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This California blackeye pea plant is shown growing over a three-week period in soil enriched with nontoxic, biodegradable plastic made of shrimp shells. 
Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering made the bioplastic so it can be used to manufacture cell phones, toys and in any other product in which regular plastics are used. Mixing in waste from wood processing called wood flour to prevent shrinkage, the team found that the material could be used in casting and injection-molding processes to make large 3-D objects. It also breaks down in two weeks and releases valuable nutrients into soil when it does, they say.[[MORE]]
Their work on the bioplastic was published at the end of February in the journal Macromolecular Materials & Engineering.
The chitosan that goes into making the bioplastic is a form of chitin, the second most abundant organic material on Earth. It is present in fungi and insect and crustacean shells.
"There is an urgent need in many industries for sustainable materials that can be mass produced," said Dr. Don Ingber, the institute’s founding director, in a statement. “Our scalable manufacturing method shows that chitosan, which is readily available and inexpensive, can serve as a viable bioplastic that could potentially be used instead of conventional plastics for numerous industrial applications.”

This California blackeye pea plant is shown growing over a three-week period in soil enriched with nontoxic, biodegradable plastic made of shrimp shells. 

Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering made the bioplastic so it can be used to manufacture cell phones, toys and in any other product in which regular plastics are used. Mixing in waste from wood processing called wood flour to prevent shrinkage, the team found that the material could be used in casting and injection-molding processes to make large 3-D objects. It also breaks down in two weeks and releases valuable nutrients into soil when it does, they say.

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A Window Into Early Car Making

by Txchnologist staff

These images all come from the online exhibit, “Changing Face of the Auto Industry,” presented by Wayne State University. Through these images, viewers can get a glimpse back into the nascent days of assembly-line automobile manufacturing.

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Excursions in Science!

by Txchnologist Staff

These gifs come from a 1935 educational film made by GE called Excursions in Science. The company presented some of the science and technology its researchers were developing, along with the era’s state-of-the-art manufacturing processes. 

At top, researchers present toothless gears, which are magnetic wheels that spin based on attraction and repulsion at their poles. The display showed off a new alloy that could be magnetized in sections, a significant innovation over iron magnets. The wheel on the left has two poles. The central one has four. The right has six. Since like poles repel, the three wheels created a magnetic gear train when the first was spun.

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