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Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon

August 27, 2015 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Basel | Comments

Physicists at the Univ. of Basel succeed in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons and characterizing their structural, electronic and chemical properties. The modified material could potentially be used as a sensor for the ecologically damaging nitrogen oxides, scientists report in Nature Communications.

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Turning alcohols into alkylating agents

August 27, 2015 1:00 pm | by Princeton Univ. | Comments

Researchers at Princeton Univ. have developed a dual catalyst system that directly installs alkyl groups onto compounds called heteroarenes. The new reaction uses simple and abundant alcohols and offers a milder and more widely applicable alternative to existing strategies.

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Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch

August 27, 2015 11:00 am | by Matt Swayne, Penn State Univ. | Comments

Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers. Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer's stem cells.

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Capture sunlight with your window

August 27, 2015 9:30 am | by Nancy Ambrosiano, Los Alamos National Laboratory | Comments

A luminescent solar concentrator is an emerging sunlight harvesting technology that has the potential to disrupt the way we think about energy: It could turn any window into a daytime power source.

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New catalyst may hasten commercialization of fuel cell vehicles

August 27, 2015 9:00 am | by Vic Comello, Argonne National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists have developed a new fuel cell catalyst using earthly abundant materials with performance that is comparable to platinum in laboratory tests. If commercially viable, the new catalyst could replace platinum in electric cars powered by fuel cells instead of batteries, which would greatly extend the range of electric vehicles and eliminate the need for recharging.

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Modified bacteria become a multicellular circuit

August 27, 2015 8:00 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Comments

Rice Univ. scientists have made a living circuit from multiple types of bacteria that prompts the bacteria to cooperate to change protein expression. The subject of a new paper in Science, the project represents the first time the Rice researchers have created a biological equivalent to a computer circuit that involves multiple organisms to influence a population.

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Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton

August 27, 2015 7:30 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Each spring, powerful dust storms in the deserts of Mongolia and northern China send thick clouds of particles into the atmosphere. Eastward winds sweep these particles as far as the Pacific, where dust ultimately settles in the open ocean. This desert dust contains, among other minerals, iron, an essential nutrient for hundreds of species of phytoplankton that make up the ocean’s food base.

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Making grilling more environmentally friendly

August 27, 2015 7:06 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

Summertime is waning, and that means the end of backyard barbecues is almost upon us. That also means an end to dousing charcoal briquettes with lighter fluid. Reducing the use of lighter fluid might not be a bad thing, as many of those products are made from crude oil and emit potentially harmful compounds when lit. Now, researchers report they developed a waste-paper-based, environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.

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ORNL chemical sampling interface features simplicity, speed

August 26, 2015 5:30 pm | by Ron Walli, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Comments

In mere seconds, a system developed at Oak Ridge National Laborator can identify and characterize a solid or liquid sample, providing a valuable tool with applications in material science, forensics, pharmaceuticals, biology and chemistry.

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Cellular contamination pathway for heavy elements identified

August 26, 2015 4:30 pm | by Julie Chao, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have reported a major advance in understanding the biological chemistry of radioactive metals, opening up new avenues of research into strategies for remedial action in the event of possible human exposure to nuclear contaminants.

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Searching big data faster

August 26, 2015 3:30 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

For more than a decade, gene sequencers have been improving more rapidly than the computers required to make sense of their outputs. Searching for DNA sequences in existing genomic databases can already take hours, and the problem is likely to get worse.

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Supercomputers enlisted to shed light on photosynthesis

August 26, 2015 2:30 pm | by Univ. of the Basque Country | Comments

Computing enables scientists and engineers to analyze highly complex physical processes using simulation techniques. In this case, researchers in the UPV/EHU are collaborating with researchers from various universities to analyze the photosynthesis process basing themselves on various theories because the way in which plants absorb light remains a mystery.

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Earth’s mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015 1:30 pm | by Carnegie Institute of Science | Comments

New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos.

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Cells cling and spiral “like vines” in first 3-D tissue scaffold for plants

August 26, 2015 1:04 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | Comments

Miniscule artificial scaffolding units made from nanofiber polymers and built to house plant cells have enabled scientists to see for the first time how individual plant cells behave and interact with each other in a 3-D environment. These "hotels for cells" mimic the "extracellular matrix" which cells secrete before they grow and divide to create plant tissue.

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Why platinum nanoparticles become less effective catalysts at small sizes

August 26, 2015 12:00 pm | by A*STAR | Comments

A*STAR scientists have used first-principles computer simulations to explain why small platinum nanoparticles are less effective catalysts than larger ones. Platinum nanoparticles are used in the catalysis of many reactions, including the important hydrogen evolution reaction used in fuel cells and for separating water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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