Ripening fruit, vegetables, and flowers release ethylene, which works as a plant hormone. Ethylene accelerates ripening, so other unripened fruit also begins to ripen—fruit and vegetables quickly spoil and flowers wilt. researchers in Japan have now introduced a new catalytic system for the fast and complete degradation of ethylene. This could keep the air in warehouses ethylene-free, keeping perishable products fresh longer.
At seven times the toughness of Kevlar, a silk produced by the Caerostris darwini spider of Madagascar is more robust than any other material—synthetic or natural. Most spider silks are about two times tougher than Kevlar, and have long been considered an intriguing alternative for bulletproof vests and other protective gear. There’s only one problem: producing spider silk on demand is a tricky task.
Described as the "most beautiful experiment in physics," Richard Feynman emphasized how the diffraction of individual particles at a grating is an unambiguous demonstration of wave-particle duality and contrary to classical physics. A research team recently used carefully made fluorescent molecules and nanometric detection accuracy to provide clear and tangible evidence of the quantum behavior of large molecules in real time.
Leading nanoscientists created beautiful, tiled patterns with flat nanocrystals, but they were left with a mystery: Why did some sets of crystals arrange themselves in an alternating, herringbone style? To find out, they turned to experts in computer simulation at the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The old saying that "what goes up must come down" doesn't apply to carbon dioxide pollution in the air, which just hit an unnerving milestone. The chief greenhouse gas was measured Thursday at 400 parts per million in Hawaii, a monitoring site that sets the world's benchmark. This was last matched about 2 million years ago, or more, and is more than modern humans have ever encountered.
The three different formations of South Pacific coral-reef islands, fringing, barrier, and atoll, have long fascinated geologists. The question of how reefs develop into these shapes over evolutionary time produced an enduring conflict between two hypotheses, one from Charles Darwin and the other from Reginald Daly. But in a recently published paper, researchers use modern measurements and computer modeling to resolve this old conundrum.
A domestic natural gas boom already has lowered U.S. energy prices while stoking fears of environmental disaster. Now U.S. producers are poised to ship vast quantities of gas overseas as energy companies seek permits for proposed export projects that could set off a renewed frenzy of fracking.
Cancer patients could face high costs for medications under President Barack Obama's health care law, industry analysts and advocates warn. Where you live could make a huge difference in what you'll pay. To try to keep premiums low, some states are allowing insurers to charge patients a hefty share of the cost for expensive medications used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other life-altering chronic diseases.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a way to introduce precisely four copper ions into a single quantum dot. The introduction of these “guest” ions opens up possibilities for fine-tuning the optical properties of the quantum dots and producing spectacular colors. When the crystallinity is perfect, they become very emissive and end up being the world’s best dye.
Eli Lilly and Co. said Friday it will stop development of an experimental cancer drug after it failed in a late-stage clinical trial. The company was studying enzastaurin as a treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a cancer that affects a type of white blood cell. Lilly said patients who were treated with enzastaurin did not survive longer than patients treated with a placebo.
Researchers at the University of Bristol in the U.K. have led a new enquiry into how extremely small particles of silica (sand) can be used to design and construct artificial protocells in the laboratory. By attaching a thin polymer layer to the external surface of an artificial inorganic protocell built from silica nanoparticles, the scientists have potentially the problem of controlling membrane permeability.
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) recently flew their fuel cell powered Ion Tiger UAV for 48 hours and 1 minute on April 16-18 by using liquid hydrogen fuel in a new, NRL-developed, cryogenic fuel storage tank and delivery system. This flight shatters their previous record of 26 hours and 2 minutes set in 2009 using the same vehicle, but with gaseous hydrogen stored at 5000 psi.
Scientists already know that graphene has extraordinary conductive, mechanical, and optical properties. Now it is possible to give it one more property: magnetism. Researchers in Spain have used a technique that involves growing a precise graphene film over a ruthenium single crystal inside an ultra high vacuum chamber where organic semiconducting molecules are evaporated on the graphene surface.
Rice University students have created a way to help health care workers track vaccines and keep them at a safe temperature. The SAFE Vaccine senior engineering design team assembled a device to regulate the temperature of any standard refrigerator to keep it within a range that’s safe for vaccines. Their invention also tracks vaccine stock, usage, and expiration dates and, as a result, takes a load of paperwork off the backs of nurses.
Bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities known as biofilms. It turns out that they organize in a rich-get-richer pattern similar to the distribution of wealth in the U.S. economy, according to a new study.