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Little Shop of Horrors: A Moving Plot of an other-world's unmanned land...
#12
Cottoning on: Chinese seed sprouts on moon
January 15, 2019

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The sprout has emerged inside a canister since the Chang'e-4 lander set down on the moon's surface earlier this month
A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after a cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander, scientists said Tuesday.




The sprout has emerged from a lattice-like structure inside a canister since the Chang'e-4 lander set down earlier this month, according to a series of photos released by the Advanced Technology Research Institute at Chongqing University.

"This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface," said Xie Gengxin, who led the design of the experiment.

The Chang'e-4 probe—named after a Chinese moon goddess—made the world's first soft landing on the moon's "dark side" on January 3, a major step in China's ambitions to become a space superpower.

Scientists from Chongqing University —who designed the "mini lunar biosphere" experiment—sent an 18-centimetre (seven-inch) bucket-like container holding air, water and soil.

Inside are cotton, potato, and arabidopsis seeds—a plant of the mustard family—as well as fruit fly eggs and yeast.

Images sent back by the probe show a cotton sprout has grown well, but so far none of the other plants has taken, the university said.

Chang'e-4 is also equipped with instruments developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and China to study the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and the interaction between solar wind and the moon's surface.

The lander released a rover, dubbed Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit), that will perform experiments in the Von Karman Crater.

The agency said four more lunar missions are planned, confirming the launch of a probe by the end of the year to bring back samples from the moon.

China wants to establish a lunar research base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said Monday.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: China envisions moon base after far-side success


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-cottoning-...n.html#jCp







Researcher to send cotton into space to improve its growth on Earth

April 27, 2018 by Eric Hamilton, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Simon Gilroy, professor of botany at UW–Madison, meets with his graduate students in Birge Hall in March 2018. Credit: Bryce Richter
Jeans are thirsty. The fibers making up their denim come from water-guzzling cotton plants, and plant scientists are on the hunt for ways to make this vital fiber more sustainable.




So, naturally, they're sending cotton plants into space.

University of Wisconsin–Madison botanist Simon Gilroy will study cotton seedlings grown on the International Space Station in an effort to better understand the important crop's growth back on Earth. Gilroy's proposed experiment was one of three winners selected by a cotton sustainability research challenge sponsored by Target and organized by the nonprofit Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS.

"The goal is to understand root system growth to help understand how to generate cotton with roots that grow deep to scavenge water more efficiently and also sequester more carbon in the soil," says Gilroy.

"The project gives us an unprecedented opportunity to ask how gravity governs cotton root growth," he says.

Gilroy's team will study a cotton variety that, on Earth at least, resists stresses like drought better than most cotton. Researchers believe this drought resistance stems from roots that are better able to explore the soil for water and nutrients. Since root growth is affected by gravity, Gilroy's experiment will ask how the absence of gravity affects the cotton plant's growth, stress response and root behavior. That information may help researchers understand how to develop cotton plants that use water more efficiently.

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The Dragon Resupply Ship, pictured on a previous mission, will deliver Gilroy’s cotton seeds to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
Twenty-five million metric tons of cotton are grown around the world each year, and each kilogram requires thousands of liters of water to produce. CASIS developed the ISS Cotton Sustainability Challenge to address this environmental impact. The other winners are Marshall Moutenot of Upstream Tech in Alameda, California, and Christopher Saski of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.

Launches are tentatively scheduled for early 2019.




Learn about more of UW–Madison botany professor Simon Gilroy’s experiments with plants in space. Credit: University Communications / UW–Madison
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Zero gravity plant growth experiments delivered to space station

Provided by: University of Wisconsin-Madison


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-cotton-space-growth-earth.html#jCp

JANUARY 15, 2019
Engineers 3-D print smart objects with 'embodied logic'
by University of Pennsylvania
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Even without a brain or a nervous system, 

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the Venus flytrap 
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appears to make sophisticated decisions about when to snap shut on potential prey, as well as to open when it has  Doh accidentally caught something it can't eat.Cry

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science have taken inspiration from these sorts of systems. Using stimuli-responsive materials and geometric principles, they have designed structures that have "embodied logic." Through their physical and chemical makeup alone, they are able to determine which of multiple possible responses to make in response to their environment.
Despite having no motors, batteries, circuits or processors of any kind, they can switch between multiple configurations in response to pre-determined environmental cues, such as humidity or oil-based chemicals.
Using multi-material 3-D printers, the researchers can make these active structures with nested if/then logic gates, and can control the timing of each gate, allowing for complicated mechanical behaviors in response to simple changes in the environment. For example, by utilizing these principles an aquatic pollution-monitoring device could be designed to open and collect a sample only in the presence of an oil-based chemical and when the temperature is over a certain threshold.
The Penn Engineers published an open access study outlining their approach in the journal Nature Communications.
Play
Video: 
https://techxplore.com/news/2019-01-d-sm...logic.html

