Monthly Archives: March 2017

Passively pumps water for days


All vegetation, including trees and plants, big and small, are the water pumps of nature. They serve the purpose of hydraulic pumps by pulling up water through their roots. This water travels throughout the entire body of the plant to the topmost leaves. The sugars produced by the leaves are then pumped back down to the roots. This whole cycle is carried out by a complex tissue structure of xylem and phloem which are bound together in parallel conduits.

Inspired by this flawless mechanism of trees, engineers at MIT along with their collaborators have developed a microfluidic device which they call as the “tree-on-a-chip.” This is a device that copies this circulatory system of trees and plants. The chip is able to pump water and sugars passively, for several days, without the need of any external pumps. The results of this experiment are published in this week’s Nature Plants.

The professor and associate department head for operations in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, Anette “Peko” Hosoi, in an interview said that this technology can be used as an actuator for small robots. It is generally time-consuming, expensive, and tough to develop pumps that facilitate movement of the small parts in robots. This innovation proves that such technology of sugar-powered pumps can be used in similar situations.

The idea of this device came from a project on hydraulic robots which worked by pumping fluids. Hosoi wanted to design a small-scale robot that could do similar work as done by the big robots. When the hydraulic pumping takes place in the trees, the more the sugar in the phloem, the more the water flows to balance the sugar-water gradient. This process is known as osmosis. As a result of the water flow, the nutrients are flushed down to the roots of the plant. To conduct the experiment, the researchers filled the xylem channels with water and the phloem channel with water and sugar. However, this has been claimed to be a big step in the small-scale robot industry. After this has been properly developed, a lot of time and money will be saved in the entire field of hydraulics for these robots. Many groups had tried to develop a similar product, but the pumping could only be sustained for a few minutes. This development is undoubtedly a very significant breakthrough. Researchers have confirmed that the device can work in a stable state for many days at a stretch.

The Importance of Annual Boiler Service


Have your boiler checked annually to ensure that all components of boiler system are working properly by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. Annual boiler service is essential to keep your home safe from unseen dangers. It ensures your boiler is structurally intact, that it’s properly and safely installed, that no pipes are clogged, and tests for some harmful gasses (carbon monoxide) leaks. The annual boiler service is relatively inexpensive for the peace of mind it can bring. If you rent a house or apartment, your landlord is responsible for setting up an annual boiler service Surrey.

It’s essential that you keep your boiler operating efficiently and safely, and one of the ideal ways to do so is to get an annual boiler service from an independent gas and plumbing company. This article provides you information about some major advantages of boiler service importance:

-By having your boiler serviced on an annual basis, perfectly at the end of the summer, you will ensure that all small and major issues are detected and sorted out before they cause your boiler system to completely break down.

-Protection from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the other major advantages of annual gas servicing. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause several serious health problems and may even lead to brain damage.

-Regular boiler servicing will save you money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon emissions in the best possible way. A regularly serviced boiler by professionals can also save money on future costly repairs.

-As all other products, gas boiler systems usually come with a manufacturer’s warranty. However, what many people don’t realize is that the warranty is often subject to the condition that you regularly service your boiler.

Hiring a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
It is essential that any annual boiler service is carried out by a Gas Safe engineer. If you want complete peace of mind then hire a Gas Safe engineer for your initial boiler installation and subsequent maintenance or servicing requirements. If you are looking for gas emergency services in Surrey, then don’t look further, Surrey Gas is an established and independent plumbing and gas company, who provide a great range of high-quality gas services at discounted prices.

To help keep your gas boiler service cost down, and to keep you warm during this winter season, visit Surrey Gas to get reliable gas boiler service Surrey.

Regardless of the issue at hand, regular boiler service Surrey is very important. You can save on repair costs, avoid unnecessary inconvenience and also avoid health risks that could be brought about by leaking carbon monoxide. Thankfully, you can ask for quotations online from service providers before choosing a professional to maintain your heater.

Oakfield Junior School in Fetcham


Lots of compliment has been given to a junior school located in Fetcham. This comes after the school got awarded a good ranking from Ofsted. Oakfield primary school continued to set a positive record that matched that of the previous inspection conducted in December 2012.

Done on Tuesday, January 24, the inspection came a year following the inauguration of Debrah Willemse as the Bell Lane school head teacher. Debrah Willemse took over responsibility from Robert Hart – the former head teacher who led the school out of special measures back in 2010.

“The school is a positive influence from the fact that it’s one of the only two schools in the locality. What’s more, the teachers and staff are fit for the job, with the parents association being complimented for its tremendous support. The school looks and feels more like a group of friends, something that’s very admirable”

The report took note of some recent restructuring in the leadership team – an alteration that aimed to focus more on making improvement and upgrading the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

It’s a two form entry school (7-11 years and 3-6 years) that has a population of around 260 pupils, which excludes 16 in the Learning Difficulties Centre. The inspection took into account 72 parents responses derived from an online questionnaire and a further 19 responses gotten from teachers. Visits were made to each class not to mention meeting with the counsel of leaders and governors.

Inspector Lee Selby commented: “The school has an excellent cross-curricular approach to writing. School work is based on many different texts that are both interesting and challenging. And since they know what is required of them, pupils are making a good progress. Furthermore, the school’s interesting trips and extra-curricular clubs were commented for their spiritual, cultural and social development of the pupils.”

However, the inspector noted some areas that needed improvement. Teaching was not always that effective with pupils lacking a clear guidance on knowledge and skill improvement, something that makes them less engaged.