Monthly Archives: December 2015

Airplane Safety System Proposes Escape Capsule for Civil Aircraft

Of all the things to come out of an engineering notebook, the escape capsule designed for civil aircraft may be the one that’s getting the most attention lately. Although there aren’t any aircraft that use this design yet, it may be the first of its kind to be a feasible solution to the problem of people dying in airplane crashes. The idea is ridiculously simple, as most great inventions are. However, the logistics of it may mean more expense than aircraft companies want to put into the safety of their passengers.

Airplane Safety System

Escape Capsule Premise

Essentially, the concept is that, with the push of a button, all passengers could be ejected from the plane at one time and never even leave their seats. The capsule itself is the seating area, and it is attached to one or more parachutes that prevent the capsule from crashing to the ground. There are also floatation devices involved, just in case the passengers have to land in a large body of water. Of course, all of this is proven in theory, but could be costly for airlines, because the engineering notebook that holds the designs makes it clear that the planes have to be built around the capsule, rather than modifying existing planes. In other words, the capsule itself is the bulk of the plane, with the area outside of it holding the engines and serving as a sort of protective shell while in flight.

Materials and Weight

The idea of using a capsule or some sort of escape pod isn’t all that new. The problem has always been finding material that could be used to create the design in a real life scenario. Airplanes are already designed to account for the weight of the passengers and fuel, and adding more weight means adjusting the overall design or even flying at lower heights. However, there has been some success with carbon-fiber, a lightweight material that could carry the passengers to safety without adding more weight to the plane than is realistic.

Burden of Expense

With all of the airplane crashes that have happened in the past decade, one would think that this would be the perfect solution for any airline that wants to promote safety. The problem is that it means not just buying new planes, but using new designs and materials, as well as reducing the amount of passengers the plane can carry. This is because the capsule takes up more space than is currently used inside of airplanes. Should airlines decide to take this route, the expense would most likely be passed on to the consumer in an already stressed economy.

Sadly, the capsule may have to stay in the engineering notebooks for now, but at least there is a potential for it to become a reality. Even airplanes have to be replaced, every now and then. Who says they can’t be replaced with a freshly designed model when the time comes? Consumers might be more willing to pay higher prices if they know there is very little risk of harm during flight.

Burden of Expense

Li-Fi: The New Wi-Fi?

We’ve all heard about Wi-Fi. But what about Li-Fi? You may not have heard much about Li-Fi before now, but that’s almost certainly about to change, now that the technology has moved out of the lab and been tested in the real world and achieved results that are leaving onlookers stunned with their success. What is Li-Fi? What impact will it have on business and consumer technology? Read on to learn more.

What Is Li-Fi?

Li-Fi is a wireless data transmission technology that sends information at high speeds through visible light communication (or VLC). Similar to Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is a way to send large amounts of data through wireless signals. Unlike Wi-Fi, lab tests for Li-Fi have been able to achieve speeds of 224 gigabits of data transmitted per second. In a recent trial held in offices in Estonia, researchers were able to achieve a real world data transmission speed of 1 GB per second. For comparison, that’s about 100 times faster than the average data transmission speed for Wi-Fi.[i]

Li-Fi was originally developed at the University of Edinburgh, by Scottish researcher Harald Haas. The technology behind Li-Fi is surprisingly simple: By flickering visible light with a wavelength between 400 and 800 terahertz in specific patterns, large amounts of data can be transmitted incredibly quickly.

If you’re having trouble conceptualizing the idea, think of it as an incredibly complex version of Morse code. In 2011, Haas was able to demonstrate that by flickering the light of a signal LED, it was possible to transmit incredibly large amounts of data almost instantly. In his tests, Haas was able to transmit more data than a cellular tower using just this method of visible light communication.

What’s the Future of Li-Fi?

As you can probably guess, Li-Fi has the potential to completely revolutionize the way we use the internet, in the same way that the change from dialup to high speed connections, and from land lines to Wi-Fi opened up a whole new world of technology and its uses. In addition to being faster (much, much faster) than Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is also more secure. Since the light used to transmit Li-Fi signals can’t pass through walls, it makes it much harder for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to networks transmitted over a Li-Fi connection.

That said, it’s premature to expect that Li-Fi will be replacing all internet connections in the near future. For one, tearing out all the Wi-Fi infrastructure that’s been installed in homes, offices, and coffee shops around the world isn’t a particularly feasible option. Secondly, as impressive as the results have been, the testing phase for Li-Fi technology is still in its infancy. Many more tests will have to be held before you start finding superfast Li-Fi connections in homes or offices.

Despite being in its early phases, organizations such as airlines, businesses, and intelligence agencies have all expressed interest in the technology.[ii] As more research is conducted, expect to start hearing about Li-Fi networks appearing in different places, working in tandem with existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.

