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Armor plating with built-in transparent ceramic eyes

November 20, 2015 8:06 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Usually, it’s a tradeoff: If you want maximum physical protection, whether from biting predators or exploding artillery shells, that generally compromises your ability to see. But sea-dwelling creatures called chitons have figured out a way around that problem: Tiny eyes are embedded within their tough protective shells, with their transparent lenses made of the same ceramic material as the rest of their shells—and just as tough.


Sequencing algae’s genome may aid biofuel production

November 20, 2015 7:46 am | by James Urton, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

There's an ancient group of algae that evolved in the world's oceans before our backboned ancestors crawled onto land. They are so numerous that their gigantic blooms can affect the weather, and they account for 30 to 40% of all photosynthesis in the world's oceans. But until recently, scientists interested in these single-celled creatures knew next to nothing about their genes.


Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy

November 20, 2015 7:37 am | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer of the brain also known as “octopus tumors” because of the manner in which the cancer cells extend their tendrils into surrounding tissue, is virtually inoperable, resistant to therapies, and always fatal, usually within 15 months of onset. Each year, glioblastoma multiforme kills approximately 15,000 people in the U.S.


ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts

November 20, 2015 7:26 am | by Morgan McCorkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

Atomic-level imaging of catalysts by scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help manufacturers lower the cost and improve the performance of emission-free fuel cell technologies. Fuel cells rely on costly platinum catalysts to enable the reactions that convert chemical energy into electricity.


Ancient Earth Relevant to Search for Alien Life

November 19, 2015 3:56 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

During the Archean era, roughly 2.5 billion years ago, the Earth was unrecognizable. Rather than being the blue marble it is today, it was, as Univ. of Washington doctoral student Giada Arney put it, a “pale orange dot.” According to the Univ. of California Museum of Paleontology, the planet’s atmosphere likely consisted of methane, ammonia and other toxic gases. A highly unsuitable environment for most Earth life today.


New Tech Confirms Old Discovery

November 19, 2015 3:02 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

New technologies have the potential to shed light on old discoveries. Stephen Gatesy, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown Univ., knows that firsthand. Back in 1995, Gatesy and colleagues were digging in Greenland when they found a pair of jaw bones inside a small limestone slab.


2015 R&D 100 Award Winners Announced

November 19, 2015 1:24 pm | by Bea Riemschneider, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced the Winners of the 53rd annual R&D 100 Awards, an international competition that recognizes the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year. The R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science, chemistry and biotechnology.


The Risks Humans Face Traveling to Mars

November 19, 2015 1:14 pm | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

“In space no one can hear you scream.” So goes the tagline for Ridley Scott’s 1979 film “Alien.” While today’s astronauts are unlikely to encounter Xenomorphs on spacefaring expeditions throughout the solar system, NASA’s nose is to the grindstone regarding other dangers the oxygen-less environment presents.


Automated Control System for Cleanroom Fan Filter Units

November 19, 2015 12:47 pm | by Terra Universal Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Terra Universal has introduced new cleanroom control systems. Users can use Terra’s control systems to automatically control fan/filter units in modular cleanrooms to achieve desired air change rates and room pressure. Multiple Tier levels with increasing feature availability and sophistication are available to match cleanroom size, floor-plan complexity and budget.

Researchers speed up process of making vaccines

November 19, 2015 12:00 pm | by Todd Hollingshead, Brigham Young Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers at Bringham Young Univ. have devised a system to speed up the process of making life-saving vaccines for new viruses. Their concept is to create the biological machinery for vaccine production en masse, put it in a freeze-dried state and stockpile it around the country. Then, when a new virus hits, labs can simply add water to a “kit” to rapidly produce vaccines.


Ocean temperatures of the past many tell us about future global climate patterns

November 19, 2015 11:00 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists are taking the temperature of ancient seas to discover how they’ve shaped global climate. In a study published in Nature Geoscience, a Yale Univ.-led research team explored differences in ocean temperatures over the last 5 million years. The team created a historical record for sea temperature gradients and compared it with state-of-the-art climate model simulations.


3-D printed parts toxic to zebrafish embryos

November 19, 2015 10:00 am | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

The recent boom in 3-D printing has driven innovations in fields as disparate as haute couture and medical implants. But little is known about the safety of the materials used. In a new study scientists showed that some 3-D printed parts are highly toxic to zebrafish embryos. Their findings could have implications not only for aquatic life but also for hobbyists, manufacturers and patients.


NIH Shuts Door on Chimp Biomedical Research

November 19, 2015 9:45 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer support biomedical research on chimpanzees. The organization’s director, Francis S. Collins, released a statement on the subject Wednesday.


An easy pill to swallow

November 19, 2015 8:17 am | by Sonia Fernandez, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara | News | Comments

An insulin pill being developed by researchers at the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara may in the near future give another blood sugar management option to those who suffer from diabetes. The novel drug delivery technology may also apply to a wide spectrum of other therapies.


Quantum spin could create unstoppable, 1-D electron waves

November 19, 2015 8:02 am | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

In certain nanomaterials, electrons are able to race through custom-built roadways just one atom wide. To achieve excellent efficiency, these 1-D paths must be paved with absolute perfection—a single errant atom can stop racing electrons in their tracks or even launch it backwards. Unfortunately, such imperfections are inevitable.



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