Lake of the Woods, United States
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News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials. "Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products," explained Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. "They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light." Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It's beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we're watching television and we move to a new seat." The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung's team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices. As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology. Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated. "These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements - many of which are toxic - in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung said.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

RICHFIELD, Ohio, Dec. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- National Interstate Insurance Company is pleased to announce the promotion of George Skuggen to Senior Vice President and the hiring of Steve Blankenship as Vice President, Passenger Transportation.    In his new role, Mr. Skuggen will oversee National Interstate’s Truck and Environmental, National Accounts and Passenger Transportation products. Mr. Skuggen previously served as National Interstate’s Vice President of Truck and Environmental. Prior to joining National Interstate, he held key leadership positions at several insurance companies including Westfield, CNA and Progressive. Mr. Skuggen earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University. In addition, he holds a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. Mr. Blankenship will oversee all passenger transportation insurance products while utilizing his extensive underwriting background to uncover additional business opportunities. Mr. Blankenship has over 17 years of industry experience, most recently serving in a management role for AIG. Mr. Blankenship graduated from The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management and is also a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Certified Risk Manager (CRM) and Certified Workers’ Compensation Advisor (CWCA) An Insurance Experience Built Around You National Interstate Insurance Company is a specialty property and casualty insurance company with a niche orientation and focus on the transportation industry. We differentiate ourselves by offering insurance products and services designed to meet the unique needs of our customers. Products include insurance for passenger, moving and storage, and truck transportation companies with an emphasis on alternative risk transfer, or captive, insurance programs. National Interstate and its insurance subsidiaries, which include Vanliner Insurance Company and Triumphe Casualty Company are rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Founded in 1989, we are headquartered in Richfield, Ohio with operations in Kapolei, Hawaii and Fenton, Missouri. National Interstate is a member of Great American Insurance Group. The members of Great American Insurance Group are subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG). AFG’s common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFG.


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Cell regeneration is the key to curing many brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and is a difficult process to dissect. However, Leah Shriver Ph.D., an assistant professor in chemistry and biology at The University of Akron, has dedicated her time and energy to find new targets to promote nervous system regeneration. Her efforts have recently been rewarded with a three year $469,000 grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) towards her research. "The stumbling block in treating multiple sclerosis is finding a way to promote repair of the damaged areas," said Shriver. "With the grant, I hope to develop new therapies that can either prevent destruction of brain cells or stimulate processes that lead to regeneration." Shriver explained that in patients with MS, their immune system attacks oligodendrocytes, cells that produce the myelin sheath, a structure that protects neurons and helps them function. The cell death contributes to the progression of MS and disability in MS patients. Shriver plans on using her grant money to study the cuprizone intoxication model, a model that helps understand multiple sclerosis by looking at mechanisms that contribute to oligodendrocyte and myelin loss in this model. The model has been used since the 1950's and researchers are still unsure how and why it works.


News Article | December 2, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

Many living things contain pigment molecules that bring color to their world, but many also exploit structural colors instead. The dazzling display of a blue jay's feathers, for instance, produce their remarkable patterns and colors through the nanoscopic characteristic of the feathers. Similarly, the blue tarantula, Poecilotheria metallica, needs no pigment to reflect light waves and creates its wonderful patina. While many such structural colors are fixed, many whether found in or on animal, vegetable or mineral are iridescent and so shift in color depending on the angle of observation; this has been a problem for designers hoping to utilize the non-toxic, vibrant and durable nature of structural colors. Now, scientists at The University of Akron, Ohio, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and Ghent University in Belgium, have succeeded in engineering nanostructures to display the same color regardless of viewing angle as is the case with the blue jay's feathers and the tarantula's metallic hue. [TA Blackledge et al, Adv Opt Mater (2016); DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600599]. The discovery could have implications for a wide range of industries including, textiles, packaging, and cosmetic industries, as well as in the world of art and beyond. The key characteristic of many natural structural colors that is different from industrially produced materials is that nature uses amorphous or irregular structures, which always give the same color whereas synthetic structures are commonly regular or patterned and so iridescent. The researchers have found that the blue tarantula has periodic structures on its hairs but despite this does not display iridescence. On closer examination, they could see that the hairs are multi-layered, and have a flower-like structure. Computer modeling of these structures allowed the team to analyze the reflection behavior but then using a nano-3D printer they could make real-life models to corroborate their simulations. They were thus able to print a flower-like nanostructure that exhibits the same color over a viewing angle of 160 degrees. This is the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural color so far achieved. It is the hierarchical nature of the structure from micro- to nano-scales that gives it homogeneous reflection intensity and precludes the color shift when viewed at different angles. Moreover, by printing a different sized "flower", the team was able to adjust the color displayed, which would make it particularly interesting for industrial applications. "This could be a key first step towards a future where structural colorants replace the toxic pigments currently used in textile, packaging, and cosmetic industries," explains Akron's Bor-Kai Hsiung. He suggests that one of the first applications might be in colorful textiles manufactured without toxic dyes and their waste products. David Bradley blogs at Sciencebase Science Blog and tweets @sciencebase, he is author of the popular science book "Deceived Wisdom".


