve found a new way to predict when a volcano is about to erupt. Simply; after a measurable pressure drop occurs within a volcano’s internal plumbing, an eruption is likely to follow.

This pressure drop can potentially be used by volcanologists to predict a catastrophic eruption. The researchers say the importance is quite significant, particularly if you are part of a community that lives next door to a volcano, or an airline company mapping flight routes.

The study is hoping to engineer early warning systems so that people can be told with a huge degree of confidence when to get out of the way.

Lead author Dr Janine Kavanagh from the University of Liverpool said with more than 600 million people worldwide living near a volcano at risk of eruptive activity, it is more important than ever that triggering mechanisms are made more accurate. This previously unrecognised trigger could also alleviate the “headache” volcanic eruptions cause civil aviation by providing early and accurate warnings to authorities when they should divert aircraft.

“There is also a strong economic incentive to understand the causes of volcanic activity as demonstrated in 2010 by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, causing air-traffic disruption across Europe for more than a month, and an estimated $A2.5 billion loss in revenue to the airline industry :: Read the full article »»»»

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News Made For Mobile!

source: nature
image source: indeepmedia/Asier Marzo, Bruce Drinkwater and Sriram Subramanian___________________

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