Feb. 16th, 2009

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Diamond no longer nature's hardest material - tech - 16 February 2009 - New Scientist

What is the hardest known substance? Turns out it's lonsdaleite, which is made from carbon atoms but arranged in a hexagonal fashion. It's not even the second hardest, that title falls to wurtzite boron nitride, which also has the benefit of being more stable than diamond at high temperatures.Diamond, in fact, comes third.
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Cotton candy makes sweet blood vessel copies - tech - 13 February 2009 - New Scientist

Cornell scientists have found what may be a solution to the problem of spreading blood vessels through tissue in artificial organs. The started with cotton candy, that they noticed consisted of a tangled, capillary-like structure, and covered with the a polymer resin. They then dissolved the sugar, leaving a network of vessels about the size and shape of capillaries through which they were able to transport rat blood. The next step is to create a mold using a biodegradable resin, then line the capillaries with blood vessels cells. The mold would be coated with tissue cells that would eventually come in contact with the blood vessel cells as the resin degrades.

January 2010

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