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Method could make hydrogen fuel cells more efficient

September 24, 2015 8:50 am | by American Chemical Society | Comments

With the growth of wind and solar energy and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, many people in the U.S. may have forgotten about the promised “hydrogen economy.” But in research labs around the world, progress continues. Now scientists are reporting in the Journal of the American Chemical Society a new process that could help us move faster toward sustainable hydrogen-based energy.


World’s nitrogen fixation explained

September 24, 2015 8:42 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | Comments

Yale Univ. scientists may have cracked a part of the chemical code for one of the most basic, yet mysterious, processes in the natural world: nature’s ability to transform nitrogen from the air into usable nitrogen compounds. The process is called nitrogen fixation, and it occurs in microorganisms on the roots of plants. This is how nature makes its own fertilizers to feed plants, which feed us.


Liquid crystals show potential for detection of neuro-degenerative disease

September 24, 2015 8:37 am | by Carla Reiter, Univ. of Chicago | Comments

Liquid crystals are familiar to most of us as the somewhat humdrum stuff used to make computer displays and TVs. Even for scientists, it has not been easy to find other ways of using them. Now a group of researchers at the Univ. of Chicago is putting liquid crystals to work in a completely unexpected realm: as detectors for the protein fibers implicated in the development of neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.


Study predicts quantum Goldilocks effect

September 24, 2015 8:25 am | by Univ. of Miami | Comments

Just as in the well-known children's story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, something good happens when things are done in moderation, rather than in extremes. Now a new study has translated "not too hot or too cold, just right" to the quantum world and the generation of quantum entanglement and suggests that the universe started "neither too fast nor too slow."


Cathode material creates possibilities for sodium-ion batteries

September 24, 2015 8:16 am | by Univ. of Texas at Austin | Comments

Led by the inventor of the lithium-ion battery, a team of researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The Univ. of Texas at Austin has identified a new safe and sustainable cathode material for low-cost sodium-ion batteries.


Better trap for greenhouse gases

September 23, 2015 1:18 pm | by American Institute of Physics | Comments

Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas tend to collect within Earth's atmosphere as "greenhouse gases" that are blamed for escalating global warming.


Digestible batteries needed to power electronic pills

September 23, 2015 1:11 pm | by Cell Press | Comments

Imagine a "smart pill" that can sense problems in your intestines and actively release the appropriate drugs. We have the biological understanding to create such a device, but we're still searching for electronic materials (like batteries and circuits) that pose no risk if they get stuck in our bodies.


Ad blockers rise as ads annoy, bog down Websites

September 23, 2015 1:02 pm | by Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer | Comments

When you visit a Website, you often find yourself waiting and waiting for advertisements to load. Video starts playing automatically, and animated ads jump in front of what you were there to see. The seconds tick by. It doesn't have to be this way.


Ultrafast lasers offer 3-D micropatterning of biocompatible silk hydrogels

September 23, 2015 12:49 pm | by Kim Thurler, Tufts Univ. | Comments

Tufts University biomedical engineers are using low-energy, ultrafast laser technology to make high-resolution, 3-D structures in silk protein hydrogels.


Dynamic braces for kids with scoliosis now in development

September 23, 2015 9:27 am | by Holly Evarts, Columbia Engineering | Comments

Some six million people in the U.S. suffer from scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine.


Light-based memory chip is first ever to store data permanently

September 23, 2015 9:20 am | by Univ. of Oxford | Comments

The world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently has been developed by material scientists at Oxford University and University of Münster in collaboration with scientists at Karlsruhe and Exeter.


Robot revolution sweeps China's factory floors

September 23, 2015 9:13 am | by Kelvin Chan, AP Business Writer | Comments

In China's factories, the robots are rising.


Scientists awarded $6M to develop alternative HIV/AIDS vaccine

September 23, 2015 9:08 am | by The Scripps Research Institute | Comments

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been awarded up to nearly $6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a revolutionary HIV/AIDS alternative vaccine that has demonstrated great potential in animal models.


The Microbial Cloud Left in Your Wake

September 23, 2015 8:41 am | by Greg Watry, Digital Reporter | Comments

Like an aura, a personal microbial cloud surrounds your body. A dash of particles from your breath and a helping from your skin, among other sources, coalesce to make something unique, an imprint of you.

Fatigue-free flexible transparent electrode for stretchable and bendable electronics

Researchers create fatigue-free, stretchable conductor

September 22, 2015 2:17 pm | by Jeannie Kever, University of Houston | Comments

Researchers have discovered a new stretchable, transparent conductor that can be folded or stretched and released, resulting in a large curvature or a significant strain, at least 10,000 times without showing signs of fatigue. This is a crucial step in creating a new generation of foldable electronics—think a flat-screen television that can be rolled up for easy portability—and implantable medical devices



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