Science & Technology

‘Metallic wood’ has the strength of titanium and the density of water

In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and the University of Cambridge have built a sheet of nickel with nanoscale pores that make it as strong as titanium, but four to five times lighter.

Penn Today Staff

Engineers 3D print smart objects with ‘embodied logic’

Researchers at the School of Engineering and Applied Science have taken inspiration from the sorts of systems embodied in Venus fly traps, utilizing stimuli-responsive materials and geometric principles to design structures that have “embodied logic.”

Penn Today Staff



In the News


Science News

A new insulation material is practically weightless yet still durable

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Deep Jariwala commented on a new, nearly weightless insulation material made of porous aerogel capable of withstanding temperature shifts of over 1,000 degrees Celsius. “It’s notoriously hard to make materials that are not just lightweight but can also be heavily heat resistant.”

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Christian Science Monitor

Have you heard the buzz? Honeybees can count

Elizabeth Brannon and postdoc Rosa Rugani of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed new research about honeybees’ ability to add and subtract numbers. Brannon said bees use ratios, rather than exact digits, to understand quantities. “When animals are comparing two numerical values, they’re much better if they differ by a large ratio than if they differ by a very small ratio,” she said.

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The Conversation

People don’t trust blockchain systems—Is regulation a way to help?

The Wharton School’s Kevin Werbach wrote about blockchain and the contradiction between its “allegedly trust-less technology and its trust-needing users.”

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Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (WHYY-FM)

Protecting your privacy online

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Joseph Turow joined a conversation on about data mining and online privacy.

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The Hill

The false trade-offs of personal data protection

The Annenberg School for Communication’s Joseph Turow was cited for his research, which found that most Americans don’t believe trading data for discounts is “a square deal.”

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Technical.ly Philly

For a glimpse into the future, look at aerial robotics

An event about aerial robotics with the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s dean Vijay Kumar is featured.

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Gizmodo

Blue pigment in 1,000-year-old teeth links women to the production of medieval manuscripts

The Libraries’ Nicholas Herman offered commentary on a study that used bio-archaeology to identify ultramarine in the dental tartar of an 11th-century woman in rural Germany. “Only by looking very closely at new kinds of evidence can we begin to discover the true importance of female artisans,” said Herman.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Are bigger brains smarter? Barely, says study led by Penn scholar

A new study co-led by the Wharton School’s Gideon Nave and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Joseph Kable found that brain size has a slight, but ultimately insignificant, correlation to intelligence.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

PGW plan for liquified natural gas facility in Southwest Philadelphia clears hurdle

Christina Simeone of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy discussed the possible environmental impact of the creation of a new liquified natural gas (LNG) facility in Southwest Philadelphia. “The environmental benefit will happen if LNG displaces diesel or fuel oil,” she said. “But it’s just not clear until there’s a client base who is going to be the end user of this gas.”

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NBC News

After a stressful election, experts warn blockchain is not the answer

Matt Blaze of the School of Engineering and Applied Science weighed in on blockchain voting. “The charlatans pushing for blockchain elections and online voting are doing the equivalent of advocating a healthcare policy that assumes we’re about to cure cancer,” Blaze tweeted. “Maybe we will, but best not to bet on it.”

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