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Dazzlingly sharp images on curved screens

October 27, 2014 12:54 pm | Comments

Projecting images on curved screens poses a dilemma. The sharper the image, the darker it is, even when using lasers and scanning mirrors. A novel optical approach involving the use of an array of microprojectors now brings brightness and sharpness together for the first time on screens of any curvature. It also allows an increase in projection rates by about 10,000 times.

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A GPS from the chemistry set

October 27, 2014 12:48 pm | Comments

Scientists in Europe have developed a chemical “processor” which reliably shows the fastest way through a city maze. Because the method is basically faster than a satellite navigation system, it could be useful in transport planning and logistics in the future, for instance.

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New evidence for exotic, predicted superconducting state

October 27, 2014 12:35 pm | Comments

A research team led by a Brown Univ. physicist has produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field. This new understanding of what happens when electron spin populations become unequal could have implications beyond superconductivity.

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How microbes build a powerful antibiotic

October 27, 2014 10:32 am | by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | Comments

Researchers report in Nature that they have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery, and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful. 

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Fraunhofer develops economical process for micro energy harvesting

October 27, 2014 9:52 am | Comments

The trend toward energy self-sufficient probes and ever smaller mobile electronics systems continues, and are used to monitor the status of the engines on airplanes, or for medical implants. They gather the energy they need for this from their immediate environment, such as vibrations. Fraunhofer Institute researchers have developed a process for the economical production of piezoelectric materials that supply this type of energy.

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NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan

October 27, 2014 9:34 am | Comments

Scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles. Now, eight years after spotting this mysterious bit of atmospheric fluff, NASA's Cassini spacecraft, researchers have determined that it contains methane ice, which produces a much denser cloud than the ethane ice previously identified there.

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How to pick a college? Data crunchers hope to help

October 27, 2014 7:54 am | by Anne Flaherty, Associated Press | Comments

For many high school seniors, fall means deciding where to apply for college and maybe visiting a guidance counselor. Data crunchers hope to help. The popularity of social media sites and advancements in the ability to analyze the vast amounts of data we put online give members of the class of 2015 more tools than ever to help chart their next step, even if finding the right college is an inexact science.

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New hope in treating African sleeping sickness

October 27, 2014 7:53 am | by Joe O'Connell, Staff Writer, Northeastern Univ. | Comments

In early drug dis­covery, you need a starting point. In a new research paper pub­lished in PLOS-Neglected Trop­ical Dis­eases, a team of researchers present hun­dreds of such starting points for poten­tially treating Human African try­panoso­mi­asis, or sleeping sick­ness, a deadly dis­ease that affects thou­sands of people annually.

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Google exec sets records with leap from near-space

October 27, 2014 7:49 am | Comments

Google executive Alan Eustace broke the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert early Friday after taking a big leap from the edge of space. Eustace's supersonic jump was part of a project by Paragon Space Development Corp., which has been working secretly for years to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore some 20 miles above the Earth's surface.

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Turning loss to gain

October 27, 2014 7:42 am | by Steven Schultz, Princeton Univ. | Comments

Lasers are so deeply integrated into modern technology that their basic operations would seem well understood. CD players, medical diagnostics and military surveillance all depend on lasers. Re-examining longstanding beliefs about the physics of these devices, Princeton Univ. engineers have now shown that carefully restricting the delivery of power to certain areas within a laser could boost its output by many orders of magnitude.

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Governors back home quarantine for Ebola workers

October 27, 2014 3:28 am | by Frank Eltman - Associated Press - Associated Press | Comments

The governors of New York and New Jersey are at odds with scientists over Ebola as they back 21-day quarantines for medical workers returning from West Africa, while the nation's top infectious-disease expert warns that such restrictions are unnecessary and could discourage volunteers from aiding disease-ravaged countries.

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New home test shakes up colon cancer screening

October 26, 2014 12:27 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | Comments

Starting Monday, millions of people who have avoided colon cancer screening can get a new home test that's noninvasive and doesn't require the icky preparation most other methods do. The test is the first to look for cancer-related DNA in stool. But deciding whether to get it is a more complex choice than ads for "the breakthrough test ... that's as easy as going to the bathroom" make it seem.

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Molecular beacons shine light on how cells "crawl"

October 24, 2014 12:40 pm | by Carol Clark, EScience Commons | Comments

Adherent cells, the kind that form the architecture of all multicellular organisms, are engineered with precise forces that allow them to move around and stick to things. When these cells are put into a petri dish with a variety of substrates they can sense the differences in the surfaces and they will “crawl” toward the stiffest one. Chemists have devised a method using DNA-based tension probes to measure and map these phenomena.

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Physicists find toxic halogens in Li-ion batteries

October 24, 2014 12:08 pm | by Brian McNeill, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. | Comments

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth Univ. have discovered that most of the electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries are superhalogens, and that the vast majority of these electrolytes contain toxic halogens. At the same time, the researchers also found that the electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries could be replaced with halogen-free electrolytes that are both nontoxic and environmentally friendly.

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Hamilton Storage, Askion partner on crybiotechnology sample management solutions

October 24, 2014 11:47 am | Comments

Hamilton Storage Technologies, an affiliate entity of Hamilton Company, and Askion this week announced a partnership to combine expertise in robotic automation at ultra-low and cryopreservation temperatures. This partnership makes it possible to introduce the Askion C-line cryopreservation portfolio to several new markets, including North America and South America.

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