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Mesoscale atoms (structures formed by microdroplets of water trapped in a drop of oil) produced at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. Courtesy of IPC PAS

Amazing microdroplet structures may lead to new technologies

May 20, 2015 11:47 am | by IPC PAS | Comments

A team of researchers has unveiled a new method of controlling the shapes of structures—so called mesoatoms—formed by microdroplets placed inside another drop. The work increases the possibilities of controlling the processes of self-organization of matter. During their research, the scientists also managed for the first time to observe the formation of microdroplet structures with unexpected shapes.

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Tiny grains of lithium dramatically improve performance of fusion plasma

May 20, 2015 11:37 am | by DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory | Comments

Scientists have discovered a phenomenon that helps them to improve fusion plasmas, a finding that may quicken the development of fusion energy. They found that when they injected tiny grains of lithium into a plasma undergoing a particular kind of turbulence then, under the right conditions, the temperature and pressure rose dramatically. High heat and pressure are crucial to fusion...

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Dr. Stephen Milne demonstrates the device being used in a lab at the University of Strathclyde with Biomedical Engineering research associate Alejandra Aranceta Garza. Courtesy of Graeme Fleming

Performance-enhancing wearable hydration sensor provides immediate feedback

May 20, 2015 11:26 am | by University of Strathclyde | Comments

A wearable device will provide real-time data analysis of fluid loss during exercise to enhance the performance of fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes. The innovative transdermal sensor is a small device that attaches to the body to analyze electrolytes in sweat, with Bluetooth technology used to send the data back to a smartphone—allowing the user to rehydrate properly and maintain optimum performance

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This playground structure represents a larger-than-life nanoporous metal-organic framework to this Sandia National Laboratories research team of (clockwise from upper left) Michael Foster, Vitalie Stavila, Catalin Spataru, François Léonard, Mark Allendorf

Measuring thermoelectric behavior by “Tinkertoy” materials

May 20, 2015 10:42 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have made the first measurements of thermoelectric behavior by a nanoporous metal-organic framework (MOF), a development that could lead to an entirely new class of materials for such applications as cooling computer chips and cameras and energy harvesting. This work builds on previous research in which the Sandia team realized electrical conductivity in MOFs by infiltrating the pores with TCNQ.

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Electric-field distributions on mesoporous Au films under 532nm wavelength excitation. The electric-field distribution is taken from 10 nm in depth in the films, in which moderate electric-field amplitude is clearly observed inside or at the perimeter of

Holes in gold enhance molecular sensing

May 20, 2015 10:27 am | by MANA | Comments

Non-metallic mesoporous structures have already demonstrated potential for applications in gas storage, separation, catalysis, ion-exchange, sensing, polymerization and drug delivery. Metal mesoporous films could have fascinating and useful optical properties, as they are effectively the inverse of nanoparticle arrays. Researchers have demonstrated a simple approach for producing metal films with regular tuneable mesopores.

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A new, environmentally-friendly paper that glows could lead to sustainable, roll-up electronics. Courtesy of American Chemical Society

Toward 'green' paper-thin, flexible electronics

May 20, 2015 10:15 am | by ACS | Comments

The rapid evolution of gadgets has brought us an impressive array of "smart" products from phones to tablets, and now watches and glasses. But they still haven't broken free from their rigid form. Now, scientists are reporting ia new step toward bendable electronics. They have developed the first light-emitting, transparent and flexible paper out of environmentally friendly materials via a simple, suction-filtration method.

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Natural gas versus diesel

May 20, 2015 8:24 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Some major trucking companies are turning to natural gas to fuel their fleets, and to earn “green” credit among customers. But celebrating lower emissions could be premature. Researchers have found that converting heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas could lead to negative climate impacts if steps are not taken to improve engine efficiency and reduce methane emissions from the fuel’s supply chain.

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Printing 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering

May 20, 2015 8:15 am | by Amanda Morris, Northwestern Univ. | Comments

Ever since single-layer graphene burst onto the science scene in 2004, the possibilities for the promising material have seemed nearly endless. With its high electrical conductivity, ability to store energy, and ultra-strong and lightweight structure, graphene has potential for many applications in electronics, energy, the environment and even medicine.

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NASA advances CubeSat concept for planetary exploration

May 20, 2015 8:08 am | by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | Comments

Although scientists are increasingly using pint-size satellites sometimes no larger than a loaf of bread to gather data from low-Earth orbit, they have yet to apply the less-expensive small-satellite technology to observe physical phenomena far from terra firma. Jaime Esper, a technologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., however, is advancing a CubeSat concept that would give scientists that capability.

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Seashell strength inspires stress tests

May 20, 2015 7:43 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Mollusks got it right. They have soft innards, but their complex exteriors are engineered to protect them in harsh conditions. Engineers at the Indian Institute of Science and Rice Univ. are beginning to understand why. By modeling the average mollusk’s mobile habitat, they are learning how shells stand up to extraordinary pressures at the bottom of the sea.

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Taking control of light emission

May 20, 2015 7:31 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | Comments

Researchers have found a way to couple the properties of different 2-D materials to provide an exceptional degree of control over light waves. They say this has the potential to lead to new kinds of light detection, thermal management systems and high-resolution imaging devices.

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To fight bee decline, Obama proposes more land to feed bees

May 19, 2015 2:04 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | Comments

A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides. While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action.

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Once the turbines are built, their embedded sensors are connected and the data gathered from them is analyzed in real time, which allows operators to monitor performance from data across turbines, farms or even entire industry fleets. The data provides in

GE Launches the Next Evolution of Wind Energy Making Renewables More Efficient, Economic: the Digital Wind Farm

May 19, 2015 11:49 am | by GE | Comments

GE has announced the launch of its Digital Wind Farm, a dynamic, connected and adaptable wind energy ecosystem that pairs world-class turbines with the digital infrastructure for the wind industry. The technology boosts a wind farm’s energy production by up to 20 percent and could help generate up to an estimated $50 billion of value for the wind industry.

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Modern medicine relies on optical fibers to cauterize unhealthy veins in a minimally invasive way. Now, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a laser processing method that facilitates automated series manufacture of these fibers at a much finer quality t

Using a new laser process to custom shape optical fibers

May 19, 2015 11:24 am | by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft | Comments

Modern medicine relies on optical fibers to cauterize unhealthy veins in a minimally invasive way. Now, Fraunhofer researchers have developed a laser processing method that facilitates automated series manufacture of these fibers at a much finer quality than ever before. The scientists presented a fiber probe prototype manufactured using the new technique at the measurement fair SENSOR+TEST 2015 in Nuremberg.

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The device holds a key advantage over traditional surgical tools by way of its ability to quickly transform from a bending, flexible instrument into a stiff and rigid one. Courtesy of Tommaso Ranzani

Octopus arm inspires future surgical tool

May 19, 2015 11:08 am | by Institute of Physics | Comments

A robotic arm that can bend, stretch and squeeze through cluttered environments has been created by a group of researchers from Italy. Inspired by the eight arms of an octopus, the device has been specifically designed for surgical operations to enable surgeons to easily access remote, confined regions of the body and, once there, manipulate soft organs without damaging them.

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