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EPA Fines Trucking Company for California Air Violations

October 9, 2015 12:57 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fining a national trucking company for air violations in California. Estes Express Lines faces a $100,000 penalty for violating the California Truck and Bus Regulation. The company failed to install particulate filters on 73 of its heavy-duty trucks, which account for 15% of its California fleet, according to the EPA.


Single atom alloy platinum-copper catalysts cut costs, boost green technology

October 9, 2015 12:00 pm | by Tufts Univ. | News | Comments

A new generation of platinum-copper catalysts that require very low concentrations of platinum in the form of individual atoms to cleanly and cheaply perform important chemical reactions is reported by Tufts Univ. researchers in Nature Communications. Platinum is used as a catalyst in fuel cells, in automobile converters and in the chemical industry because of its remarkable ability to facilitate a wide range of chemical reactions.


Gold nanomembranes resist bending in new experiment

October 9, 2015 11:00 am | by Jared Sagoff, Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

The first direct measurement of resistance to bending in a nanoscale membrane has been made by scientists. Their research provides researchers with a new, simpler method to measure nanomaterials' resistance to bending and stretching, and opens new possibilities for creating nano-sized objects and machines by controlling and tailoring that resistance.


First Ancient African Genome Sequenced

October 9, 2015 10:24 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Located in the Ethiopian highlands, the Mota cave yielded a breakthrough discovery for researchers. Buried face-down in the cave was a 4,500-year-old man. Thanks to the cave’s cool and arid environment, the researchers successfully found intact DNA in the man’s petrous, a thick bone located near the base of the skull behind the ear.


It’s solid: Storing hydrogen in a new form

October 9, 2015 10:00 am | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | News | Comments

As part of a tri-lab consortium, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers will develop tools and understanding necessary for designing new solid-state materials for storing hydrogen gas. Storage of hydrogen onboard vehicles is one of the critical enabling technologies for hydrogen-fueled transportation systems that can reduce oil dependency and mitigate the long-term effects of fossil fuels on climate change.


Opposites don’t attract when learning how to use a prosthesis

October 9, 2015 9:30 am | by Jason Maderer, Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

New research suggests that upper limb amputees, who typically struggle to learn how to use a new prosthesis, would be more successful if fellow amputees taught them. Most usually learn by watching a non-amputee demonstrate the device during physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions.


This Robotic Finger is Ocean Bound

October 9, 2015 8:00 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

Using an amalgam of 3-D printing, shape memory alloys, computer-aided design (CAD) and a thermal training technique, Florida Atlantic Univ. Prof. Erik Engeberg, of the Dept. of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, and his team developed a bio-inspired robotic finger that operates and feels like a human finger.


How the brain keeps time

October 9, 2015 7:57 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Keeping track of time is critical for many tasks, such as playing the piano, swinging a tennis racket, or holding a conversation. Neuroscientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia Univ. have now figured out how neurons in one part of the brain measure time intervals and accurately reproduce them.


Using optical fiber to generate a two-micron laser

October 9, 2015 7:51 am | by Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne | News | Comments

In recent years, 2-micron lasers (0.002 mm) have been of growing interest among researchers. In the areas of surgery and molecule detection, for example, they offer significant advantages compared to traditional, shorter-wavelength lasers.


Wet paleoclimate of Mars revealed by ancient lakes at Gale Crater

October 9, 2015 7:43 am | by Rod Pyle, Caltech | News | Comments

We have heard the Mars exploration mantra for more than a decade: follow the water. In a new paper published in Science, the Mars Science Laboratory team presents recent results of its quest to not just follow the water but to understand where it came from, and how long it lasted on the surface of Mars so long ago.


Faster design, better catalysts

October 9, 2015 7:36 am | by Technical Univ. of Munich | News | Comments

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst design plays a key role in improving these processes. An international team of scientists has now developed a concept that elegantly correlates geometric and adsorption properties.


Researchers create inside-out plants to watch how cellulose forms

October 9, 2015 7:29 am | by Chris Balma, Univ. of British Columbia | News | Comments

Researchers have been able to watch the interior cells of a plant synthesize cellulose for the first time by tricking the cells into growing on the plant's surface. Cellulose, the structural component of cell walls that enables plants to stay upright, is the most abundant biopolymer on Earth.


Scientists Target Sodium Channel for Breast Cancer Prevention

October 8, 2015 5:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

In the U.S., one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer within her lifetime. The year 2015 saw an estimated 231,840 new cases of the disease in the country. Though death rates have been decreasing since 1989, about 40,290 will die this year due to the disease.


Global Coral Bleaching Prompts Concern from NOAA

October 8, 2015 3:30 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

The stomping grounds of many fish species, coral reefs provide protection and shelter. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), they’re essential in the lifecycle of over 4,000 fish species and support more than 800 hard coral species. Add invertebrates and macrofauna, such as sharks and sea turtles, to the mix and it’s a staggering amount oceanic dwellers that rely on these ecosystems.


A quantum simulator of impossible physics

October 8, 2015 1:00 pm | by Univ. of the Basque Country | News | Comments

A research group has created a quantum simulator that is capable of creating unphysical phenomena in the atomic world. The researchers have succeeded in getting a trapped atom to imitate behaviors that contradict its own fundamental laws, thus taking elements of science fiction to the microscopic world.



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