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Study: Competitor keyword purchasing can backfire

July 14, 2014 1:06 pm | Comments

Firms buy specific keywords, including competitors’ brand names, on search engines such as Google or Bing to reach consumers searching for those words. Online advertisements employing such keywords are called search ads. This practice can backfire, however. A new study shows that any large difference in reputation between the two brand names is further magnified in the minds of consumers.

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Flower development in 3-D: Timing is the key

July 14, 2014 11:48 am | Comments

Developmental processes in all living organisms are controlled by genes. At the same time there is a continuous metabolism taking place. Recent research in Austria has analyzed this interaction in flowering plants. For the first time, changes in metabolism were linked to 3-D morphometric data using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) for the first time.

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Researchers discover boron “buckyball”

July 14, 2014 11:44 am | Comments

The discovery of buckyballs helped usher in the nanotechnology era. Now, researchers from Brown Univ. and colleagues from China have shown that boron, carbon’s neighbor on the periodic table, can form a cage-like molecule similar to the buckyball. Until now, such a boron structure had only been a theoretical speculation.

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3-D printed anatomy to mark a new era for medical training

July 14, 2014 11:32 am | Comments

The creators of a unique kit containing 3-D printed anatomical body parts say it will revolutionize medical education and training, especially in countries where cadaver use is problematic. The “3D Printed Anatomy Series”, developed by experts in Australia, is thought to be the first commercially available resource of its kind. The kit contains no human tissue, yet it provides all the major parts of the body required to teach anatomy.

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World’s first photonic router demonstrated

July 14, 2014 11:16 am | Comments

Scientists in Israel have recently constructed, for the first time, a photonic router that enables routing of single photons by single photons. At the core of the device is an atom that can switch between two states. The state is set just by sending a single particle of light, or photon, from the right or the left via an optical fiber. The innovation could help overcome difficulties in building quantum computers.

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Researchers invent nanotech microchip to diagnose type-1 diabetes

July 14, 2014 9:22 am | Comments

A cheap, portable, microchip-based test for diagnosing type-1 diabetes could speed up diagnosis and enable studies of how the disease develops. Handheld microchips distinguish between the two main forms of diabetes mellitus, which are both characterized by high blood-sugar levels but have different causes. Until now, making the distinction has required a slow, expensive test available only in sophisticated healthcare settings.

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From stronger Kevlar to better biology

July 14, 2014 9:17 am | by Angela Herring, Northeastern Univ. | Comments

Mar­ilyn Minus, a materials expert and assis­tant pro­fessor at Northeastern Univ., is exploring directed self-assembly methods using carbon nanotubes and polymer solutions. So far, she’s used the approach to develop a polymer com­posite mate­rial that is stronger than Kevlar yet much lighter and less expen­sive. Minus is now expanding this work to incor­po­rate more polymer classes: flame retar­dant mate­rials and bio­log­ical molecules.

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Chemists develop technology to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel

July 14, 2014 9:12 am | Comments

Rutgers Univ. researchers have developed a technology that could overcome a major cost barrier to make clean-burning hydrogen fuel. The new catalyst is based on carbon nanotubes and may rival cost-prohibitive platinum for reactions that split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

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Deep within spinach leaves, vibrations enhance efficiency of photosynthesis

July 14, 2014 7:46 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

Biophysics researchers have used short pulses of light to peer into the mechanics of photosynthesis and illuminate the role that molecule vibrations play in the energy conversion process that powers life on our planet. The findings could potentially help engineers make more efficient solar cells and energy storage systems.

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Study: Spoonfuls can lead to medicine errors

July 14, 2014 12:21 am | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

The song says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but a study says that kind of imprecise measurement can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes. The results, published online in Pediatrics, underscore recommendations that droppers and syringes that measure in milliliters be used for liquid medicines—not spoons.

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Anthrax scare reveals more CDC lab safety problems

July 11, 2014 5:18 pm | by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press Medical Writer | Comments

Citing an anthrax scare and other safety problems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said it shut down two research labs and stopped shipping highly dangerous germs to other labs. An incident at one of the closed Atlanta laboratories could have accidentally exposed workers in three labs to anthrax last month. A second, previously undisclosed problem earlier this year involved deadly bird flu.

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Oxygen extends graphene’s reach

July 11, 2014 1:05 pm | 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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