Category archives: Materials

The Naked Brain

The Naked Brain

MaterialsNeuroscience

By Sergio Laínez

The human brain is arguably the most fascinating organ found in nature. Its complexity has been known since Santiago Ramón y Cajal pioneering work showed the central nervous system (CNS) was a contiguous neuronal network where neuron is the basic unit as opposed to the view of the brain being a single continuous network (reticulum) […]

The use of natural fluorescent proteins for studying life

The use of natural fluorescent proteins for studying life

BiochemistryBiologyMaterialsMolecular biologyNeuroscience

By Jaime de Juan Sanz

Some jellyfish species are beautifully fluorescent in the dark ocean, emitting light from different parts of their bodies in a process that is thought to help them to warn off predators. The molecular biology behind this process of glowing is possible thanks to one of the most famous proteins in molecular biology, the green fluorescent […]

Biological solutions for architectural problems

Biological solutions for architectural problems

MaterialsMechanical Engineering

By Silvia Román

Materials science is becoming more and more an interdisciplinary field in which almost every traditional subject has its say. Disciplines such as biology, medicine, computational design, architecture or even music, painting or sculpture converge on this open-minded host. As a result, new inspiring research is coming from so many different fronts, brought together by their […]

Sieving at the nanoscale: desalination of seawater through nanoporous graphene

Sieving at the nanoscale: desalination of seawater through nanoporous graphene

MaterialsPhysics

By Silvia Román

Perhaps the most repeated words in the last few years when talking about graphene – since scientists Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for their groundbreaking experiments – are “the material of the future”. There are some risks regarding so many expectations about everything related to materials science, since […]

Stuck like a gecko

Stuck like a gecko

BiologyMaterials

By Silvia Román

We all know the story of that Swiss engineer who came up with the hoop-and-loop fastener system (also known under the brand name Velcro ) just by paying attention to the burdock burrs stuck in his clothes and his dog’s fur after a walk in the Alps. When he put these burrs under the microscope […]

Bamboo bikes are better for your buttocks

Bamboo bikes are better for your buttocks

MaterialsMechanical EngineeringPhysics

By Carlos Casanueva

Bicycles are usually regarded as the most sustainable mean of transport for urban environments. Now, when talking about sustainability, there are usually two different discussions: on the one hand, there is energy sustainability, as the fossil fuels won’t last forever and their secondary products are quite unhealthy. Bikes, being powered by people, fully comply with […]