UCI materials scientists discover design secrets of nearly indestructible insect

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 21, 2020 – With one of the more awe-inspiring names in the animal kingdom, the diabolical ironclad beetle is one formidable insect. Birds, lizards and rodents frequently try to make a meal of it but seldom succeed. Run over it with a car, and the critter lives on. The beetle’s survival depends on two key factors: its ability to convincingly play dead and an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the biological world.

Read more

UCI materials scientists study a sea creature that packs a powerful punch

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 17, 2020 – University of California, Irvine materials scientists are learning about resilience from the mantis shrimp. The ancient crustaceans are armed with two hammerlike raptorial appendages called dactyl clubs that they use to bludgeon and smash their prey. These fists, able to accelerate from the body at over 50 mph, deliver powerful blows yet appear undamaged afterward.

Read more

Foundation donates $1 million to UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Irvine, Calif., June 24, 2020 – The Lincoln Dynamic Foundation, created by University of California, Irvine alumnus John D. Lincoln, has made a $1 million gift to the university’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering to establish the World Institute for Sustainable Development of Materials. The new institute will advance interdisciplinary research, education and knowledge translation in an effort to innovate, evaluate and adopt technologies that utilize safer, nontoxic chemicals and materials, with the goal of mitigating environmental impacts.

Read more

Six Argonne researchers receive DOE Early Career Research Program awards

Argonne scientists Michael Bishof, Maria Chan, Marco Govini, Alessandro Lovato, Bogdan Nicolae and Stefan Wild have received funding for their research as part of DOE’s Early Career Research Program.

Read more

Making a Material World Better, Faster Now: Q&A With Materials Project Director Kristin Persson

Berkeley Lab’s Kristin Persson shares her thoughts on what inspired her to launch the Materials Project online database, the future of materials research and machine learning, and how she found her own way into a STEM career.

Read more

Microorganisms in parched regions extract needed water from colonized rocks

Irvine, Calif., May 4, 2020 – In Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth, microorganisms are able to eke out an existence by extracting water from the very rocks they colonize. Through work in the field and laboratory experiments, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, as well as Johns Hopkins University and UC Riverside, gained an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms by which some cyanobacteria survive in harsh surroundings.

Read more

Nanodevices for the brain could thwart formation of Alzheimer’s plaques

Researchers designed a nanodevice with the potential to prevent peptides from forming dangerous plaques in the brain in order to halt development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more

UCI-led team designs carbon nanostructure stronger than diamonds

Irvine, Calif., April 13, 2020 – Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have architecturally designed plate-nanolattices – nanometer-sized carbon structures – that are stronger than diamonds as a ratio of strength to density. In a recent study in Nature Communications, the scientists report success in conceptualizing and fabricating the material, which consists of closely connected, closed-cell plates instead of the cylindrical trusses common in such structures over the past few decades.

Read more