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British engineers create the world’s first ‘uncuttable’ material

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british engineers create the worlds first uncuttable material

A new material inspired by grapefruits and shells has been developed by British engineers and it blunt any angle grinder or drill that it comes in contact with.

It has been named Proteus after the shape-changing Greek god of the sea and is both lightweight, strong and also capable of dispersing any waterjet.

The material was developed by a team from Durham University and the Fraunhofer Institute, Germany who say it acts more like a living animal than inanimate object.

It is a ‘smart material’ that has been made from ceramic spheres that are encased in a cellular aluminium structure and could be used to create new lightweight armour.

The international research team got the idea for the new material from the tough cellular skin of the grapefruit and the fracture resistant shells of molluscs.

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30970002 8540427 image m 7 1595239539933

When cut with an angle grinder or drill, the vibrations created by the ceramic spheres inside the casing blunt the cutting disc or drill bit

It is a 'smart material' that has been made from ceramic spheres that are encased in a cellular aluminium structure and could be used to create new lightweight armour

It is a 'smart material' that has been made from ceramic spheres that are encased in a cellular aluminium structure and could be used to create new lightweight armour

It is a ‘smart material’ that has been made from ceramic spheres that are encased in a cellular aluminium structure and could be used to create new lightweight armour

The researchers say the material could also be used to make impenetrable bike locks and protective equipment in construction and maintenance.

When cut with an angle grinder or drill, the vibrations created by the ceramic spheres inside the casing blunt the cutting disc or drill bit.

The interaction between the two creates an interlocking, vibrational connection that resists the cutting tool and turns the destructive force back on itself, weakened and destroyed by its own attack.

In addition, the fine particles in the ceramics fragment hardens at the speed of the cutting tool rendering the tool useless and unable to continue cutting. 

‘The blade is gradually eroded, and eventually rendered ineffective as the force and energy of the disc or the drill is turned back on itself, and it is weakened and destroyed by its own attack,’ the team explained. 

Water jets were also found to be ineffective because the curved surfaces of the ceramic spheres widen the jet, which substantially reduces its speed and weakens its cutting capacity.

Dr Stefan Szyniszewski, Assistant Professor of Applied Mechanics, in the Department of Engineering, Durham University, said it all started with a grapefruit.

‘We were intrigued by how the cellular structure of the grapefruit and the tiled structure of mollusc shells can prevent damage to the fruit or the creatures inside, despite being made of relatively weak organic building blocks,’ he explained.

‘These natural structures informed the working principle of our metallic-ceramic material, which is based on dynamic interaction with the applied load, in contrast to passive resistance.

‘Essentially cutting our material is like cutting through a jelly filled with nuggets. If you get through the jelly you hit the nuggets and the material will vibrate in such a way that it destroys the cutting disc or drill bit.’

He said the ceramics in the flexible material are made of very fine particles that stiffen and resist anything trying to cut it. 

Abalone sea creatures are built from tiles interlinked with a biopolymer material that make them resistant to fractures, the team explained. 

As can be seen in the rear view of this material - top right - the angle grinder is unable to penetrate through the Proteus material. Researchers say it would make a good impenetrable bike lock

As can be seen in the rear view of this material - top right - the angle grinder is unable to penetrate through the Proteus material. Researchers say it would make a good impenetrable bike lock

As can be seen in the rear view of this material – top right – the angle grinder is unable to penetrate through the Proteus material. Researchers say it would make a good impenetrable bike lock

The international research team got the idea for the new material from the tough cellular skin of the grapefruit and the fracture resistant shells of molluscs

The international research team got the idea for the new material from the tough cellular skin of the grapefruit and the fracture resistant shells of molluscs

The international research team got the idea for the new material from the tough cellular skin of the grapefruit and the fracture resistant shells of molluscs

To resist the most violent forcible entry tools, organic materials such as aragonite tiles – found in mollusc shells – were replaced in the new material with industrial, alumina ceramics and an aluminium, metallic foam matrix.  

‘This material could have lots of useful and exciting applications in the security and safety industries,’ explained Dr Szyniszewski. 

‘In fact, we are not aware of any other manufactured non-cuttable material in existence as of now,’ he said.

Dr Miranda Anderson, Department of Philosophy, University of Stirling said, said the name came about because the material undergoes internal transformations. 

‘In 1605, Francis Bacon compared natural materials to Proteus who ‘ever changed shapes’ and he argued that through experimentation we can reveal the metamorphic qualities of materials,’ Anderson explained.

