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Purdue University

Zapping Fruits and Vegetables With Electricity Could Kill Bacteria Instantly

A Purdue University study may one day make washing fruits and vegetables after you take them out of the plastic bag a thing of the past. According to research conducted by food science professor Kevin Keener, using a short sharp shock can turn the gasses inside of packaged fruits and vegetables into a plasma that can kill microbes like e. coli and salmonella in just seconds, making them safe and ready to eat right out of the bag.

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New Software Finds Your 3D Prints’ Flaws, Automatically Reinforces Them

Being able to print your own gadgets, gears, and gizmos at home from a 3D printer has the potential to revolutionize DIY culture and bring it into the mainstream. However, the technique, popularized by MakerBot Industries and others, still has flaws. For one thing, the models created by 3D printers, while impressive, are less than structurally sophisticated. They don't handle high levels of stress very well, and the points where a model is most likely to be gripped or push against another object can weaken and break. A new piece of software from Purdue University and Adobe could solve that trouble by automatically scanning designs for 3D models for structural weak points and then reinforcing them as the model prints.

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Students Set Rube Goldberg World Record, Water Flower

The 2011 Rube Goldberg competition tasked college students to create an overly complex device in the spirit of the famous cartoonists that completes an everyday task. This year, students were challenged to water a flower in as many steps as possible. The team from Purdue University did not win the competition--that honor went to the team at UW-Stout--but they beat the previous Rube Goldberg world record with a total of 244 steps when they got their machine up and running after the competition ended. The device shows the entirety of existence -- from the big bang to the forthcoming apocalypse -- and has many a bouncing ball bearing, and mechanized madness along the way. Congratulations to the winning team, and your prizes are, I'm sure, in the mail. Unfortunately, the delivery process will take well over 200 steps, so don't hold your breath. (via Neatorama)

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