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Innovation to allow precise geologic dating, even on Mars

March 1, 2012 8:13 am | by Lynn Yarris | News | Comments

To identify a Martian rock sample, the rover Curiosity fires an infrared laser beam to ablate, or vaporize, the target, which generates ionized atoms to be analyzed by a spectrometer. Applied Spectra and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed an improved version that can do the same with entire molecules, allowing precise geochronology both on Earth and in space.

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A lighter train can be built with polyurethane

March 1, 2012 8:07 am | News | Comments

The diesel engine housing for a train has to be tough enough to protect the engine at high speeds, but also to contain fire and oil leaks  Researchers in Germany who have developed an extremely durable polyurethane sandwich material say it’s tough enough to replace aluminum or steel in these types of applications, and at a weight savings of up to 35%.

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Researchers invent device to rapidly detect infectious disease

March 1, 2012 8:03 am | News | Comments

Infectious diseases can spread very rapidly, so quickly identifying them can be crucial to stopping an epidemic. However, current testing for such diseases can take hours and days. But not for much longer. University of Tennessee, Knoxville researchers have developed a portable device that can be used onsite to detect infectious diseases, pathogens, as well as physiological conditions in people and animals.

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ORNL completes first phase of Titan supercomputer transition

March 1, 2012 7:04 am | News | Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer has completed the first phase of an upgrade that will keep it among the most powerful scientific computing systems in the world. When the upgrade process is completed this autumn, the system will be renamed Titan and will be capable of 10 to 20 petaflops.

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Bacteria tend leafcutter ants and gardens

March 1, 2012 6:50 am | by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

Leafcutter ants, the tiny red dots known for carrying green leaves as they march through tropical forests, are also talented farmers that cultivate gardens of fungi and bacteria. Ants eat fungi from the so-called fungal gardens, but the bacteria's role has been unclear until...

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Study: Old flu drug speeds brain injury recovery

March 1, 2012 6:09 am | by Stephanie Nano, Associated Press | News | Comments

Researchers are reporting the first treatment to speed recovery from severe brain injuries caused by falls and car crashes: a cheap flu medicine whose side benefits were discovered by accident decades ago. Severely injured patients who were given amantadine got better faster than those who received a dummy medicine.

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Daya Bay antineutrino detectors exceed performance goals

March 1, 2012 5:57 am | News | Comments

After just three months of operation, the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment has far surpassed expectations, recording tens of thousands of particle interactions and paving the way to a better understanding of neutrinos and why the universe is built of matter rather than antimatter.

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Measuring blood flow to monitor sickle cell disease

March 1, 2012 5:29 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital have devised a simple blood test that can predict whether sickle cell patients are at high risk for painful complications of the disease. To perform the test, the researchers measure how well blood samples flow through a microfluidic device.

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Carbon dioxide catchers

March 1, 2012 4:16 am | News | Comments

Approximately 75% of electricity used in the United States is produced by coal-burning power plants that spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. To reduce this effect, many researchers are searching for porous materials to filter out the carbon dioxide generated by these plants before it reaches the atmosphere, a process commonly known as carbon capture. But identifying these materials is easier said than done.

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New labs, new philosophies

March 1, 2012 3:36 am | News | Comments

R&D Magazine is proud to announce the 2012 Laboratory of the Year winners. These laboratories represent the pinnacle of design and execution in architecture for research and development. New construction facilities dominated this year's competition, but beyond this common theme the top new laboratories of 2012 differed widely in design philosophy.

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Engineers build an electrical switch for magnetic current

March 1, 2012 3:15 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute have put together a sandwich of a ferroelectric layer between two ferromagnetic materials that responded to a short electric pulse. This changes the magnetic transport properties of the material in such a way that information can be placed in four states instead of just two. The potential increase in storage density is great.

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Interactive picture reveals extent of the Arctic’s ice loss

March 1, 2012 3:05 am | News | Comments

Using the most robust and longest duration satellite dataset of Arctic sea ice available, researchers at NASA have built one of the most complete pictures of how the Arctic’s supply is changing over time. The study reveals the rate of disappearance of the old and thickest sea ice, which typical survives the cyclical summer melt season.

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Broadband Visible Light Source

March 1, 2012 3:03 am | Product Releases | Comments

Ocean Optics' BluLoop light source is a compact, light-emitting diode (LED)-based source with balanced spectral output across the visible (400 to 700 nm) range. When coupled to a miniature spectrometer, optical fibers, and sampling accessories, the light source is suited for color and reflectance measurements and general-purpose Vis-NIR spectroscopy.

Spectrophotometer for Life Science Research

March 1, 2012 2:59 am | Product Releases | Comments

The Genova Plus life science UV-Vis spectrophotometer from Jenway features icon-driven software with soft-key navigation and the ability to save results and methods to a USB memory stick.

In surprise finding, proteins self-assemble into nanofibers

March 1, 2012 2:58 am | News | Comments

A new method for creating nanofibers, developed by researchers at Polytechnic Institute of New York University, relies on the previously unknown ability for alpha helical coiled-coil proteins to spontaneously come together and self-assemble into nanofibers. The protein’s ability to carry molecules suggests the discovery could be important in drug delivery efforts.

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