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EU seeking to create $1.27 billion Ebola fund

October 20, 2014 10:27 am | by Raf Casert - Associated Press - Associated Press | Comments

European Union nations are working to reach 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in aid by the end of the week to fight Ebola in West Africa and are seeking a common approach to the crisis.EU foreign ministers began a week of talks Monday so their 28 leaders can agree by Friday on better measures to fight Ebola, anything from financial aid to common repatriation procedures, more Ebola treatment facilities and better training for health workers.

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Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream

October 20, 2014 9:46 am | by Kat J. McAlpine, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | Comments

DNA has garnered attention for its potential as a programmable material platform that could spawn entire new and revolutionary nanodevices in computer science, microscopy, biology and more. Researchers have been working to master the ability to coax DNA molecules to self-assemble into the precise shapes and sizes needed in order to fully realize these nanotechnology dreams.

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“Mega” cells control the growth of blood-producing cells

October 20, 2014 9:38 am | Comments

While megakaryocytes are best known for producing platelets that heal wounds, these "mega" cells found in bone marrow also play a critical role in regulating stem cells according to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. The study is the first to show that hematopoietic stem cells (the parent cells) can be directly controlled by their own progeny (megakaryocytes).

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Goldilocks principle wrong for particle assembly

October 20, 2014 9:32 am | by New York Univ. | Comments

Microscopic particles that bind under low temperatures will melt as temperatures rise to moderate levels, but re-connect under hotter conditions, a team of New York Univ. scientists has found. Their discovery points to new ways to create "smart materials," cutting-edge materials that adapt to their environment by taking new forms, and to sharpen the detail of 3-D printing.

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IBM to pay $1.5 billion to shed its costly chip division

October 20, 2014 8:58 am | by Michelle Chapman, AP Business Writer | Comments

IBM will pay $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries in order to shed its costly chip division.  According to IBM Director of Research John E. Kelly III in an interview Monday, handing over control of the semiconductor operations will allow it to grow faster, while IBM continues to invest in and expand its chip research. Privately held Globalfoundries will get IBM's global commercial semiconductor technology business.

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Protons hog the momentum in neutron-rich nuclei

October 20, 2014 8:36 am | by Jared Sagoff, Argonne National Laboratory | Comments

Like dancers swirling on the dance floor with bystanders looking on, protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum, leaving less for non-paired nucleons. Using data from nuclear physics experiments, researchers have now shown for the first time that this phenomenon exists in nuclei heavier than carbon, including aluminum, iron and lead.

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A 3-D map of the adolescent universe

October 20, 2014 8:18 am | by Kate Greene, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light-years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, 3-D maps of a slice of the adolescent universe. The map shows a web of hydrogen gas that varies from low to high density at a time when the universe was made of a fraction of the dark matter we see today.

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Energy storage of the future

October 20, 2014 7:55 am | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboraotry | Comments

Personal electronics such as cell phones and laptops could get a boost from some of the lightest materials in the world. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have turned to graphene aerogel for enhanced electrical energy storage that eventually could be used to smooth out power fluctuations in the energy grid.

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Ebola fear, monitoring eases for some in Dallas

October 20, 2014 1:26 am | by Marilynn Marchione - Associated Press - Associated Press | Comments

Ebola fears began to ease for some Monday as a monitoring period passed for those who had close contact with a victim of the disease and after a cruise ship scare ended with the boat returning to port and a laboratory worker on board testing negative for the virus. Federal officials meanwhile ramped up readiness to deal with future cases.

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A new material brings spintronics closer

October 17, 2014 1:45 pm | Comments

Spintronics is a new field of electronics, using electron spin rather than charge. Researchers have discovered that a common insulating material behaves as a perfect spintronic conductor because it is not affected by background electron charge. In addition, the material’s properties make it an ideal platform for directly observing a strange subatomic particle that could one day lead to a different, more stable type of quantum computers.

Geneticists evaluate cost-effective genome analysis

October 17, 2014 1:39 pm | Comments

Scientists perform genome sequences because want to know why individuals differ from each other and how these differences are encoded in the DNA. However, sequencing a complete genome still costs around $1,000, and sequencing hundreds of individuals would be costly. In two recent review papers, scientists discuss why DNA sequencing of entire groups, or pool sequencing, can be an efficient and cost-effective approach.

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Designing antibiotics of the future

October 17, 2014 9:48 am | Comments

Scientists have used computer simulations to show how bacteria are able to destroy antibiotics, a breakthrough which will help develop drugs which can effectively tackle infections in the future. Researchers at the Univ. of Bristol focused on the role of enzymes in the bacteria, which split the structure of the antibiotic and stop it working, making the bacteria resistant. 

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New catalyst could improve biofuels production

October 17, 2014 9:36 am | by Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture | Comments

Washington State Univ. (WSU) researchers have developed a new catalyst that could lead to making biofuels cheaply and more efficiently. The WSU researchers developed a mixture of two metals, iron along with a tiny amount of palladium, to serve as a catalyst to efficiently and cheaply remove oxygen.

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Scientists discover carbonate rocks are unrecognized methane sink

October 17, 2014 9:25 am | by Mark Floyd, Oregon State Univ. | Comments

Since the first undersea methane seep was discovered 30 years ago, scientists have meticulously analyzed and measured how microbes in the seafloor sediments consume the greenhouse gas methane as part of understanding how the Earth works. The sediment-based microbes form an important methane “sink,” preventing much of the chemical from reaching the atmosphere and contributing to greenhouse gas accumulation.

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Scientist invent new method for fabricating graphene nanoribbons

October 17, 2014 9:23 am | by Shaun Mason, UCLA | Comments

Graphene’s exotic properties can be tailored by cutting large sheets down to ribbons of specific lengths and edge configurations. But this “top-down” fabrication approach is not yet practical, because current lithographic techniques always produce defects. Now, scientists from the U.S. and Japan have discovered a new “bottom-up” self-assembly method for producing defect-free graphene nanoribbons with periodic zigzag-edge regions.

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