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Experiment finds key to natural detoxifier’s reactivity

October 8, 2015 12:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Comments

Researchers working at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered that a mere 9-trillionths-of-a-meter reduction in the length of a chemical bond dramatically boosts the reactivity of a family of molecules that helps keep humans and many other organisms healthy.


Better fluorescent lighting through physics

October 8, 2015 10:00 am | by Anne M. Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Comments

General Electric , Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created new kinds of fluorescent lighting phosphors that use far less rare-earth elements than current technology. Rare-earth elements are hard to come by. The U.S. has access to a limited amount of rare-earth elements and relies on imports.


Purdue professor solves 140-year fluid mechanics enigma

October 8, 2015 8:02 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

A Purdue Univ. researcher has solved a 140-year-old enigma in fluid mechanics: Why does a simple formula describe the seemingly complex physics for the behavior of elliptical particles moving through fluid? The findings have potential implications for research and industry because ellipsoid nanoparticles are encountered in various applications including those involving pharmaceuticals, foods and cosmetics.


Patched atoms

October 8, 2015 7:56 am | by Diane Kukich, Univ. of Delaware | Comments

In the world of catalytic science and technology, the hunt is always on for catalysts that are inexpensive, highly active and environmentally friendly. Recent efforts have focused on combining two metals, often in a structure where a core of one metal is surrounded by an atom-thick layer of a second one.


Cheap catalyst may lower fuel costs for hydrogen-powered cars

October 8, 2015 7:50 am | by Neal Singer, Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories researchers seeking to make hydrogen a less expensive fuel for cars have upgraded a catalyst nearly as cheap as dirt, molybdenum disulfide, “molly” for short, to stand in for platinum, a rare element with the moonlike price of $1,500 a gram.


New approach to creating computer memory

October 8, 2015 7:41 am | by Chad Boutin, NIST | Comments

What can skyrmions do for you? These ghostly quantum rings, heretofore glimpsed only under extreme laboratory conditions, just might be the basis for a new type of computer memory that never loses its grip on the data it stores.


Scientists: Major coral bleaching crisis spreads worldwide

October 8, 2015 2:00 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Associated Press | Comments

The bleaching of colorful coral is spreading into a worldwide, devastating crisis, scientists say, and they predict it will likely get worse. Triggered by global warming and the El Nino, record hot ocean water is causing fragile coral to go white and often die, threatening picturesque reefs that are hotspots of marine life, experts say.


Developing a gel that mimics human breast for cancer research

October 7, 2015 1:00 pm | by Julie Brown, Univ. of Manchester | Comments

Scientists at the Univs. of Manchester and Nottingham have been funded to develop a gel that will match many of the biological structures of human breast tissue, to advance cancer research and reduce animal testing.


Architecture-inspired nanostructures enable perfect optical metasurfaces

October 7, 2015 12:00 pm | by Chinese Academy of Sciences | Comments

Optical devices are critical in diverse military and civil applications, whereas traditional optical devices are bulky and heavy because they rely on the phase accumulation on a long optical path. In an article published in Science Advances, a team has demonstrated that ultra-thin and lightweight optical devices could be constructed using nanostructures catenaries.


Material shrinks when warm

October 7, 2015 11:00 am | by Kim Krieger, Univ. of Connecticut | Comments

Most materials swell when they warm, and shrink when they cool. But Univ. of Connecticut physicist Jason Hancock has been investigating a substance that responds in reverse: It shrinks when it warms. Although thermal expansion, and the cracking and warping that often result, are an everyday occurrence, physicists have trouble explaining why solids behave that way.


The topolariton, a new half-matter, half-light particle

October 7, 2015 10:00 am | by Rod Pyle, Caltech | Comments

A new type of "quasiparticle" theorized by Caltech's Gil Refael, a professor of theoretical physics and condensed matter theory, could help improve the efficiency of a wide range of photonic devices, technologies, such as optical amplifiers, solar photovoltaic cells and even barcode scanners, which create, manipulate or detect light.


Tellurium electrodes boost lithium batteries

October 7, 2015 7:58 am | by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore | Comments

A*STAR researchers have demonstrated that electrodes made from tellurium can improve the energy storage and power output of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Cathodes in conventional lithium-ion batteries typically contain iron, cobalt and manganese oxides and have a relatively limited energy density.


Predicting change in the Alzheimer’s brain

October 7, 2015 7:50 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers are developing a computer system that uses genetic, demographic and clinical data to help predict the effects of disease on brain anatomy. In experiments, they trained a machine-learning system on MRI data from patients with neurodegenerative diseases and found that supplementing that training with other patient information improved the system’s predictions.


Detecting HIV diagnostic antibodies with DNA nanomachines

October 7, 2015 7:42 am | by William Raillant-Clark, Univ. of Montreal | Comments

New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV. An international team of researchers have designed and synthetized a nanometer-scale DNA "machine" whose customized modifications enable it to recognize a specific target antibody.


Discovery about new battery overturns decades of false assumptions

October 7, 2015 7:35 am | by David Stauth, Oregon State Univ. | Comments

New findings at Oregon State Univ. have overturned a scientific dogma that stood for decades, by showing that potassium can work with graphite in a potassium-ion battery—a discovery that could pose a challenge and sustainable alternative to the widely-used lithium-ion battery.



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