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The Lead

Oxygen extends graphene’s reach

July 11, 2014 | Comments

The addition of elements to the surface of graphene can modify the material’s physical and chemical properties, potentially extending the range of possible applications. Recently performed theoretical calculations at RIKEN in Japan show that the addition of oxygen to graphene on copper substrates results in enhanced functionalization. The resulting structure, known as an enolate, make support applications that require catalytic response.

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Better use of electronic health records makes clinical trials less expensive

July 11, 2014 12:40 pm | Comments

According to recent research in the U.K. , use of electronic health records to understand the best available treatment for patients, from a range of possible options, is more efficient and less costly for taxpayers than the existing clinical trial process.

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Peeling back the layers of thin film structure and chemistry

July 11, 2014 12:33 pm | by Erika Gebel Berg, Argonne National Laboratory | Comments

Perovskites continue to entice materials scientists with their mix of conductivity, ferroelectricity, ferromagnetism, and catalytic activity. In recent years, scientists realized that they could vastly improve the properties of perovskites by assembling them into thin films, but nobody knew the reason why. But studying the chemistry layer-by-layer, experts working with x-ray beamline at Argonne National Laboratory are getting close.

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Virtual finger enables scientists to navigate and analyze complex 3-D images

July 11, 2014 11:51 am | Comments

The Allen Institute for Brain Science and research partners have collaborated to launch a new technology called Virtual Finger, which allows scientists to move through digital images of small structures like neurons and synapses using the flat surface of their computer screens. The development is intended to make 3-D imaging studies orders of magnitude more efficient.

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LG Display unveils 18-inch flexible display

July 11, 2014 11:38 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | Comments

The South Korean display panel maker LG has developed an 18-inch flexible display that can be rolled into the shape of a thin cylinder, a step toward making a large display for flexible TVs. Although not as sharp as the latest ultra-high definition flat screens, the new display has a resolution of 1200 pixels by 810 pixels and maintains its function when it is rolled up.

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Sun-like stars reveal their ages

July 11, 2014 8:49 am | Comments

Defining what makes a star “sun-like" is as difficult as defining what makes a planet "Earth-like." A solar twin should have a temperature, mass and spectral type similar to our sun. We also would expect it to be about 4.5 billion years old. However, it is notoriously difficult to measure a star's age so astronomers usually ignore age when deciding if a star counts as "sun-like."

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Sophisticated radiation detector designed for broad public use

July 11, 2014 8:38 am | by David Stauth, Oregon State Univ. | Comments

Nuclear engineers at Oregon State Univ. have developed a small, portable and inexpensive radiation detection device that should help people all over the world better understand the radiation around them, its type and intensity and whether or not it poses a health risk.

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Astronomers discover seven dwarf galaxies

July 11, 2014 8:30 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | Comments

Meet the seven new dwarf galaxies. Yale Univ. astronomers, using a new type of telescope made by stitching together telephoto lenses, recently discovered seven celestial surprises while probing a nearby spiral galaxy. The previously unseen galaxies may yield important insights into dark matter and galaxy evolution, while possibly signaling the discovery of a new class of objects in space.

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Uncertainty gives scientists new confidence in search for novel materials

July 11, 2014 8:19 am | by Andrew Gordon, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Comments

Scientists at Stanford Univ. and the Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to estimate uncertainties in computer calculations that are widely used to speed the search for new materials for industry, electronics, energy, drug design and a host of other applications. The technique, reported in Science, should quickly be adopted in studies that produce some 30,000 scientific papers per year.

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Agile Aperture Antenna tested on aircraft to survey ground emitters

July 11, 2014 8:02 am | by John Toon, Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

The Georgia Tech Research Institute’s software-defined, electronically reconfigurable Agile Aperture Antenna (A3) has now been tested on the land, sea and air. Dept. of Defense representatives were in attendance during a recent event where two of the low-power devices, which can change beam directions in a thousandth of a second, were demonstrated in an aircraft during flight tests held in Virginia during February 2014.

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Bacteria: A day in the life

July 11, 2014 7:50 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

We are all creatures of habit, and a new study finds ocean bacteria are no exception. In a paper published in Science, researchers report that microbes in the open ocean follow predictable patterns of biological activity, such as eating, breathing and growing. Certain species are early risers, exhibiting genetic signs of respiration, metabolism and protein synthesis in the morning hours, while others rouse to action later in the day.

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Trial: Dengue shot offers some protection

July 11, 2014 7:21 am | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

The most advanced vaccine for dengue only offers modest protection but could still help millions of people avoid the devastating effects of the disease known as "breakbone fever," according to a large trial. There's no treatment for dengue, which causes symptoms including fever, joint pain, headaches and bleeding. About half the world's population is at risk from the mosquito-borne disease, which sickens about 100 million people every year.

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New technology offers precise control of molecular self-assembly

July 10, 2014 5:09 pm | Comments

A research group based in Japan has developed a new methodology that can easily and precisely control the timing, structure, and functions in the self-assembly of pi-conjugated molecules, which are an important enabling building block in the field of organic electronics. One of the key steps is keeping these molecules in a liquid form at room temperature.

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Silicon oxide memories catch manufacturers’ eye

July 10, 2014 5:06 pm | by Jade Boyd, Rice Univ. | Comments

First developed five years ago at Rice Univ., silicon oxide memories are a type of two-terminal, “resistive random-access memory” (RRAM) technology that beats flash memory’s data density by a factor of 50. At Rice, the laboratory of chemist and 2013 R&D Magazine Scientist of the Year James Tour has recently developed a new version of RRAM that Tour believes outperforms more than a dozen competing versions.

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New York police see risks with drones' popularity

July 10, 2014 9:43 am | by Tom Hays, Associated Press | Comments

Police in New York City are concerned that the increasing popularity of drones in such a tightly packed metropolis could carry major risks, even becoming a potential tool for terrorists to conduct surveillance or carry out attacks. Even though it's illegal to fly the devices just about anywhere in New York City without permission, recent incidents and breathtaking videos of Manhattan suggest that the restrictions are being widely flouted.

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“Nanopixels” promise thin, flexible high-res displays

July 10, 2014 9:35 am | Comments

A team in the U.K. has found that by sandwiching a 7-nm thick layer of a phase change material between two layers of a transparent electrode they could use a tiny current to “draw” images within the sandwich “stack”. The discovery could make it possible to create pixels just a few hundred nanometers across and pave the way for extremely high-resolution and low-energy thin, flexible displays.

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