Dr Szyniszewski added: ‘This is what we’ve achieved with this new material and we’re excited by its potential.’

The researchers have a patent pending for their material technology and they hope to work with industry partners so it can be developed into products for the marketplace in the future.

The findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Average worker gets ‘career burnout’ at age 32 – and 59% say they do MORE hours working from home

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average worker gets career burnout at age 32 and 59 say they do more hours working from home

Long hours, extra work and the feeling of having to ‘always be on’ are making people experience career burnout by an early age of 32, a new survey reveals.

Approximately 59 percent of the respondents blamed it on working long of hours, noting the increase started when they transitioned to remote employment due to coronavirus lockdowns – some have worked an extra 59 hours in five months.

Other responses include not taking enough days off, pressure to complete more tasks and just under half of the participants dealing with burnout have quit their job because of the exhaustion.

However, the survey found that those who fall in Generation Z are already worn down because of the ‘always on’ work culture.

Long hours, extra work and the feeling of having to ‘always be on’ are making people experience career burnout by an early age of 32, a new survey reveals

Long hours, extra work and the feeling of having to ‘always be on’ are making people experience career burnout by an early age of 32, a new survey reveals

The study, commissioned by The Office Group, asked 2,000 people about their feelings towards work and what factors may play into their exhaustion.

The results show that a majority are burnout – and the average is the young age of 32.

Previous research has shown that the feeling typically starts around 35 and peaks when an individual is in their 50s – but this was before millions of Americans began working from home.

The coronavirus started making its way through the US earlier this year and by April many had transitioned from the office to their homes – and the new survey reveals it has taken a toll on some.

Approximately 58 percent of the respondents blamed it on working long of hours, noting the increase started when they transitioned to remote employment due to coronavirus lockdowns – some have worked an extra 59 hours in five months

Approximately 58 percent of the respondents blamed it on working long of hours, noting the increase started when they transitioned to remote employment due to coronavirus lockdowns – some have worked an extra 59 hours in five months

Approximately 59 percent of respondents said they are putting in more hours now than before the lockdown and one in three blamed their exhaustion on the stay-at-home protocol, StudyFinds reports.

When asked to give details about why this time has been difficult, 31 percent reported feeling obligated to burn the night oil since their office is now home.

There was also 27 percent who said they miss the socializing with colleagues.

Dr. Sarah Vohra said: ‘With almost a third of people saying lockdown has brought them closer to burnout, there is no question the pandemic has greatly impacted the nation’s collective mental health.’

‘Companies must put defenses in place and guard against elements which might cause stress and anxiety, and looking forward, they must make robust changes to ensure employees are protected, particularly during times of uncertainty.’

Along with working more hours, 39 percent of respondents blamed their exhaustion on not taking enough days off and 47 percent said the feeling stems from always having to be “on” while working.

What may come a surprise to some is that just under half of the participants said they have recently quit their job because they have been battling with burnout.

What are common signs of burnout and how can you treat it? 

Burnout is a feeling of complete exhaustion and can make you withdraw from other people and develop a cynical attitude – especially towards your work. 

Burnout can cause you to delay tasks that would have once been easy. In severe cases, burnout might make it hard for you to function at all. 

When you’ve reached the point of burnout, it’s probably going to take more than a few new holes to fix the issue. You may need to take significant steps to reduce the amount of stress you’re facing and also draw on support from other people, including health professionals. 

The Beyond Blue Support Service can help point you in the right direction. For other specific ways to cope with stresses at work, check out our Heads Up website.

You can find support services and advice for healthy ways to cope with stress here

Source: Beyond Blue 

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Orphaned chimpanzees are found to face lifelong setbacks, study reveals

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orphaned chimpanzees are found to face lifelong setbacks study reveals

A new report suggests that chimpanzees who lose their mother can face lifelong setbacks.

Scientists studying chimps in Ivory Coast’s Taї National Park found that male infants who lost their mothers, even as juveniles, had fewer offspring and were less competitive as adults.

Chimpanzees are raised almost exclusively by their mothers and stay with them until they are teenagers, a rarity in the animal world. 

The researchers believe that, even when offspring are old enough to take care of basic necessities themselves, their mothers are still teaching them advanced foraging techniques and social skills necessary to thrive.

