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Interstellar mystery solved by supercomputer simulations

December 11, 2014 | by Jorge Salazar, TACC | Comments

An interstellar mystery of why stars form has been solved thanks to the most realistic supercomputer simulations of galaxies yet made.

                                

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Researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity

December 19, 2014 8:02 am | Comments

Four pulses of laser light on nanoparticle photocells in a spectroscopy experiment has opened a window on how captured sunlight can be converted into electricity. The work, which potentially could inspire devices with improved efficiency in solar energy conversion, was performed on photocells that used lead-sulfide quantum dots as photoactive semiconductor material. 

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Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough

December 19, 2014 7:57 am | Comments

A team at Cornell University has made a breakthrough in that direction with a room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device. Equivalent to one computer bit, it exhibits the holy grail of next-generation nonvolatile memory: magnetic switchability, in two steps, with nothing but an electric field.

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Landmark discovery in gold nanorod instability

December 18, 2014 3:14 pm | Comments

Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have discovered an instability in gold nanoparticles that is critical for their application in future technology. Gold nanorods are important building blocks for future applications in solar cells, cancer therapy and optical circuitry.

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The power of a trillion light bulbs to map the nano-world

December 18, 2014 3:12 pm | Comments

Generating the equivalent of a trillion light bulbs – more power than the whole national grid, but delivered in incredibly short flashes, a new international science facility will give British researchers unprecedented access to the inner working of cells.

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Website highlights renewable energy resources

December 18, 2014 3:11 pm | Comments

A team from the University of Arizona and eight Southwestern electric utility companies has built a pioneering web portal that provides insight into renewable energy sources and how they contribute to the region’s electricity grid.                         

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A Christmas comet to be seen from dark skies

December 18, 2014 3:07 pm | Comments

If you are away from the bustle of the city these holidays, then try your luck at spotting a faint comet in the northern sky. Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 is the fifth comet to be discovered by Brisbane amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy. Comets are the only astronomical objects that are automatically named for the person who found them.

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Electron spin could be key to high-temperature superconductivity

December 18, 2014 3:00 pm | Comments

EPFL scientists take a significant step in our understanding of superconductivity by studying the strange quantum events in a unique superconducting material.                 

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Choreography of an electron pair

December 18, 2014 2:47 pm | Comments

A German-Spanish team working with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg has now become the first to image the motion of the two electrons in a helium atom and even to control this electronic partner dance.   

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Renewable bioplastics made from squid proteins

December 18, 2014 2:33 pm | Comments

At Penn State, a group led by Melik Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics, is designing a biodegradable plastic from structural proteins that could help clean up the world's oceans and solve an interesting set of other problems along the way.

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Sensor could improve one of nano research’s most useful microscopes

December 17, 2014 3:31 pm | by Chad Boutin, NIST | Comments

Spotting molecule-sized features may become both easier and more accurate with a sensor developed at NIST. With their new design, NIST scientists may have found a way to sidestep some of the problems in calibrating atomic force microscopes (AFMs). The AFM is one of the main scientific workhorses of the nano age.

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Switching to spintronics

December 17, 2014 3:18 pm | by Lynn Yarris, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

In a development that holds promise for future magnetic memory and logic devices, researchers have successfully used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature. This demonstration, which runs counter to conventional scientific wisdom, points a new way towards spintronics and smaller, faster and cheaper ways of storing and processing data.

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Lens-free microscope can detect cancer at the cellular level

December 17, 2014 3:07 pm | by Bill Kisliuk, Univ. of California, Los Angeles | Comments

Univ. of California, Los Angeles researchers have developed a lens-free microscope that can be used to detect the presence of cancer or other cell-level abnormalities with the same accuracy as larger and more expensive optical microscopes. The invention could lead to less expensive and more portable technology for performing common examinations of tissue, blood and other biomedical specimens.

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Microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale

December 17, 2014 2:50 pm | by Morgan McCorkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists have used advanced microscopy to carve out nanoscale designs on the surface of a new class of ionic polymer materials for the first time. The study provides new evidence that atomic force microscopy, or AFM, could be used to precisely fabricate materials needed for increasingly smaller devices.

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Study shows how breast cancer cells break free to spread in the body

December 17, 2014 2:41 pm | by Brett Israel, Georgia Institute of Technology | Comments

More than 90% of cancer-related deaths are caused by the spread of cancer cells from their primary tumor site to other areas of the body. A new study has identified how one important gene helps cancer cells break free from the primary tumor.

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Mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease

December 17, 2014 1:27 pm | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Mistletoe hanging in doorways announces that the holidays are just around the corner. For some people, however, the symbolic plant might one day represent more than a kiss at Christmas time: It may mean better liver health. Researchers have found that a compound produced by a particular variety of the plant can help fight obesity-related liver disease in mice.

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