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A schematic of the pressure chamber of the double-stage diamond anvil cell: The osmium sample is just 3 microns small and sits between two semi-balls made of nanocristalline diamond of extraordinary strength. Courtesy of Elena Bykova/University of Bayreut

Record high pressure squeezes secrets out of osmium

August 25, 2015 11:06 am | by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY | News | Comments

An international team of scientists has created the highest static pressure ever achieved in a lab: Using a special high pressure device, the researchers investigated the behavior of the metal osmium at pressures of up to 770 Gigapascals (GPa)—more than twice the pressure in the inner core of the Earth, and about 130 Gigapascals higher than the previous world record set by members of the same team.

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Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

August 25, 2015 11:00 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

A team of researchers developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved another milestone. Having generated quite a buzz with their hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that used electrons to synthesize carbon dioxide into acetate, the team has now developed a hybrid system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane.

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New Dinosaur Species Described

August 25, 2015 10:42 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Discovered in a small quarry on a farm in South Africa’s Free State province, Pulanesaura eocollum is a new member of the long-necked sauropod lineage of dinosaurs. Blair McPhee, a PhD student at the Univ. of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, along with colleagues, described the new dinosaur in Scientific Reports.

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Artificial photosynthesis used to produce renewable molecular hydrogen for synthesizing carbon dioxide into methane. Courtesy of Berkeley Lab

Milestone achieved in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

August 25, 2015 10:29 am | by Berkeley Lab | News | Comments

A team of researchers at (Berkeley Lab developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved a milestone. Having generated quite a buzz with their hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that used electrons to synthesize carbon dioxide into acetate, the team has now developed a hybrid system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane.

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Research may solve lunar fire fountain mystery

August 25, 2015 10:00 am | by Kevin Stacey, Brown Univ. | News | Comments

Tiny beads of volcanic glass found on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions are a sign that fire fountain eruptions took place on the moon’s surface. Now, scientists from Brown Univ. and the Carnegie Institution for Science have identified the volatile gas that drove those eruptions.

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Study identifies off switch for biofilm formation

August 25, 2015 9:00 am | by Matthew Wright, Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

Bacteria are best known as free-living single cells, but in reality their lives are much more complex. To survive in harsh environments, many species of bacteria will band together and form a biofilm. A familiar biofilm is the dental plaque that forms on teeth between brushings, but biofilms can form almost anywhere given the right conditions.

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Researchers discover synthesis of new nanomaterial

August 25, 2015 8:00 am | by Dave Guerin, Louisiana Tech Univ. | News | Comments

Faculty at Louisiana Tech Univ. have discovered, for the first time, a new nanocomposite formed by the self-assembly of copper and a biological component that occurs under physiological conditions, which are similar to those found in the human body and could be used in targeted drug delivery for fighting diseases such as cancer.

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Promising cancer drugs cause memory loss in mice

August 25, 2015 7:29 am | by Eva Kiesler, Rockefeller Univ. | News | Comments

Cancer researchers are constantly in search of more-effective and less-toxic approaches to stopping the disease, and have recently launched clinical trials testing a new class of drugs called BET inhibitors. These therapies act on a group of proteins that help regulate the expression of many genes, some of which play a role in cancer.

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Protein found to play key role in blocking pathogen survival

August 25, 2015 7:20 am | by Helen Knight, MIT News correspondent | News | Comments

Invading microbial pathogens must scavenge essential nutrients from their host organism in order to survive and replicate. To defend themselves from infection, hosts attempt to block pathogens’ access to these nutrients. Now researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered the vital role a protein, calprotectin, plays in this process, known as “nutritional immunity."

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Space-Aged Whiskey

August 24, 2015 7:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In a tweet from NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, the cylindrical HTV-5 “Kounotori” cargo ship floats high above the clouds and green sprawl of Earth below. The next image posted shows the International Space Station (ISS)’s robotic arm, controlled by JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui, grasping the ship, which carries a payload of around 4.5 metric tons, including mice, food and water, a host of devices and whiskey.

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Using Cell Phones to Track Disease Outbreaks

August 24, 2015 4:34 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In a handful of years, cell phone ownership has proliferated in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Pew Research Center, only 8% of Ghanaians owned a mobile phone in 2002. Today, the figure is 83%, and in Kenya the figure is 82%. Princeton and Harvard Univ. researchers have found mobile phone data can help predict seasonal disease patterns.

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Hookah and E-Cigs Viewed as Safe by the Young

August 24, 2015 2:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

With the taste of tobacco masked by flavors, such as green apple and bubble gum, hookah may make it easy to forget the harsh effects of tobacco on the body. Similarly, some chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes, while considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to their use in foods, are known respiratory irritants, and have led some to think danger lies in inhalation rather than digestion.

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A little light interaction leaves quantum physicists beaming

August 24, 2015 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Toronto | News | Comments

A team of physicists at the Univ. of Toronto (U of T) have taken a step toward making the essential building block of quantum computers out of pure light. Their advance, described in a paper published in Nature Physics, has to do with a specific part of computer circuitry known as a "logic gate."

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Air Pollution Decreases Associated with Conflict

August 24, 2015 12:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In March 2011, pro-democracy protests flared up in the Syrian city Deraa. According to the BBC, they started after some teenagers were arrested and tortured for painting revolutionary slogans on a school wall. Security forces opened fire, killing three protestors.

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After a half century, the exotic pentaquark particle is found

August 24, 2015 12:00 pm | by Rod Pyle, Caltech | News | Comments

In July, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider reported the discovery of the pentaquark, a long-sought particle first predicted to exist in the 1960s as a consequence of the theory of elementary particles and their interactions proposed by Murray Gell-Mann, Caltech's Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus.

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