Liquid Detectives:

How Blood, Fire and 3D Are Related To Water?

The search for eternal life could never be stopped. It aroused the minds of medieval alchemists, and it still drives modern scientists to the astonishing inventions. The experiments with cloning living creatures are partially illegal, but no one would ever stop you from creation of artificial body parts or liquids, like blood. Success! Here now, we have it. If blood is too messy for you, go for a fire extracted from water. Or for a 3D-printed details that assemble with the help of water!

On the blood. Researchers from the University of Cluj-Napoka based in Romania announced recently that they have created an artificial blood based on water. This is not the first experiment aimed to create a surrogate blood, but the most successful to date. Lead researcher, Dr. Radu Silaghi-Dumitrescu, noticed that his colleagues from other research institutions could not boast successful experiments: their blood did not pass the mechanical and chemical tests, and therefore was not suitable for transfusion. New blood contains water, various types of salts and protein hemerythrin – here is the main secret. By the way, this protein was extracted from ship worms.

NB: artificial blood was invented in Romania, home country of Dracula!

On the fire. Safeflame is the new way of gas welding that runs on water. Such devices have already come up before, but it is a lot cheaper. The device splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen and then burns them back together on the burner of the welding machine. As you might have already guessed, reaction byproduct is water again. Safeflame is not really hot, so it won't burn the operator. A large team of scientists made the device affordable: they developed new membranes with more efficient performance and are permanently working on a new catalyst with less platinum.

Safeflame is really safe and cool – in all ways, including literal one

On time. 3D printing technology is still uncommon to most of us, as researchers have come up with a new way to do it – the 4D. Scientists suggest that in the foreseeable future the fourth dimension involved in the process of 3D modeling would be time. Jerry Qi, associate professor of the University of Colorado invented the technology , in which the object is assembled into a predictable shape after the flat details are printed out and put into interaction with some simple and abundant substance – like water. Doctor Qi and his team created a template for a cube made of plastic with embedded polymer filaments with shape memory. Whenever it hits the water, it turns into a 3D cube by itself.

Doctor Jerry Qi and his invention, the self-assembling cube

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