2020 Media Watch Archives

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Daily Pilot

Around Town

Daily Pilot -
Kyriacos Athanasiou, a UC Irvine distinguished professor of biomedical engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. … Athanasiou specializes in developing advanced engineered tissues. He is known for making implants that help cartilage heal and repair itself, the university said in a news release Thursday. The scaffolds provided the first cartilage implant to treat joint defects and have been used as bone and dental fillers. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.] Read More
Best Life

You can't kill this bug, even if you run over it with your car

Best Life -
Meet the diabolical ironclad beetle (pretty boss name, if you ask us). It's only about two centimeters long, but built like a tiny top-0f-the-line military tank—capable of surviving being run over by your car, according to an Oct. 2020 study published in the journal Nature. Yes, this is an actual scientific fact—and one that could lead to groundbreaking engineering innovations. The new study, led by engineers from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Purdue University, found that this particular beetle can withstand an applied force of about 150 newtons—roughly 39,000 times its body weight—before the exoskeleton of the insect begins to fracture. Read More
Scientific American

This beetle's stab-proof exoskeleton makes it almost indestructible

Scientific American -
To understand what makes diabolical ironclad beetles so resilient, materials scientist David Kisailus at the University of California, Irvine, and his collaborators imaged the creature using various techniques, including micro computed tomography scans using an X-ray synchrotron, a particle accelerator that produces bright beams of X-ray energy. Read More
Physics World

Uncrushable beetle reveals its strengths to scientists

Physics World -
David Kisailus at the University of California, Irvine and colleagues found that interlocking sutures in the exoskeletons of the insects allowed them to stiffen when under stress. The team then created artificial materials inspired by this design – which could allow engineers to develop better techniques for fastening objects together. Read More
Army Times

Uncrushable beetle reveals its strengths to scientists

Army Times -
The beetle study is part of an $8 million project funded by the U.S. Air Force to explore how the biology of creatures can provide solutions to military technological challenges. “We’re trying to go beyond what nature has done,” said David Kisailus, a materials scientist and engineer at the University of California, Irvine, and co-author of a recently published study on the beetle in the journal “Nature.” Read More
PBS NewsHour

Can’t crush this: Beetle armor gives clues to tougher planes

PBS Newshour (AP) -
The beetle study is part of an $8 million project funded by the U.S. Air Force to explore how the biology of creatures such as mantis shrimp and bighorn sheep could help develop impact-resistant materials. “We’re trying to go beyond what nature has done,” said study co-author David Kisailus, a materials scientist and engineer at the University of California, Irvine. Read More
Smithsonian Magazine

The secrets of the diabolical ironclad beetle’s almost unsquishable strength

Smithsonian Magazine -
While many beetles are rounded on top, the diabolical ironclad is flat and low to the ground, University of California, Irvine, materials scientist David Kisailus tells Science News’ Maria Temming. That makes it hard to squish, since the pressure is distributed over the whole shell. Compression experiments conducted by Kisailus and colleagues showed that the exoskeleton held up against up to the crushing force of 39,000 times the beetle’s body weight. Read More
Axios

How studying a nearly indestructible beetle could improve aircraft construction

Axios -
The diabolical ironclad beetle can withstand enormous forces, protecting it from predators — and potentially providing scientists with new designs for materials. … Three different types of supports on the sides of the beetle, where the elytra and the shell on the insect's underside meet, allow the beetle to be compliant so it can squeeze into rocks without crushing its organs, says David Kisailus, a [UCI] materials scientist …. Read More
NewScientist

Near-uncrushable beetle's exoskeleton could inspire tough structures

New Scientist -
“You can run these things over with a car and they don’t die,” says David Kisailus at the University of California, Irvine. … Kisailus hopes that understanding the diabolical ironclad beetle’s uniquely tough structure will help inform the design of stronger components for use in building lighter aircraft, resulting in planes that consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide. “No need to reinvent the wheel, just figure out what nature’s done,” he says. Read More
Interesting Engineering

This uncrushable beetle withstands 39,000 times of its weight

Interesting Engineering -
The team, led by David Kisailus, used microscopy, spectroscopy, and mechanical testing to identify what is hidden beneath this unique exoskeleton. And researchers' plan was to find out if the exoskeleton had the potential to be mixed with different materials, such as plastics and metal. They produced joints out of metal and composites based on the ones they observed in the beetle. Read More

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