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Li-Fi News

What is Li-Fi

The Science Behind Making the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Have you ever felt your chocolate chip cookies were lacking in flavor, texture, or some other aspect you desperately sought? Well, the truth behind making chocolate chip cookies and achieving the desired results has to do with ingredients you use, as well as science. Think of the cookie recipe as your scientific experiment and, by making slight modifications to the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, you can modify the end results.

From ooey-gooey cookies to cookies that are chewy, and everything in between, recipe modification is becoming rather popular with culinary experts. They are relying upon science and how various ingredients interact with one another to create the perfect cookie. Here are some tips and tricks you can try at home, and remember to record your perfect cookie recipe results in a scientific notebook.

Scientific Notebook

  • Freeze the cookie dough for thirty to sixty minutes before baking to get thicker, but less crispy cookies.

  • Use a quarter of a teaspoon of both baking soda and baking powder for cookies with a soft center and crispy outsides.

  • For chewy cookies, use bread flour in place of all-purpose flour.

  • Add butterscotch flavor to cookies by using three-quarters of a cup packed light brown sugar in place of the same amount of granulated sugar and light brown sugar combined.

  • For denser cookies with a rich, golden-brown look, melt the butter before adding it in with the sugar and eggs.

  • To achieve a store-bought finish, substitute shortening in place of half of the butter needed in the recipe.

  • If you like more cakey cookies, use all baking soda in the recipe and add a little bit more for puffier cookies.

  • For browner cookies, set the oven temperatures to 360 degrees instead of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, because the sugar in the cookies will caramelize.

  • Mix together one ounce of granulated sugar and one ounce of corn syrup, and add this to the recipe for more uniform cookies.

  • For a more flavorful cookie, chill the cookie dough for a minimum of twenty-four hours before baking.

One thing to remember about butter is that it changes the appearance and size of the cookies, based on how it is incorporated into the recipe. Cold butter does not spread as much at room temperature or as melted better, so the cookies will appear smaller. Modifying how eggs are used in the cookie recipe will also affect the end results. For instance, you can use all egg whites, all egg yolks and no whites, or some combination thereof. Extra egg yolks result in a fudgier cookie, while extra egg whites result in a taller cookie.

Remember to record your results and have fun while you are experimenting and working toward creating your favorite types of chocolate chip cookies. You can obtain scientific and laboratory notebooks from your cookie experiments by contacting Scientific Notebook Company today at 800-537-3028.Research Notebook




Scientists Accidently Discover Cells That Make Leukemia Cells Non-Cancerous

Scientific researchers from TSRI (The Scripps Research Institute) were attempting to engineer cells for people suffering from immune cell deficiencies and develop a new antibody therapy. Immune cell deficiencies happen when the body does not product the sufficient number of white blood cells—the cells vital for fighting infections. The scientists initially were looking for ways to create antibodies that, when applied to immature cells found in bone marrow, would transform the cells into mature cells and therefore increase the number of mature white blood cells in immune cell deficient patients.

Their work over the past few years has been successful in achieving this objective. However, what they were not expecting to discover was that a small number of the antibody induced cells transformed the immature cells into a new cell type, similar to cells normally found within the body’s nervous system. The TSRI team of scientists were wondering what applications these new cells could potentially be used for, and they decided to experiment with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) cells.

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AML is an aggressive form of leukemia which attacks and destroys the body’s myeloid cells. Myeloid cells are responsible for helping fight the spread of tissue damage, parasites, and bacterial infections. People who suffer from AML produce an excessive amount of white blood cells, and this causes problems with their body producing other types of blood cells, including myeloid cells.

The scientists took blood samples from patients who had high levels of AML cells within their blood. Next, they introduced the newly created antibody cells into the blood sample. What they discovered was astonishing: The new cells attacked and transformed the AML cells into dendritic cells, and in the process, removed the threat of leukemia. Dendritic cells are a vital type of cell that helps support the body’s immune system.

The scientists were excited by this new discovery and decided to see what would happen if they exposed the blood samples for an even longer period of time to the new antibody cells. Eventually, the new antibody cells caused the dendritic cells to mature into cells resembling those that the body naturally produces to eliminate viruses and bacterial infections from the body, as well as to attack and attempt to kill cancerous cells.

From their efforts and extensive research, the new cells were aptly named NK (natural killer) cells. The new NK cells eradicated roughly 15% of the leukemia cells within a 24 hour period, by extending the cell’s tendrils and attaching themselves directly to the cancerous leukemia cells. In addition, scientists noted the NK cells only targeted AML cells, a condition scientists refer to as fratricide. In other words, since the NK cells were created from AML cells, they were only attracted to AML cells.

Scientific researchers are hopeful to start experiments with human patients suffering from AML. Using the documentation recorded in their research notebooks, they are starting experimentation with other types of cancer cells to determine whether this discovery could be applied to other forms of cancer and be a viable form of treatment to fully cure patients of cancer.

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Research Notebook