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Sea Sapphires, from Neon to Invisibility

September 2, 2015 2:50 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Sea sapphires, tiny ocean creatures, live up to the iridescence of their namesake stone. As they sway and swim in the water, the creatures bounce between incredible displays of blue, purple and green and near invisibility. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science recently discovered the underlying mechanism of the color transformations, publishing their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Method opens pathway to new drugs and dyes

September 2, 2015 2:00 pm | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Rice Univ. scientists have developed a practical method to synthesize chemical building blocks widely used in drug discovery research and in the manufacture drugs and dyes. The new method from the lab of Rice synthetic chemist K.C. Nicolaou was designed to enable the discovery and development of novel drugs to attack cancer cells and as an efficient way to create new molecular entities for biology and medicine.

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For 2-D boron, it’s all about that base

September 2, 2015 1:36 pm | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | News | Comments

Rice Univ. scientists have theoretically determined that the properties of atom-thick sheets of boron depend on where those atoms land. Calculation of the atom-by-atom energies involved in creating a sheet of boron revealed that the metal substrate—the surface upon which 2-D materials are grown in a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) furnace—would make all the difference.

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Human-Sized Sea Scorpion Discovered

September 2, 2015 12:43 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In 2010, scientists unearthed specimens of a human-sized sea scorpion in the upper section of the Winneshiek Shale, located in the Decorah crater in northeastern Iowa. Dating back 467 million years, Pentecopterus decorahenis extends the stratigraphic range of eurypterids, aquatic arthropods, back some 10 million years than the previous 11 species discovered.

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Intermittency is one of the problems affecting marine energy: sometimes there's a lot; other times, it's in short supply

Forecasting wave energy several hours in advance

September 2, 2015 10:39 am | by University of the Basque Country | News | Comments

Intermittency is one of the problems affecting renewable energies, including marine energy: sometimes there's a lot; other times it's in short supply. So, to properly manage sea energy and incorporate it into the mains, it is helpful to know when the waves are expected to be bringing sufficient power. Knowing how much energy the waves will be bringing within a few hours is as important as having available efficient prototypes.

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An image from an experiment in the quantum optics laboratory in Cambridge. Laser light was used to excite individual tiny, artificially constructed atoms known as quantum dots, to create “squeezed” single photons Courtesy of Mete Atature

Scientists squeeze light one particle at a time

September 2, 2015 10:29 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A team of scientists has successfully measured particles of light being “squeezed,” in an experiment that had been written off in physics textbooks as impossible to observe. Squeezing is a strange phenomenon of quantum physics. It creates a very specific form of light which is “low-noise” and is potentially useful in technology designed to pick up faint signals, such as the detection of gravitational waves.

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Researchers have replicated the surface chemistry found in the iridescent scales of the Morpho butterfly to create an innovative gas sensor. Courtesy of Pete Vukusic

Butterfly wings help break status quo in gas sensing

September 2, 2015 10:18 am | by University of Exeter | News | Comments

The unique properties found in the stunning iridescent wings of a tropical blue butterfly could hold the key to developing new highly selective gas detection sensors. Pioneering new research by a team of international scientists, including researchers from the University of Exeter, has replicated the surface chemistry found in the iridescent scales of the Morpho butterfly to create an innovative gas sensor.

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The add-on device, which is similar in look and feel to a protective phone case, makes use of a smart phone’s camera features to produce high-resolution images of objects 10 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Technology transforms cell phone into high-powered microscope

September 2, 2015 10:07 am | by Texas A&M University | News | Comments

New technology that transforms a cell phone into a powerful, mobile microscope could significantly improve malaria diagnoses and treatment in developing countries that often lack the resources to address the life-threatening disease. The add-on device is similar in look and feel to a protective phone case and makes use of a smart phone’s camera features to produce high-resolution images.

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Waste coffee used as fuel storage

September 2, 2015 7:42 am | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Scientists have developed a simple process to treat waste coffee grounds to allow them to store methane. The simple soak and heating process develops a carbon capture material with the additional environmental benefits of recycling a waste product.

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Constant Pressure Dual Head Pumps

September 1, 2015 5:47 pm | by Scientific Systems Inc. (SSI) | Product Releases | Comments

Scientific Systems Inc. (SSI) has introduced their high-performance CP Class that consists of dual-headed, positive-displacement piston pumps with constant pressure control, covering a wide range of flows, with pressures up to 25,000 psi. Standard fluid path materials are stainless steel and optional titanium.

Worse cyclones on the horizon

September 1, 2015 5:00 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

“Grey swan” cyclones—extremely rare tropical storms that are impossible to anticipate from the historical record alone—will become more frequent in the next century for parts of Florida, Australia and cities along the Persian Gulf, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change.

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Water heals a bioplastic

September 1, 2015 4:00 pm | by A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Penn State Univ. | Videos | Comments

A drop of water self-heals a multiphase polymer derived from the genetic code of squid ring teeth, which may someday extend the life of medical implants, fiber-optic cables and other hard to repair in place objects, according to an international team of researchers.

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Studying the outliers

September 1, 2015 3:00 pm | by Julie Cohen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara | News | Comments

Medical research has yet to discover an Alzheimer’s treatment that effectively slows the disease’s progression, but neuroscientists at Univ. of California, Santa Barbara may have uncovered a mechanism by which onset can be delayed by as much as 10 years.

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Isolation for a Yearlong “Mission” to Mars

September 1, 2015 2:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Surrounded by a rocky and barren landscape, the six crew members of the fourth Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) entered the white, solar-powered, geodesic dome, located in an abandoned quarry on the northern slope of the volcano Mauna Loa. Leaving civilization behind on Friday, Aug. 28, the crew will spend one year in isolation, replicating the conditions of long-term space travel.  

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Tiny drops of early universe “perfect” fluid

September 1, 2015 1:00 pm | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of light to recreate the primordial soup of fundamental particles that existed in the very early universe. Experiments at RHIC have shown that this primordial soup, known as quark-gluon plasma, flows like a nearly friction free "perfect" liquid.

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