News Article | February 9, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials. “Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products,” explains Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. “They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light.” Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It’s beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we’re watching television and we move to a new seat.” The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung’s team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices. As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology. Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated. “These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements — many of which are toxic — in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung says.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: phys.org

The development of non-iridescent structurally colored material inspired by tarantula hairs. Credit: The University of Akron Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions. This finding overturns the conventional wisdom that long-range order photonic structures are always iridescent, opening new potential to mass produce structural colors because highly ordered designs are easy to scale-up and manufacture. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung and his colleagues at UA, Ghent University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln published their research, which is featured on the cover of the January 2017 journal of Advanced Optical Materials. "Structural colors are more vibrant and durable than the pigments used in most human-made products," explained Hsiung, the lead author of this research and a Biomimicry Fellow in the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. program at The University of Akron. "They are produced by optical effects when light interacts with nanostructures that are about the same size as the wavelength of light." Think of a peacock, or a butterfly. The problem is that most structural colors are strongly iridescent, changing color when viewed from different angles. It's beautiful out in nature, but not very functional when we're watching television and we move to a new seat." The team first discovered that many vibrant blue tarantulas do not show iridescence even though the spiders use nanostructures to produce those colors. Since the spider's blue color is not iridescent, Hsiung's team suggested that the same process could be applied to make pigment replacements that never fade, as well as to help reduce glare on wide-angle viewing systems in phones, televisions and other devices. As they dug deeper, they found that the hairs of some species of blue tarantulas show a special flower-like shape that they hypothesized reduced the iridescent effect resulting from periodic structures. Then, thanks to the crowdfunding push they received earlier, they were able to test this hypothesis using a series of computer simulations and physical prototypes built using cutting-edge nano-3D printing technology. Their color produced by the 3D printed structures has a viewing angle of 160 degrees, the largest viewing angle of any synthetic structural colors demonstrated. "These structural colorants could be used as pigment replacements - many of which are toxic - in materials such as plastics, metal, textiles and paper, and for producing color for wide-angle viewing systems such as phones and televisions," Hsiung said. Explore further: Microscopic analysis of blue tarantula inspires production of nanostructures More information: Bor-Kai Hsiung et al, Structural Colors: Tarantula-Inspired Noniridescent Photonics with Long-Range Order (Advanced Optical Materials 2/2017), Advanced Optical Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1002/adom.201770008


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Wayne Homes, an Ohio-based custom homebuilder, has announced the promotion of Josh Kaluzne to Sales Manager at the Ashland Model Center, and Scott Warner to Sales Manager at the Portage Model Center. Kaluzne joined the Wayne Homes team in August of 2016 as a New Home Consultant at the Akron-Medina Model Center. “Josh has an extensive background in leadership and project management,” Jen Collinsworth, Regional Vice President of Sales, said. “He has energy, professionalism, and a drive for results. As a New Home Consultant, he has jumped in at every opportunity to help the team succeed.” Kaluzne graduated from The University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and minor in business management and currently resides in Green, OH with his wife and two children. He is excited to lead the Ashland team and use his skill and previous experience in his new management role. “I look forward to growing and learning myself, as well as leading my team to be successful,” Kaluzne said. Warner joined Wayne Homes in 2003 in the estimating department. Since then, he has held several management positions, including Estimating Manager, Product Development Manager, Field Manager, and Customer Care Technician. “Scott's knowledge and background in regard to our business makes him a perfect fit for the position,” Erin Collins, Regional Vice President of Sales, said. “He has managed several departments within Wayne Homes and is a true representation of our mission statement and core values, as recognized by his peers as October's employee of the month. Scott is passionate about providing outstanding experiences for our customers and is a natural leader.” Before Wayne Homes, Warner served in the United States Army and Army Reserves for a total of six years. Warner is looking forward to his new position with Wayne Homes. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn and experience another side of our Wayne Homes business,” Warner said. “With this position, I will be able to watch our customers’ dream take shape and be a key part in bringing their ideas to life.” For more information about Wayne Homes, or to inquire about job opportunities, visit WayneHomes.com. Wayne Homes is a custom home builder in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia (see all Model Home Centers). We offer 40 fully customizable floor plans and a team dedicated to providing the best experience in the home building industry. For more information, Ask Julie by Live Chat or call us at (866) 253-6807.


