Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Science: The revolutionary natural material developed in Finland to replace plastic.

One of the great challenges of materials engineering has been to create a product that is strong and extensible at the same time.

Until now, increasing the rigidity of a material meant reducing its extensibility, and vice versa.

However, researchers in Finland have solved the problem by drawing inspiration from nature and biological ingredients to create a truly revolutionary product.

t is a unique combination of materials that exceeds firmness, resistance and extensibility to current synthetic and natural products and that, in addition, is biodegradable.

Wood and cobweb
Technicians and engineers from the Aalto University and the VTT Technical Research Center in Finland, adhered wood cellulose fibers to the cobweb silk protein.

Cobweb silk is one of the most flexible and resistant natural products.

The result is a very firm, elastic and resistant material that could well replace plastic in multiple uses.

Its future applications include biologically based compounds, medical products, surgical fibers, the textile industry, packaging and wrapping.

According to Professor Markus Linder, from Aalto University, nature offers excellent raw materials that are readily available for the development of new materials, such as rigid cellulose and the resistant and flexible silk that were used in the research.

The advantage of both materials is that, contrary to plastic, they are biodegradable and do not harm the environment or constitute a potential health risk such as microplastics.

"Our researchers only need to be able to reproduce these natural properties," said Professor Linder, who also led the research.

materials and methods
One of the natural products they used came from birch, an abundant tree in the forests of northern Europe, which they combined with synthetically cloned silk protein.

The birch (abedul) is an abundant tree in northern Europe.

Wood pulp and silk are biopolymers that demonstrate great potential as future sustainable materials.

They also have properties that complement each other and are suitable for combining in composite materials where cellulose forms the stiffening element and silk the resistant matrix.

"We use birch pulp, disintegrated to obtain nano fibrils and we align them in the form of a firm scaffold. At the same time, we infiltrate that structure with an adhesive web of cobweb silk that is soft and dissipates energy," explained Pezhman Mohammadi, scientist VTT researcher.

Silk is a natural product that is secreted by animals like silkworms and that is also found in cobwebs.

The secret of the web's resistance
However, the silk used by researchers at the University of Aalto was not actually taken from the secretions of these invertebrates but produced by scientists combining bacteria and synthetic DNA.

"As we know the structure of DNA, we can copy it and use it to make silk protein molecules that are chemically similar to those found in the threads of a web," Linder said. "The DNA contains all this information."

The researchers measured the resistance of various combinations of the material.

New compounds
The researchers added that their work illustrates the new and versatile possibilities of protein engineering.

"In the future, we could manufacture similar compounds with slightly different basic materials and achieve a collection of products with different characteristics for other applications," Pezhman Mohammadi said.

"Currently, we are working on the production of new composite materials such as implants, impact resistant objects and other products," the scientist concluded.

The research project is part of a work developed by the Center for Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials (Hyber). (I)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Video: Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Press Release: Samsung Galaxy Fold now available.

Samsung Electronics today announced the launch of the Galaxy Fold—a completely new category of mobile technology—available in Korea on September 6, followed by select countries including France, Germany, Singapore, U.K., U.S., and more, in Cosmos Black and Space Silver. With a 5G-ready option in select countries, consumers will be able to unfold the future on the fastest network speeds available.

Galaxy Fold was designed to inspire new experiences: When closed, you can access your essentials on the cover display comfortably with one hand, and when opened, you can explore new ways to multitask, watch videos, play games, and more, on its immersive 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display.1

During the past several months, Samsung has been refining the Galaxy Fold to ensure it delivers the best possible experience. Not only we improved the Galaxy Fold’s design and construction, but also took the time to rethink the entire consumer journey.

“The category-defining Galaxy Fold is a device that defies the barriers of traditional smartphone design. Now, we’re excited to release this pioneering mobile technology, and allow consumers to experience it for themselves,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “Consumers have responded positively to larger screens, and the Galaxy Fold’s revolutionary form factor offers a bigger, more immersive screen without sacrificing portability. This is what we call innovation of new mobile experience in action.”

First-of-its-Kind User Experience

The Galaxy Fold combines users’ favorite smartphone and tablet features to deliver a new kind of mobile device and a first-of-its-kind user experience—from a new form factor and materials to its unique foldable UX, versatile camera and premium performance. Samsung worked alongside partners to create an entirely new UX that will change the way we use our mobile devices and takes full advantage of the foldable design with its cover and main displays. As a result, the device opens up new possibilities for users.

The Galaxy Fold transforms how you capture, share, and edit mobile content. When closed, you can shoot a quick video, and then simply open the device to watch it on a larger screen—with App Continuity, the video seamlessly transitions from the cover display to the main display.2 With Multi-Active Window, you can run multiple apps at once in real-time and effectively multitask: Edit footage, browse through the photo gallery for still shots, and read emails from friends and co-workers, all at the same time.3

With a 5G-ready option, Galaxy Fold users in select markets can take full advantage of their carriers’ fastest speeds. The Galaxy Fold 5G harnesses the full power of next-generation connectivity for streaming and downloading high-resolution videos and other content, as well as graphics-heavy games, at super-charged speeds.4 By allowing us to do more with the 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, the Galaxy Fold is changing the way we consume content and multitask.5

Every Galaxy Fold comes with exclusive access to specialized customer care services – including one-on-one access to Samsung experts, and a 24/7 support hub online or over the phone. Samsung will elaborate on plans in each market to ensure every aspect of the Galaxy Fold experience is as extraordinary as the device itself.

For more information about Galaxy Fold, please visit or


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Samsung Re-introduces the Galaxy Fold. Videos. To ship pre-orders on September 11.

Samsung is said to re-introduce the Galaxy Fold shipping pre-orders on September 11th. That will happen in South Korea where the SK carrier will delivery the devices of the pre-orders. But this Friday Samsung may deliver the unlocked version, first.

However, Samsung will officially announce the availability of the Galaxy Fold at IFA 2019 on  September 6.

The Fold will come in black, silver, green, and blue, and is priced at KRW 2.39 million (approximately $1,965) in Korea. The green and blue models have two additional choices for the color of the hinge: silver and gold. 

In the US, the Galaxy Fold might become available on September 27, as per the latest leak from renowned Evan Blass (aka @evleaks).


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