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Spring 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


A Little Bird Told Them

Researchers draw inspiration from unlikely source in design of water-collection device 

close up of hinged, non-parallel glass plates

Our feathered friends could hold the key to providing relief for regions plagued by drought.

Mechanical and aerospace engineering Professor Cheng Luo and Ph.D. candidate Xin Heng have designed a device based on a shorebird’s beak that can accumulate water from fog and dew. They use hinged, non-parallel glass plates that are about 26 centimeters long by 10 centimeters wide to mimic the beak’s shape. This design forces the condensation to the point where the two glass plates meet, producing about four tablespoons of water in a couple of hours. The water is then pumped through a channel, and the process repeated.

“If this method could be mass-produced,” Dr. Luo says, “it could be used anywhere in the world that fog or dew exists.”

More articles from this issue

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