Nearly four billion years ago, the earliest precursors of life on Earth emerged. First small, simple molecules, or monomers, banded together to form larger, more complex molecules, or polymers. Then those polymers developed a mechanism that allowed them to self-replicate and pass their structure on to future generations.
The cloudy oval nucleus of NGC 4921, a spiral galaxy, morphs into a spiraling cinnamon swirl as it extends outwards. The brown turns to blue wisps and the faint arms loop around, fading against a background of stars and other galaxies. NGC 4921 is located in the Coma cluster, 300 million light years from Earth, and is the closest high-mass cluster to our solar system.
Researchers at the Univ. of Maryland recently discovered that paper made of cellulose fibers is tougher and stronger the smaller the fibers get. For a long time, engineers have sought a material that is both strong (resistant to non-recoverable deformation) and tough (tolerant of damage).
Penn State Univ. engineers have developed a new “portable power supply” that will make it easier to manufacture plastics, therapeutics, fuels and other chemicals from sustainable feedstocks using diverse microbial organisms.
A new fabrication technique that produces platinum hollow nanocages with ultra-thin walls could dramatically reduce the amount of the costly metal needed to provide catalytic activity in such applications as fuel cells. The technique uses a solution-based method for producing atomic-scale layers of platinum to create hollow, porous structures that can generate catalytic activity both inside and outside the nanocages.
In the mountains of China’s Guizhou Province, workers began constructing the panels of the world’s largest radio telescope, with a dish the size of 30 football fields and shaped like a bowl. According to the Xinhua News Agency, last week technicians began assembling the telescope’s reflector, which is 500 m in diameter and made up of 4,450 panels.
Medical devices designed to reside in the stomach have a variety of applications, including prolonged drug delivery, electronic monitoring and weight-loss intervention. However, these devices, often created with non-degradable elastic polymers, bear an inherent risk of intestinal obstruction as a result of accidental fracture or migration. As such, they are usually designed to remain in the stomach for a limited time.
A multidisciplinary team at Yale Univ., led by Yale Cancer Center members, has defined a subgroup of genetic mutations that are present in a significant number of melanoma skin cancer cases. Their findings shed light on an important mutation in this deadly disease, and may lead to more targeted anti-cancer therapies.
Using powerful computer simulations, researchers from Brown Univ. have identified a material with a higher melting point than any known substance. The computations showed that a material made with just the right amounts of hafnium, nitrogen and carbon would have a melting point of more than 4,400 K (7,460 F).
Fifty-four World Trade Organization (WTO) members recently reached an agreement to expand the scope of the organization’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA), effectively phasing out hundreds of tariffs on information technology exports worldwide.
TotalTemp Technologies Inc. offers a new way to do thermal testing. The model HBC-49 is a hybrid temperature chamber/platform. The floor of the chamber is a temperature-controlled hot/cold plate that operates independently or in conjunction with the temperature chamber.
In August 2013, a forest fire blazed through California’s Sierra Nevada. It burned approximately 257,314 acres, and suppression costs alone numbered around $127 million. According the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s estimates, the Rim Fire released 11,352,608 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is akin to annual greenhouse emissions form 2.3 million cars, or annual carbon dioxide emissions from 3.2 coal fired power plants.
Rotifers are semitransparent microscopic animals. Watching them feed under a microscope, one can’t help but feel a sense of awe at nature’s complexity. Its oval-shaped body rotates as it ingests small beads of algae. However, grazers, such as rotifers and chytrids, can account for a 30% loss in annual algal biomass, according to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The R&D Index for the week ending July 24, 2015, closed at 1,660.85 for the 25 companies in the Index. The Index was down 3.22% (or more than 55 points) over the previous week (ending July 17) with pharmaceutical companies down 2.90% for the week, automotive companies down 2.01% and ICT (information and communications technology) companies down 4.66%.
By tightly integrating experimental and theoretical techniques, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team has provided fundamentally new insights into the specific factors that determine the absorption characteristics of copper complexes. The results demonstrate that conventional interpretations based on “ligand field theory” are insufficient for capturing the full characteristics of the absorption profile.