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NEWS RELEASES - via EurekAlert!

Young toddlers may learn more from interactive than noninteractive media

( Society for Research in Child Development) Preschoolers can learn from educational television, but younger toddlers may learn more from interactive digital media (such as video chats and touchscreen mobile apps) than from TV and videos alone, which don't require them to interact. That's the conclusion of a new article in the journal Child Development Perspectives that also notes that not all children learn to the same degree from these media.

What can snakes teach us about engineering friction?

( Drexel University) If you want to know how to make a sneaker with better traction, just ask a snake. That's the theory driving the research of Hisham Abdel-Aal, PhD, an associate teaching professor from Drexel University's College of Engineering who is studying snake skin to help engineers improve the design of textured surfaces, such as engine cylinder liners, prosthetic joints - and yes, maybe even footwear.

Soft machines

( University of California - Santa Barbara) In the world of robotics, soft robots are the new kids on the block. The unique capabilities of these automata are to bend, deform, stretch, twist or squeeze in all the ways that conventional rigid robots cannot.Today, it is easy to envision a world in which humans and robots collaborate -- in close proximity -- in many realms. Emerging soft robots may help to ensure that this can be done safely, and in a way that syncs to human environments or even interfaces with humans themselves.

New NIST roadmap charts path to reduced fire hazards from materials

( National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) Don't use flammable materials and you won't have fires. Good idea but not very practical or realistic. Better option: reduce the flammability of numerous materials and make more fire-safe products through scientific study directed by a new research roadmap published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Flexible, highly efficient multimodal energy harvesting

( Penn State) A 10-fold increase in the ability to harvest mechanical and thermal energy over standard piezoelectric composites may be possible using a piezoelectric ceramic foam supported by a flexible polymer support, according to Penn State researchers.

Montana State laser technology could help Yellowstone battle invasive trout

( Montana State University) A laser-based sensor developed by electrical engineering professor Joe Shaw has been shown to be effective at locating non-native lake trout, which Yellowstone National Park managers remove in an attempt to reverse the decline of native cutthroat trout.

Smog laid bare: Precise analysis of the composition of particulate matter

( Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences) Smog is a problem. But the knowledge about its constituents -- no longer. Researchers from several leading Warsaw scientific institutions have joined forces and developed a new, extremely precise method for the chemical analysis of suspended particulate matter. The method, easily adaptable in many modern laboratories, not only determines the chemical composition of compounds, but even recognizes changes in the spatial distribution of atoms in molecules.

Raising the heat to lower the cost of solar energy

( DOE/Sandia National Laboratories) Sandia National Laboratories will receive $10.5 million from the Department of Energy to research and design a cheaper and more efficient solar energy system.

Ice cream funds research showing new strategy against thyroid cancer

( University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus) University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows that stereotactic body radiation (SBRT) may be better against anaplastic thyroid cancer, and with fewer side effects.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Sagar's landfall

( NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The final bulletin on Tropical Cyclone Sagar was issued at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on May 19. By that time, Sagar had made landfall in Somalia. NASA's Terra satellite captured an infrared image of the storm as it was making landfall.

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