4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn’t Hear About – Episode 35


Wildfire cocktail, electronic tattoos, chill
dinosaurs, and office polluters! It’s 4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably
Didn’t Hear About. These engineers have figured out a way to
print electronics onto virtually any surface in a single step, at much lower temperatures. The first truly electronic tattoos! The silver nanowire ink can move and bend
without breaking an electrical circuit. The technology is low cost, quick, and highly
customizable. Think personalized electronic bandages with
embedded sensors that could be printed at a nurse’s station for specific patients. The team is already collaborating
with a medical school. How did cooler heads prevail in the age of
dinosaurs? Right, air conditioning, but inside their heads. It was harder for the largest dinosaurs to
escape the heat, so they did it internally, evolving to deliver blood flow to particular
cooling regions in their heads, far beyond what was necessary
to simply nourish the tissue. Modern imaging techniques on dinosaur fossils
revealed cooling systems unique to each group of dinosaurs. The scientists are now exploring how these
thermoregulatory strategies may have influenced dinosaur behavior. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest
office polluter of them all? It’s YOU! Me!? In one of the largest studies of its kind,
researchers rigged a living lab office space with thousands of sensors to identify indoor
air contaminants. Turns out… people are the dominant source
of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in an office. And, it’s due to things we kind of don’t
want to give up… like breathing and wearing deodorant… or eating that orange. The study also reveals more about VOCs and
their transformations in ventilation systems and could inform future building designs. Here’s a recipe for avoiding disasters,
specifically wildfires. This gel-like concoction promises to prevent
some wildfires from ever starting and to slash the cost of fighting the ones that do. Current fire retardants only work on vegetation
a short time, so they can’t be used for prevention. This nontoxic formula, a cellulose-based fluid,
sticks on vegetation through wind, rain – all kinds of weather. And, it’s holding up well in field testing. Feedback from firefighters? There’s nothing else like it! And there you go, see you next time with 4 more awesome discoveries, with funding from NSF!

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