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A new study suggests orphaned chimpanzees face lifelong setbacks, even if they were juveniles when they lost their mothers. Researchers believe chimps learn advanced foraging techniques and social skills well into their teen years

A new study suggests orphaned chimpanzees face lifelong setbacks, even if they were juveniles when they lost their mothers. Researchers believe chimps learn advanced foraging techniques and social skills well into their teen years

A new study suggests orphaned chimpanzees face lifelong setbacks, even if they were juveniles when they lost their mothers. Researchers believe chimps learn advanced foraging techniques and social skills well into their teen years

A team with the Taï Chimpanzee Project and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology kept full demographic records and collected fecal samples to determine paternity on members of three distinct communities for more than 30 years.

They found that male orphans still failed to thrive even if they lost their mother when they were juveniles.

The team, whose work was published in Science Advances, believe mother chimps teach their young valuable lessons into adolescence. 

They may know where to find the best food, said lead author Catherine Crockford, ‘and how to use tools to extract hidden and very nutritious foods, like insects, honey and nuts.’ 

Studying several communities of chimps in Ivory Coast's Taї National Park for more than 30 years, the scientists found that male orphans had fewer offspring and were less competitive as adults

Studying several communities of chimps in Ivory Coast's Taї National Park for more than 30 years, the scientists found that male orphans had fewer offspring and were less competitive as adults

Studying several communities of chimps in Ivory Coast’s Taї National Park for more than 30 years, the scientists found that male orphans had fewer offspring and were less competitive as adults

Access to more nutritious food may be why chimps and other great apes have relatively larger brains than other primates. 

WHO’S SMARTER, A CHILD OR A CHIMP? 

Most children surpass the intelligence levels of chimpanzees before they reach four years old.

A study conducted by Australian researchers in June 2017 tested children for foresight, which is said to distinguish humans from animals.

The experiment saw researchers drop a grape through the top of a vertical plastic Y-tube.

They then monitored the reactions of a child and chimpanzee in their efforts to grab the grape at the other end, before it hit the floor.

Because there were two possible ways the grape could exit the pipe, researchers looked at the strategies the children and chimpanzees used to predict where the grape would go.

The apes and the two-year-olds only covered a single hole with their hands when tested.

But by four years of age, the children had developed to a level where they knew how to forecast the outcome.

They covered the holes with both hands, catching whatever was dropped through every time.

 

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‘Offspring gradually learn these skills through their infant and juvenile years,’ Crockford said.

‘We can speculate that one reason offspring continue to travel and feed close to their mothers every day until they are teenagers, is that watching their mothers helps them to learn.’

Co-author Roman Wittig speculates mothers might be passing on social skills rather than survival tips.

‘Again a bit like humans, chimpanzees live in a complex social world of alliances and competition. It might be that they learn through watching their mothers when to build alliances and when to fight.’

There is good news for orphaned chimps, though.

In January another study from the Planck Institute found more than a dozen orphaned chimpanzees in the Tai Forest had been adopted by unrelated members of their community.

Both males and females devoted large amounts of time and resources to protecting the young, seemingly in a show of chimpanzee altruism.

‘Some adoptions of orphans by unrelated adults lasted for years and imply extensive care towards the orphans,’ Planck Institute researcher Christophe Boesch told Live Science

‘This includes being permanently associated with the orphan, waiting for it during travel, providing protection in conflicts and sharing food with the orphan.’

Boesch said he was particularly surprised to see males involved in rearing the adopted infants, since parenting is the purview of females.

‘Some of these adult males go really far in adopting a motherly role, carrying the baby on their back, sharing a nest, helping babies to climb trees, really caring a lot.’

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Coronavirus: Alarming video reveals virus-laden particles created by singing

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coronavirus alarming video reveals virus laden particles created by singing

Researchers in Australia believe singing, especially in a choir, could spread coronavirus via airborne droplets. 

The findings come from a slow-motion video with special LED lighting which shows how otherwise invisible particles shoot from the mouth of a singer. 

During an experiment, a person was asked to sing a popular scale and some sounds, such as ‘do’, ‘fa’ and ‘ti’, forced particles out at up to six metres a second (13 mph). 

More than half of droplets produced by coughing travel at this speed, or faster, while only 15 per cent of particles created by talking travel at this pace.   

Researchers suggest that extra precautions should be taken to mitigate against the extra dangers posed by group singing. 

This includes rehearsals with fewer people, wearing face coverings while singing and extreme social distancing.

