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Shifts in states of matter: It’s complicated

November 7, 2014 | by Anne M. Stark, LLNL | Comments

The process of phase changes- those transitions between states of matter- is more complex than previously thought. A team researchers has found that we may need to rethink one of science’s building blocks and illustrate how a proper theoretical description of transitions has remained unclear.

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CERN discovers two new subatomic particles

November 20, 2014 11:49 am | by Associated Press, John Heilprin | Comments

Scientists at the world's largest smasher announced today that they have discovered two new subatomic particles never seen before that could widen our understanding of the universe. An experiment using the European Organization for Nuclear Research's Large Hadron Collider found the new particles, which were predicted to exist, and are both baryons made from three quarks bound together by a strong force.

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Novel polarizing filter transits more light

November 20, 2014 9:29 am | by Univ. of Utah | Comments

Univ. of Utah engineers have developed a polarizing filter that allows in more light, leading the way for mobile device displays that last much longer on a single battery charge and cameras that can shoot in dim light. Polarizers are indispensable in digital photography and LCD displays, but they block enormous amounts of light, wasting energy and making it more difficult to photograph in low light.

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New technology may speed up, build awareness of landslide risks

November 20, 2014 9:18 am | by David Stauth, Oregon State Univ. | Comments

Engineers have created a new way to use lidar technology to identify and classify landslides on a landscape scale, which may revolutionize the understanding of landslides in the U.S. and reveal them to be far more common and hazardous than often understood. The new, non-subjective technology can analyze and classify the landslide risk in an area of 50 or more square miles in about 30 mins.

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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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