Tag: Scientists

This is how we should build on Mars, scientists say

In order to build shelters and manufacture tools, astronauts may only need to bring one key ingredient — with minerals in the lifeless Martian soil able to do the rest, a new study published Wednesday said.

The key ingredient is chitin — a fibrous substance that is a component of cell walls in fungi, the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects, and the scales of fish and amphibians.

The material can be molded into different shapes.

Chitin could be combined with surface soil by early Martian settlers to manufacture a new material without special equipment and using little energy, researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design said.

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Bricks Alive! Scientists Create Living Concrete

The researchers bought Knox brand gelatin at a local supermarket and dissolved it in the solution with the bacteria. When they poured the mixture into molds and cooled it in a refrigerator, the gelatin formed its bonds — “just like when you make Jell-O,” Dr. Srubar said. The gelatin provided more structure, and worked with the bacteria to help the living concrete grow stronger and faster.

After about a day, the mixture formed concrete blocks in the shape of whatever molds the group used, including two-inch cubes, shoe box-size blocks and truss pieces with struts and cutouts. Individual two-inch cubes

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