During an experiment, a person was asked to sing a popular scale and some sounds, such as ‘do’, ‘fa’ and ‘ti’, forced particles out at up to six metres a second (13 mph)

During an experiment, a person was asked to sing a popular scale and some sounds, such as ‘do’, ‘fa’ and ‘ti’, forced particles out at up to six metres a second (13 mph)

During an experiment, a person was asked to sing a popular scale and some sounds, such as ‘do’, ‘fa’ and ‘ti’, forced particles out at up to six metres a second (13 mph) 

A recent piece of research found the amount of particles produced is the same, but did not account for speed. 

This finding led researchers to believe singing was just as risky as talking, but the new research indicates singing poses extra risks. 

For example, the quantity of particles produced when singing could saturate the air inside a room, making social distancing pointless. 

A study from the university of New South Wales, Sydney, found the majority of particles produced during singing travel at less than 0.5 m/s.

However, they are spewed in all directions and are likely to not settle and drift on air currents. 

In a room with air conditioning or a fan this would see the infectious particles stay airborne for long periods of time, travelling vast distances.  

For the study, the singer remained at a relatively subdued sound range of between 66 and 72 decibels.

Singing in a choir has been heavily linked to previous superspreader events. Outbreaks at choirs in Berlin, Amsterdam and Washington were so severe that 75.6 per cent, 78.5 per cent and 86.9 per cent of people in attendance tested positive for COVID-19, respectively (stock)

Singing in a choir has been heavily linked to previous superspreader events. Outbreaks at choirs in Berlin, Amsterdam and Washington were so severe that 75.6 per cent, 78.5 per cent and 86.9 per cent of people in attendance tested positive for COVID-19, respectively (stock)

Singing in a choir has been heavily linked to previous superspreader events. Outbreaks at choirs in Berlin, Amsterdam and Washington were so severe that 75.6 per cent, 78.5 per cent and 86.9 per cent of people in attendance tested positive for COVID-19, respectively (stock)

Researchers in Australia believe singing, especially in a choir, could spread coronavirus via airborne droplets. The findings come from a slow-motion video with LED lighting which shows how invisible particles shoot from the mouth of a singer (pictured, diagram of the set-up)

Researchers in Australia believe singing, especially in a choir, could spread coronavirus via airborne droplets. The findings come from a slow-motion video with LED lighting which shows how invisible particles shoot from the mouth of a singer (pictured, diagram of the set-up)

Researchers in Australia believe singing, especially in a choir, could spread coronavirus via airborne droplets. The findings come from a slow-motion video with LED lighting which shows how invisible particles shoot from the mouth of a singer (pictured, diagram of the set-up)

‘It is also worth noting that some degree of variability is expected in the number of droplets expelled between different individuals, and due to other parameters, such as loudness, notes, consonants, and duration of each note sung,’ the researchers say in the study, published today in Journal of Infectious Diseases. 

Singing in a choir has been heavily linked to previous superspreader events. 

Outbreaks at choirs in Berlin, Amsterdam and Washington were so severe that 75.6 per cent, 78.5 per cent and 86.9 per cent of people in attendance tested positive for COVID-19, respectively.  

‘The data presented combined with high infection rate among the choir members points towards the possibility of airborne spread of COVID-19 during singing events,’ the researchers write.  

The study is the latest in a string of scientific papers investigating the danger singing poses in regard to the transmission of Covid-19.

Researchers at Lund University, Sweden studied the amount of particles emitted when we sing and found loud and consonant-rich tunes, such as Happy Birthday, spread a lot droplets into the surrounding air.  

SAGE WARNED GOVERNMENT ABOUT SINGING DURING CRISIS 

The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) earmarked live musical performances and choirs were one of the more risky events for Covid.

This was why music venues, indoor theatres and concerts were the very last amenities to reopen following lockdown.

In a report submitted sometime in June, SAGE said it had reviewed a number of international studies and found evidence to suggest that singing can produce more aerosols, or droplet nuclei, than normal talking or breathing.

Covid-19 is spread through respiratory secretions, which can take the form of large droplets or smaller aerosols.

These are either inhaled directly or transferred by the hands from surfaces where they have been deposited.

The document says that the smaller the particle, the further it can advance into the respiratory tract.

The authors said: ‘There exists some evidence to suggest that singing can produce more aerosols than normal talking or breathing; it may be more akin to a cough.

‘Singing for any appreciable amount of time therefore may present a risk for the creation of infectious aerosols and allow for infection transmission.’ 

The authors added: ”Therefore, at the present time the safest way for groups to sing together is to i) sing outside, ii) use the 2m rule to socially distance and iii) avoid face-to-face positioning.’

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