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Paper electronics could make health care more accessible

November 20, 2014 9:02 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Flexible electronic sensors based on paper have the potential to cut the price of a wide range of medical tools, from helpful robots to diagnostic tests. Scientists have now developed a fast, low-cost way of making these sensors by directly printing conductive ink on paper.

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Many older brains have plasticity, but in a different place

November 20, 2014 8:38 am | by David Orenstein, Brown Univ. | Comments

A widely presumed problem of aging is that the brain becomes less flexible or plastic, and that learning may therefore become more difficult. A new study led by Brown Univ. researchers contradicts that notion with a finding that plasticity did occur in seniors who learned a task well, but it occurred in a different part of the brain than in younger people.

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Argonne announces new licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor

November 20, 2014 8:24 am | by Jared Sagoff, Argonne National Laboratory | Comments

Argonne National Laboratory has announced a new intellectual property licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor, continuing a productive public-private partnership that will bring diamond-based semiconductor technologies to market. The agreement gives AKHAN exclusive rights to a suite of breakthrough diamond-based semiconductor inventions developed by nanoscientist Ani Sumant of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials.

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Spiraling light, nanoparticles and insights into life’s structure

November 20, 2014 8:12 am | by Nicole Casal Moore, Univ. of Michigan | Comments

As hands come in left and right versions that are mirror images of each other, so do the amino acids and sugars within us. But unlike hands, only the left-oriented amino acids and the right-oriented sugars ever make into life as we know it. Scientists know the other varieties exist because when they synthesize these amino acids and sugars in a laboratory, roughly equal numbers of left- and right-facing arrangements form.

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Could hydrogen vehicles take over as the “green” car of choice?

November 20, 2014 7:59 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Now that car makers have demonstrated through hybrid vehicle success that consumers want less-polluting tailpipes, they are shifting even greener. In 2015, Toyota will roll out the first hydrogen fuel-cell car for personal use that emits only water. An article in Chemical & Engineering Newsexplains how hydrogen could supplant hybrid and electric car technology.

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“Cloaking” device uses ordinary lenses to hide objects across range of angles

November 20, 2014 7:51 am | by Univ. of Rochester | Comments

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways to hide objects from view. The latest effort, developed at the Univ. of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but it uses inexpensive, readily available materials in a novel configuration.

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Unraveling the mystery of gamma-ray bursts

November 20, 2014 7:39 am | by Univ. of Cardiff | Comments

A team of scientists hope to trace the origins of gamma-ray bursts with the aid of giant space microphones. Researchers at Cardiff Univ. are trying to work out the possible sounds scientists might expect to hear when the ultra-sensitive LIGO and Virgo detectors are switched on in 2015.

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Government wants more clinical trial results made public

November 19, 2014 3:00 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

The government proposed new rules Wednesday to make it easier for doctors and patients to learn if clinical trials of treatments worked or not. Thousands of Americans participate in clinical trials every year, testing new treatments, comparing old ones or helping to uncover general knowledge about health. Many of the studies are reported in scientific journals and trumpeted in the news.

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World not close to avoiding dangerous warming

November 19, 2014 11:00 am | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer - Associated Press | Comments

The world still isn't close to preventing what leaders call a dangerous level of man-made warming, a new United Nations report says. That's despite some nations' recent pledges to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions. The report looks at the gap between what countries promise to do about carbon pollution and what scientists say needs to be done to prevent temperatures rising another two degrees.

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Immune system surprise hints at new strategy for fighting HIV

November 19, 2014 10:53 am | by Bill Hathaway, Yale Univ. | Comments

The discovery of the innate immunity system’s role in mobilizing the body’s defenses against invading microorganisms has been long studied at Yale Univ. Now in Nature Immunology, Yale researchers have discovered a surprising twist to the story that may open a new avenue in the fight against HIV.

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Biochemists build largest synthetic molecular “cage” ever

November 19, 2014 10:26 am | by Stuart Wolpert, Univ. of California, Los Angeles | Comments

Univ. of California, Los Angeles biochemists have created the largest-ever protein that self-assembles into a molecular “cage.” The research could lead to synthetic vaccines that protect people from the flu, HIV and other diseases. At a size hundreds of times smaller than a human cell, it also could lead to new methods of delivering pharmaceuticals inside of cells, or to the creation of new nanoscale materials.

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Streamlining thin-film processing saves time, energy

November 19, 2014 9:41 am | by South Dakota State University Communications Center | Comments

Energy storage devices and computer screens may seem worlds apart, but they're not. When Assoc. Prof. Qi Hua Fan set out to make a less expensive supercapacitor for storing renewable energy, he developed a new plasma technology that will streamline the production of display screens.

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Research advances understanding of atomically thin crystal growth

November 19, 2014 9:24 am | by David Goddard, UT Knoxville | Comments

Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Engineering has made recent headlines for discoveries that, while atomically small, could impact our modern world. The team focused on the role of epilayer-substrate interactions in determining orientational relations in van der Waals epitaxy.

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X-ray laser brings key cell structures into focus

November 19, 2014 9:07 am | by SLAC Office of Communications | Comments

Scientists have made high-resolution x-ray laser images of an intact cellular structure much faster and more efficiently than ever possible before. The results are an important step toward atomic-scale imaging of intact biological particles, including viruses and bacteria. The technique was demonstrated at the Linac Coherent Light Source at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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Study: Light may skew lab tests on nanoparticles’ health effects

November 19, 2014 8:38 am | by Chad Boutin, NIST | Comments

Truth shines a light into dark places. But sometimes to find that truth in the first place, it’s better to stay in the dark. That’s what recent findings at NIST show about methods for testing the safety of nanoparticles. It turns out that previous tests indicating that some nanoparticles can damage our DNA may have been skewed by inadvertent light exposure in the lab.

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