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The fog has been named the most effective means against fires

Russian researchers have shown that the use of microdroplets of water to extinguish fires is by three and more times more effective than conventional methods. The discovery can greatly simplify the extinguishing of large forest fires. The corresponding article is published in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer.
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The authors of the new work took samples of parts of woody plants (branches with ordinary or acerose leaves) and dried them for a week under stable temperature and humidity conditions. Then the scientists set them on fire (in a laboratory) and then extinguished the fire with water spray nozzles, widely available in various shops. Researchers managed to find out that when a droplet size is between 50 and 500 micrometres, combustion stops so quickly that there is no need for a considerable amount of water to extinguish the fire. The usual amount of water required to extinguish a forest fire is 3−5 litres per square metre, but during the experiment the fire was extinguished with less than one litre per square metre, down to just 0.65 litres m2, in some of experiments.

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Russian and American scientists created a method for diagnosing intrauterine development of brain

Scientists from Novosibirsk and Tomsk (Russia) and Washington (USA) have developed a method for studying the development of the fetal’s brain at the early stages, which will allow to timely identify abnormalities leading to congenital diseases, Science in Siberia, the official publication of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) informed on Wednesday. The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.
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«Scientists from the International Tomography Centre of the SB RAS, Tomsk State University, and the University of Washington (USA) have developed a method that allows in utero assessment of the degree of myelination (that is of process of growth of myelin, protective cell membranes of nerve fibers) of the fetal’s brain at the earliest stages. It makes it possible to reveal in a timely manner deviations or delays of maturation, which underlies various congenital diseases and neurophysiological abnormalities,» the publication reported.

In order to get a diagnosis the scientists use macromolecular proton fraction mapping (MPF) — images of the content of hydrogen nuclei that make up the cell membranes. The advantage of the method lies in the fact that it can make use of the data obtained by any scanner.

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Moscow Technopark resident is the first in the world to create a universal material for 3D printing

The resident of the Moscow technopark «Caliber» has created a universal material that is suitable for printing on any 3D printer and has no analogues in the world. The portal of the Mayor and Government of Moscow informed on Wednesday.
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«The advantage of the plastic developed by our resident is not only that it is universal. The old types of plastics become too soft and sticky when heated to 40−50 degrees Celsius. The heated material adheres to metal and thus could clog the printer’s mechanism. They at 'Caliber' have changed the properties of the plastic: it is more heat-resistant now, does not become sticky at the temperature mentioned above, and therefore does not clog the details of the machine,» Mikhail Kogan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the technopark 'Caliber', is quoted by the portal as saying.

PLA-plastic is a biodegradable and thermoplastic polyester that is produced from agricultural products, such as potatoes or corn, Kogan explained. It is non-toxic and easy to dispose of.

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Skoltech scientists found the way to synthesise material harder than tungsten carbide by 50%

Chemists from Russia and China have found the possibility to synthesise a new super-hard material that is harder than tungsten carbide by 50%. The material could be used in drilling, engineering, and other fields in the future.
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«Scientists from Skoltech, under guidance of Professor Artem Oganov, used the evolutionary algorithm USPEX, developed by the latter, to predict a new material that can be synthesised at normal pressure and which can successfully compete with tungsten carbide on the two most important parameters: hardness and fracture toughness. Although the material is weaker than tungsten carbide in terms of crack resistance by 20%, it outperforms the competitor in hardness by 50%,» the report says.

The new material was a previously unknown substance — WB5, which can be easily obtained under normal conditions.

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