This artificial Venus flytrap only closes when a weight is inside and the actuator is exposed to a solvent. Structures with "embodied logic" can have even more complicated behaviors, all without motors or computers. Credit: University of Pennsylvania
The study was led by Jordan Raney, assistant professor in Penn Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Yijie Jiang, a postdoctoral researcher in his lab. Lucia Korpas, a graduate student in Raney's lab, also contributed to the study.
Raney's lab is interested in structures that are bistable, meaning they can hold one of two configurations indefinitely. It is also interested in responsive materials, which can change their shape under the correct circumstances.
These abilities aren't intrinsically related to one another, but "embodied logic" draws on both.
"Bistability is determined by geometry, whereas responsiveness comes out of the material's chemical properties," Raney says. "Our approach uses multi-material 3-D printing to bridge across these separate fields so that we can harness material responsiveness to change our structures' geometric parameters in just the right ways."

In previous work, Raney and colleagues had demonstrated how to 3-D print bistable lattices of angled silicone beams. When pressed together, the beams stay locked in a buckled configuration, but can be easily pulled back into their expanded form.
Play
Play
Video: 
https://techxplore.com/news/2019-01-d-sm...logic.html


Using sequential embodied logic and two types of actuators, this box has lock that is opened by the presence of water, and a lid that is opened by the presence of a solvent. Credit: University of Pennsylvania
This bistable behavior depends almost entirely on the angle of the beams and the ratio between their width and length," Raney says. "Compressing the lattice stores elastic energy in the material. If we could controllably use the environment to alter the geometry of the beams, the structure would stop being bistable and would necessarily release its stored strain energy. You'd have an actuator that doesn't need electronics to determine if and when actuation should occur."
Shape-changing materials are common, but fine-grained control over their transformation is harder to achieve.
"Lots of materials absorb water and expand, for example, but they expand in all directions. That doesn't help us, because it means the ratio between the beams' width and length stays the same," Raney says. "We needed a way to restrict expansion to one direction only."
The researchers' solution was to infuse their 3-D-printed structures with glass or cellulose fibers, running in parallel to the length of the beams. Like carbon fiber, this inelastic skeleton prevents the beams from elongating, but allows the space between the fibers to expand, increasing the beams' width.
With this geometric control in place, more sophisticated shape-changing responses can be achieved by altering the material the beams are made of. The researchers made active structures using silicone, which absorbs oil, and hydrogels, which absorb water. Heat- and light-sensitive materials could also be incorporated, and materials responsive to even more specific stimuli could be designed.
Play
Play
Video: 
https://techxplore.com/news/2019-01-d-sm...logic.html


Embodied logic actuators store elastic energy and release it when exposed to the correct environmental stimuli. Credit: University of Pennsylvania
Changing the beams' starting length/width ratio, as well as the concentration of the stiff internal fibers, allows the researchers to produce actuators with different levels of sensitivity. And because the researchers' 3-D-printing technique allows for the use of different materials in the same print, a structure can have multiple shape-changing responses in different areas, or even arranged in a sequence.
"For example," Jiang says, "we demonstrated sequential logic by designing a box that, after exposure to a suitable solvent, can autonomously open and then close after a predefined time. We also designed an artificial Venus flytrap that can close only if a mechanical load is applied within a designated time interval, and a box that only opens if both oil and water are present."
Both the chemical and geometric elements of this embodied logic approach are scale-independent, meaning these principles could also be harnessed by structures at microscopic sizes.
"That could be useful for applications in microfluidics," Raney says. "Rather than using a solid-state sensor and microprocessor that are constantly reading what's flowing into a microfluidic chip, we could, for example, design a gate that shuts automatically if it detects a certain contaminant."
Other potential applications could include sensors in remote, harsh environments, such as deserts, mountains, or even other planets. Without a need for batteries or computers, these embodied logic sensors could remain dormant for years without human interaction, only springing into action when presented with the right environmental cue.

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Explore further
Transmitting energy in soft materials[/size]


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More information: Yijie Jiang et al, Bifurcation-based embodied logic and autonomous actuation, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08055-3
Provided by University of Pennsylvania[/size]
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
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RE: Little Shop of Horrors - by EA - 12-07-2018, 10:35 PM
RE: Little Shop of Horrors - by EA - 12-22-2018, 10:00 PM
RE: Little Shop of Horrors: A Moving Plot of an other-world's unmanned land... - by EA - 01-15-2019, 08:33 PM

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