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AM signals: crash simulation, diminished reality suit

Jan. 8, 2016

Want to feel 40 years older? You might try out the R70i Age Suit, an exoskeleton with Oculus virtual-reality visor made by Applied Minds LLC for insurance company Genworth Financial. Geoffrey A. Fowler at the Wall Street Journal tried out the suit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and experienced macro degeneration, tinnitus, and arthritis. Genworth says it hopes to give caregivers a better understanding of what their patients experience. Unfortunately, I am not at CES, but this diminished-reality exhibit is one I’m happy to miss.

Steven Sheng of General Motors and Xinran Xiao of Michigan State University, work with crash simulations involving lightweight automotive materials. In an interview at Automotive Testing Technology International, they discuss improving the accuracy of simulation results and composite material model requirements for different vehicle structures. They will present their research at the Modeling, Simulation & Crash Safety Congress, which takes places January 26-27 in Detroit.

Caltech chemistry professor Theo Agapie and graduate student Joshua Buss have developed a model system to demonstrate the initial steps of the conversion of CO to hydrocarbons. The findings, published as an advanced online publication for the journal Nature on December 21, 2015 (and appearing in print on January 7, 2016), provide a foundation for the development of technologies that may one day help minimize the accumulation of the greenhouse gas CO2 by converting it back into fuel. As reported at Newswise, Agapie said, “To our knowledge, this is the first example of a well-defined reaction that can take two carbon monoxide molecules and convert them into a metal-free ethynol derivative….”

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