Cornell University

Cornell University Articles

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12th September 2018
Device to corral viable sperm may speed IVF process

For couples hoping for a baby via in vitro fertilisation, chances have improved. A process that once took hours now takes minutes: Cornell scientists have created a microfluidic device that quickly corrals strong and speedy sperm viable for fertilisation. Conventional methods to separate vigorous, motile sperm is tedious and may take up to several hours to perform.

6th August 2018
Robot prototype lets you feel how it’s ‘feeling’

In 1872, Charles Darwin published his third major work on evolutionary theory, 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,' which explores the biological aspects of emotional life. In it, Darwin writes: “Hardly any expressive movement is so general as the involuntary erection of the hairs, feathers and other dermal appendages … it is common throughout three of the great vertebrate classes.” Nearly 150 years later, ...

Aerospace & Defence
6th August 2018
Exoplanet detectives create catalogue of ‘light-fingerprints’

Earthbound detectives rely on fingerprints to solve their cases; now astronomers can do the same, using 'light-fingerprints' to uncover the mysteries of exoplanets. Cornell researchers have created a reference catalogue using calibrated spectra and geometric albedos of 19 of the most diverse bodies in our solar system: all eight planets, from rocky to gaseous; nine moons, from frozen to lava spewing; and two dwarf planets, one in the asteroi...

6th August 2018
A kernel of promise in popcorn-powered robots

Cornell researchers have discovered how to power simple robots with a novel substance that, when heated, can expand more than 10 times in size, change its viscosity by a factor of 10 and transition from regular to highly irregular granules with surprising force. You can also eat it with a little butter and salt.

12th January 2018
Paving the way toward cell-sized robots

An electricity-conducting, environment-sensing, shape-changing machine the size of a human cell? Is that even possible? Cornell physicists Paul McEuen and Itai Cohen not only say yes, but they’ve actually built the 'muscle' for one. With postdoctoral researcher Marc Miskin at the helm, the team has made a robot exoskeleton that can rapidly change its shape upon sensing chemical or thermal changes in its environment.

Test & Measurement
5th January 2018
An alternative way to measure vital signs with radio waves

Cornell University engineers have demonstrated a method for gathering blood pressure, heart rate and breath rate using a cheap and covert system of radio-frequency signals and microchip 'tags,' similar to the anti-theft tags department stores place on clothing and electronics. The cracker-sized tags measure mechanical motion by emitting radio waves that bounce off the body and internal organs, and are then detected by an electronic reader th...

3rd January 2018
Spider's web inspires removable implant for managing type 1 diabetes

  For the more than 1 million Americans who live with type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death. And while there is no cure, a Cornell University-led research team has developed a device that could revolutionise management of the disease.

15th December 2017
Tiny robots programmed to think like insects

While engineers have had success building tiny, insect-like robots, programming them to behave autonomously like real insects continues to present technical challenges. A group of Cornell engineers has been experimenting with a new type of programming that mimics the way an insect's brain works, which could soon have people wondering if that fly on the wall is actually a fly.

Component Management
28th June 2017
Bacteria-coated nanofibre electrodes can digest pollutants

Cornell materials scientists and bioelectrochemical engineers may have created an innovative, cost-competitive electrode material for cleaning pollutants in wastewater. The researchers created electro-spun carbon nanofibre electrodes and coated them with a conductive polymer, called PEDOT, to compete with carbon cloth electrodes available on the market.

Test & Measurement
21st June 2017
Human tissue model to test colon cancer drugs

The first-ever 'disease in a Petri dish' platform that models human colon cancer derived from stem cells has been developed by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators, allowing them to identify a targeted drug treatment for a common, inherited form of the disease. The discovery also overcomes a long-standing challenge of using mice to research this form of cancer, as they do not typically develop the disease.

6th March 2017
An efficient and eco-friendly deep-ultraviolet LED

  The darkest form of ultraviolet light, known as UV-C, is unique because of its reputation as a killer - of harmful organisms. With wavelengths of between 200 and 280 nanometers, this particular form of UV light penetrates the membranes of viruses, bacteria, mold and dust mites, attacking their DNA and killing them.

Component Management
24th February 2017
Polymer additive could revolutionise plastics recycling

When Geoffrey Coates, the Tisch University Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, gives a talk about plastics and recycling, he usually opens with this question: What percentage of the 78 million tons of plastic used annually for packaging – for example, a 2-liter bottle or a take-out food container – actually gets recycled and reused in a similar way? The answer, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is just 2%.

21st December 2016
Soft-handed robot chooses ripest tomato

Most robots achieve grasping and tactile sensing through motorised means, which can be excessively bulky and rigid. A Cornell University group has devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do.

12th December 2016
Tactile sensors enable soft robots to feel its surroundings

A Cornell group has devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do. A group led by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, has published a paper describing how stretchable optical waveguides act as curvature, elongation and force sensors in a soft robotic hand.

23rd November 2016
Tool uses UV light to control inflammation

Black light does more than make posters glow. Cornell researchers have developed a chemical tool to control inflammation that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) light. The method will allow scientists to study inflammation and the immune system, and may one day prove effective as a targeted therapy for inflammatory diseases, while minimising side effects to healthy tissues.

Component Management
19th October 2016
Lightning captures development of block copolymer

  The ability to precisely control every aspect of a material, even at the nanoscale, is of critical importance in a host of applications. One class of such novel materials, block copolymers (BCPs), are being developed today to enable continued advancement of data archiving, as well as advanced drug refinement using protein filters, among other things.

17th October 2016
Online game helps fight Alzheimer's disease

An online game is inviting members of the public to look under a virtual microscope and contribute directly to Alzheimer's disease research at Cornell University. Stall Catchers, a game launched this week by the Human Computation Institute (HCI), challenges users to scroll through short, black-and-white videos and search for clogged blood vessels within a highlighted area. Points are earned as more vessels are identified.

28th September 2016
Imaging method developed for lipid with many functions

An essential molecule in cells, called phosphatidic acid (PA), is at the center of a cellular biology mystery. This lipid, or fatty molecule, is a jack-of-all-trades – based on context, it can cause cells to move, divide or commit suicide. Elevated levels of PA have also been observed in many types of cancer as well as autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. But the lipid has been hard to study, because there have been no good ...

27th September 2016
C dots can induce cell death in tumours

Nanoparticles known as Cornell dots, or C dots, have shown great promise as a therapeutic tool in the detection and treatment of cancer. Now, the ultrasmall particles – developed more than a dozen years ago by Ulrich Wiesner, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering – have shown they can do something even better: kill cancer cells without attaching a cytotoxic drug.

Component Management
26th September 2016
Engineers create room-temperature multiferroic material

  Multiferroics - materials that exhibit both magnetic and electric order - are of interest for next-gen computing but difficult to create because the conditions conducive to each of those states are usually mutually exclusive. And in most multiferroics found to date, their respective properties emerge only at extremely low temperatures.

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