News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

New research by scientists at The University of Akron (UA) shows that a nanometer-thin layer of water between two charged surfaces exhibits ice-like tendencies that allow it to withstand pressures of hundreds of atmospheres. The discovery could lead to better ways to minimize friction in a variety of settings. Why water between two surfaces does not always simply squeeze out when placed under severe pressure had never been fully understood. The UA researchers discovered that naturally-occurring charges between two surfaces under intense pressure traps the water, and gives it ice-like qualities. It is this ice-like layer of water — occurring at room temperature — that then lessens the friction between the two surfaces. "For the first time we have a basic understanding of what happens to water under these conditions and why it keeps two surfaces apart," says Professor Ali Dhinojwala. "We had suspected something was happening at the molecular level, and now we have proof." "This discovery could lead to improved designs where low friction surfaces are critically important, such as in biomedical knee implants," says UA graduate student Nishad Dhopatkar. Graduate student Adrian Defante, who was also part of the research team, says, "the newfound properties of water might contribute to the development of more effective antimicrobial coatings, as a thin layer of water could prevent bacterial adhesion." Dhinojwala adds that the research conversely offers insight into how water might be kept away from two surfaces, which could lead to better adhesives in watery environments. The study by Dhinojwala and his team can be found in the current issue of Science Advances.


Researchers at The University of Akron have discovered that a thin layer of water (blue molecules ) between two charged surfaces composed of surfactants (green molecules) --becomes ice-like, lessening the friction between the two surfaces. Credit: The University of Akron New research by scientists at The University of Akron (UA) shows that a nanometer-thin layer of water between two charged surfaces exhibits ice-like tendencies that allow it to withstand pressures of hundreds of atmospheres. The discovery could lead to better ways to minimize friction in a variety of settings. Why water between two surfaces does not always simply squeeze out when placed under severe pressure had never been fully understood. The UA researchers discovered that naturally-occurring charges between two surfaces under intense pressure traps the water, and gives it ice-like qualities. It is this ice-like layer of water—occurring at room temperature—that then lessens the friction between the two surfaces. "For the first time we have a basic understanding of what happens to water under these conditions and why it keeps two surfaces apart," says Professor Ali Dhinojwala. "We had suspected something was happening at the molecular level, and now we have proof." "This discovery could lead to improved designs where low friction surfaces are critically important, such as in biomedical knee implants," says UA graduate student Nishad Dhopatkar. Graduate student Adrian Defante, who was also part of the research team, says "the newfound properties of water might contribute to the development of more effective antimicrobial coatings, as a thin layer of water could prevent bacterial adhesion." Dhinojwala adds that the research conversely offers insight into how water might be kept away from two surfaces, which could lead to better adhesives in watery environments. The study by Dhinojwala and his team can be found in the current issue of Science Advances. More information: N. Dhopatkar et al, Ice-like water supports hydration forces and eases sliding friction, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600763


Home > Press > University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions Abstract: New research by scientists at The University of Akron (UA) shows that a nanometer-thin layer of water between two charged surfaces exhibits ice-like tendencies that allow it to withstand pressures of hundreds of atmospheres. The discovery could lead to better ways to minimize friction in a variety of settings. Why water between two surfaces does not always simply squeeze out when placed under severe pressure had never been fully understood. The UA researchers discovered that naturally-occurring charges between two surfaces under intense pressure traps the water, and gives it ice-like qualities. It is this ice-like layer of water--occurring at room temperature--that then lessens the friction between the two surfaces. "For the first time we have a basic understanding of what happens to water under these conditions and why it keeps two surfaces apart," says Professor Ali Dhinojwala. "We had suspected something was happening at the molecular level, and now we have proof." "This discovery could lead to improved designs where low friction surfaces are critically important, such as in biomedical knee implants," says UA graduate student Nishad Dhopatkar. Graduate student Adrian Defante, who was also part of the research team, says "the newfound properties of water might contribute to the development of more effective antimicrobial coatings, as a thin layer of water could prevent bacterial adhesion." Dhinojwala adds that the research conversely offers insight into how water might be kept away from two surfaces, which could lead to better adhesives in watery environments. The study by Dhinojwala and his team can be found in the current issue of Science Advances. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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