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Making grilling more environmentally friendly

August 27, 2015 7:06 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us. That also means an end to dousing charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid. Reducing the use of lighter fluid might not be a bad thing, as many of those products are made from crude oil and emit potentially harmful compounds when lit. Now, researchers report they developed a waste-paper-based, environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.

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ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed

August 26, 2015 5:30 pm | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

In mere seconds, a system developed at Oak Ridge National Laborator can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample, providing a valuable tool with applications in material science, forensics, pharmaceuticals, biology and chemistry.

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Cellular contamination pathway for heavy elements identified

August 26, 2015 4:30 pm | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.

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Searching big data faster

August 26, 2015 3:30 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

For more than a decade, gene sequencers have been improving more rapidly than the computers required to make sense of their outputs. Searching for DNA sequences in existing genomic databases can already take hours, and the problem is likely to get worse.

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Supercomputers enlisted to shed light on photosynthesis

August 26, 2015 2:30 pm | by Univ. of the Basque Country | Comments

Computing enables scientists and engineers to analyze highly complex physical processes using simulation techniques. In this case, researchers in the UPV/EHU are collaborating with researchers from various universities to analyze the photosynthesis process basing themselves on various theories because the way in which plants absorb light remains a mystery.

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Earth’s mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015 1:30 pm | by Carnegie Institute of Science | Comments

New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

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Cells cling and spiral “like vines” in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

August 26, 2015 1:04 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | Comments

Miniscule artificial scaffolding units made from nanofiber polymers and built to house plant cells have enabled scientists to see for the first time how individual plant cells behave and interact with each other in a 3-D environment. These "hotels for cells" mimic the "extracellular matrix" which cells secrete before they grow and divide to create plant tissue.

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Why platinum nanoparticles become less effective catalysts at small sizes

August 26, 2015 12:00 pm | by A*STAR | Comments

A*STAR scientists have used first-principles computer simulations to explain why small platinum nanoparticles are less effective catalysts than larger ones. Platinum nanoparticles are used in the catalysis of many reactions, including the important hydrogen evolution reaction used in fuel cells and for separating water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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Robotically steered flexible needles navigate in tissue

August 26, 2015 11:00 am | by Univ. of Twente | Comments

Robotically steered flexible needles can reach their intended target in tissue with sub-millimeter-level accuracy. This has been demonstrated by the doctoral research of Momen Abayazid, who is affiliated with the research institute MIRA of the Univ. of Twente. A major advantage of steering flexible needles is that one can avoid obstacles or sensitive tissues and can re-orient the path of the needle in real time as you insert the needle.

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Dying star suffers “irregular heartbeats”

August 26, 2015 10:00 am | by Univ. of Warwick | Comments

Some dying stars suffer from “irregular heartbeats,” research led by astronomers at the Univ. of Warwick has discovered. The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their lifecycles.

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Making the air fair

August 26, 2015 8:00 am | by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office | Comments

Nobody likes flight delays, but they are a common occurrence: In 2011, about 20% of U.S. flights were at least 15 min behind schedule. Those delays irritate passengers and, in 2010, added an estimated $6.5 billion to U.S. airlines’ operating costs.

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3-D-printed microscopic fish do more than swim

August 26, 2015 7:41 am | by Liezel Labios, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Nanoengineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego used an innovative 3-D printing technology they developed to manufacture multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots that swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and magnetically controlled. These proof-of-concept synthetic microfish will inspire a new generation of "smart" microrobots.

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Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure

August 25, 2015 5:30 pm | by Univ. of Illinois | Comments

A team from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Indiana Univ. combined two techniques to determine the structure of cyanostar, a new abiological molecule that captures unwanted negative ions in solutions.

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Quantum diffraction at a breath of nothing

August 25, 2015 4:25 pm | by Univ. of Vienna | Comments

The quantum mechanical wave nature of matter is the basis for a number of modern technologies like high resolution electron microscopy, neutron-based studies on solid state materials or highly sensitive inertial sensors working with atoms. The research in the group around Prof. Markus Arndt at the Univ. of Vienna is focused on how one can extend such technologies to large molecules and cluster.

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NTU Assistant Professor Terry Steele (right) with his researcher Gao Feng, who is holding the new Voltaglue. Courtesy of NTU Singapore

Researchers identify electrifying solution to sticky problem

August 25, 2015 12:10 pm | by Nanyang Technological University | Comments

Inspired by the limitations of biomimetic glues in wet environments, scientists have invented a glue that will harden when a voltage is applied to it. The new adhesive, nicknamed "Voltaglue," opens up a host of possible practical applications, from making underwater repair works for ships and pipes, to being a versatile tool for doctors performing surgery.

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